New Mexico Digital Inclusion Network Advisory Committee

George (“Gar”) Clarke, New Mexico Geospatial and Broadband Program Manager, Department of Information Technology

“Gar” has extensive training, experience and expertise in geospatial technologies and broadband program management. He led the New Mexico State Broadband Program from 2011- 2015, a project funded through a federal SBI (State Broadband Initiative) grant, which led to the development of the state broadband plan for New Mexico. Under his leadership, the New Mexico Broadband Program received recognition as “best project” by the SBI oversight agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Gar is currently serving as the Broadband Program Manager for the state, in addition to acting as the state’s geospatial manager and Agency Tribal Liason. He has built an extensive broadband mapping project within New Mexico and is actively engaged in sub-projects on Braodband for Education and Broadband for Business, for which he assesses needs and makes recommendations for area-specific broadband development. His knowledge, experience, and network places him at the center of broadband activity in the state and will bring an essential viewpoint to the New Mexico Digital Inclusion Network.   Gar has worked with Eva Artschwager, the applicant for this project, for several years in a strong and mutually supportive professional relationship.

Susan Oberlander, Ph.D., Former New Mexico State Librarian; partner in statewide BTOP grant

Susan Oberlander, who earned a doctorate in organizational theory from the University of California at Berkeley, served as New Mexico State Librarian between 2008 and 2013. During her tenure, the State Library initiated and oversaw one of the earliest federally funded Broadband Technology and Opportunities Program (BTOP) grants, Fast Forward New Mexico. Working in partnership with the University of New Mexico, the Global Center for Entrepreneurship, and local and community libraries statewide, the project brought computer equipment and training to over 20 under- and un-served communities across the state. Prior to her work as State Librarian, Dr. Oberlander had served as director in several academic libraries in New Mexico and as an advisor to the PRC in their oversight of the telecommunications industry. She brings expertise and proficiency in a wide range of technical and management issues to her understanding of broadband and digital inclusion. 

Carla Rachkowski, Associate Director, Regional Development Corporation

As director of the Regional Development Corporation, Carla Rachkowski brings over 15 years of successful leadership in business planning, sales and marketing management, program management, business development, and awareness and outreach. She has served as program and markeitng director for several business and tehnology companies, as well as well as for several training and development projects in the state. Her work in broadband outreach and training includes development and deployment of a statewide awareness and marketing campaign for the Fast Forward New Mexico project and design of the Small Business Success curriculum for New Mexico’s State Broadband Program. She brings to the New Mexico Digital Inclusion Network enormous talent in strategic marketing and a deep understanding of the vital importance of technical skills for economic development.

Sara Nelson MA, Principal and Co-Owner, Soda Creek Consulting

Sara started Soda Creek Consulting in 2008, but has worked in different capacities of health communication and community engagement for close to 20 years.  This has given her a well-rounded perspective on developing, implementing, and sustaining different types of health, social service, technology, and community-based projects and programs. She brings a distinct set of skills in communication, advertising, community outreach, and education to her work and has helped clients on a wide variety of projects. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Sara was a participant in the 2011 federal Broadband Technology Opportunties Program Grant in New Mexico, for which she contributed curriculum development and translation. Her particular expertise in buidling engaging community outreach and training, especially around issues of digital technologies and health, coupled with her broad grassroots experience, will bring an essential perspective on the implementation of programs, support, and capacity building activities.

Matthew Kopel, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Program Manager

Matthew is a librarian and web literacy advocate. He has worked since 2014 on issues of digital inclusion and professional development at libraries across New York. Before that Matthew worked in academic publishing, and remains engaged with open access scholarly communications through his work as Managing Editor of the Journal of New Librarianship. Matthew handles a variety of projects for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), including a revamp of their web properties.

Matthew is currently directing a Digital Inclusion Corps, funded by an IMLS grant, that will include a project in New Mexico. Matthew is based in Ithaca, NY.

Richard Lowenberg, 1st-Mile Institute, Director and Founder

Richard Lowenberg has spent over 40 years creatively integrating understandings and grounded involvements in non-profit organizational development, architecture, environmental/ ecosystems design, rural community and networked society planning, and new-media and eco-arts practices.

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he is the founding director of the 1st-Mile Institute, and of its NM Broadband for All (NM BBFA) and Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations (SARC) Programs.

Richard was Executive Director of the Davis Community Network in California from 1996-2006, and Programs Director of the Telluride Institute in Colorado from 1984-1996.    His personal projects web site is Richard’s expertise with internet delivery systems and extensive experience with broadband projects in New Mexico add essential elements to the advisory panel.

Eileen Sullivan, Director, Silver City Library

Biography forthcoming