Staff

STEVEN H. SIMON
President and CEO

In early 2005, Steve was hired to establish the New Mexico branch of The Ronald Simon Family Foundation and to implement the newly formed Simon Scholars Program.  He served as the NM branch’s Executive Director between 2005 and 2011 and guided the Simon Scholars Program toward success.  Simon Scholars began with one partner high school and five students in 2005, and now serves six partner high schools in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and accepts twenty new students per year, with very high levels of retention.  The Program is currently near capacity with just under 120 active high school and college students.  What began as an experiment has changed the lives of many students and opened up doors that previously could have only been dreamt of.

Steve currently serves as the President/CEO of the Simon Charitable Foundation, and the Executive Director of the Street Food Institute.  Steve has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from The University of Denver and a graduate degree in Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara.  He is an avid traveler and has previously resided in California, Hawaii and Sydney, Australia.  Steve has worked in culinary and management capacities in the restaurant industry, and in sales and marketing in both the food and wine industries.  Steve brings both a fresh and a global perspective to the local issues that challenge New Mexico.

SUSAN TALKINGTON
Chief Operating Officer
susan@simoncf.org
505.982.0733 ext. 105

Susan joined the Simon Charitable Foundation in March 2013. Susan’s career began building software for the banking and finance industry.  After pursuing her M.A. from St. John’s College, she turned her attention to the non-profit sector, finding a natural match of organizational talent with purposeful work.  Susan brings accuracy, attention-to-detail and systems-level organizational skills to the Foundation. With more than 12 years of experience building software for banking applications, Susan understands the value of data integrity and efficient processes which save valuable resources for the organization.  In her spare time, you can find her at the dog park with her German Shepherd Dog/Alaskan Malamute rescue, Zeus, and her daughter.

BEAR NASH
Marketing Director
Director of Strategic Initiatives

bear@simoncf.org
505.982.0733 ext. 106

Bear is a well-traveled culinary enthusiast. He began his work with the Street Food Institute in the beginning of 2011 as a key collaborator in the development of the Program. Bear has ten years of experience in the food service and hospitality industries. His interest in food, health, and international culture has led him to the far reaches of Southeast Asia and Latin America. Bear has worked and participated in business ventures in various Latin American countries, and is nearly fluent in Spanish. In his free time he enjoys music, sports, and outdoor activities.

SIMON SCHOLARS PROGRAM STAFF

PHIL LUCERO
Chief Program Officer
phil@simoncf.org
505.982.0733 ext. 103

Phil, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, joined the Simon Charitable Foundation in June of 2019. He comes to SCF after 17 years working in various capacities mentoring youth in his community. As Chief Program Officer at SCF, Phil oversees the New Mexico Simon Scholar Program.

Phil holds B.A. in English & Film from Colorado College and an M.A. in Environmental Education from the University of New Mexico. It was during his time at UNM that he found his calling working with youth. Early positions with Two Wheel View (a non-profit organization that takes youth on international bicycle touring expeditions) and the North Carolina Outward Bound School launched his career as an experiential educator. He went on to work with the Santa Fe Public Schools as a health and wellness specialist for 8 years. Afterward, Phil served as an Athletic Director and Dean of Students at both public and private institutions in New Mexico.

After living in Albuquerque for many years, Phil returned to his hometown of Santa Fe in 2015 with his wife, Liz and two children, Xavier & Zoe. In his spare time you’ll likely find him playing outside with his kids or wandering around the New Mexico back country on his bicycle.

ANISSA EVANS
Scholarship Program Manager
anissa@simoncf.org
505.982.0733 ext. 104

Anissa joined the Simon Scholars Program, where she serves as Program Coordinator, in 2010. Anissa is a native New Mexican and has worked in the nonprofit community in Santa Fe for the last 10 years. In her role as Program Coordinator, she manages the college scholarships and works closely with the Simon Scholars team in supporting our scholars. Prior to this she worked for the Drug Policy Alliance and Delta Mortgage. In her spare time, Anissa enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

JANETH SANTOS
Simon Scholars Program Coordinator
janeth@simoncf.org
505.982.0733 ext. 102

Janeth joined the Simon Scholars Program as the Program Coordinator in July 2017. She is a first-generation student, an alum of the Simon Scholars program, and a graduate of Capital High School, class of 2011. She attended the University of New Mexico, where she pursued her degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics. After earning her degree in 2015, she worked as a mentor for high school students at College Plaza at Santa Fe High School. Janeth is very passionate about helping other students like herself surpass the barriers to obtain a higher education.

WENDOLIN MARTINEZ
Tutor Coordinator – Albuquerque
wendolin.xz@gmail.com
505.982.0733

For Wendolin, becoming a Simon Scholar at Santa Fe High School was a fantastic opportunity in the pursuit of a college education. After graduating high school in 2015 and finishing her first year at Earlham College, she decided to transfer to the University of New Mexico and pursue a B.S. in Biochemistry.

Wendolin is passionate about education, and has worked as a tutor for AVID, the Simon Program, and is a TA for Organic Chemistry at the university. As the Tutor Coordinator for Albuquerque, she hopes to inspire scholars and open doors for them as her mentors have done for her. During the summer of ’19, Wendolin assisted with neuroscience research at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.; she is happy to talk about brains with anyone who is interested. In addition to her love for learning, she enjoys blues, traveling, and petting “good boys.”

ADRIAN SOTELO
Tutor Coordinator – Santa Fe
sotelo.adrian12@gmail.com
505.982.0733

BIO FORTHCOMING