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Alarie has always had a passion for sharing information and stories. This was evident as far back as elementary school, when her report cards were chocked full of good marks but almost inevitably included a note from her teacher saying she talked too much in class. She worked to improve her classroom decorum by saving her storytelling sessions for recess and eventually went on to study Journalism and Political Science at the University of New Mexico.
During college, Alarie took an internship with KOB-TV in Albuquerque and quickly realized that television news was the perfect outlet for her love of sharing information with others. She enjoyed being able to tell people what was going on in their communities and how they would be impacted. The day after graduation, she started working full-time at the NBC affiliate as an associate producer. Her hard work and passion for the job lead to her promotion in 2004 to executive producer, making her one of the youngest EPs in a top 50 market in the country. During her nearly decade in television news, Alarie honed her skills in telling clear and concise stories and was recognized for taking complex subjects and making them accessible and more impactful. She applies the same strategies to her clients today, believing a bad or convoluted message is worse than none at all.
In 2008, Alarie joined New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s communications staff, where she went on to become communications director. The move allowed her to get out of the newsroom and into the communities where the news was actually being made. She was charged with taking policy initiatives and developing and implementing successful communication campaigns to inform the public and other stakeholders. She worked with and developed relationships with reporters on the local, national and international level. Working within government has given Alarie a unique understanding of how government works, and today she helps navigate clients through it.
Alarie lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Bryan. When she isn’t working, she’s trying out new recipes on him.
Toni is the oldest of three children, and that should tell you a lot about who she is today. Raised in the Balzano household, work was not an option, it is mandatory and it is 24/7. The Balzano’s are a family of entrepreneurs who are constantly looking for a risk to take or a gap that needs to be filled, so it’s not surprising that Toni started her first company when she was just six years old, selling sheep to other 4-H kids.
After summers working for her dad on the Pecos River and selling her own line of t-shirts, Toni headed off to college at Eastern New Mexico University where she studied Broadcast Communications and anchored the nightly news at KENW. After college, she started as an Assignment Desk Assistant at the ABC affiliate in Albuquerque and then went on to become the Assignments Manager at the CBS and NBC affiliates.
In 2002, after more than 7 years in the news business, she moved on to pursue public relations, becoming the Communications Director for Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC), a Lockheed Martin company specializing in assisting in the commercialization of technology out of the National Labs. While at TVC, Toni had the opportunity to reach beyond her communications role and was able to start to dive into economic development initiatives happening across the state.
After leaving TVC, Toni was appointed the Public Information Officer for the State of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department. Recognized for being a hard worker with great ideas, she was eventually appointed as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the department. While serving the state as Deputy Secretary, she oversaw the Spaceport, the film office, rural economic development, financial development, the MainStreet program, the marketing department and she chaired the Job Training Incentive Board. In 2010, she was named Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department. She served as Deputy until leaving to found imPRonta.