Staff


Adelle Lees, Executive Director

Adelle returned to New Mexico after living, studying, and working in the United Kingdom, Slovakia, and Indonesia.  In addition to extensive volunteer and project management experience, Adelle earned her “Green Belt” in quality process improvement and lean management while working at AT&T.  Adelle holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in management from the City University of Seattle in Bratislava, Slovakia. She has traveled to over 20 different countries and intends to add at least another to her list every year. Aside from traveling, Adelle enjoys engaging with our international emerging leaders, cooking breakfast on weekends, and spending time with her family.

 Xiomara Ortega Trinidad, Program Coordinator

Xiomara Ortega Trinidad was born in Los Angeles, California and subsequently lived in several places before settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she received her BA in Art and English at the University of New Mexico. She has lived and studied in three countries outside the United States – Mexico, Ecuador, and Spain, and has visited several others. She loves travel and immersion in new cultures and hopes to do more of both in the future.

 Berta Wagstaff, Volunteer Coordinator

Berta is from San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor’s Degree and then earned a Masters in Public Relations from Webster University. Currently Berta volunteers for Global Ties ABQ as the Volunteer Coordinator and enjoys meeting and getting to know members that have traveled extensively and are excited about meeting guests from countries they have either visited or lived in! Additionally, Berta is the co-broker for Civilian & Armed Forces Real Estate Services, llc – CARES for short! I  have been in business for over 30 years specializing in assisting Veterans with their real estate needs – buying, selling, investing as well as assisting homeowners on the verge of losing their home from foreclosure. Berta and her husband have lived in the Philippines and have been to several different countries. If you are interested in knowing more about either home hospitality or escorting, please contact her!

The Board


 Darrell Garcia, President

President Darrell Garcia is an almost life-long resident of Albuquerque and understands New Mexico and its unique culture. As a founding instructor at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School he wore numerous hats as he served as the Health Sciences Chair and later became the school’s first Athletic and Activities Director. As the Athletic and Activities Director, Darrell brought a number of new extra-curricular programs to the school including an international travel program where he had the district pleasure of leading student groups all over the world. It was this experience that helped Darrell develop his passion for internationalism. Having seen many different parts of the world and experienced many different cultures, he understands the importance of building bridges of cultural understanding. Darrell currently works at the University of New Mexico where he serves as the Senior Alumni Relations Officer at the Anderson School of Management. In his position, he works to support the school’s mission by creating engagement opportunities for alumni. Darrell is also the president of the Governing Council for Cottonwood Classical.

Richard Engstorm, Vice-President

Vice President Rich Engstrom moved to Albuquerque in 1985 and since has amassed over 30 years of hands-on entrepreneurial management team experience on complex national and international research and manufacturing projects in aerospace, defense and the commercialization of national lab technology. Before establishing RIEtech Global, Rich held senior manager or management team positions at Honeywell Defense & Space, Orion International Technologies, Valles Caldera Trust, Permacharge Corporation and POD Associates. As a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, Rich managed satellite survivability research programs as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Rich has an AAS in Electronics Engineering from Community College of the Air Force, a BS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona and an MBA in Finance from the University of New Mexico. Rich is married to Ioana Engstrom and together they have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure. They are both committed to enhancing cultural understanding through creating friends and business relationships around the world.

Lisa Marbury,  Immediate Past President

Lisa has been with the University of New Mexico for the past 11 years and is currently the Executive Director for the Vice President of Institutional Support Services. She directly manages Parking & Transportation Services, Office of Planning, Design, & Construction, and the UNM Faculty & Staff Club. She also has indirect oversight of the Physical Plant Department.  In her role she has coordinated organization wide strategic and fiscal and budgetary planning and policy/procedure development and oversees human resources development and management, and information technology issues. Her involvement with Global Ties ABQ began in May of 2014 while assisting in some of the strategic initiatives that were taking place.  She is a strong believer in citizen diplomacy and is an avid traveler herself.

 Jennifer Jackson, Secretary

Secretary Jennifer Jackson is a Senior Resource Development Officer at The Grant Plant, an organization that assists non-profit organizations with research, grant writing, and reporting. In her time with The Grant Plant, she has supported its growth and increased impact on the community. The Grant Plant has won over $77 million in awards since its founding. Last year alone, The Grant Plant brought in $20.4 million to its clients and is on track to meet or exceed that amount this year. Her experience is wide-ranging; she works with clients in sectors such as healthcare, education, social services, and workforce training. Jennifer’s firm belief in the power of travel and international exposures to support mutual understanding has its roots as a teenager and she has studied and worked in a number of countries including Italy, Germany, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Her values and perspectives have been strongly shaped by international and cross-cultural exchanges, as well as by her work supporting organizations that support some of New Mexico’s most marginalized residents. “I only recently joined Global Ties, but am so excited by the prospect of contributing in new ways. Global Ties ABQ’s work and mission well complement other initiatives going on around the city. To become the innovative city we aspire to be, it will benefit us to put Albuquerque within an international framework.” – Jennifer

 Greg Polk, Treasurer

As a new face to Global Ties ABQ, Greg Polk was recently elected as Treasurer to the Board and is citizen envoy member. His past experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer, international development advisor, and educator has given him the opportunity to not only travel but serve abroad. Greg holds a masters degree in City Planning from MIT and lived in Albuquerque from the mid 80s to the mid 90s when he then went overseas to work. He and his wife Rebecca recently returned to New Mexico after 20+ years overseas. Greg has extensive experience as a specialist in structuring publicprivate development projects in 15 countries. Greg now lives in Corrales and looks forwards to bringing in his past experience in economics & planning to enhance the future of Global Ties.

