Paulina Utz Salopek (’55)
Paulina Utz Salopek is a 1955 NMSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is a partner-manager of David Salopek Farms, Ltd., of Las Cruces, co-managing a ranch and a thousand-acre pecan orchard, and developer of a retail pecan business under the trademark “Roadrunner Pecans.”
She was the first female president of the Federated Pecan Growers Association of the United States and the Western Pecan Growers Association. She has also served on the board of directors of the National Pecan Marketing Council, the Southwest Irrigated Pecan Growers and the Doña Ana Farm and Livestock Bureau. She is currently on the board of the Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation and the NMSU Alumni Association.
Mrs. Salopek is a member of the College of Business Advisory Board and previously served on the Las Cruces Sister City Board. She is also a member of the NMSU President’s Associates, the Las Cruces Symphony Guild, the Farm and Ranch Heritage Institute and the Las Cruces Rotary Club.
She was married to the late David Salopek and has three children and four grandchildren.
“I am very grateful for this award,” she said. “I can’t imagine being able to run our operation without my business degree. It has meant a tremendous amount to me and I’m so grateful that I had it.”
She also had some advice for students. “Build yourself a support group, believe in yourself, be true to yourself, and get involved in your community.” She also told students, “Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.”
Raymond L. Kysar (’53)
Ray Kysar, a native of Hayes, Kansas, moved to New Mexico in 1937. He graduated from Farmington High School where he lettered in football, basketball and track, and later attended NMSU on an athletic scholarship.
He earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from NMSU in 1953. He is married to the former Patsy Sue Smoot and has three children who are all NMSU graduates.
Kysar is the founder and director of the Kysar Insurance Agency of Farmington, NM, the founder and director of Valley Bank of Farmington, the founder and director of Electrical Energy Services, Inc., founder and director of Spec, Inc., owner of the Kysar Office Complex, and the owner of the Diamond K Bar Ranch in Cedar Hill, New Mexico.
He is the 1981 Distinguished Alumnus of the NMSU College of Business and has served the college as a member of its Advisory Council, chairman of the Business Council, and chairman of the New Mexico Businessmen’s Symposium. He also served as a member of the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education.
Kysar was elected to the New Mexico State Senate in 1988 from District One in San Juan County. His standing committee assignments have included Education, Corporations, Judiciary, Finance, and Indian and Cultural Affairs. He also represents the legislature on a number of national organizations.
“This day is the highlight of my career,” Kysar told the audience at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “I love this university. It’s been a part of my life for many years. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to stay active in part of its affairs and share some of its excitement as well as some of its frustrations.”
Kysar’s advice to NMSU students: “Life will give you what you bargain for. If you bargain for a penny, it will give you a penny. If you bargain for a dollar, it will give you a dollar. You will be rewarded in life according to the risks that you’re willing to assume. So, when opportunity presents itself, don’t sit back and say the timing isn’t right. You’ve got to accept that opportunity, go with it, and commit yourself 100 percent to it.”
Michael J. Maloof (’55)
Michael Maloof is a 1955 graduate of NMSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
He is a native of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and was president of the student body while at NMSU. He was previously recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Business in 1975.
Maloof is a director and vice president of the Maloof Companies and serves on the board of directors of First Security Bank of Albuquerque. He is a member of the National Beer Wholesale Association and President of the Rocky Mountain Beer Wholesale Association.
An active member of the community, Maloof is involved with the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past president of Keep New Mexico Beautiful, and past president and board member of the Southwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award given by the Boy Scouts, and has also received the Silver Beaver award and the Order of the Arrow award. He is also co-chairman of the state’s annual birthday party in Santa Fe.
Michael and his wife Dee have been married 42 years and have five children and two grandchildren.
“This is a great day in my life,” Maloof said at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “I appreciate it very much and I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life.” Maloof also had some advice for NMSU students. “You have the opportunity to learn here at this great university. Learn as much as you can. The more you learn,the more valuable you are going to be to yourself and to your employer.”
Maloof also told students that a positive attitude is very important. “Be positive about everything you do in all walks of life,” he said. “It’s the most important thing we can do. Keep upbeat, keep positive, and you’ll continue to be successful.”