Board of Regents
Mr. Paternoster, originally from El Paso, TX, was a Third Class NMMI graduate in 1979 from the high school division. He graduated and received his BBA in Business with an accounting emphasis from the University of Texas in 1998. He achieved his MBA in 2007.
Mr. Paternoster was a training executive with Texas Air in Houston, affiliated with Continental Airlines, upon leaving El Paso in 1982. He remained with Texas Air until 1991 when Texas Air went bankrupt. Mr. Paternoster then worked for the El Paso Times as a District Manager based in Carlsbad. He later went to work for Jack White Jr. (a NMMI Alumnus) at Whites City Inc. where he became the food and Beverage Director and really honed his skills in the food and beverage arena. He left White City to become the General Manager of Scalo working for Il Vicino Holding Company. He was soon promoted to Vice-President in Operation and became the Managing partner of Scalo Northern Italian Grill, an upscale Albuquerque Italian restaurant. He sold out his share of Scalo and moved to Orlando Florida where he joined the "New Business Division" of Darden Restaurant Company and worked on a team to conceive the "Bahama Breeze" concept of restaurants. He worked on a close knit team of professionals to develop the first ten units and then moved back to New Mexico to assume operational control of K-BOBS Steakhouses, first as Senior Vice President for Operations and later as Vice-President of Training and Development. .He purchased a division from K-BOBS (Sun Country Chile and Honey) and began to manufacture food products in a plant in Albuquerque, NM. Mr. Paternoster held the post of Vice-President of Excel New Mexican Foods until 2005 when he purchased Scalo from his former partners. He also developed and operated Chilaca's Mexican Grill, Bacar in Santa Fe, and Brasserie la Provence in Albuquerque.
Mr. Paternoster's passions are charity, his family, and involvement in his community. He currently sits on the following boards: NMMI Board of Regents; NMMI Foundation; NMSU HRTM School Board of Advisors; New Mexico Restaurant Association Board; Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau; Dismas House of New Mexico Board of Directors; Member of the New Mexico Amigo's; Club 779; Media Arts Collaborative Charter School Foundation Board; Founder, Special Programs Youth Assistance Foundation.
Mr. Paternoster's wife, the former Miss Jane Fertig, and their two children, Jackson and Jameson reside in Albuquerque NM. Mr. Paternoster has two older children Rodrick and Haley.
Mr. Jesse F. Eckel graduated from NMMI in 1967 from the High School division and in 1969 from the Junior College division. Mr Eckel went on to get his BS in Education and graduate from North Texas State University in 1971. Mr. Eckel also attended the New Mexico School of Banking graduating in 1978 and and the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking graduating in 1991. Mr. Eckel is currently employed with James Polk Stone Community Bank as a Commercial Loan Officer and Credit Analysis Dept Head where he oversees Accounts Payable for the Roswell Office and Bank Budgeting.
Mr. Eckel served on the New Mexico Military Institute Foundation as Trustee, Treasurer, Executive Committee Member and Investment Committee Member. He served on the New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association as President from 1990-1992. Mr. Eckel has served as the Treasurer and Finance Committee Member for First United Methodist Church in Roswell N.M. Mr. Eckel was the Chaves Community Foundation Director in 1991 and a member of the Advisory Board for ENMU-Roswell.
Mr. Eckel and his wife Sherry Eckel reside in Roswell, N.M.. They have two children, Brent Eckel and Megan Eckel.
Mrs. Kea Riggs
Kea W. Riggs was appointed to the bench as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Mexico on April 13, 2001. Prior to taking the bench Ms. Riggs was a prosecutor with a focus on the prosecution of violent crimes. She continued her focus on protecting the children of New Mexico after leaving prosecution by serving as the Guardian ad Litem for the abused and neglected children of Chaves County. Since taking the bench, Ms. Riggs is able to continue her passion to serve at-risk children by serving on such boards as the Esperanza House and the Assurance Home.
Ms. Riggs is a proud “Sooner” who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1987 with a B.B.A. in accounting. She went on to obtain her Juris Doctorate at the University of Oklahoma in 1990. She is married to Stanton Riggs, also an attorney. They have two children. Reagan and Caden.
Ms. Riggs credits her ability to succeed in large part to the skills and values that she learned as a cadet at New Mexico Military Institute. She entered NMMI as a new cadet 4th classman in 1981 and graduated from high school in 1983.
Col. Fermin A. Rubio was born and raised in Roswell, N.M. In 1978, Col. Rubio graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and 1986 he was granted his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico.
Col. Rubio is a U.S. Navy veteran and a Colonel in the N.M. Air National Guard. He currently serves on the state headquarters staff as the N.M. Air national Guard State Judge Advocate and a NM National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Judge Advocate. Col. Rubio's military awards include the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, multiple awards of the Navy Achievement Medal, multiple awards of Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He has completed the USAF Air Command & Staff College and the USAF Air War College.
As a civilian and military attorney Col. Rubio has a broad career path. He is the former City Attorney for the City of Las Cruces, holding that position from 1997 to 2010. Prior to that post, he served as assistant general counsel for the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration and as a private attorney with the Roswell law firm of Hunt & Currier. As a military lawyer, Col. Rubio is certified to practice in all areas of military law. He served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney while stationed overseas and as a civilian attorney with the U.S. Army, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Col. Rubio is employed by New Mexico State University in the Office of Institutional Equity.
Col. Rubio resides in Las Cruces, N.M. He and his wife, Peggy have three daughters, Jari, Jillian, and Camille.