By Martín Salazar and Mercy López
Las Vegas Optic
Gov. Susana Martinez has nominated Leveo Sanchez to another term on the Highlands University Board of Regents, and she has selected Michael Martinez to serve as student regent, the university announced last week.
The nominations are subject to confirmation by the state Senate, Highlands President Jim Fries said in an email to the university’s students, faculty and staff. Sanchez’s current appointment will continue until then and Martinez will start his term once he is confirmed.
Martinez, a sophomore biology major from Las Vegas, was nominated to serve through Dec. 31, 2014. Sanchez, who is regents chairman, was nominated to a six-year term, running through Dec. 31 2018.
Sanchez’s fellow regents congratulated him during a special board meeting on Monday afternoon.
“We are all very happy...,” Regent Jesus Lopez said. “We are very elated, and Highlands will continue to move forward because Leveo Sanchez will continue to be on the board of regents.”
Regent Nancy Long said the governor made the right decision in nominating Sanchez to serve a second term on the board.
Sanchez thanked fellow regents for their support.
“I will try to be as effective as I can for as long as I can — 2018 seems awfully long,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez, a New Mexico native and Highlands alumnus, was first appointed to the Highlands Board of Regents in May 2008 by Gov. Bill Richardson. Sanchez has been an active supporter of the university for years, having previously served as President of the University Foundation.
He graduated from Highlands with a bachelor’s degree in economics and then earned a master’s degree in foreign affairs, with a focus on Latin American studies, from the George Washington University School of Government.
He went on to establish businesses in governmental and management consulting, banking, real estate development and investment, property management and export trading.
According to a biographical sketch on the university’s website, in 1969 Sanchez founded and chaired Development Associates, an international consulting firm specializing in social and economic development. The firm became one of the largest minority-owned and operated consulting firms in the country, establishing offices in eight U.S. cities and working in more than 100 countries. In 1974, Sanchez was a founding partner and chairman of Hemisphere National Bank in Washington, D.C. He served as the bank’s president until it was sold in 1981.
He has also served on a number of high-profile boards, including the Smithsonian Institute, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Pan American Development Foundation, Latino Economic Development corporation and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation.