By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
The new face of Portales MainStreet is an Eastern New Mexico University alumna who enjoys running 5K races.
Debralynn Soza, a native of Roswell, said she’s open to any ideas that will continue to revitalize Portales’ historic downtown.
The 25-year-old mother of one will be responsible for coordinating community events, management of the Yam Theater and applying for grants to help local small businesses.
Soza graduated from ENMU in 2011 with a bachelor of science in public relations. Her career after college began at city hall as a receptionist and water clerk, a job she says has prepared her for the title she holds now.
Soza is a big supporter of ENMU and its athletic programs and is working to get her master’s in counseling.
Soza is also a movie buff and enjoys traveling with her 3-year-old son Nathaniel.
What are a few things you’d like to accomplish in your first year as director?
I’ve already accomplished one thing and that was redoing the Yam contract. It’s condensed now and easier to read for anyone who wants to use the facility. Another would be to continue the Yam Music Series, which is once a month. We’re always looking for new and local artists. I also want to extend my hand to the downtown businesses. I really just want to do more events for the community and get more money for the downtown businesses.
The Yam recently received a new 159-inch screen. What movie would you love to see be screened on it?
“The Croods” or “Wreck-It Ralph.” I’m game for a movie marathon of some sort. I really just want to do more things for the community so they can have something to do that isn’t expensive.
What type of event would you love to see MainStreet host?
I’d really want to see a themed 5K run like a color run or one with glow sticks. Right now, fitness is a huge thing.
What experience or person at your old job in City Hall do you think has helped prepare you to be MainStreet director?
I think Joan Martinez-Terry, the city clerk, is one of the most influential people. She knows everything, and if she doesn’t, she knows who would. She is always about helping people.
If money wasn’t an issue, who would you recruit to perform at the Yam?
Comedian Dane Cook because he’s hilarious.
What was one fact about Portales that you were surprised to learn in this job?
That the Yam has been around forever, since 1926. It was one of the most up-to-date theaters in New Mexico then.
Kids say the darndest things. What are some things that your son says that makes you laugh?
He always (says) “classic” when someone says something funny. It’s usually at appropriate times too. When I wake up in the morning, he always tells me I’m beautiful.