Greyhound Grad Joins KENW Team at ENMU

Evelyn Ledbetter
Evelyn Ledbetter

Greyhound Grad Joins KENW Team at ENMU

evelyn with children at daughters graduation
Evelyn with her daughter, Alex, and
her son, Spencer, at Alex's graduation
from New Mexico State University.

Evelyn Ledbetter, who graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1989, has returned to ENMU as an administrative assistant at the KENW Broadcast Center. She has a variety of duties, including providing support for the day-to-day operations of KENW-TV/FM.

"Being an alumna of ENMU makes the University very special to me," shared Evelyn, who also received an Associate of Science from ENMU in 1987.

She was drawn to the role due to the opportunity to work with staff in the broadcast field and interact with students. "The students have an excitement about the opportunities ahead of them in life that is very contagious," she said.

Evelyn was impressed with the Broadcast Center's "outstanding reputation for providing opportunities to students in the communication field that are not able to obtain in most places. Many students in the program have been very successful in their careers because of the education and hands-on experience they received at ENMU."

She was also interested in returning to Eastern to learn something new after many years of accounting and finance work.

evelyn with son on his wedding day
Evelyn with her son on his wedding day.

Evelyn worked in Yucca Telecom's accounting department during the 90's, when the company went live with the first dial-up internet available in Portales and the surrounding area. She noted that it was during the time that long-distance was deregulated and cell phones were becoming more prevalent and used in the place of landlines. "People were still using pagers and texting wasn't available when I first went to work at Yucca," she added.

She served as the director of Payroll and a financial assistant at Roosevelt General Hospital from 2002 to 2016 before stepping into the executive director position of the New Mexico Chile Association (NMCA) in 2017. The position had been vacant for several years, so she helped the NMCA get caught up by designing and implementing a new webpage. She worked from home and found herself missing the daily interaction with others, which led to her role at ENMU.

Her main goal for the new position is to perform at the highest level and assist those she works with to make their jobs easier. "I want to contribute to the existing, positive atmosphere at the Broadcast Center and to help students know they have a support network at the Station while attending Eastern," she said.

Her personal goal is to make a difference in one person's life each day. "Today's news tends to focus on the harsh and ugly things in our world – I believe there are a tremendous amount of people improving others' lives and it's very easy to lose focus of that," she explained.

evelyn and daughter roasting chile
Evelyn and her daughter roasting chile.

Evelyn grew up in the local area, where her parents have farmed and ranched for many years. Her family has grown 15 acres of green chile and sold it at the Portales and Clovis Farmers Markets for the past 20 years.

She calls her mother the "greatest influence in my life. We lost my dad when I was young, and she raised me as a single parent. She had farmed and ranched with my dad but didn't have the training or experience needed for most jobs in town. She found a position at the Baptist Children's Home and cooked and did laundry there for 26 years. She was a very sweet-spirited woman and had a huge impact on many of the children's lives during her years of work at BCH. She lived and taught by example to do for others and to always treat people in a kind and fair manner even when it isn't reciprocated."

The Greyhound Grad's husband is involved in agriculture, and her grown children live in West Texas. Her son, Spencer, went into the field of engineering, and her daughter, Alex, is working on her doctorate of pharmacy.

Evelyn has a miniature schnauzer named Axl, who she adores, and three miniature donkeys.

One of her favorite hobbies is skiing. She has been an avid skier since age 16 and considers some of her best memories to be spending time with her children on the slopes.

evelyn with dog
Evelyn with her miniature schnauzer, Axl.

She also enjoys landscaping: "When we built our home, we scraped off the top of a sandhill and started building. There wasn't a tree or plant in sight other than the native grass. Since that time, I have planted over 300 trees, built retaining walls, put in a fountain and xeriscaped much of the property."

When the wallpaper in her home needed to be updated, she couldn't find anyone to do that type of job. Instead, she taught herself how to do a knockdown baroque style and other kinds of drywall work. Her brother worked with her and taught her how to put down wood floors. She has replaced all but two rooms of carpeting with wood floors. She also dabbles in refinishing antique furniture and re-upholstering older furniture on occasion.

Her "all-time favorite place" is Durango, Colorado. "The scenery is breathtaking, and the memories of the trips there with my family is what makes it my favorite," she shared.

She also enjoys going to Las Vegas, even though she doesn't gamble. "I attend the shows there, which are top notch, and I love to people watch. I have met people from all over the world. People on vacation there tend to be very open to talking and sharing about their respective lives, customs and cultures."

evelyn with miniature donkey
Evelyn with Ellie Mae, one of her
miniature donkeys.

She loves the music scene in Las Vegas and has seen Santana, one of her favorite musicians, for small-venue concerts there a few times.

Evelyn was invited by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the Secretary of Agriculture to represent New Mexico in the Netherlands on a trade mission trip this past year. There were tours of farming operations and agriculture-related industries. "The flower industry is a large portion of their export trade," she explained. "The fields and greenhouses of flowers were amazing."

She gives a lot back to the local community as part of Rotary and Meals on Wheels. She served 12 years on the Board of the Roosevelt County Electric Coop and as Chairman for three years and as a board member of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry. She also served on the Portales Budget Committee and volunteered within the classrooms on a weekly basis in the Portales Schools for many years.

When asked to name her favorite thing about Eastern, Evelyn responded, "This is easy: my coworkers! They are the best."