New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2012
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Lawrence J. Sanchez
Lawrence J. Sanchez is a family man, successful business owner and a pillar of the community of Grants, as attested to by his many hours of service to the city and its citizens. In 1990, when Lawrence and his wife, Lisa A. Sanchez, moved to Grants to start an insurance agency, the city was going through an economic downturn; but the couple vowed to work hard and make their new business endeavor a success.

Mr. Sanchez is credited with his role in saving the Economic Development Foundation as president; he also served as vice president for the NMSU Alumni Association/Cibola County Chapter, and was selected for the NMSU/Grants Branch CEO Selection Committee in 2005. Lawrence is on the NMSU Foundation Honor Roll of Givers – University Partners.

As a member of the Cibola County Hospital Board of Directors, Mr. Sanchez directed the hospital into a financial collaboration with NMSU/Grants Branch to start a Bachelor of Science program in Nursing; and led the movement to recruit new physicians and build a new medical office building. He served one term as board president.

Lawrence is a past president of the Cibola County Educational Foundation and the St. Teresa Catholic School Board, and a charter member of the school’s foundation. He also served on the board of directors for the Cibola Chamber of Commerce, and as president of the Grants Rotary Club. He remains a member of Casa San Jose.

The chamber honored Mr. Sanchez with its Citizen of the Year award in January 2012; and he was inducted into the Cibola General Hospital Hall of Fame in October. His leadership on the hospital board helped move the medical facility beyond the micro-management practices that had hampered progress. In its place, Lawrence started a new tradition in board governance, leading be example. His actions will reap additional benefits over time.

Mr. Sanchez is retired now from public life, following a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2007. He and Lisa are parents to two daughters, one attending NMSU, and the other a student at UNM.

State Sen. David Ulibarri (Dist. 30), in a letter of support, wrote: “It is not uncommon for Mr. Sanchez to go above and beyond (the call of duty) for anything that needs attention in our area.”