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|Alma mater||Georgetown University School of Public Service, Georgetown University Law School (1987)|
|Children||John Paul, Christiana, Joseph|
|Website||Jon Barela, Congress|
Jon Barela is an American business executive. He is the Chief Executive Officer of The Borderplex Alliance, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting business and economic development in the Ciudad Juárez, El Paso and southern New Mexico region. Previously, he served as Economic Development Secretary for the state of New Mexico and was the 2010 Republican nominee for New Mexico's 1st congressional district.
Early life and education
Jon Barela was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and attended Las Cruces High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in History and Diplomacy from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.) in 1984. After graduation from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Barela joined the staff of New Mexico Congressman Joe Skeen. As a senior aide to the Congressman, he focused on the House appropriations and legislative process. While working for Congressman Skeen, Barela earned his law degree from Georgetown in 1987.
Barela returned to New Mexico in 1987 and joined the Modrall law firm in Albuquerque. Four years later, he became New Mexico's Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Civil Division under then Attorney General Hal Stratton.
In 1993, Barela joined Intel as its community and government relations manager. He set company benchmarks for outreach into underrepresented communities and was awarded the Intel Achievement Award, the company's highest and most selective honor. Barela left Intel in 2005.
After spending most of his career as an attorney and as a state and federal lobbyist, in 2002 Barela decided to become a business owner and entrepreneur. He co-founded Cerelink, a technology start-up firm that specialized in complex computer rendering for visual effects in Hollywood films. Prior to founding Cerelink, Barela had no prior experience in technology development for the entertainment industry.
During his 2010 congressional campaign, Barela frequently cited his work at Cerelink when described himself as a successful entrepreneur. In 2011, he was questioned by media outlets on whether Cerelink was the beneficiary of tax credits from state government. In October 2010, Barela told KKOB-AM that those reports were "erroneous." He told the Albuquerque Journal that his company "never received any tax credits, period. That is just flatly inaccurate it is just wrong."
In July 2012, the Albuquerque Journal reported that Cerelink had stopped operations and was bankrupt, leaving the New Mexico Computer Application Center with an outstanding bill of $934,000. Barela maintains that he had no involvement with Cerelink since 2009, when he resigned from the board and reduced his stake in the company to less than 1 percent of shares.
Barela has made competitiveness and improving education central themes in his chairmanship of several significant organizations, including the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce (one of the country's largest Hispanic chambers), New Mexico First (the state's leading nonpartisan public policy group), New Mexico's Work Force Development Board, and the Albuquerque Public Schools Foundation. He most recently served on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, helping oversee operations of one of the country's largest school districts. The school board passed a policy that replaced a hot lunch with a meal that included a cheese sandwich, milk or juice, and carrot sticks when the children' parents fell behind with their lunch payments. Barela supported the policy, "We don't want to be bailing people out of their responsibility because they know the community is going to step up and pay this bill."
2010 U.S. Congressional campaign
Barela challenged Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich for New Mexico's 1st congressional district, but was ultimately defeated in a 51%-49% race on election night. After the election, he was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez to serve as secretary of New Mexico's Economic Development Department.
Barela has signed the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge", a written promise by legislators and candidates for office that commits them to oppose tax increases. He supports programs to encourage parents' involvement in their children's education, and successful programs which show parents and children the connection between education and future success, such as the "Learn and Earn" program. He cites his experience in the community working on behalf of educational programs as indication that he knows what works and what does not. In regard to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, Barela prefers removing legislative and regulatory barriers to providing insurance, such as allowing interstate pooling for insurance purchase, rather than further government intervention in the health care system.
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- "New Mexico Congressional Candidates, Per District". Associated Press. June 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "About Jon". Jon Barela campaign website. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- New Mexico Economic Development Web Site http://www.gonm.biz/About_NMEDD.aspx
- "Luring Hollywood to Cloud Computing," Michael White, RREDC, Bloomberg News, Cerelink News Release, 2010
- NMEDD Web Site http://www.gonm.biz/About_NMEDD.aspx
- "Barela Ducks Questions About State Film Rebate Program, New Mexico Independent, October 11, 2010
- "Barela Touts His NM Roots, DC Experience," Michael Coleman, ABQ Journal. October 10, 2010
- "Hollywood Flop," Kevin Robinson-Avila, "Albuquerque Journal," July 13, 2012
- "Cheese Sandwich Debate Borders on the Ridiculous". Albuquerque Journal. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "APS Seeks Sandwich Alternative". Albuquerque Journal. 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Issues". Jon Barela campaign website. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund: New Mexico". Archived from the original on 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-31. Retrieved 2010-10-07.