Our dynamic team is committed to entrepreneurs and investors in New Mexico. Learn more about us below.


Drew TulchinDrew is very active with New Mexico start-ups. Most notably with Meow Wolf, serving as their first CFO, a New Mexico B Corp that creates immersive arts experiences to wow. His efforts there, among others, led to raising more than $125 million in investment, purchase of a new headquarters, and growth from 50 people to more than 400. He has also worked with Build with Robots, Electric Playhouse, and Parting Stone.

Consulting has taken him across New Mexico, the U.S., to Native American nations, and more than 40 countries.  He has contributed to 100+ business plans and dozens of start-ups to get going. His work has generated over $300 million in investment and 1,000s of jobs.

Previous experience includes a Bluetooth wireless firm, as a lender, and program officer for Grameen Foundation. He began his career as a VISTA and AmeriCorps Team Leader in Oakland, California.

Drew values community engagement. He serves on Pueblo of Acoma’s Business Advisory Board, member of the Serve New Mexico Commission. He is a member of the national Social Venture Circle and Lifetime Member of Net Impact.

Drew completed his MBA from the University of Washington in Seattle. He finished his BA, Cum Laude, in History and International Relations from Washington University in St. Louis.

In his free time, Drew plays ultimate Frisbee anywhere he can, is learning tennis, hikes to get lost, eats food he doesn’t recognize, and enjoys bad puns more than he should.


John RiceJohn Rice is President of ASiQ, a firm specializing in executing business turnarounds, launching successful startups, and positioning firms for exit through sale to strategic merger or acquisition.

He is an experienced serial entrepreneur, executive, and venture capital investor. He frequently serves as CEO of start-up or turnaround ventures. His companies have provided capital and management assistance to start-up and/or under-performing companies and have negotiated spin-offs and sales for investor exit.

Successful companies have included enterprises in manufacturing of electronics, jet engine test equipment, black boxes, and industrial overhead cranes, as well as in radio, television, cable television, print media, home health care, electronic medical claims filing, Internet accessible medical information and services, distribution of foods, home improvement products, industrial security, and regional satellite communications. He received his BA with honors from Harvard University.

Max Walukas, Membership & Marketing Director

Max Walukas currently serves as New Mexico Angels’ Membership & Marketing Director. He has worked in New Mexico startups and small businesses for over 10 years, learning to think asynchronously about the competing needs of a growing organization. Previously, Max worked in technology, politics, entertainment, fine art and media. He holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe and additional finance credentials including accounting credits from Santa Fe Community College and a certificate from Harvard Business School Online. He is interested in the intersection of economics, politics and society, especially where entrepreneurship is concerned. Through an accident of phonetics, many of his closest friends still think his name is Maxwell Lucas. In his spare time, he aspires to spend as much time outdoors as humanly possible. 



Deborah A. Peacock received her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1978 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1985. She is a Registered Patent Attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is also a registered Professional Engineer in New Mexico and Colorado. Since 1988, she has headed the largest group of intellectual property attorneys in private practice in New Mexico at Peacock Law, P.C.

Deborah is a well-known and experienced intellectual property practitioner, and has been so recognized by inclusion in Best Lawyers in America and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell (certifications derived from national lawyer survey).

Deborah is past President and on the Board of Explora, and is also on the Boards of the New Mexico Angels, the Association of Commerce and Industry, the International Women’s Forum (New Mexico), and The Nature Conservancy. She has received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Volunteerism, the YWCA “Women on the Move” award, and the New Mexico Business Weekly Power Broker award. Deborah is also a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Albuquerque Economic Development, and New Mexico Amigos. She has served as an Advisor to the Technology Ventures Corporation since its inception (15 years). And, in her spare time, Deborah is a percussionist with the Albuquerque Concert Band.

Deborah and her husband, Nate Korn, have invested through the New Mexico Angels and privately, in approximately 10 angel and venture capital deals. Nate keeps saying “Not another one” but then ends up being quite enthusiastic.


Sherman McCorkleSherman McCorkle is the Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Sandia Science & Technology Park Development Corporation (1999 to present) and has served as Lead Independent Director of EMCORE Corporation. From 1993 – 2011 he was President and CEO of Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC). He served from 1988 – 1992 as the President and CEO of Sunwest Credit Services Corporation and from 1976 – 1988 as Senior Vice-President of Albuquerque National Bank.

A leader in the financial services industry, he was appointed by the American Bankers Association to the American Law Institute’s Select Committee on the Uniform Commercial Code of the United States. He is a co-founder and Charter Director of New Mexico Bank and Trust and of Plus System Incorporated. While at TVC he facilitated private equity and venture funding in excess of $1.2 Billion. Active in start-up business ventures he has advised over 125 start-up businesses and is a co-founder of New Mexico Angels.

Mr. McCorkle was voted by the New Mexico business community as the Most Influential Individual in the state. He has received the Albuquerque People’s Favorite Community Leader award multiple times. Mr. McCorkle is an active emeritus member in the USAF Chief of Staff Civic Leader Program, the Air Force Material Command Civic Leader Program. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Strategic Deterrent Coalition. He also serves on the Board of the New Mexico Angels. Mr. McCorkle is a 1984 Graduate of the Colorado Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado. Mr. McCorkle is married to the former Cathy Weaver. They have two adult daughters, Ashley and Shelby.

