School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Alumni Spotlight

Alumni April Anaya

April Anaya

Executive Director
Doña Ana County Humane Society

Current Job & Responsibilities:
Working in the nonprofit sector means you have the opportunity to wear many hats, but as an office with one employee, this is especially true. Some of the responsibilities that fall under my position are: Administration of programs that provide veterinary financial aid for the pets of low-income households in Doña Ana County; ensuring the financial goals of the organization are met through donor development/fundraising and grant writing; planning and execution of all marketing and PR including fundraising events; representation of the organization at community events; management of office operations including accounts payable receivable, financial reconciliation, budgeting and program reporting. I also serve as the janitor for my office space!

What I Learned From the HRTM Program:
Taking the hospitality service model and applying it to nonprofit service to others has been incredibly valuable throughout my career. Whether you are serving a guest at a five-star resort or serving a client who is suffering from financial hardship and wants their pet to receive life-saving medical care, most people want to know that you are genuinely listening and trying to create experiences where they feel valued and respected.

What I Most Enjoy About My Career:
It is incredibly rewarding to see the power of philanthropy in action as the community comes together to make a difference. I have had the honor of working with many great nonprofit organizations in Las Cruces, and the work we do would not be possible without our generous community investing in initiatives that change lives every day.

Memorable Experience:
I would have to say my most memorable professional experience was working at the NMSU Library. As an undergrad, I spent hours camped out on the second floor of Zuhl Library. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would later work at the library and have my office housed on the second floor of Zuhl. It was full circle working for my alma mater and helping to ensure students had access to library resources I once used.

Experience:
Boys & Girls Club of Las Cruces Executive Director
NMSU Library Director of Development; NMSU Advancement Annual Giving Officer
Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico Director of Development