Larryl’s experience as a newspaper reporter (for publications such as the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee), independent filmmaker, photographer, and graphic designer led him to launch Albuquerque The Magazine in April 2004. A journalism graduate of New Mexico State University, Larryl is proudest of the fact that ATM is able to show readers every month the true greatness of Albuquerque—through the eyes of a staff who loves the city. Though he still has to blink back tears every time he watches Forrest Gump, Larryl also has a dark side: he’s banned from renting at Budget Rent-A-Car, and he’s a huge “Sopranos” fan. He also claims he’ll buy lunch for anyone who can beat him at the ’80s video arcade game, “Stargate.”
Associate publisher Gena LaCross’ passion for the magazine runs deep—she joined ATM just after the first issue hit newsstands. Since, Gena has overseen the rapid growth of the mag, which has boomed in page count, advertisers, and revenue. Until the fall of 2010, this Belen native and confessed foodie had always dreamed of going to Paris. That fairytale came true when she and her husband escaped on a European getaway for their honeymoon. Gena has the most fantastic collection of whiskey we’ve ever seen, and can be seen around town with her teacup Yorkshire Terrier, Buckley, peeking out of her purse.
Rose Garcia grew up in Bloomfield, the youngest of three older sisters and an older brother. She came to Albuquerque to attend UNM for her B.A. in Mass Communications and Spanish and she has recently completed her MBA through NM Highlands University. A true New Mexican, she loves her green chile stew, along with pasta and Chinese food. When she’s not mastering communications at ATM, you can find her watching horrible TV shows, planning vacations, and going on adventures in the woods with her husband Jeremy. Her outdoor adventures include cowering from birds (as they creep her out) and fishing. When she catches one however; she won’t touch it or eat it (that’s for her husband to do). Rose has two adorable and spoiled basset hounds, Jasmine and Roxie that pretty much rule the house.
A self-described “big ol’ nerd,” creative director Lise Watkins loves to read and watch fantasy and sci-fi. She used the least common workout—roller derby (yes, roller derby)—to lose baby weight after giving birth to her adorable daughter. Lise herself was born in the middle of Death Valley, in the middle of the summer, in the back of a car (it’s a long story, but obviously, in the end, things worked out OK). After growing up in Nevada and attending college in San Francisco, Lise started working in print design and photography. She spends her time at the magazine putting together a famous monthly puzzle–a combination of copy, ads, and photographs—which is lovingly known by many as Albuquerque The Magazine.
Don has shot photos for the magazine since the very beginning, while he was still studying for his BFA in photography from UNM. Now, as a seasoned photographer and published author of a book about his journey through the Navajo Nation, One Nation One Year, Don has taken photos all over the country. When he’s not behind the lens, Don is ruling rodeos, riding horses throughout the Southwest—but admits he does have a tamer side that involves playing the piano, collecting Hot Wheels, and watching films. But don’t be fooled–Don is a proud owner of a backyard chicken coop and vegetable garden, and has quite the affinity for the BBC show “Top Gear” (mostly just The Stig).
Advertising manager Justin Bixler was born in Albuquerque, but called Colorado and Northern California home before making his way back to the Duke City, where he was part of the first graduating class at Rio Rancho High School. Justin is a self-taught designer, who says his biggest (and best) critic is his wife, Victoria (although he says she finds it odd that he organizes his shirts and shoes by color in their closet). If you find Justin a little shy at first, it only takes a little prodding to get him to come out of his shell—he reports that his favorite food is whatever is in his mouth at the very moment you ask him. Justin loves photography, being outdoors, and spending time with his family, who has always encouraged him to chase his dreams.
The second oldest of four siblings, graphic designer McKenna Grier attended West Texas A&M University after graduating from La Cueva High School. The collector of 50’s dresses finds herself shifting between listening to oldies in the morning and 80s classics in the afternoon. Her one true love—besides her husband—is Disney. She’s lost track of how many times she’s been to her happy place, but is always looking for new places to adventure to. Her solution to any mood is Frito Lay sunflower seeds and a coke.
Phil traded in his surfboard for a pair of alpine skis when he moved from Orange County, Calif. to Albuquerque in 1988. He earned a BBA with an emphasis in marketing from UNM and spent 13 years in the beverage industry before entering the world of advertising. He and his wife, Tracy, have two dogs and a cat. Phil loves to cook, and is an avid music collector (he has more than 400 vinyl albums and some 9,000 songs on his iPod). He listens to everything from rock to jazz to punk to blues—and has an insane knowledge for trivia, particularly when it comes to music or sports. Really—just try him.
If ever there was an ATM cheerleader, senior advertising executive Megan Life is it, as our token former Lobo cheerleader. After moving to Albuquerque in 2002 from Silver City, NM, Megan attended UNM and graduated with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis on advertising. This soon-to-be first-time mom has fallen in love with the city’s weather, nightlife, and restaurant scene. A self-proclaimed reality TV junkie, Megan’s passions lie in shopping, reading, and spending time with her family, friends and husband. She also regularly channels her inner cheerleader as a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
ATM business clerk Kaci Paden hails from Princeville, a tiny farm town in Central Illinois. Kaci attended Oklahoma Christian University, where she met her husband, Scott, on her second day of school. Today, Kaci and Scott live in Albuquerque with their three children—Lexi, Cael, and Ailey—and a yellow lab named Gus and a poodle-mutt named Bianca. Kaci loves just about all types of food, which led her to dabble in classes at CNM’s culinary program. She hopes to someday open her own coffee shop and bakery, where she can serve up slews of baked goods, wedding cakes, and gourmet sandwiches. When Kaci’s not busy helping in the ATM business department or making masterpieces in the kitchen, you can find her outside playing sports and camping with her family. Kaci’s love for music has given her the guts to sing in front of large audiences, but don’t her lyrical skills on stage fool you—when it comes to karaoke, she has some serious stage fright.