Katie Rice

Katie is a venture associate focused on sourcing great companies in New Mexico. She currently oversees RiskSense and Aspen Avionics, and she has in the past served on the boards of Lavu, Figaro and Dotgo. She managed investments in Exagen and Lumidigm, both successful exits. Katie is the founder of Ski Lift Pitch, an annual event at Taos Ski Valley that attracts investors from all over the country and gives startup founders a unique opportunity to connect with investors in a meaningful way. She has served on many boards within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and she has taught a class in tech entrepreneurship at UNM’s Anderson School of Management. Katie received the NM “40 Under Forty” award in 2013, the NM Tech Council’s “Women in Technology” award in 2015, and the “New Mexico Woman of Influence’ award in 2020. She is the CEO and co-founder of BabyPage, a startup in the parenting space, and she has previous experience in strategy, consulting and engineering. Katie earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering from MIT and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


Ms. Kuuttila joined Science and Technology Corporation in 2003 with more than 20 years of leadership experience in technology commercialization and licensing. This includes positions as Assistant Vice President for Technology Commercialization at Purdue Research Foundation; Director, Technology Commercialization, University of Georgia; Director, Office of Technology Commercialization, Center for Advanced Technology Development, Iowa State University.

Her prior experience includes a consulting practice that provided strategic marketing and technology transfer consulting services for a wide variety of well-known technology corporations, universities and foundations, including Stanford University. Lisa began her career in industry in several engineering and technology marketing positions.

Ms. Kuuttila has exhibited exceptional skills in the marketing and start-up company aspects of technology commercialization, having significantly increased the number of spin-off companies at each university she has served. She has substantial expertise in university-based equity transactions. She managed the seed capital venture fund on behalf of Purdue Research Foundation, making investments in Purdue start-ups. She has published extensively in her field and has made presentations throughout her career at AUTM, AURRP, the Licensing Executives Society, the Association of University Related Research Parks and other regional and national conferences and forums.


Since “retiring” to Corrales from Philadelphia in 2011, Sue has become an angel investor, entrepreneur, mentor and advisor to early stage businesses and organizations in this community.  She has a broad technical and management background in nuclear power, aerospace and technology based economic development.

Sue’s entire career has revolved around entrepreneurship.  She joined a group of engineers and scientists at the Franklin Research Center after graduating from the University of Delaware in 1980, developing digital signal processing applications for rotating machinery vibration analysis. This work was foundational to the startup of Liberty Technologies, where she served in various management roles until the company ultimately went public and was acquired.

Sue then moved on to Smiths Industries Aerospace, where she served as Primary interface for the US Army, Italian Army, Augusta Helicopters, and Raytheon Missile Systems in the development of integrated helicopter systems.  When her division was moved to Grand Rapids, she decided to make a career change and became VP Technology Commercialization for the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Her team secured federal and state funding to foster emerging technology initiatives among universities, public and private research institutions, federal, state and local agencies, large and small companies.

Sue currently serves as a Director and Managing Member of Vara Wines in Albuquerque, and she joined the New Mexico Angels board in June, 2020.  She is past President of the Corrales Cultural Arts Council, incoming President of Corrales Main Street, and has served on the boards of the UNM Anderson Foundation, NAWBO Northern New Mexico, and the UNM Anderson Parker Center for Family Business.


Corey Ford, MD, PhD is Professor of Neurology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque.  He has a PhD degree in Biophysics from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Dallas and attended medical school at the University of Virginia. He is the Sr. Associate Dean for Research at the UNM School of Medicine and established the MS Specialty Clinic in 1988 to focus on providing neurological evaluations and treatment for people with MS. His major academic focus is phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials for development of new treatments for multiple sclerosis. He has been an active member of the New Mexico Angels since 2014 and was appointed to the Board of Directors in July 2020.


Mr. Butler recently formed Azrael Partners to improve the success rate of startups and new lines of business in larger companies.  Azrael Partners practice areas include; business strategy development, offering and business model design and vetting (Customer Development), product and service strategy, operational development and scaling, key Customer business development, pivots, turnarounds, and board adviser.

In 2006 Mr. Butler joined Lumidigm, a biometric solutions company, and became its Chief Operating Officer in 2008. Lumidigm was successfully sold to ASSA ABLOYs HID Global Business unit in February 2014. Mr. Butler became the general manager of the HID Global Biometrics Business unit and was responsible for maximizing revenue, growth and profitability of the business. In 2014 he successfully integrated the Lumidigm Business into HID global while driving 62% revenue growth.

Mr. Butler has worked in the technology sector for 35 years in a wide range of industries and businesses with 26 of those years in senior and executive level management positions.


Travis Steele serves as VP of Business Development and General Counsel for Abo Empire, LLC, as well as several of Abo Empire’s portfolio companies. Travis is actively involved in the legal and business development activities for Eden Radioisotopes, LLC, Helios Water Technologies, LLC, Vara Assets, LLC, Abo Petroleum, and JAY Land, among others.