Alexandra (Sandy) Steen, Past President, Member at Large

Prior to retirement, Sandy was a CPA for over thirty years, first as an employee and then as owner of her own public accounting firm.  Sandy has a B.A. from UCLA in medieval history, and at UNM completed the courses required to sit for the CPA exam.  Sandy was active in the New Mexico Society of Certified Public Accountants, serving on the Board for one year and later as chairman of the Ethics Committee. Sandy began her involvement in international relations with a year as an exchange student in Sweden, and has continued international travel whenever possible.  Global Ties ABQ provides opportunities for our community to advance the exchange of ideas and the mutual understanding of various cultures. Her belief is that in these tumultuous times, this commitment is especially important. Sandy has two daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Past President of Global Ties ABQ.

Carol Yarnall, Past President, Member-At-Large

Carol A. Yarnall, Colonel USAF, Retired is the Immediate Past President of Global Ties ABQ.  She served as President from October 2010 through September 2014.  Carol had an immensely successful career, retiring as Director of the Supply Chain Management Center, which oversees Sandia National Laboratories’ Procurement, Supplier Relations, and Logistics Operations in April 2011. Before her Director position at Sandia, Carol was President of SMI International in Colorado Springs and spent the majority of her career in the U.S. Air Force with assignments ranging from field laboratories to base operation and positions at MAJCOMS, Air Force Secretariat and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Carol is a graduate of Harvard University’s, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Program for Defense Senior Managers, and has an MA in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico, a BS in Chemistry and Doctor of Humane Letters from Wheeling Jesuit University.

Carol is married to William (Bill) Yarnall and they share time between their homes in Albuquerque and Colorado Springs, CO.  Bill is a past president of Global Ties ABQ and is noted for his home hospitality dinners.  Carol and Bill have donated the Global Ties ABQ Holiday party for all members, visitors and prospective members for many many years. She is also a Past President of Global Ties ABQ.

 Meghan Lowe, Member-At-Large

Meghan Lowe earned a B.A. in History with an emphasis in Modern Latin America from the University of California at Berkeley. She studied abroad at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago and then returned to Chile on a grant to write her undergraduate thesis on the role of a German nun in the survival of a Santiago community during the Pinochet dictatorship. After graduation, she volunteered at an orphanage outside of Antigua, Guatemala, and then moved to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas with Teach for America to teach 6th grade Social Studies at a charter school. She then taught 11th Grade International Baccalaureate (IB) History of the Americas.

She moved to Albuquerque in 2011 and began teaching in the IB Program at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School (CCPS). She now teaches and coordinates the IB Program at CCPS. She can’t wait for her next international adventure (destination as yet unknown) and is thrilled to have a chance to learn from the Global Ties visitors.

She believes strongly in the IB mission statement that humanity must “understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”

Jill Van Nortwick, Member-At-Large

Jill recently joined the Global Ties Board after being both a member and volunteer. Her exposure to new cultures started when her family moved to Iran when she was 9. Lucky enough to travel the world at an early age, her love of traveling and experiencing other cultures is steadfast. Jill currently works as principal consultant for curate impact, an intercultural consultancy service dedicated to helping boards and top management teams identify their values, establish patterns of behaviors for ethical decisions and discover and advance their vision.

Prior to her consultancy business, she worked in Australia and New Zealand for a multinational organization and then for the New Zealand government. She was a sought speaker on the subject of leading edge technology and worked to create and nurture a thriving economic cluster of software developers.

Since she moved back to the States, her experience has broadened to the nonprofit world, both as an ED and in various board roles. She is very excited about the future of Global Ties and is thrilled to be a part of the organization’s leadership.

Lucio Lanucara, Member-At-Large

Lucio Lanucara studied in Italy, Ireland and the United States, obtaining graduate and postgraduate degrees focused on competition law, international law, and business. He started his legal practice in 1995 and, between 1996 and 2002, worked in leading international business law firms in Italy and Belgium, dealing extensively with competition and multi-jurisdictional issues in international business transactions. In 2002 Lucio joined Trenitalia, the Italian national railway company, leaving in 2013 as Deputy Director for Passenger and International Affairs in the Legal Division. Lucio moved to New Mexico at the end of 2013 and have since been busy teaching various subjects at UNM and CNM, providing international trade consulting to Italian and US clients, and developing entrepreneurial activities in the food sector.

Chanel Wiese, Member-At-Large

Kory Hoggan, Member-At-Large