Meet Diana Montijo – #TeamNMGameandFish

Typically, the Department opens our office doors, welcoming the public in, helping them apply for the big game draw, selling licenses and answering questions about hunting and wildlife in New Mexico. If you came into the Santa Fe office, the chances are that Diana Montijo would have been one of the smiles that greeted you.

Customer questions, needs and support can be wide-ranging, but like all of the Department’s customer service representatives, Diana handles this diversity well. According to her supervisor Chad Nelson, Assistant Chief of Licensing Operations, “Diana’s ability to clearly and accurately convey complicated rules, requirements and processes– in both English and Spanish—is invaluable to the licensing section. We’re lucky to have her.” Customers and vendors routinely comment on her efficiency and knowledge, as well as her courteous and professional demeanor.

For this month’s #TeamNMGameandFish spotlight, we are featuring Diana Montijo, a Licensing Specialist in the Special Hunts section.

Banner: Diana with Smokey Bear at an educational event pre-COVID. Inset: Diana Montijo focuses on licensing vendors to sell licenses and manages accounts for compliance with vendor license sales and carcass tag requirements.

During the last three years, she has focused on licensing vendors to sell licenses, managing accounts for compliance with vendor license sales and carcass tag requirements. She is on the front line to process customers’ reasonable accommodations requests, works with various non-profit groups regarding license donations and assists with in-person and phone license sales.

?What led you to your current job?
Most of my working career has been in the Licensing and Certification field, a licensing specialist position with Game and Fish became available and I jumped at the opportunity to lend my experience to a different clientele.

?What is the most exciting part of your job?
Being part of an adventure and trying something new is always exciting. I particularly enjoy the various information and education events the Department offers along with wildlife volunteer opportunities presented by our biologist’s. Whether it’s assisting with duck banding, sandhill crane checks, teaching young children how to cast and fish, helping out for NASP and YHEC or simply providing information during our public events, they’ve all been exciting and enjoyable experiences.

?What is your favorite part of working for the Department?
Working with the public is my favorite and the most satisfying part of my job. I enjoy listening to the wonderful stories shared by the hunters and anglers that visit or call the Department office. I find it rewarding when I can open doors by helping Spanish speaking customers regarding fishing and hunting opportunities they weren’t aware of. The language barrier can often times be a deterrent in keeping potential customers away, so I pride myself in bridging the communication gap which not only benefits the customer but our Department as well.

?What are your hobbies, or what do you do when you are not at work?
I enjoy cooking and experimenting with recipes by adding my own twist and re-creating family favorites. The COVID quarantine allowed me to focus on traditional cooking, by embracing made-from-scratch recipes like fruit jam, tortillas and homemade cheese.

?What are some of the projects you will work on over the next year or several years?
I hope to expand the Department’s vendor participation to our underserved communities. We have a fantastic website that features tons of information and all of our license products are available for purchase online. However, New Mexico still has rural towns that lack internet or have spotty service and we need to be able to offer our license products to those anglers and hunters who lack online capabilities or just prefer doing business in person.

?What else do you want the public to know about you or your job?
Do not feel intimidated if you are trying fishing or hunting for the first time. We are here to assist, educate and guide you to be successful in hopes your adventure develops into your new hobby.

?What is the most common question you get about your job, and how do you answer it?
Seems like the minute someone knows I work for the Department of Game and Fish, the first thing they want to know is how to get drawn in the big game draw. Some are lucky, some are not, but you get to the opportunity to re-apply every year.

?If someone is looking to get a career with Game and Fish in the future, what advice would you give them?
I encourage anyone interested to view job opportunities on the State Personal Office (SPO) website. There are various divisions within the Game and Fish Department, whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or not.

Diana is a phenomenal example of the Department’s passionate customer services representatives.

Throughout the COVID pandemic, Diana has primarily been working from home and has now added assisting the Information Center answering customer phone calls to her list of every day duties. Hopefully soon, we will be back in the office inviting customers in to answer questions, purchase licenses and apply for hunts, but for now, we are doing our best to serve customers through new platforms.

About Tristanna Bickford

Tristanna Bickford is the Assistant Chief of Education for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.