Rose Reza is a native New Mexican, born in Albuquerque. She comes from a long line of Hispanic heritage, with her great, great, great grandfather, a seminarian for Padre Martinez in Northern New Mexico. Growing up, Rose spent her summers in Taos at her grandparents' orchard in Valdez. The place always held a special place in her heart. In addition to her professional pursuits, Rose is also an artist and musician; although, she admits, she is a bit rusty these days. She believes it is important to nurture one's creative side and not let it fall by the wayside.
Rose Reza's family is deeply connected to their heritage and the richness of their community. Her mother is a renowned writer and composer of Hispanic liturgy, with her music played around the globe. Rose’s mother and father were born in Dawson, New Mexico. Many families were forced to leave Taos in search of employment, so Rose's father worked in the coal mining industry in Dawson. When the mine closed, the family relocated to Albuquerque, where Rose was born.
Although Rose's parents were fluent in Spanish, they encouraged her and her siblings to learn English. Her parents spoke English as they were growing up, not to avoid difficulties, but because it became our first language spoken as we were growing up. However, Rose felt a strong desire to learn Spanish and connect with her heritage. Eventually she spent a year living in Monterrey with her family while attending a Spanish immersion school. The experience revealed a whole new world for her, and she believes that the more languages one can speak, the larger their world becomes.
After college, Rose began her career at Wal-Mart, quickly rising through the ranks to become the first Latina regional vice president in the company's history. She received the prestigious Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur Award and was honored by the Walton family. When the demanding schedule eventually took its toll, Rose left the company to work with other corporations in order to focus on business development and management. She spent a decade in Puerto Rico working for a company based in Spain, learning the ins and outs of getting products into the hands of manufacturers in the US.
In 2014 she made the decision to leave corporate America and return to northern New Mexico. When the opportunity arose to run the Taos Entrepreneurial Network, Rose jumped at the chance to give back to her community and support local businesses. She served as the organization's Executive Director, helping to bring economic development and growth to Taos.
Rose Reza's commitment to her community and passion for supporting small businesses extends beyond her role as Executive Director of the Taos Entrepreneurial Network. She was also actively involved in a variety of other organizations and initiatives in the area. Nina Gonzales, the creator and founder of the HIVE concept, was working hard to compete in the "Minds That Move Us" competition in 2019 when she approached Rose with an opportunity to work on the initiative. Rose accepted, and traveled to Miami, Florida, to pitch at the conference, where they emerged as the winners among a group of both rural and metropolitan communities presenting their educational programs. As a result, Rose was offered a contract to turn the HIVE concept from a paper idea into a reality.
In the first few years of the project, Rose worked with the University of New Mexico in Taos, as well as FatPipe, on lease agreements and layout. In June 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNM-Taos HIVE finally opened, offering programming focused on youth in need of a supportive outlet and engagement. UNM-Taos HIVE has continued to grow and expand with the support of its core partners: the University of New Mexico in Taos, the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, and the Taos Community Foundation. These partners have provided over $700,000 in in-kind support, which has been crucial to the success and sustainability of UNM-Taos HIVE. Overall, the community has come together in a collaborative effort to make UNM-Taos HIVE a reality, demonstrating the strength and resilience of their system.
UNM-Taos HIVE is an innovative hub for the community and was born out of the vision and dedication of leaders committed to economic diversification and innovation. One such leader was Luis Reyes, CEO of the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, who had written about his dream for the building to be a hub of innovation years before the HIVE was even established. Rose was determined to make Reyes' dream a reality and has focused on three pillars in building UNM-Taos HIVE: education, entrepreneurship, and engagement.
Currently, UNM-Taos HIVE is working to digitally skill community members through partnerships with UNM-Taos and the Center on Rural Innovation, with the goal of providing access to remote jobs and living wage employment. Since its opening in June 2021, UNM-Taos HIVE has successfully provided free certifications to over 200 members of the community. On the entrepreneurial side, the HIVE offers mentorship and collaborations with UNM-Taos, as well as access to FatPipe’s Coworking Facility at 1146 Gusdorf Road. UNM-Taos HIVE hosts events as a member of the Arrowhead Center for Innovation and the Arrowhead Community Entrepreneurship Program. Overall, UNM-Taos HIVE is a valuable resource for the community, providing opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and engagement.
1146 Gusdorf Rd Taos NM, 87571