Ralph “Bud” Jones
Landscape & Grounds Services and Vehicle Mechanics
The Strickland Award was created in 1997, and I rely heavily on the department staff and/or unit heads to provide input for these awards, but four years ago I added the AVP’s Award. Like the Sometimes Monday Morning Memo, this award is given out annually or whenever the AVP feels like it. This award recognizes an employee or group of employees for a significant achievement or collection of outstanding work representative of the facilities and services values, goals, and mission. Bud Jones has worked a New Mexico State University for almost 30 years. He has served as the ground manager for Facilities and Services since 2008 when NMSU bought out the Sodexo outsourced contract to save money and improve service. Currently, Jones oversees a crew of 25 grounds keepers and the Facilities and Services Vehicle Mechanics shop. “We take care of all the landscapes and irrigation systems throughout our beautiful campus. Most anything that grows we are responsible for its care,” Jones said. “Keeping our students and staff safe is another one of our goals. Removing dangerous trees and their diseased branches helps in keeping us all safe.” He also is responsible for delegating care when concerns with small animals occur. In the summer, the grounds crew keeps the campus manicured, and in the winter the staff works on landscape projects until spring. “Aside from renovating/improving older landscapes throughout campus, my favorite aspect is getting to know our diverse campus staff.”1 1 Adapted from https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Stories/view/371/staff‐spotlight‐bud‐jones‐facilities‐and‐services
Deputy Fire Chief
With great honor, I am recommending Deputy Fire Chief Louis Huber for the “2016 AVP Award.” Louis was
hired in January of 2014 as NMSU’s first Deputy Fire Chief. Louis previously served 24 years and retired from
the City of Las Cruces Fire Department. He rose through the ranks to the Lieutenant position where he was in
charge of the Hazardous Materials Response team and oversight of an engine and a truck company. Louis was
instrumental in building a Type I Hazardous Materials Team for the City of Las Cruces. Prior to retirement,
Louis also worked for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Curriculum
As the Deputy Fire Chief at NMSU, Louis’ primary responsibility is administration and enforcement of existing
fire and building codes. Louis has been instrumental in developing and enforcing compliance standards on
NMSU’s fire detection, suppression systems, and building inspection program. This past year, Louis worked to
migrate NMSU’s fire related assets to the AiM system. This includes all fire sprinkler, fire alarm, standpipe,
alternative extinguishing systems, extinguishers, hydrants, emergency generators, eye‐wash and emergency
showers on NMSU’s main campus.
Another highlight is Louis’ record on securing alternate funding sources to help the Fire Department in its
mission to provide the NMSU community with the best department possible. For the past three years, Chief
Huber has written grants to the NM Fire Protection Grant totaling $346,625. This year was extremely
competitive as there were over $28 million in needs and only $10.1 million to distribute. NMSU was awarded
$100,000 to purchase in‐mask communication equipment, personal protective equipment which includes 20‐
full sets of bunker gear, forcible entry training equipment, fire hoses and a PortaCount face mask fit tester.
One of his greatest attributes is that he shares his experience with our staff, so that one day they will be able to take over where he left off. Deputy Chief Huber exhibits loyalty, commitment, and leadership that have helped develop and mentor our firefighters and career staff. He works closely and effectively with the Fire Chief to ensure the goals and objectives are clear and the mission is achieved. Deputy Chief Huber’s understanding and ability to interpret the fire code are commendable as he offers detailed opinion summaries to our FS Project Managers daily. What makes Louis so effective is that he truly believes in the mission and wants to make a difference. That is why Louis is a great choice for the 2016 AVP Award. – Johnny Carrillo
Heidi M. Frohnapfel
Project Development and Engineering
If you have been to the middle of campus and / or visited the Hardman Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center, you will know why Heidi has been selected. In addition, the related renovations around McFie Circle are also being managed by Heidi. Both of these projects have gone extremely well and will impact the appearance and functionality of the NMSU core campus for many years. For this reason, we are proud to honor Heidi with the AVP’s Award for 2015.
Dale Harrell, Ph.D., P.E.
Lead Facilities Engineer
Office of the University Architect
Dale – or maybe I should say, Dr. Harrell – has a title of “Lead Facilities Engineer” although he really is serving more as the University Engineer by beginning to coordinate all facility engineering in the same manner as the University Architect does with professional design firms.
For the past three years, Dale has played a pivotal role in the development of the NMSU Performance Contract Phase 1, a $15 million dollar, guaranteed energy savings project that will, in addition to other energy conservation measures, replace most of the T-12 fluorescent lamps and ballasts on the Las Cruces campus. When this project retires,the debt in 14 years, NMSU will be able to keep the improvements and the entire $1.8 million in savings that will be generated annually by then. Keeping one’s “eye-on-the-ball” for a three year project is a challenge, and Dr. Harrell has handled this one very well.
Project Development and Engineering
Alton Looney has been building and renovating NMSU’s buildings and utilities for the past ten years. Starting his NMSU career in 2002, he brought with him years of project management experience. Although he took a short leave of absence from NMSU in 2005, he returned in 2006 to continue his career. Through the years Alton has pushed and held himself and his direct report to a high standard of professionalism and project management.
Enrique “Henry” Espalin
Project Development and Engineering
“Enrique (Henry) Espalin has been in the Facilities and Services Project Development and Engineering office since May of 2007. During this period, Henry has quietly completed 46 projects worth a value of $59,000,000. Henry’s most recent accomplishments are the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Chamisa II Apartments, and now, the 10” Waterline Rehabilitation projects. The Barnes and Noble Bookstore project contained unusual cost accounting issues to overcome. Due to the size and configuration of Chamisa II, Henry developed a very large and unique 1,300 + line item schedule of values to track this project’s cost. As with any successful project, the outcome is a reflection of the person guiding the process. Henry’s ability to fill this role is impressive.
On the personal level, Henry comes to work every day, intent on giving NMSU a 110% effort. His depth of construction knowledge; ability to resolve technical or difficult problems; and the manner in which he addresses the client and university needs; are far beyond his youthful age. Those who know and work with Henry appreciate his integrity and self control, and, thank him for coming to work every day. He is an incredible resource.”