Costilla County Commissioner Crestina Martinez to give ASC Commencement Address

(12-07-2011)

The 2011 San Luis Valley Person of the Year, Crestina Martinez, will address graduates at Adams State College's commencement ceremony, to be held Saturday, Dec. 17, beginning at 10 a.m. in Plachy Hall. The college will award 45 associate's degrees and 82 bachelor's degrees.

A Costilla County Commissioner and executive director of CarePoint, Martinez is Colorado's youngest serving county commissioner. She was named 2009 Freshman County Commissioner of the Year by Colorado Counties, Inc.

"Ms. Martinez is deeply committed to her community a great example to our graduates of the difference one can make by becoming involved," said Adams State President David Svaldi.

Martinez served as interim executive Director of CarePoint from December 2010 until May of 2011, when she was appointed executive director. CarePoint is a multi-share health access program, created by Colorado House Bill 2009-1252: Concerning the Expansion of the "Local Access to Health Care Pilot Program Act" to Allow Creation of a Pilot Program in the San Luis Valley. The organization works to decrease uninsured rates, in addition to enhancing economic development.

Among her duties as a county commissioner is administration of the annual budget for all county departments. She cultivates outside sources of funding to leverage county dollars. She also oversees management of the county's Public Health Agency, Department of Social Services, Emergency Management, Land Use and Planning, Road and Bridge, and Accounting. Martinez represents her community through local, regional, statewide, and national organizations and events.

Some of the organizations with which she is currently involved include Costilla County Prevention Partners, Southwest Conservation Corps - Los Valles, Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, Colorado Counties Inc., Colorado State Board of Health, El Pomar San Luis Valley Regional Council, San Luis Valley Development Resources Group, and National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. She is also a former chairperson of the San Luis Valley County Commissioners Association and past president of Colorado Association of Local Boards of Health.

Martinez began working for Costilla County while a high school student, serving in the summers as administrative assistant to the Clerk & Recorder. After college, she was the county's Preservation & Protection Coordinator/Grant Writer. Prior to becoming a county commissioner she was the executive assistant to the Costilla County Board of County Commissioners.

Additional recognitions include the Cathy Shipley Best and Brightest Intern, 2006-2008; the 2009 Colorado Young Democrat of the Year, and the US 2010 Census Contribution Award.

Martinez is pursuing a master's degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Denver, having earned a B.A. in Spanish and sociology from The Colorado College in 2004. She also spent one semester in an international study program La Universidad Mesoamerica in Oaxaca, Mexico.