James Lucero: Bolstering the Ranks
By Trevor Reid, Bugle Intern
Thirteen years ago, James Lucero sat across the table from his good friend to reminisce on the long and arduous hunt the two had just completed in the wilds of Arizona. As the two spoke, James’ friend, an RMEF committee member at the time, brought up the Elk Foundation.
“I didn’t know much about it,” Lucero says, “but as he kept talking, I kept listening, and the next thing you know his mom pokes her head in and says to me, ‘James aren’t you on the committee in New Mexico?’ I said to her, ‘No, but once I get home I will be.’”
Not long after that, James hit the ground running for RMEF. He and other volunteers from the Albuquerque Chapter have dedicated their time and effort to maintaining a Top 10 chapter standing. Sustaining that high level of excellence is no easy job, as new minds and able bodies are integral to the growth and success of a chapter.
“James knows that the success of RMEF is to keep on growing and expanding,” says New Mexico regional director Bill Kenney. “He sees the big picture and strives to meet the goals he sets. He’s in it for the long haul.”
Being an owner of an insurance company in Albuquerque, an avid hunter and guide, and a dedicated hunter’s safety education volunteer, Lucero interacts with a wide range of potential volunteers. He is most definitely a people person.
“He’ll strike up a conversation when people walk by and ends up convincing them to show up at a raffle or a banquet,” says Albuquerque Chapter member Dan Fouts.
By just speaking with Lucero, one can feel the energy and excitement he has for elk and elk country, and, according to Bill Kenney, his friendliness and superior way of treating people make it easy for people to approach him, and allow Lucero to connect with volunteers, both old and new alike, in a truly genuine way.
“James’ magnetism draws out the best in people and their willingness to help RMEF, as well as other worthwhile causes,” Kenney says. “His communication is excellent and he is responsible for helping start, or restart, the newer chapters we have in New Mexico.”
Lucero enjoys meeting new volunteers and building relationships with anyone interested in RMEF. According to Lucero, what’s great about having new recruits on the committee is the influx of knowledge, perspective, viewpoints and backgrounds each fresh face brings to the group, which can revitalize committees and help them move forward.
“People and building relationships are the lifeblood of this organization, and I’m glad that I can be a part of that,” he says, adding with a chuckle, “but I also get a free hat, which was the whole reason I joined in the first place.”