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Borderplex Alliance CEO recognized with first Boberg award

Jon Barela, CEO of the Borderplex Alliance, is the first recipient of the Kevin B. Boberg Excellence in Economic Development Award for his work in positively impacting the area’s economy. 

The award, sponsored by NMSU’s Arrowhead Center and the Border Industrial Association, recognizes people and entities with a track record of collaboration with the university and community, including people and organizations working to positively impact economic development in New Mexico and the region. 

Before being named CEO of the Borderplex Alliance in 2016, Barela served as New Mexico’s Economic Development Cabinet Secretary. Under his leadership, New Mexico became the nation’s leader in export growth, with trade quadrupling in three years. 

The Borderplex Alliance is the only privately funded economic development and policy organization representing two countries and three regions. While the alliance maintains physical offices in El Paso, alliance members include representatives from El Paso, Las Cruces and Juárez.

The Kevin B. Boberg Excellence in Economic Development award is named after Kevin Boberg, who served as NMSU’s vice president for economic development and helped launch Arrowhead Center at NMSU, serving as its first director and CEO. Boberg passed away in March 2021.



Jon Barela (left), CEO of the Borderplex Alliance, was presented with the first Kevin B. Boberg Excellence in Economic Development Award by former NMSU Chancellor and New Mexico Gov. Garrey Carruthers in fall 2023.