2018 Southern New Mexico Women of Distinction Honorees

Wanda Bowman

Wanda R. Bowman is a dynamic entrepreneur who has lived in Las Cruces since 1971. She has piloted her original mom and pop store to a corporate store: Ashley Homestore. As she built her business, she focused on reducing business energy usage and removing the glass ceiling for women who work in her business. She is a supporter of local sports, fine arts and scholarship programs at NMSU and the Las Cruces Public Schools. Bowman was appointed by Governor Martinez to the board of the Youth Conservation Corps, a program to employ teenagers in economically disadvantaged areas of the state. She is one of the members of Revolution 120, a nonprofit that provides assistance to individuals who have experienced unforeseen disasters.

Barrett Brewer

  Barrett Brewer, a native of Tennessee, changed careers and homes several times before arriving in Gila, NM, where she founded and chairs the Grant County Community Foundation. She also established the first Mobile Food Pantry, serves on the Gila Valley Library Board, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Con Alma Health Foundation. She accomplished all of this with a degree in geology and English literature. These days, she is a “book artist,” creating one-of-a-kind and editioned “artist’s books.”



Carol Ann Council

Carol Ann Council graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Mathematics and Physics, which she put to use as a computer programmer at General Dynamics in Forth Worth. After moving to Las Cruces in 1973, she has worked at PSL and WSMR, and currently works at Kos Solutions, an IT Managed Services computer business. She also is a member of the American Recorder Society, performing in community concerts and at the Renaissance Faire.



Maria A. Flores

Maria A. Flores continues to serve our community in her third term on the Las Cruces School Board. She worked for 10 years in her husband Dr. Ernest A. Flores’ medical practice, while volunteering in the various schools her three children attended. Her education included a master’s degree from Michigan State University. She escapes through travel and yoga.


Mary M. “Mikki” Jemin

            Mary M. “Mikki Jemin of Silver City has assisted women entrepreneurs and women’s upward mobility for decades through her jobs in the Army Corps of Engineers. Immediately upon graduating from the University of Nevada in Reno with a degree in chemistry, she joined the American Association of University Women. Decades later, she continues to volunteer with this group with focus on connecting high school students with AAUW and Western New Mexico University mentors.

Christina S. Little

A major professor gave Christina S. Little stern instructions to use the degree she earned in Public Administration from University of New Mexico in 2000. Following those instructions, she created comprehensive databases for Dona Ana Advocates for Children and Families and the United Way. Based on this experience, she created the Interagency Council in 2004 as an informal gathering of social services providers. More than a decade later, this Council provides an opportunity for all nonprofits and governmental agencies to share information. Much of this communication for services and needs is communicated through her moderated Listerve. She also is a member of the League of Women Voters and AAUW.


Rorie Measure

 Rorie Measure has dedicated her adult life to literacy and advocacy for children and families. She currently is president of the Children’s Reading Alliance and writes “The Reading Solution” column for the Las Cruces Bulletin. She is active in our community with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and with Lynn Middle School’s Cougar Community Connection. However, she is not all work. She also is an actor, director and storyteller.


Deborah M. Widger

Deborah M. Widger “retired” from New Mexico State University after 32 years in alumni relations and fundraising. She continues to work actively for the board of Cowboys for Cancer Research and as the executive director of Aggies Are Tough Enough to Wear Pink. She also has served the Goodwill Industries of Southern New Mexico and the Memorial Medical Center Foundation. She divides her free time between pursuits such as calligraphy and women’s golf.




Dale E. Yeo

Dale E. Yeo moved to Las Cruces after retiring from the Copper Country area of Upper Michigan where she was a Title 1 director and teacher. There she developed an elementary computer lab and theme-based summer school. In line with her education experience, she joined the board of the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico, which connects dyslexic children with instruction and provides scholarships for children. Yeo also plays in the bell choir of Morning Star United Methodist Church. In her spare time, she reads, hikes and attends live performances.