Estela Hernandez is a native daughter of Las Cruces. Her love and reverence for the outdoors developed during family camping trips to Lincoln National Forest and Gila National Forest. While she enjoys several outdoor activities, hiking is her favorite. Estela hiked trails in the Organ Mountains whenever she could find time between school and work while attending New Mexico State University where she earned her Bachelor of Community Health degree with a concentration in Sports Medicine. Over 20 years later, she still makes spontaneous hiking trips mid-week, driving towards the Organ Mountains whenever she needs some sunshine, fresh air, and exercise to revitalize her body, mind, and spirit. She also enjoys making new friends while attending hiking group events on occasion.
Estela’s deep appreciation for the Organ Mountains grew when she moved to Evanston, Illinois after graduating from NMSU to work for the Lake County Health Department as a health educator and epidemiologist for several years. She later attended graduate school in San Francisco, where she earned her Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Design Strategy from California College of the Arts. While away, she missed seeing those famous peaks in the horizon and how much they grounded her while hiking. Estela was grateful to have the opportunity to return back home in 2012, reunite with her family, and launch Spinnov8, a business consulting firm where she has served local clients including Milagro Coffee y Espresso and Arrowhead Center at NMSU, where she was charged with launching Arrowhead Innovation Fund and served as its President, Managing Director, and Director of Regional Innovation Strategy until 2020. Spinnov8 has since expanded into an executive coaching and consulting firm where Estela advises entrepreneurs and executive directors who aspire to become the adaptive, innovative, and conscious leaders needed in our modern world. As a strategist, Estela works at the intersection of design thinking, systems thinking, and business strategy to help leaders and their team members design innovative business models, products, services, programs, policies, user experiences, and strategic plans.
Estela’s passion to help improve the quality of life of others is the common string connecting her richly diverse professional experience. She is excited to combine this passion with her love of the outdoors and serve in support of inclusive conservation and outdoor recreation as a board member of Friends of the Organ Mountain – Desert Peaks.