President Gerald Wheeler, Las Cruces Lodge #1119
Gerald Wheeler was born in Clovis, NM. on November 14, 1947. Gerald graduated from Clovis high School in 1966, then moved to Dallas Texas area and attended North Texas State for a time. In 1975 he returned to Clovis and applied to the New Mexico Live Stock Board as an inspector. After attending training, he was transferred to Las Cruces. Gerald worked in that district as a supervisor for twenty-five years, retiring in 2001. During the time he worked for the State of NM he attended New Mexico State University graduating in 1998 with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. After retiring in 2001 he worked for Accounting Plus as an accountant for five years until a final retirement in 2006.
He was originally initiated into Clovis-Portales Lodge #1244 in 1975. In 1976 he transferred to Las Cruces Lodge #1119, where he become an active member holding all elected offices and working on numerous committees. Gerald worked and chaired numerous committees in the State Association. He was appointed as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2005. In 2018 was elected to Board of Trustees serving as Secretary of board 2016-2018, elected Vice-President 2018-19.
President Elect Johnny Hilliard III, Albuquerque Lodge # 461
Johnny Hilliard was born in 1980 in Opelousas, Louisiana. In 1986 the family moved to Albuquerque, NM, where he has resided since. He attended all formal education in the Albuquerque Public Schools system and graduated in 1998. Shortly after HS Johnny joined the United States Air Force as a Security Forces member. After his time is service he was given an honorable discharge and began working as a contractor for the Department of Energy. In 2006 he left DOE to pursue higher education, and in 2010 obtained a Bachelors of Science, Criminal Justice degree and a couple months after graduation was hired by the City of Albuquerque, where he is still currently employed.
Johnny was initiated into Elkdom in the Albuquerque Elks Lodge #461 in August of 2001 and has been an active member since. In 2004 he was elected as Exalted Ruler and he was recognized at Grand Lodge as the youngest Exalted Ruler in the nation. Even though he was young he was instrumental in his lodge with initiating and maintaining the volunteer workforce within Lodge #461 which remains in effect today. He has held various District and State Chair positions for committees and was elected District Deputy in 2014-2015 and again in 2015-2016. He was elected State Trustee in 2017 and in 2018 he was elected as Chairman of the Board for the NM Elks Association. He left this position upon election as Vice President in 2019. In the Spring of 2020, he had the honor of being elected and installed as the NMEA President-Elect.
Vice president Jerry Hitchcock, Carlsbad Lodge # 1558
Jerry Hitchcock was born in Brownwood TX on January 9, 1962. Jerry graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1980. Soon after graduation Jerry went to work as a miner in the Potash basin near Carlsbad NM, and continued to work there for 23 years. In 2004 Jerry went to work at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant as a Nuclear Waste Handling Technician and continues to work there today.
Jerry has been married to Carol Hitchcock for over 30 years and they have three wonderful children and one lovely Grandchild.
Jerry was initiated into Carlsbad Lodge # 1558 in 1985 and immediately became an active member of his lodge. He worked on and chaired numerous committees and held all elected offices within his Lodge. He was installed as Exalted Ruler of his Lodge in 2000. He was elected to Honorary Life Member of his Lodge in 2020. Jerry was appointed as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2017.
Over the past 30 years Jerry has attend many NMEA State Conventions and has served on several committees. In 2018 he was elected as a Trustee for the NM Elks Association. In 2019 he served as secretary of the board of directors and later during that term he served as chairman of the board.
Secretary Mary Rogers, Farmington #1747
Mary Rogers was born in Fort Lee, Virginia when her Dad was attending typewriter repair school for the US Army, they left when she was six weeks old and she has not been back. Mary is the second of five daughters of the late PSP Bob Batley and his love Troyetta. After graduating from Farmington High School, she married and went to work in the family business Office Supply and Service Company. When her parents retired, she stayed with the business until Office Max came to town; she helped open Office Max, setup new accounts and did outside sales to businesses. When she divorced, she switched to being a sales consultant for Carpet One Floor and Home; she worked there for fifteen years and became a minor partner in the business for the last five years of working there before retiring. She is Past President of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce
Her Dad joined the Elks when she was three years, so she has always heard about Elks. During her marriage she was involved in Farmington Does becoming Past President, 5-year Conductor and Trustee.
She joined Farmington Lodge in September 2002 and the next meeting was installed as esquire. She won All-State Esquire in 2003, All State Lecturing Knight in 2004 and All-State Leading Knight for 2006 for ritual.
Farmington was awarded the Robert Boney trophy for the year she was Exalted Ruler. Mary was honored to serve as District Deputy 2013-2014. For two years she was a training facilitator for the Northwest District. Mary has been Farmington Lodge Secretary for five years now.Her daughter Jymi is State Chaplain this year and Exalted Ruler for Rio Rancho Lodge, Jymi’s daughter lives in Phoenix. My son Jesse is an Elk and he and his wife Dacia and their children Shyla and Boston live in Farmington. I enjoy talking Elks, my family, reading and camping.