Karla Hamel Niemeier
Karla was born and raised in Abilene, Texas, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education/Psychology from Abilene Christian University. A little over 20 years ago, Karla moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico, where she fell in love with the warmer weather and the small town. Loving the town so much, she successfully pursued a position as the Executive Director of Carlsbad MainStreet, a program supported by National Main Street America, which is a 501(c)(3) focusing on revitalizing rural communities across America. While at Carlsbad MainStreet, she brought a dwindling program back to life, added a renewed spirit not only downtown but throughout the community. In the summer of 2020, Karla was heartbroken to see the once hopping downtown no longer hopping because of COVID. She felt her work at MainStreet was done, and it was time to pursue other opportunities. Karla joined the CEHMM team as their Public Relations Manager. Karla and her husband Bill have five grown children and are proud to be KK and Poppy to their two beautiful grandchildren.
Mary Garwood is a proud Carlsbad community member, joining at age 9, having moved from
Evansville, Indiana, when her dad was hired in 1990 as an elevator mechanic at Carlsbad
Caverns National Park, where he worked for 22 years. Mary brings over 16 years of experience
in sustainable practices/environmental education outreach and municipal solid
waste/recycling management experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from
New Mexico State University and a Sustainable Resource Management Certification from Penn
State Altoona/New Mexico Recycling Coalition.
Before taking on her current role as CEHMM’s Public Relations Manager in April 2023, Mary
served as the Keep Carlsbad Beautiful program director for the City of Carlsbad for eight years.
Prior to that, she oversaw operations for Carlsbad’s recycling centers, CARC, INC. Rainbow
Recycling, and Document Destruction Services for eight years there as well. Currently, she also
serves on the State of New Mexico’s Clean and Beautiful Advisory Committee, Carlsbad
MainStreet Board, Pearl of the Pecos Arts and Culture District Committee, Carlsbad Rotary Club,
the City of Carlsbad Arbor Day Tree Board and is the Executive Treasurer of the Carlsbad Anti-
Mary has a huge passion for serving the residents and visitors of Carlsbad and volunteers to
assist in some shape or form with many community events. She knows firsthand that one caring
person can make a huge difference when they put their mind to it and isn’t afraid to get her
hands dirty, even literally, as she continues to oversee the planning of the annual Pecos River
cleanup event, Riverblitz. In line with this, she looks to improve solid waste management
operations and support code enforcement/beautification efforts during her time on the city
In her spare time, Mary and her family enjoy traveling and attending concerts when possible.
She is the mother of two, Clarissa and Reazon.