He maintains primary responsibility for sourcing, analyzing, and negotiating all Abo Empire investment activities. He has extensive experience in corporate governance, acquisition and combination transactions, and private business strategy and planning, including corporate formation, structing, and organization. He also is well-versed in the representation of investment groups in property acquisition and disposition transactions and related financing matters.  Prior to going in-house, Travis was a partner at Butler Snow, LLP, where he served as outside general counsel to a number of New Mexico and regional businesses in the energy, government contracting, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing industries.  Additionally, he advised clients on licensure, regulatory and litigation matters, including False Claims Act investigations.

Travis has been recognized as a Southwest Super Lawyers® Rising Star, and he is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He obtained his J.D. from Pepperdine University and is admitted to the State Bars of New Mexico, California and the Navajo Nation (inactive).


Waneta is an innovator, executive, and board member with extensive experience in intersecting spheres of life sciences technology, health care delivery and health insurance.  Her corporate experience ranges from start-ups to large (mutual and publicly traded) organizations.  Currently she is Fund Manager for an early stage venture capital fund focused on life sciences and healthcare in the Southwest.


Mr. Wilson currently serves as the CFO of the Sandia Science & Technology Park Development Corporation, a nonprofit foundation that manages the development of the Sandia Science & Technology Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and CFO of IX Power Clean Water, a start-up company commercializing water treatment technologies for oil and gas field produced waters.

He is Chair of the Sandia Science & Technology Park Tenant Association and Treasurer of the New Mexico Angels (a private investment group).  From 1993 through 2011, Mr. Wilson was Director of Business Operations for Technology Ventures Corporation, a nonprofit Lockheed Martin foundation that commercializes technologies developed in U.S. DOE national laboratories.

Francine Sommer

Francine is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and CEO of Respect Wellness Inc, a CBD wellness company for women 45+. She is the founder of Oculus Media. Formerly Francine was a partner of Village Ventures, a co-Founder & General Partner of Gabelli Multimedia Partners, a new media venture capital fund; Senior Vice President of the Angel™ Funds Group, Wit Capital; Managing Director, First Security Management, a value oriented hedge fund; President of 655 Associates, a Gabelli & Co. venture portfolio turnaround and Vice President, Research & Science Investors, a venture capital firm.

Francine is a founder of the predecessor to newyorkangels.com and is a past President of the Venture Investors Association of NY. She was on the Board and Executive Committee of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, on the Board & Executive Committee of the Lensic Performing Art Center and chaired Creative Startups.

Carlos Murguia

Carlos Murguia has enjoyed a career covering industrial engineering, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. After receiving an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico State University, Murguia started as an Economic Development Officer at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. In 2020, Murguia became Director of the Foster Innovation Exchange of NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. Leading FIX, Murguia has established partnerships with different organizations to support entrepreneurship and provide prototyping services to entrepreneurs in the Paso del Norte Region. Murguia was recognized by HBCUvc as one of the “31 Under 31” to watch in the world of venture capitalists.  Murguia received the New Mexico State University Alumni Association Fall 2017 Outstanding Graduate Award for the Graduate School - Master's degree, the highest award the NMSU Alumni Association bestows upon a graduating student. Carlos is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified SCRUM Master by the Lean Six Sigma Institute, and was recently selected as a Hunt Aspen Fellowship awardee. In his free time, Carlos likes to run, watch and play soccer, and enjoy time with his nieces.

John Elling

John Elling has founded and led a series of technology-based start-ups, consistently building and exiting at a profit. He is a seasoned biotech entrepreneur with a proven ability to identify and develop technology and business opportunities. Dr. Elling was founder, CEO and President of Acoustic Cytometry Systems. Acoustic Cytometry Systems licensed technology from Los Alamos National Laboratory, developed it to a commercial proof of principle, and then was profitably acquired by one of the largest companies in the sector. Dr. Elling was founder and CEO of Mesa Biotech. Mesa Biotech also licensed technology from Los Alamos and developed it into a handheld DNA detector before being acquired by Thermo Fisher.  He has also served in a Founder/CEO/President role with a number of prior companies including Greffen Systems, MitoTech, Integrated Genomics, Cytoprint and Bioreason. He has experience at Los Alamos National as both a Technical Staff Member and as a Visiting Entrepreneur, and as such is well versed in the licensing process at the national labs. John is an active member of the New Mexico Angels and a general partner at Phase One Ventures with investments in several of their portfolio companies. Dr. Elling received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and received his MBA from the Anderson School of Business at the University of New Mexico.

Priscilla Dakin

Priscilla Dakin is the principal of Dakin Business Group, which guides business owners and entrepreneurs through the journey of buying or selling a business, always with a careful eye to planning and execution. Her personal commitment to help make it happen, lending caution when appropriate, and being fair and honest with all, results in an average sales per listing rate 2.5 times higher than the average broker. Priscilla applies her valuation knowledge so that business sellers and buyers have the tools they need to make confident decisions.



Members of the New Mexico Angels are investors who are looking to move companies forward through funding and coaching by experience.