Desert Peaks Assisted Living and Memory Care | Team
Heather Schwab

Heather Schwab, Administrator

Born and raised in New Mexico, Heather spent her adult life in South Florida where she attended Eckerd College in St. Peterburg, FL. Heather received her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Human Resources. She worked in various Human Resources roles including employment and training for ten years within the banking industry. After returning home to New Mexico, Heather began a career as a high school teacher where she taught business and life skills courses. She loves working with people of all ages, youth to elders. Heather has a passion for helping others reach their full potential in loving, creative ways.

Heather enjoys spending time with her two daughters on their pasture-based farm raising a variety of animals; rabbits, ducks, sheep, and pigs. Other hobbies include hiking in mountains, reading and photography.

Picture of Raymond Craig

Raymond Craig, Dining Services Director

Raymond Craig has worked in the food and beverage industry since 2002. He attended NMSU where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management in 2004. Raymond has worked in several different food and beverage environments including; bars, restaurants, institutional facilities and nursing homes. Raymond has been in Dining Service Leadership roles since 2008, traveling and managing food service facilities throughout Texas and New Mexico during his tenure as a manager.

In addition to the Bachelor’s Degree from NMSU, Raymond is Serve Safe certified and is a Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) through the University of Florida.

Raymond really enjoys working in the Food Service industry and has found his niche in senior housing. He is always looking to take on new challenges as well. Raymond says, “It can only benefit you to learn and try new things.”

Raymond is married to Melissa Craig, and together they have two young children, Giovanni and Marilyn.

Guadalupe M. Valles

Guadalupe M. Valles, Wellness Director

In 2016 Lupe came to work at Desert Peaks Assisted Living and Memory Care. She said, “I enjoy helping others especially the elderly. I love listening to their life experiences and meeting their families. I have the pleasure of caring for them and being treated as part of their families as well.”  Lupe is a strong and empathetic leader. She said, “I truly love the residents and I appreciate the care team and everything they do for our residents.” 

Prior to coming to Desert Peaks Lupe worked for six (6) years as a manager for a convenience store. Lupe then worked as in-home caregiver for 16 years.  During that time, she attended Vista College, became a Certified Medical Assistant, and earned an Associate’s degree in Applied Science.

Born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico Lupe’s strong work ethic was inspired by her mother and her grandmother. Her mother was a single mom who worked seven days a week to provide for her and her siblings. Lupe’s grandmother taught her how to cook, clean, wash/dry laundry, and respect her elders. 

These two wise women taught Lupe how to care. While in high school Lupe’s grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, and Lupe became a caregiver. In 2000 Lupe’s mother was diagnosed with renal failure, and she cared for her mother until she passed away in 2016.

We are grateful that Lupe’s life experience, big caring heart, and education have prepared her well to lead the Wellness Team at Desert Peaks.  She is a true representative of a True North Leader, guided by goodness, loyalty, faith, and fun.

Angelica Barela, Community Relations Coordinator

Angelica has been an employee of Desert Peaks since 2013. She has been dedicated to our community over the years and has had the opportunity to excel in different roles as a Companion, Life Enrichment Director, and Concierge. Angelica now serves as our Community Relations Director. Angelica has a heart for elders and their families. Her years at Desert Peaks has truly prepared her to be the very best person to promote and welcome new families into the Desert Peaks family.

Angelica was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is married to Gary Barela and has a daughter and a son. She is family oriented, enjoying free time with her family riding ATV's, horseback riding, hunting, and camping. Cooking is one of her favorites thing to do and she is very dedicated to her children and their schooling and sports activities.

Marissa Ramirez, Mountain Vistas Memory Care Team Lead

Marissa Ramirez, Wellness Coordinator - Mountain Vistas

Marissa has been a dedicated care team member for Desert Peaks since 2010 in our Mountain Vistas Memory Care Neighborhood. Marissa is passionate about providing a holistic approach to the care of elders living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Her person-centered, elder directed approach includes providing opportunities for each person to maintain esteem and individuality.

Marissa says “I enjoy my life just the way it is. My work is important to me. I love being able to make the residents feel at home–they are my second family.”

Pete Frias

Pete Frias, Maintenance Director

Pete brings skill, passion, and laughter to his work at Desert Peaks. He has high integrity and is a good team leader and collaborator. These traits, and his warm compassionate spirit and his sense of humor easily draw people to him. He is a perfect fit in our eldercare environment where he has worked since 2007.

Because of his passion for this work, Pete has also completed the certification for New Mexico Administrator for Assisted Living. This has given him an in-depth understanding of the regulatory requirements in the state of New Mexico and has inspired him to learn more.

Pete was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the fifth of eight children. He has had a long and loving marriage to his beautiful wife Socorro. Prior to coming to Desert Peaks Pete worked in the automotive radiator repair industry for 18 years prior. Pete’s passion is race cars, so he enjoys watching NASCAR. He is also a Dallas Cowboys fan. Pete has been involved with Big Brother-Big Sister and he teaches Sunday school. Pete says, “I like to make people laugh. I have a big heart for everyone and consider myself a nice person.”

Francisco ‘Kiko’ Lopez, Director of Transportation

Francisco Lopez, fondly called ‘Kiko’ by his friends, has been employed at Desert Peaks since 1996 when the building opened. He has served in various positions over the years and is now the Director of Transportation. Prior to coming to Desert Peaks, Kiko worked for 34 years at Maloof Distributing Company, retiring as the office manager in February 1995.

Kiko is beloved by the care team, the residents, and the families. His wisdom and his huge caring heart is a real asset to Desert Peaks, calling us all to do what is right and proper and good and to acknowledge the amazing privilege and opportunity we have to work with elders.

In honor of Kiko, a hallway at Desert Peaks is named the 'Francisco Lopez Hall.'