President, John A. Heaton, is a former state representative for the people of southeastern Eddy County, New Mexico. He chaired the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee of the New Mexico State Legislature. He received a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of New Mexico and subsequently became a Fellow in the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. He practiced primarily in southern New Mexico where he owned and operated several pharmacies as well as a number of other allied businesses.

Vice President, William M. Hadley, Ph.D., is Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology/Toxicology of the College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He is also an adjunct scientist at the Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Hadley is author or co-author of more than 50 scientific papers. He earned B.S. (Pharmacy), M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology/toxicology from Purdue University.

Secretary, Michael H. Reynolds is former chief of the Carlsbad Fire Department, a licensed paramedic, and a certified Hazardous Materials Technician with a specialty in chemistry. He teaches training courses in the chemistry of hazardous materials, hazardous materials transportation regulations, and incident command. He holds two Associates’ degrees, a Bachelor’s degree, and is pursuing an M.A. in fire and emergency management administration.

Treasurer, Robert H. Forrest is a former Mayor of Carlsbad, New Mexico. He is the founder and President of the Carlsbad Area Retarded Citizen’s Farm (CARC) and Washington Ranch, Inc., an organization with two large facilities that provide assistance for children and adults facing developmental disabilities and delays. He is the co-owner of Forrest Tire Company, owner of the Stevens Inn, and chairman of the board of the Carlsbad National Bank.

Linda Rundell, during her 32-year career with the BLM, has accepted a variety of positions and assignments in several locations in order to obtain a diversity of experiences. With a degree in Wildlife Science from New Mexico State University, Linda entered the Agency during the tumultuous years following the passage of the Federal Land Policy Management Act when the first iterations of multiple-use land planning were being prepared. She worked in field positions as a Range Conservationist in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a Wildlife Biologist in Roswell, New Mexico where she began a lifelong enchantment with a rapidly declining species, the lesser prairie chicken. Along the way, she gained extensive experience in the management of both renewable and non-renewable resources including controversial programs such as oil and gas, helium, and coal leasing and oversight. During an assignment to the Agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC, she accepted a one-year detail to the staff of Sen. Pete Domenici, deceased, then Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. She became one of the first female line managers in the Agency and, following a stint in Anchorage, Alaska, became the New Mexico State Director, a position which she held for 8 ½ years. Retired since 2011, Linda is actively engaged in various volunteer activities with her Church including missionary work in Honduras and serving on the Executive Board of Santa Fe’s Interfaith Community Shelter for the homeless.

Vimal D. Chaitanya, Ph.D., is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at New Mexico State University. Dr. Chaitanya holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, a Masters in Bioengineering from Clemson University, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from MSU. Dr. Chaitanya’s active research areas include materials characterization, material degradation and failure analysis. His significant technical contribution ranges from life prediction of thermal barrier coatings for gas turbines to chemical mechanical polishing for multi-layer electronic device fabrication.

Douglas C. Lynn served as Executive Director of CEHMM from 2006 until November 2018. His experience includes more than 15 years’ experience in NEPA and radiological environmental sampling and the various disciplines of land management; and 25 years’ experience in agricultural farm and ranch operations. During a 12-year tenure as a public school instructor, he was the recipient of state and national recognition for teaching excellence. In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree, he has amassed more than 13 professional certifications that include realty, RCRA, safety, data quality, environmental assessments, radiological surveillance, and certification as a Level I Petroleum Technician.

Van D. Romero, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech). He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from New Mexico Tech and a Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York. Dr. Romero’s current research includes the development of a state-of-art astrophysics observatory to investigate near earth objects and deep space phenomena; the detection of explosives using Nano-Technology films; renewable energy reliability in power grids; and decontamination of produced water.

Emily K. Wirth – Executive Director.  After earning her Master of Science degree in Biology from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvanian, she began working for the University of Florida, where she wrestled alligators in the Everglades.   Emily joined our team in 2011 and has a thorough understanding of every aspect of CEHMM.  She has over ten years of experience in wildlife research and conservation and more than five years of NEPA experience.   Emily and her husband Kevin, have two beautiful daughters. 

Center of Excellence
505 North Main Street
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220-5875
575•885•3700 FAX•885•6422