Sept. 25, 2006 by Jeany Llorente-Ontiveros NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University’s College of Business Hall of Fame will induct three new members and recognize the first ever Traders Award recipients during a dinner and ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces (formerly the Hilton).
“One of the joys of being the dean of our great College of Business is to recognize those who helped make it great,” said Garrey Carruthers, dean of the business college. “The faculty, staff and students of the college thank the Hall of Fame and Traders awardees for their many contributions to business, the community and NMSU.”
The business college initiated the Hall of Fame seven years ago to honor outstanding alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and to develop a stronger relationship between the college and the business community.
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include John Cordova, director of sports transaction management for Coca-Cola; Jennifer Taylor, NMSU’s senior vice president for business, finance and human resources; and Daniel Sosa Jr., a retired state Supreme Court judge.
Cordova, a 1981 and 1983 NMSU graduate, has been in the sports marketing business for more than 20 years. The former Aggie football player (1976-1979) began his career in sports business as a member of the Executive Development Program at the Major League Baseball Commissioners Office in New York. For the past 12 years, he has been an integral part of Coca-Cola’s domestic pro sports marketing team.
In her current role, Taylor, a 1982 and 1997 NMSU graduate, is responsible for the accounting and business operation functions, human resources administration, auxiliary service operations and financial systems administration. She was recently appointed to the New Mexico Finance Authority by the governor of New Mexico, has served as chair of the National Association of College and University Business Officers Accounting Principles Council, and has been active in various national professional development programs.
Sosa, a 1947 NMSU graduate, is a highly decorated World War II veteran. After graduating with a business administration degree, Sosa taught at Mesilla Valley Elementary School for about a year before attending the University of New Mexico School of Law. One of the 10 original founders of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Sosa served as an assistant district attorney and county judge for Dona Ana County before being elected to New Mexico’s highest court.
New this year, the College of Business will be presenting Traders Award to three outstanding college supporters.
The awards will be given to Frankie Clemons, former professor and assistant dean in the business college; Stan Hanssen, who received an honorary doctorate from NMSU in 1996; and Hank Willis, a 1947 NMSU alumnus.
As assistant dean, Clemons taught courses, recruited students, supervised the college advising center and administered the cooperative education programs for the college. Her primary passion, however, was her work with students. Clemons gave seminars in Las Cruces and throughout the state and was active in the community. She also received the Outstanding Contributor to the Life of NMSU Community Award.
Hanssen began his career as the secretary of the Hanson Scale Company in 1947 and went on to become the president of the company in 1962. He has served in different capacities including the chairman of Hanson Ltd. and the chairman of the Metro Corp. His many honors included receiving the “E” for Export Award from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, the Business Enterprise Award from the government of Ireland in 1979, and the Branding Iron Award from NMSU together with his wife Jeanne in 1994.
Willis received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from NMSU when it was known as New Mexico A & M. A former Navy man, Willis has served as president of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board, is a founding member of the Board of the National Atomic Museum and continues to serve as a member of the Hearing Committee for the New Mexico Supreme Court Disciplinary Board. Willis’ wife, Bernice Fite Willis, is honored through the Bernice Fite Willis Study Lounge in the NMSU Business Complex Building. She died in 2003.