2013 Hall of Fame

Brad Gordon (’78)

Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years’ experience starting, financing, growing and merging and acquiring new companies, primarily in the biotech field. Between 1981 and 2007 he participated in the start-up of eleven companies, including five new ventures in the biotech sector, where he held executive positions in both venture capital and corporate management. His primary focus has been applying major advances in medical science to the development of breakthrough biomedical products. These include startup ventures that helped pioneer the fields of human gene therapy (Viagene, Inc.), small molecule regulation of disease genes (Signal Pharmaceuticals Inc.), and novel stem cell therapies (Anthrogenesis Corp.).

During his career Dr. Gordon secured and managed biotech investments from many leading venture capital firms that helped found the biotech industry, including Kleiner Perkins, Venrock, Domain, Accel, InterWest, Abbingworth, Oxford and Fairfield Partners.

Following graduation from USC with an MBA in corporate finance, Dr. Gordon became a partner with the Southern California-based venture capital firm, EMC Venture Partners, specializing in organizing and launching early-stage life science companies. In 1986 he transitioned to senior operating roles with multiple venture capital-backed start-up companies where he served in executive management positions, including Vice President-Business Development and Vice President-Finance at Viagene, Inc., Senior Vice President-Finance and CFO at Signal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Vice President-Finance and Corporate Planning at Celgene Corp.

During his career, Dr. Gordon negotiated strategic alliance and license agreements with major U.S., European and Japanese pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including three strategic collaborations with Japanese pharmaceutical partners. In 2000 Dr. Gordon was a member of the executive team which completed the $196 million merger of Signal Pharmaceuticals with Celgene Corp. At Celgene Dr. Gordon served as Vice President-Finance and Corporate Planning with responsibility for corporate development activities, including mergers and acquisitions and long-range strategic and financial planning. During his seven-year tenure at Celgene, he completed $290 million of strategic acquisitions and investments. He also played a key role in establishing the company’s international headquarters in Boudry, Switzerland and planning the launch of global pharmaceutical operations which now extend across 50 countries worldwide. Since joining Celgene in 2000, the company has grown to become one of the three largest independent biopharmaceutical companies worldwide and now ranks as the 137th largest U.S. corporation with a current market value of approximately $42 billion. Celgene is among the few biopharmaceutical companies to successfully develop and launch multiple breakthrough cancer drugs, which include Revlimid and Thalomid with combined global sales approaching $4.5 billion.

Dr. Gordon received an MBA with extended studies in finance from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Bachelors’ Degree in business from New Mexico State University. Dr. Gordon was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree and gave the commencement address at NMSU’s fall 2010 graduation ceremony. He currently lives in Newport Beach, California, with his wife, Jacqueline Gordon and 4-yr. old son, Max Gordon.

Traders Award

Peyton Yates

Peyton Yates

Peyton Yates

Peyton Yates was born and raised in Artesia, New Mexico, graduated from Artesia High School, and attended the University of Texas at Austin. He received a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1965 and a Master’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering in 1966. After completing his master’s degree, Yates served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968 with a tour in Vietnam and obtained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Following his military service he worked for Chevron Oil Company as a petroleum engineer for two years, then worked for the Yates companies in 1970 serving in various capacities. For nearly 40 years Yates worked as a key executive in family businesses. He currently serves as President of Santo Petroleum in Artesia, New Mexico.

Yates is past president of the New Mexico Academy of Science, past president of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, past president of Boy Scouts of America Conquistador Council in Southeast New Mexico, past director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-El Paso Branch and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is a former Executive Committee member and Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and former board member of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming States. Yates also served on the Board of Directors of the College of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Yates is currently chairman of the Management Committee of Artesia MainStreet and president of Friends of New Mexico MainStreet. The Rotary Club of Artesia honored him as a “Paul Harris Fellow” in July 2000. He currently serves on the Boy Scouts of America Conquistador Council Trust Committee, and has attained the rankings of Eagle Scout and Silver Beaver in the Boys Scouts of America. In 2003, Yates was named a Distinguished Engineering Graduate by the College of Engineering at the University of Texas, and he currently serves on the U.T. Engineering Advisory Board. He has served as New Mexico State University’s Executive in Residence in the College of Business, and received the 2009 Distinguished Leadership Award from Leadership New Mexico.

Corporate Traders Award


Laguna Development Corporation

Laguna Development Corporation is a Pueblo of Laguna owned business pursuing opportunities that improve and strengthen the Laguna community and its economy.

The company maintains a high performance culture that provides unparalleled entertainment, extraordinary customer service and quality products.

With more 1,100 employees, LDC operates casinos, travel centers, convenience stores and a grocery store. Since its inception thirteen years ago, the company has grown to become the second largest tribal gaming enterprise in the state of New Mexico.

Laguna Development Corporation is planning future growth and development that will ensure the long-term economic stability of the Laguna people and enhance its reputation as one of the most innovative and successful tribal gaming companies in the nation.

LDP: Route 66 Casino Hotel