“Now I work with state officials, the state land office, PR and have an outward facing role which has been rewarding professionally and personally. I really enjoy the work I do.”
I arrived downtown and pulled into the parking lot. Pattern Energy has an office in Albuquerque, but it never officially opened due to the pandemic.
I walked inside, and saw my friend Angela Gonzales there. We both kept our distance, wore masks, and I noted the new furniture- – the last time I had visited the office, it was empty but now has furnishings. The only thing missing, of course, is people. (Coming soon!)
“I really like the chairs,” I said as I looked them over, “but…they are white. I hope no one spills coffee the way I do,” and we both started laughing.
Pattern People in New Mexico
Angela Gonzales is a Manager of Project Development for Pattern Energy in New Mexico, and her role is a continuation of work she has been doing in our state for a long time.
“Pattern is in New Mexico for the long haul,” Angela said to me after we got settled. “Pattern hires people in New Mexico, we’re sitting in the office we’ll open when it’s safe, and the company really is dedicated to New Mexico.”
Born and Raised New Mexico True
“I was born and raised in Santa Fe. My family and I live there today,” she said with a smile. “I started college at UNLV, but eventually moved back to New Mexico and finished at the University of Phoenix.”
After college, she got a variety of jobs young people often do — and she lived out one of my teenage dreams, although the reality sounded a little less glamorous.
“I was a liftie” she said while laughing. “My friend and I worked the chair lift at the Santa Fe Ski Basin, and if you didn’t know, you are outside the entire time. We nearly froze, but eventually we were transferred to an inside job, which was better.”
After that, Angela got her first “serious, business job” working for the New Mexico Finance Authority, where she met and worked with a future Pattern colleague, Jeremy Turner.
Angela told me, “it was an awesome job interacting with the legislature, as the Finance Authority is basically a bond bank. New Mexico does an incredible job with bonds to raise money for state development, and I really enjoyed my time there.”
Later, Angela was eventually recruited by Jeremy to join him when he made the move to the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) where work on Western Spirit, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, got its start.
Through a series of business dealings and politics, Angela joined Jeremy yet again when the first owner of Western Spirit sold the project to Pattern Energy.
Angela and Jeremy formed a consultancy, Forever Energy Consulting, where they continued to champion Western Spirit and work with Pattern.
“Wesrtern Spirit is great,” said Angela. “New Mexico gets jobs with great pay building clean, renewable wind power, and we sell the excess energy to states further west that need it. New Mexico gets the jobs and the revenue paid for by other states.”
Eventually, the relationship with Pattern deepened. Jeremy and Angela ended up officially joining the Pattern team, remaining involved with Western Spirit the whole way through.
“Now I work with state officials, the state land office, PR, and have an outward facing role, which has been rewarding professionally and personally. I really enjoy the work I do,” she told me
Angela and her husband have a daughter, Nicole, who just started her Freshman year at NMSU as a film major. “My husband and I are excited for her. She’s been able to have a good time at school despite the pandemic, and since Albuquerque is growing in film and tv, I think she made a good choice.
They also have a Chihuahua and dachshund mix, BB, who is big in heart (if not size).
For fun, they all enjoy the Albuquerque Isotopes, red and green chile, the people, and the weather.
“New Mexico is a great, great place to live and we love it here.”