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THE STAFF WHO MAKE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE

“Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.”

- Mary Kay Ash

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JUDY WELLINGTON

Transitional Pastor

We welcome Judy back to La Mesa Presbyterian Church. Since Judy was here (2006-2013), she has had the opportunity to serve as Transitional Pastor with 2 different congregations - one from 2014-2017 and another from 2019 until now. Both were in Arizona.
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DENIA NAPOLI

Office Administrator

Denia Napoli is the Office Administrator and began her tenure at La Mesa in October 2019. She migrated from Cuba at the age of ten and couldn’t wait to be old enough to join the US Army. She served her new country for six years during its time of need, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan. After receiving her college degree she relocated from Miami to Albuquerque with her supportive husband and their four children. Denia has found meaning in La Mesa’s mission of helping others and is excited to have joined the cause. 
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LEON LAKE

Music Director

Leon began his work at La Mesa in September of 2019. His other career is as a performing arts teacher at Menaul School. He has a long history as a church musician and vocalist. Leon grew up in Lubbock, Texas where he sang and conducted church choirs from the age of 15. He attended college at Southern Methodist University. Leon has performed as a vocalist in the United States and in Europe and has a wonderful voice with an amazing range. He is also an accomplished pianist and voice coach.
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ROXIE BRADLEY

Food Pantry Lead

Roxie has been involved in supporting people suffering food insecurity for many years. She and Van led the Project Share efforts for La Mesa for many years and Roxie has been one of the key food buyers for the past year. Roxie’s responsibilities as a licensed clinical laboratory scientist have provided her much experience in the areas of communication, training and evaluating policies and procedures will bring much needed skills to the Food Pantry Lead position.
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YATZIRI GONZALEZ

Youth Leader

 Yatziri joined our staff on Christmas Eve 2017. She initially started as the Childcare Worker and has done so well, her responsibilities have been expanded to include working with Kids’ Club. Yatziri became involved in Arts Academy when her sisters were participating and shortly after became a volunteer.  She has assisted in teaching drama classes and beading classes. She has also taught an Arts Academy class on Ballet Folklorico. Yatziri’s major is nursing, with a specialty in pediatrics. She says that working with the church nursery and elementary age children is a good opportunity for her to work with children who will someday be her patients.
 
Yatziri is a recipient of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act. Her family came to the United States from Morelos, Mexico, when she was almost two years old, and she has grown up in this country. DACA has allowed her to attend school, work, and plan for future opportunities. She states, “DACA means hope for me because I’m able to pursue a career and work in jobs I know I’m good at and love doing. It means that I can have hope to make a difference for my family and community.”
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Erica Apodaca

Arts Academy Director

Erica Apodaca was born in Albuquerque and graduated from Rio Grande High School. She loves poetry, philosophy, and is a basketball fan. The San Antonio Spurs have been my favorite team since childhood. She is very close with my family and friends. Her very first apartment was in the La Mesa neighborhood and that is where her attachment to this community started. 
 
Erica's work at APS began about 20 years ago as an educational assistant to students with social and emotional needs. For the past 5 years, she has had the honor of being the Community School Coordinator at La Mesa Elementary school. 
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MEGHAN ARMSTRONG

Bookkeeper

Meghan has served as La Mesa's bookkeeper since 2006. For nearly twenty years, she has provided administrative and accounting support to a variety of entities. In addition, she is a Certified Financial Social Work Educator, taking her love of numbers into her financial well-being small business.
 
She and her husband, Justin, are parents to their two young children, spending time working, playing, traveling, hiking, and dancing through life.
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KEN MORGAN

Facilities Manager

Ken was born in Salina, Kansas and is a third generation Presbyterian. He served in the Air Force, stationed in Japan, for four years as a radar technician, before attending Kansas State University and receiving a Engineering Associates degree in electronics. He worked at Sandia Labs in the weapons development area until 1985. He joined the congregation in 1997 and has been on the staff since 2008.
 
 His work at La Mesa with the community has deepened his concern for the plight of immigrant, Native American, low-income, and special needs persons. He is very interested in seeing progressive government policies and non-governmental social organizations help create practical, if not radical, solutions for people seeking a better life.
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HOWARD PAUL

Pastor Emeritus

The Rev. Howard Paul has been Pastor Emeritus since 2001. He served as pastor at La Mesa from 1979 to 1994. He attended seminary at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia and was ordained in 1954. He served churches in South Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia;Bogota, Colombia; and was an administrator and teacher at Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 
He served as moderator of the Presbytery of Santa Fe,  he served on the board of Montreat Presbyterian Conference Center, provided leadership for the New Mexico Conference of Churches, and was a founding member of the Cuba Connection, a partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Cuba. During his tenure at La Mesa he helped guide the church through a major expansion of the building to better serve the church and community. His interest include church unity, global and urban mission, social justice, and camps and conferences.
 
His beloved wife and partner in ministry, Frederica, died in 2014. He has three children and four grandchildren.