The New Mexico Association of Counties Treasurer’s Affiliate Conference kicked off Tuesday afternoon at Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel.

The conference provides the treasurers from all 33 of New Mexico’s counties the opportunity to gather; to share ideas and best practices; to participate in workshops on educational, technical and legislative topics; and to network with other counties and professionals in the field. The goal of the conference is to provide necessary information and tools to better serve the residents New Mexico.

Sandoval County Treasurers Jennifer Taylor welcomed a large crowd to open the conference, which had special guests, including Navajo Nation Vice President Richelle Montoya.

“I’d like to welcome you all to the very beautiful Sandoval County where during the next four days we hope to showcase all that we have to offer, and we do have a lot to offer,” Taylor said. “Sandoval County is the fastest-growing county in New Mexico, and we are a community which is both diverse and welcoming.”

Montoya, the 11th vice president of the Navajo Nation and the first woman elected to the executive office of Navajo Nation, spoke to the crowd after Taylor.

“I am a lifelong resident of Sandoval County and I’m very honored to be here, very humbled to be the Navajo Nation vice president, which is an historic moment in my nation’s history,” Montoya said. “I am the first woman to ever hold this office. It really brought love to my heart for the state of New Mexico. The state of New Mexico has always been a champion for the Navajo Nation. New Mexico has always been able to help our chapters with money to do the projects we need to for our children.”

Montoya is a member of the Ta’neeszahnii clan, in Torreon, New Mexico, which is near Cuba. She graduated from Cuba High School in 1994 and has degrees from San Juan College and the University of New Mexico.

Montoya was selected by Dr. Buu Nygren as his vice presidential running mate following the 2022 Navajo Nation primary election. Montoya was elected in 2020 as the Torreon/Star Lake Chapter president.

Other special guests at the opening ceremonies included Sandoval County Commissioners Katherine Bruch, District 1, and Michael Meek, District 3; Sandoval County elected officers Linda Gallegos, assessor; Anne Brady-Romero, clerk; Jesse James Casaus, sheriff; Sandoval County Manager Wayne Johnson; and Sandoval County Deputy Manager John Garcia.

State Rep. Derrick Lente presented a legislative update Tuesday. State Sen. David Ivey-Soto discussed possible legislation for a special fund specifically for county treasurers and changes to the delinquent property installment agreements on Wednesday.

There are several other presentations and activities planned for the conference, which concludes at noon on Friday.