Corporate Career Experiences
Following a period of market research and business plan development, Chris launched Cornerstone Business Solutions, L.L.C. in 2001 to serve clients wishing to build a better business. This followed a 20-plus year corporate career in 1981 that started with a seven-year stint in the finance and investor relations department of Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) in Albuquerque.
While at PNM, he was involved in raising over $1 billion in capital financing for the construction of Unit 4 of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station and the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station near Phoenix. He also was instrumental in forming PNM’s investor relations department — the team responsible for building better understanding between the company and its institutional and retail debt and equity investors.
Recruited in 1987 to Portland, Oregon-headquartered PacifiCorp, he worked in a number of increasingly responsible investor relations and strategic planning capacities until 1996. (PacifiCorp, a much larger utility than PNM, serves the electric energy needs of 1.5 million customers in six western states through its subsidiaries Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Energy.)
Following service with Peabody Coal Company in St. Louis, Missouri and that company’s corporate parent in London, England, Chris joined Loewen Group in Vancouver, British Columbia — then world’s second largest operator of funeral homes and cemeteries. In 1999, he moved to Farmington, New Mexico following Loewen Group’s bankruptcy.
In 2013, Chris joined WESST — New Mexico’s leading non-profit statewide business development practice as the Farmington Regional Manager. In his current capacity with WESST, Cornerstone’s active marketing activities and “daytime” work are suspended. However, his passion for serving the business development needs of clients has not diminished and he’d love to visit with you in his capacity at WESST about how to help you build a better business.
Chris earned his B.S. in Business Administration in 1981 from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri with a triple major in Management, Economics and English. Additional undergraduate studies were pursued at Harlaxton College in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England.
Married for 33 years, Chris and Katie returned home to Farmington in November of 1999. They have two daughters — Emily and Elizabeth. Emily is a 2010 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX and a 2102 graduate from St. Mary’s University School of Law. She and her active-duty U.S. Air Force husband Riyyad reside in Hampton, VA. Elizabeth is a metallurgical engineer who is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado with an MBA from the University of California at Riverside. She now works at Nuccor Steel in Berkeley, SC.
In addition to the demands of family and building a business, Chris serves or has served the Four Corners’ community in the following capacities:
- Past Chair and current member of the San Juan College Enterprise Center (business incubator) Advisory Council
- Parent volunteer member of the Farmington Municipal School Board Budget Subcommittee
- Co-chair of the 2003 Four Corners Professional Development Conference, Board member from 2002 to 2014. Conference presenter in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
- President of the Farmington, NM Rotary Club 2004-2005 and long-time Rotarian.
- Member, Farmington, NM Electric and Water Public Utility Commission
- 2003 Graduate of Leadership San Juan
- Past long-time member of the Greater Southwest Better Business Bureau Board of Directors