The South Valley Economic Development Center is dedicated to fostering economic revitalization in New Mexico with a focus in the South Valley area by continuously adapting to community needs.


The South Valley Economic Development Center strives to be the community hub for new and emerging businesses.


Belonging – We strongly believe the SVEDC is a community resource where multi-cultural residents can enjoy a sense of ownership.

Collaboration – We believe there is no better strategy than coming together as a community to better ourselves.

Prosperity – We believe we can continuously improve our personal and community situations

Inspiration – We believe that each of our success stories have the potential to be the catalyst for more new and exciting growth


Executive Director – Josue Olivares

Administrative Assistant – April Herrera

Board of Directors

Emily Esterson – Chairwoman – South Valley small business owner, former editor of ABQ Business First

Vic Berniklau – Retired executive, former chair of SCORE

Wayne Chandler – Bank manager, Compass Bank

Keith Hartnett – CFO, Admiral Beverage

Robert Baade – Director, RFK Charter School

Chris Sanchez – Accounting Manager, Bernalillo County

John Mierzwa – Director, CNM STEMulus

Trish Abbin – Business Consultant, SBDC

Tim Nisly – CEO, Rio Grande Community Development Corporation

Roberta Ricci – Director of Development, CNM Foundation


At the beginning of the Bridge and Isleta Boulevards Revitalization planning sessions in 1996, community residents recommended that a small business incubator be built to address economic development issues in the South Valley.

In response to the request, the Rio Grande Community Development Center (RGCDC) developed the Bridge and Isleta Boulevards Revitalization plan.  The plan made the development of a business incubator in the South Valley a priority.  In addition to traditional business incubation, the plan also identified the economic development benefits of locating a commercial kitchen within the facility. The commercial kitchen would provide value added opportunities for residents involved in local farming and food production.

The University of New Mexico’s Design and Planning Assistance Center (DePAC) provided the initial designs for the project.  The project secured funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the University’s Resource Center for Raza Planning, the directed by Teresa Cordova.  The Resource Center for Raza Planning also conducted door-to-door interviewing and surveying to determine ongoing community support and to gather suggestions for the facility’s development.  Based on South Valley residents’ responses to these surveys and community planning meetings, the community decided to name the project the South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC).

Ground breaking for the “South Valley Economic Development Center” took place in 2003 and construction was completed in 2005.  The SVEDC’s Grand Opening took place in the summer of 2005.