The Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership team at MVPHA set the highest standards for all MVPHA employees to follow. These standards are evident through MVPHA’s Code of Professional Conduct. Adherence to this Code is required and serves to ensure public confidence in the integrity and services of the MVPHA.

Juan Olvera

As Executive Director of the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority (MVPHA), one of New Mexico’s largest and highest performing providers of affordable housing programs for low-income families, Mr. Olvera manages an annual operating budget of $8.5 million that supports 252 public housing units, 40 Section 8 New Construction units, 661 affordable housing units, and 1,627 Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) which provide housing to some 2,500 families in New Mexico.

Before joining MVPHA, Mr. Olvera was the Director of Development and Capital Projects for the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Texas. During his tenure, he secured $8.3 million from a competitive grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to build the Paisano Green Community – a Net Zero, LEED Platinum, Fossil Fuels Free Public Housing community for the elderly. Additionally, he co-developed a mixed income community with 198 affordable housing units and he was instrumental in securing more than $20 million in 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for the redevelopment of two public housing properties.

Mr. Olvera’s prior experience includes serving as President and Chief Executive Officer for multi-million dollar subsidiaries and companies of two of the largest cement and construction materials companies in the world. In the public sector, Mr. Olvera served as Procurement and Contracts Manager for the West Texas Workforce Board.

Mr. Olvera earned a Masters in Engineering Management/Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Industrial Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. His professional certifications include Public Housing Manager, Public Housing Executive Asset Manager, and Housing Choice Voucher Specialist.

Elizabeth Garcia

MVPHA Comptroller Elizabeth Garcia has more than 30 years of accounting expertise. Her experience includes staff accountant at the El Paso Independent School District and 18 years at the Housing Authority for the City of El Paso (HACEP). During her tenure at HACEP Garcia worked in various roles including Accountant overseeing state, federal and local grants and Capital Fund Planning and Budget Specialist and was responsible for developing the Public Housing Annual and Five Year Plan and Budgets; including the timetable for the implementation of the Capital Fund Programs.

Garcia is bilingual and graduated from Park University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Gilbert Cruz

Mr. Cruz is a lifelong resident of El Paso with over 38 years of experience in the maintenance department and construction projects at the El Paso Housing Authority (HACEP).

During his employment at HACEP, he held the position of Maintenance Supervisor, Special Projects Supervisor, Area Maintenance Supervisor, Assistant Construction Manager, Warehouse Clerk, Assistance Superintendent, Warehouse Labor, and Utility Labor.

Mr. Cruz has extensive supervisory experience. He has supervised temporary employees under modernization construction programs and CFP funds through sixteen communities, including all warehouse materials needed.

In addition, Mr. Cruz has supervised grounds crew, and in-house permanent roofing crew to provide replacement of diverse types of roof membranes throughout the Housing Authority Communities to including scattered site units, two-stories’ building, High-Rise buildings and Mid-Rise buildings.

His professional certifications include Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), and Housing Agency Procurement & Contracts Management.

Maria Licon

Maria Licon has over 30 years in an administrative, HR and Managerial roles. Maria Licon brings extensive experience in customer service, human resources, business operations and leadership. Ms. Licon has hands on experience in the Housing Choice Voucher Program as an HCV Specialist as well as the FSS Coordinator. She enjoys working with our families and providing safe and affordable housing.

Maria Licon comes from a close-knit family, and she enjoys spending time with her sisters. Maria Licon was born in El Paso, and she attended the University of Texas in El Paso and finished her studies with The University of Phoenix and graduated with a bachelor’s in business management. Her professional certifications include Travel Consultant, HCV & FSS Specialist and Human Resources. She is bilingual and speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Adriana Anzaldo

Ms. Anzaldo was born in Mexico City, Mexico and migrated to El Paso when she was 16 years old. Ms. Anzaldo attended and graduated from Hanks High School in El Paso and moved to Ft. Lauderdale Florida to pursue a career in the travel industry. She worked with America West Airlines and Southwest Airlines for over 16 years, where she learned the value of customer service. Before Joining MVPHA in 2021, Ms. Anzaldo worked for the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP) from 2015 to 2021, as an HCV Specialist and then an HCV Supervisor. Ms. Anzaldo brings a wealth of experience in customer service, managerial roles, and affordable housing programs. Her professional certifications include HCV Specialist, Public Housing Specialist, a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and is currently participating in the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program 2022.

Ms. Anzaldo’s humble beginnings taught her that you can do anything you strive for as long as you work hard for it and do it with integrity.

Board of Commissioners

View Board Notices, Agendas & Minutes

MVPHA is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, two of whom are appointed by the mayor of the City of Las Cruces and two of whom are appointed by the Board of Doña Ana County Commissioners. The fifth member of the MVPHA’s board is a public housing resident.

The Commissioners are appointed to staggered five-year terms and provide services without pay.

