Executive Chairman of the Board

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.

Chief Operating Officer
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.

Executive Director
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.


Scholarship Program Director
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.

Simon Scholars High School Program Manager
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.