Harry Montoya was born and raised in northern New Mexico. He is the son of Juan Montoya who was a well-known and loved community leader who worked as an elementary school teacher and as a chef. Harry is one of five siblings and moved at a young age to Arroyo Seco into a home that his father and grandfather built. Harry lost his father in November 2011 to the horrible disease of cancer. His father was a model example of what community service meant. He lost his mother Isabel in May 2016.
Harry attended Pojoaque High School where he had a love for academics and sports. Upon graduation, Harry attended Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado for a year, where he met Doris, his wife of 42 years. They married, and when Harry earned a full basketball scholarship to Westmar College, Harry and Doris moved to Iowa as a young married couple. There he won the distinguished Stanley Short Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence, was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, and graduated with a degree in Psychology. Harry and Doris moved back to New Mexico, where Harry earned his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Harry and Doris raised two sons in the Pojoaque Valley and are the proud grandparents of six grandchildren and recently a great grandson. Both sons attended the University of New Mexico.
Harry worked several years for various government and private institutions as an Administrator/Executive Director and substance abuse counselor. He was recruited in 1990 to serve as the founding executive director for the nonprofit Los Alamos Citizens Against Substance Abuse. In 1995, he founded his own nonprofit, Hands Across Cultures, whose mission is to educate youth on substance abuse prevention.
In 1994, Harry was appointed to the Pojoaque School Board and was re-elected for two consecutive four year terms. He was elected by his peers across New Mexico as President of the New Mexico School Board Association, and was a delegate to the National School Board Association Convention for three years. In 2002 he was elected as a Santa Fe County Commissioner and re-elected in 2006. During that time he represented New Mexico on the National Association of Counties Board of Directors for 6 years and served as Chair of the Labor, Employment & Economic Development Committee for 4 years.
Harry is internationally recognized as an authority on substance abuse prevention. He has traveled with the US State Department and the US Department of Commerce in an official diplomatic capacity to Argentina and Mexico. He has also consulted across the United States with state and local governments, community groups and private nonprofits, and is published in textbooks and multiple peer-reviewed academic journals. He’s served on the national board of the Arlington, Virginia-based Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the National Drug Prevention League.
Harry is an active volunteer with the Knights of Columbus, Sociedad del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Los Matachines de El Rancho, and at his church as a Lector and Acolyte.
He and Doris live in the Nambe Valley.