Comissioner Cordero was born and raised in Las Cruces and graduated from Mayfield High School. After serving his country honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, he returned to Las Cruces and began a career in Law Enforcement where he worked for both the Las Cruces Police Department and the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office. His diverse professional experience also includes serving as a Housing Inspector in the construction field and attaining a building contractor license from the State of New Mexico Construction Industries Division. As a second career, Commissioner Cordero received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from NMSU and he is presently employed in the private sector as a Facilities Manager for Sitel, a world-wide company.

In addition to his service to the MVPHA Board, Commissioner Cordero is actively involved in a variety of community organizations including the Marine Corps League (MCL) Honor Guard Funeral Detail, the MCL Yearly Golf Tournament Organizer and the MCL Birthday Ball Committee. He is a previous board member of the Whole Enchilada Fiesta and volunteer with Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary. He is a current member of the NMSU Alumni Association, the Las Cruces Downtown Mall Revitalization Committee, and the Las Cruces Housing Land Bank & Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee. Commissioner Cordero also earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys softball, traveling and helping veteran organizations. Above all, he is proudly married to his wife, Sonia Saldana, for more than 20 years.

Commissioner Chavez was born and raised in Mesilla Valley. She has lived in the village of Doña Ana for over 30 years and her mestizo ancestors have been in the Mesilla Valley for hundreds of years. After high school Sylvia and her husband Israel Chavez of 32 years began raising 3 children, running a small trucking business, all while she also worked as an Educational Assistant. She eventually graduated from NMSU with a Bachelor’s in Bilingual Elementary Education and a Master’s in Educational Administration. She was an educator for 14 years, connecting with bilingual families in the classroom and helping support the needs of the whole family. Her professional experience also includes leading the first Community School initiative in Las Cruces, supporting student success, and responding to the unique needs of the community. Today, she is an Early Childhood Instructional Coach coaching preschool teachers across the state and serves as the Communication Coordinator for the Dona Ana Resilience Leaders (DACRL). She is a founding member of the Dona Ana Village Association (DAVA) and uses her free time to uplift her community’s voice. She is an active and passionate voice for vulnerable families throughout Doña Ana County.

Commissioner Molina was born and raised here in Las Cruces and has strong and deep grassroots in this community. Ms. Molina has 4 grown children, 3 of whom still live in Las Cruces and have raised their families here. She is a proud grandmother of 13 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. She is empathetic to families living in public housing because she grew up in the Tres Arboles location. Ms. Molina realizes that it's not everyone's goal or dream to go back to living in public housing. She genuinely sees it as a positive asset.

Commissioner Molina’s background includes an associate degree from NMSU in Education Paraprofessional and a Child Development Associate (CDA) from the Washington DC Council for Professional Recognition in Early Childhood Education. She worked at NMSU as a Head Start Teacher for the Dona Ana Head Start Program and as a CDA Adviser. She also worked as a preschool teacher at Jardin De Los Ninos, Alpha School, Las Cruces Child Care Resource and Referral and Success by Six. During her work with Success by Six, she submitted a proposal to Paso Del Norte Health Foundation and was awarded a $70,000 grant to train 24 women from Sunland Park and Chaparral to become Promotoras in their communities. She was part of a team of Early Childhood Professional that developed the Early care, Education and Family support 45-hour entry level course at NMSU. She served as the first Resident Council President for the Las Cruces Public Housing Authority before it became MVPHA. and most recently served as Resident Council President for MVPHA from September 2023 to June 2024. She is extremely grateful and humbled for the opportunity to work with the MVPHA as a Resident Commissioner and serve as an advocate to the families in Public Housing to see them thrive.

Commissioner Lopez is a native Northern New Mexican. She moved to Las Cruces after high school to attend NMSU. She has spent the last 21 years planting her roots in the beautiful community of Las Cruces. Alongside her husband, they are raising two amazing children and are proud to call Las Cruces their home.

Commissioner Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in arts and science from New Mexico State University and has spent the last two decades serving Dona Ana Community in the juvenile justice, child welfare, and housing sector. With an emphasis on individualized and intensive wrap-around case management, psycho-social education, and program evaluation as mandated by the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department and other governing entities.

For the past 11 years, she has had the pleasure of developing her leadership capacity at Families & Youth Innovations Plus. During this time, she has a strong focus on agency strategy around continuous quality improvement, internal and external referrals management, and program development. Her time spent in the housing arena includes over 15 years working with youth and families experiencing housing scarcity. She also worked with local government to address housing at the Macro level. She is committed to championing people who don't have the platform for their voices to be heard. She promotes change in systems that focus on creating opportunities for people to progress from surviving to thriving in our community. She is a compassionate, innovative leader with a focus on program design and implementation, quality of care, and community collaboration. She looks forward to working alongside other passionate people to make our county truly the best place to live.