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Virginia & Edward Lujan and Mary & Robert Matteucci, Sr. to receive Spirit of Achievement Award at April 26 benefit dinner

The event benefits National Jewish Health, the nation’s #1 respiratory hospital

National Jewish Health will honor Virginia and Edward Lujan and Mary and Robert Matteucci, Sr., for their legacy of service at the 2011 New Mexico Spirit of Achievement Award Dinner on April 26 at the Embassy Suites Albuquerque.

For over two decades, National Jewish Health has presented the prestigious Spirit of Achievement Award to citizens in and around Albuquerque who have contributed their time, talents and resources in all areas of life – personal, business and civic. The Lujans and Matteuccis have shown tremendous commitment to the Albuquerque community and New Mexico; National Jewish Health, along with the institution’s New Mexico Council of Trustees, is honored to present this award to them.    

Since National Jewish Health opened its doors in 1899, the institution has provided charity care for thousands of indigent patients from New Mexico. In the last three years, National Jewish Health physicians and medical care professionals have treated 700 New Mexico residents and provided over $86,100 in charity care. In the last year, 2,100 New Mexico residents called the toll-free information service LungLine® to talk to registered nurses about their disorders.

Robert Murphy, with the Economic Forum of Albuquerque, will serve as the master of ceremonies at the dinner. Other key individuals who have been instrumental in the dinner’s success include Dinner Chairman and National Trustee Adelmo “Del” Archuleta, Molzen-Corbin & Associates; New Mexico Council of Trustees Chairman Sherman McCorkle, Sandia Science and Technology Development Corporation; and National Trustees Michael Stanford; and Lynn Trojahn, ACCION New Mexico.

To attend the 2011 Spirit of Achievement Award, contact Michael Meyers at 1-800-423-8891, ext. 6576, or email meyersm@njhealth.org.

Award Recipients

Virginia and Edward Lujan have dedicated their lives to public service and enriching the lives of New Mexicans. Virginia is a devoted and supportive wife and wonderful mother who raised their four children, Lou Anne Byrd, Larry, Jerry, and Joe. Virginia and Edward are proud grandparents to their ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Edward is a New Mexico native and a graduate of New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s in Agriculture and a master’s degree in Education. In 1988 he was named as an Outstanding Alumnus by New Mexico State University. In 2001, the school honored him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Prior to joining the family insurance business, Edward owned and operated a farm in Moriarty, purchased and ran a service station in Santa Fe and was a school teacher in Stanley and Santa Fe.

He joined the family’s Manuel Lujan Insurance agency in 1960 and in 1968, he relocated to Albuquerque to run the company. It is now the largest independent agency in New Mexico. As Chairman of the Board of the insurance agency, Edward provided guidance to the Albuquerque business community. He served in leadership positions various local boards, including Wells Fargo Bank, American Bank of Commerce, Republic Bank, Mountain Bell and U.S. West Communications.

Edward has been involved with many philanthropic causes in the community, and he is the former Chairman of the Hispanic Culture Foundation and currently serves as the Chairman of the New Mexico Hispanic Cultural Center Board. He has led many local boards, including University of New Mexico Foundation, Robert O. Anderson Schools of Management Foundation, Albuquerque TVI Foundation, New Mexico State University Foundation, New Mexico State University’s School of Business Administration, National Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, NDI New Mexico, Chairman Resolution Trust  Corp. – Denver Region.

Edward has received numerous awards for his service to the community, including the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America, Honorary Commander at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award and Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Public Service Award.

Mary Botts Matteucci and Robert Matteucci, Sr., are Albuquerque natives and have devoted their time to support the community. Mary is a graduate of Highland High School and she received a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in psychology from the University of New Mexico.

Mary began volunteering in the community with the UNM Hospital, Albuquerque Public Library, United Way, the Republican Party and the Albuquerque Little Theatre.  Ultimately, she focused on raising their six children and was actively involved in their various school and extracurricular activities. After her children graduated from high school, she worked with Robert in the family shoe business as an assistant women’s shoe buyer and advertising director.

She helped found Recovery High School, an alternative school for substance-abusing adolescents. She transitioned from the shoe business to substitute teaching for alternative high schools in the Albuquerque Public Schools. Now retired, she dedicates her time to working with recovering alcoholics, and along with Bobby, enjoys spending time with their 12 grandchildren.

Robert Matteucci graduated with a bachelor of arts from the University of New Mexico. He served as the Student Body President during his senior year. After graduation, Bobby joined his family business, Paris Shoe Stores. After nearly 40 years in the shoe business, Bobby went on to work for Lee Galles Oldsmobile and Lexus, Boatman’s Bank and PNM. He is now works part-time for the Mid-Regional Council of Governments.

Active in the local business community, Bobby found a love of community service and became involved in both civic and political organizations. He has served in leadership positions for numerous local boards, including Chairman of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, member of New Mexico Retail Association, President of the United Way of Greater Albuquerque, Chairman of the Board of New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Educational Finance, member of the State Economic Development Commission, President of the UNM Alumnae Association, President of the UNM Lobo Boosters Club and President of the Highland High School Football Boosters.

Bobby served on the first Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Foundation, was appointed to the TVI/CNM Board of Directors in 1986 and now serves as its chairman, Chairman of the Better Business Bureau, served 25 years as a member of the Presbyterian Hospital Board, served several years on the Family and Children's Board/Outcomes Board, and was on the Board of Directors for the Albuquerque National Bank/ Sunwest Bank. He has also been recognized for his service to the community by the UNM Alumnae with the Erna Ferguson Award and was named to the Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation.

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