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.
Matt was an only child who was raised in Bosque Farms, where he’ll be the first to admit that he didn’t fit. Surrounded by the country culture, this professed city slicker couldn’t wait to get to the big city of Albuquerque. A graduate of St. Pius X High School, Matt came to Albuquerque The Magazine by way of a nearly 20-year radio career, spawning when he was at UNM, where he double majored in both Broadcast Journalism and English. A self-professed “sports junkie” you can usually find Matt in a stadium seat or at home in front of his TV frantically watching his beloved Notre Dame football team or New Mexico Lobos men’s hoops team with his (extremely supportive and patient) wife Megan, dog Lucky (we told you he loved the Fighting Irish), and cat Diva. Just don’t call, text, or knock on the door if any of his teams are playing; you’ll be waiting a long time.
Olivia Torres grew up in Tome, NM on a farm with her two younger siblings. After attending high school in Belen, she went on to pursue a B.A. in English from UNM, where she graduated cum laude. She had the privilege of studying in Rome for six weeks while completing her minor study in Art History. It’s no wonder that her favorite foods are Italian. She began at ATM as an Editorial Intern, and has worked on the sales team as an Advertising Assistant, and currently on the editorial team as Staff Writer. This reformed cat lady loves taking walks with her beagle Eve— although she still adores her huge tabby, Otis. You can find her spending time with family, supplementing her wardrobe with shoes, sipping espresso, and relaxing at home, probably watching The Office with her beau, Daniel.
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.
Graphic designer 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.
Jennifer has never been able to resist Albuquerque’s charms. Born here, but raised in Dallas, she came back to spend her senior year graduating from Sandia High School. Craving the city, she moved to New York and spent her time exploring the city and people watching. After a time of moving back and forth from Los Angeles and Albuquerque, she moved back for good and attended Southwest University of Visual Arts, graduating suma cum laude. During her senior year she interned at ATM and was hired as a Graphic Designer. The way into this foodie’s heart is with the classic aged steak, a loaded baked potato, a Caesar salad, and a smooth glass of Pinot Noir. Always jamming to music, you can find this funky mama singing and dancing with her adorable daughter. And when she’s not grooving, Jennifer loves taking long walks along the beautiful Bosque with her family and Boston Terrier, Frankie.
A self-professed big kid at heart, Warren Pemberton returned home to Albuquerque after spending a decade in L.A. After studying at the Art Institute, he worked as a youth services specialist for a nonprofit, Native American organization teaching classes and taking children on field trips. Between constant caricature doodling, driving around town exploring, collecting Hot Wheels, watching cartoons, and playing video games, this pizza lover is never bored. He finds joy in many things like music and swing dancing.
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).
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.
Cara Ovis was born in Los Angeles but considers herself a true Burqueña. Graduating in business from the Anderson School of Business Management at The University of New Mexico, this foodie loves sipping local brews and enjoys food truck grub, especially modern comfort food with a twist. Her favorite pastimes include spending time with her family and fur babies, Tedi, a Labradoodle, Santo, a Yorkiepoo, and Bronco, an Old English Bulldog. Cara is passionate about fitness, so if it were up to her, she’d live in her gym clothes. You can find her at the gym lifting and training her booty. She’s always wanted to do something both business oriented and creatively driven–she’s found the perfect fit at Albuquerque The Magazine as an Advertising Executive. She really does love it here!
A recent graduate from New Mexico State University (Go Aggies!) where he studied journalism and mass communications with a minor in marketing, Brian is enjoying getting to know Albuquerque’s thriving craft brew scene. Arriving to the big city by way of Belen, Brian loved growing up there and still takes trips home to visit his family. This taco lover also loves snacking on jerky, but insists on the real stuff. In his free time, Brian loves traveling as much he can. He is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, so if he’s not at the stadium watching them play, you’ll find him at home, probably yelling at the television. When not watching sports, you can find Brian spending time outside golfing, fishing, or hiking.
Alexis Petree was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, where she attended Texas Tech University before coming to Albuquerque. The red raider fan loves comic books. She channels her comic heroes by trying to achieve their super-human strength, lifting heavy things in her spare time. Lexi’s seriousness about breakfast food is on par with Ron Swanson from “Parks & Recreation.” You will probably hear her say, “Give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Do you understand?” During her childhood years, despite constantly playing in the mud and wanting to marry Stone Cold Steve Austin, her mother still managed to make her hair curly, sky-high, and full of hairspray to compete in beauty pageants. As a Corgi mom, naturally, she thinks her Corgi, Rufio’s butt is better than yours.
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.
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.