Close this search box.
Close this search box.

California Company CEOs Being Wooed by New Mexico Governor

The governor of one of this country’s smallest state economies is touring the largest, trying to convince California business leaders they’d be better off in New Mexico.

Gov. Susana Martinez and her entourage toured the Golden State yesterday on Day 1 of their three-day corporate-recruitment mission. During their visit, they’ll meet CEOs, economic-development specialists, site selectors and business association leaders and tout New Mexico as a corporate location.

The governor has said she would talk about her state’s tax reform, increasingly generous tax breaks and relocation incentives, job training programs and infrastructure improvements. Under her watch the state’s cut corporate taxes on profits, payrolls, sales and purchases. Manufacturers, for example, now pay no corporate income tax for goods sold outside the state, which is most of their sales, said Jon Barela, head of New Mexico Economic Development Department, who is accompanying the governor on the trip.

“California sent a detailed flow-chart showing how long it would take to get the permit, the costs associated with getting a permit and the agencies they needed to contact. New Mexico simply sent the permit.”

Golden State companies that have relocated or expanded in New Mexico recently include Flagship Foods, Southwest Steel Coil, and Solaro, a consumer solar products company, said Barela.

California, the country’s top state by GDP and its worst for business climate, having ranked 50th in Chief Executive’s 2015 Best & Worst States for Business, is prime territory for gubernatorial recruitment tours. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas led well-publicized visits that stirred debate over subsidies as cost-effective economic-development tools. New Mexico ranked 36th last year in Best & Worst States, six positions down from 30th in 2014.

The governor’s expedition builds on advance efforts undertaken by both the state and key regions. Last year, Albuquerque Economic Development hired Los Angeles site selector John Rocca to head West Coast business development efforts. Rocca was charged with qualifying 50 companies interested in expansion or relocation, according to Gary Tonjes, the city’s economic development chief.

Jim Renzas, a site selector based in Orange County, CA, is one person meeting with Gov. Martinez. He expects she’ll discuss labor costs and regulatory environment, both hot button topics. Sacramento’s plan to hike the hourly minimum wage to $15 has triggered rising-wage fears among employers. Opposition to state-generated environmental rules and water-use regulations continues to irk business leaders.

Renzas expects the governor will face responsive audiences, reflecting New Mexico’s business-friendly reputation. He mentioned the experience of Intel when the tech company was considering expanding its Rio Rancho, NM facility, and contacted both California and New Mexico.

“California sent a detailed flow-chart showing how long it would take to get the permit, the costs associated with getting a permit and the agencies” they needed to contact,” Renzas said.
“New Mexico,” he added, “simply sent the permit.”


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.