Megan Kamerick, Producer & Correspondent
Gene Grant, Host/Commentator
The Line Panelists:
Dan Foley was born in New York and moved to New Mexico when he was 12 years old. Dan graduated from Cloudcroft High School in 1988 and then attended Western New Mexico University, where he played football, ran track, and was part of student government. After a few years in Silver City, Dan joined the United States Marines and served 4 years active duty during Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. In 1994 Dan was honorably discharged along with his wife, Deborah, who also served as a United States Marine. Upon their discharge, they moved back to New Mexico, where they both attended Eastern New Mexico University.
In 1998, when he was 28 years old, Dan was elected to his first term in the New Mexico Legislature. Dan was awarded Legislator of the Year for his first term and was nominated for National Freshman Legislator of the Year. Dan served many years as the ranking member of such committees as Judiciary, Business and Industry, and Voters and Elections, to name a few. Dan had a 10-year career in which he rose to the ranks of “Whip” in the House of Representatives, and was instrumental in working on many pieces of legislation from Megan’s Law to Charter Schools. Dan was a thorn in the side of his opposition and spent many hours on the House floor debating legislation. Dan made many friends across the aisle that he stays in touch with today and has proven that you can disagree about policy and still be friends. Dan served under two Governors, Gary Johnson and Bill Richardson; during that time he was often seen on many national television stations and heard on network radio.
Upon leaving the New Mexico Legislature, Dan has stayed active in New Mexico politics and works hard advancing conservative causes. Dan has always been a leading conservative in New Mexico as well as the United States. Dan currently serves on the Governing Council of Cottonwood Classic Prep School in Albuquerque.
Dan Foley is married to Deborah and together they have 4 children: Tim, 21; Tristen, 18; Josh, 15; and Hannah, 12. Dan and his family currently live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Three of their kids attend Rio Rancho Public Schools, while Tim currently attends the University of New Mexico.
President, The Garrity Group
Tom Garrity specializes in public relations, issue management and marketing communication strategies for businesses and organizations in the public and private sectors.
Before starting The Garrity Group in 1997, Tom had an Emmy Award winning career in television informing local and national markets out of Houston, Miami and Albuquerque. He transitioned to the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, after more than a decade in the news business, overseeing publicity and promotion efforts for Albuquerque’s tourism industry.
Based in Albuquerque, The Garrity Group helps small businesses to be heard and large organizations to be understood. Focusing on New Mexico, the firm provides issue management, crisis communication, media relations and reputation management for a variety of local and national organizations, corporations and governments.
In 2012, Tom’s contribution to the communications industry was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America New Mexico Chapter. Tom is an alum of Texas Christian University, is married and has two daughters.
Sophie Martin is the 2012-2013 Editor-in-Chief of the New Mexico Law Review. She holds both a J.D. and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico and a B.A. in Theatre from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Sophie is a 2013 recipient of the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Award and a two-time honoree on the Albuquerque Business First’s Forty Under 40 list.
Sophie is a past president of the UNM Women’s Law Caucus and of the New Mexico Advertising Federation and serves on the boards of the Southwest Women’s Law Center, New Mexico Friends of Foster Children, and Tricklock Company. Sophie is the former Director of Marketing & Operations for Madstone Theaters, Managing Editor for the Duke City Fix, and Chief Marketing Officer for the UNM Anderson School of Management, and teaches marketing & social media, nonprofit management, and women’s leadership in the professional development programs at the UNM Anderson School of Management.
Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigates waste, fraud and abuse from his office in the media room at the Roundhouse since moving to the Land of Enchantment in 2010.
A holder of a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Nikolewski earned a master’s in public administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City in 2008.
Before covering politics, Nikolewski worked as TV sports anchor for more than 20 years and won three regional Emmy awards. He also holds the interesting distinction of being the only sports anchor in the history of MSNBC, where he worked from 1996-2000. Nikolewski worked in such TV markets as New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh and Reno, where he was named the Nevada Sportscaster of the Year twice. During Rob’s stint in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described him as “the best sports anchor in this market.”
Nikolewski lives in Santa Fe with his golden retriever, Willow, who holds no political inclinations.
Laura is a regular panelist on The Line. She is currently the CEO of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, an alliance of small businesses that advocate for more renewable energy and energy efficiency, strengthening local economies, and seizing the green business advantage. Laura is an attorney licensed in New Mexico and Arizona, with experience in property tax litigation, public finance, commercial real estate and other corporate transactions, and as well as transactional projects related to government and finance. She was formally a staff attorney with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, and prior to that she was a staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) where she worked on energy issues, renewable energy transmission and climate change policy in New Mexico and Arizona. Laura was also the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico in 2007-2008.
Laura has been an adjunct professor at New Mexico Highlands University, teaching Business Law & Ethics and Employment Law & Personnel Management in NMHU’s MBA program. In 2009, she was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to serve on the Board of Directors for the NM Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) and served as RETA’s Projects Committee Chair through July 2011.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from The University of Arizona. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree, with a focus in public and nonprofit finance and local government, from The University of Arizona. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law. Laura was born and raised in Deming, New Mexico, and currently resides in Albuquerque with her husband, Paul Rivét.