Ralph Nava currently serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. He is a native Santa Fean, who was born, raised, educated, and pursued his career all his adult life in the Santa Fe area. He is a St. Michaels graduate, then graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the College of Santa Fe, and subsequently earned a Master of Arts in Applied Theology from the University of Balamand in Lebanon.
Upon graduation from the College of Santa Fe, he went to work for the New Mexico State Auditor, and became a Certified Public Accountant. He then worked as office manager and senior auditor for a local accounting firm. He left that position and worked as Business Manager for the County of Santa Fe. He opened his own CPA firm providing audit, tax, compilation, and management advisory services throughout the state.
After selling his accounting practice, he established an internal audit department for the Governor’s Office of Employment and Training. He went on to be Finance Director for the Human Resources Development Institute. He also served as Director of Business and Finance for the New Mexico School for the Deaf. During this time frame he also taught upper division accounting and auditing courses at Santa Fe Community College and the College of Santa Fe. He then obtained Insurance and Series 7 and 63 Securities licenses, and became designated as a Professional Financial Specialist through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, focusing on working with individuals and businesses as a Financial Consultant.
After working as a Financial Consultant for five years with New York Life and Eagle Strategies, he was employed by the CUNA Mutual Group (CMG) working as an Account Relationship Manager with credit unions in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. He retired from CMG but continues to do volunteer work with local credit unions. After retirement, he earned the designation as a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor through the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and provides financial coaching services to credit union members as part of his volunteer activities.
He has volunteered in the Santa Fe community throughout his life, serving as a Boy Scout leader and as a board member of many community organizations including the Community Action Program, Santa Fe Federal Employees Federal Credit Union, Guadalupe Credit Union, board member and President of the Santa Fe Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He also served as Treasurer and board member of Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity. He served in the Orthodox faith community at the local, state, and national levels in the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. He now is a parishioner of Santa Maria De La Paz Catholic Community, is a member of the Finance Council for SMDLP, and is also involved with their music ministry. He has volunteered at Pete’s Place where he was a member of the core team serving the homeless of Santa Fe.
He is married to Winona Nava, and jointly they have 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. Hobbies include collecting and restoring antique vehicles, outdoor activities, and has traveled extensively in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.