NMHA Honors Three Hospitality & Tourism Professionals with Hall of Fame Award

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The New Mexico Hospitality Association (“NMHA”) is pleased to announce its inductees for the 2022 New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame – the highest honor for New Mexico hospitality and tourism professionals who embody the ideals of professionalism, integrity and service to the industry. The inductees are: Laura Kesselman, Ken Riege, and Ray Sandoval.

“These three Hall of Fame inductees represent the best of our industry from around the state,” said NMHA CEO, Kathy Komoll. “All three of these individuals have shown a commitment
to building the vitality of our industry with years of dedicated service as hospitality
professionals and community volunteers.”

The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees were honored at the NMHA annual Hall of Fame dinner in Albuquerque in May, and will have their names added to the NMHA New Mexico Tourism
Hall of Fame plaque. The Hall of Fame dinner was sponsored by Visit Albuquerque.

Nominees were submitted from around the state and reviewed by a selection committee of previous Hall of Fame inductees. Final nominees were required to have at least a 10-year career of service to growing the tourism industry of New Mexico.

The 2022 recipients join a distinguished group of more than 80 hospitality and tourism stars who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1997.

About the 2022 NM Tourism Hall of Fame recipients:

Laura Kesselman. CEO of Kesselman-Jones, Laura has over 20 years of experience in the
New Mexico tourism industry as an event planner, responsible for bringing hundreds of events and thousands of tourists/event participants to the state. Laura’s knowledge of the tourism industry and her ability to facilitate conferences and events from across the world, her willingness to always go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure her guests’ comfort while visiting, and her ability to bring repeat business back exemplifies what the Hall of
Fame award stands for.

Ken Riege. As the General Manager for the Comfort Suites-Gallup, Ken has done much to promote hospitality and tourism not only for Gallup but for the entire state. His hotel has received numerous awards, and Ken himself is a past recipient of the NMHA Tourism Professional of the Year. Additionally, Ken’s community involvement to benefit veterans is outstanding. His award-winning Veterans Museum and hotel are a place where all veterans know they are welcome. His work as a champion for veterans was one of the factors in Gallup being selected as America’s Most Patriotic Small Town. His commitment to excellence and community spirit made him a unanimous choice for this year’s award.

Ray Sandoval. Director of Corporate Communications for the Public Service Company of New Mexico, Ray is committed to New Mexico, and that commitment and dedication extends
to his volunteer work as the Event Chair for the Burning of Zozobra since 2013. Ray has worked tirelessly to maintain the unique flavor of the annual Zozobra event and to continue to revitalize and build the event into an internationally recognized event that serves as
a beacon for travelers who seek destinations rich in history and culture.

For more information about the 2022 Hall of Fame winners or to view the past Tourism Hall of Fame recipients, visit https://newmexicohospitality.org/. For general information about the NM Hospitality Association, contact Kathy Komoll at 505-220-5912 or ceo@newmexicohospitality.

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