Special Spotlight Insert
drives PPD auto
becomes 'model of efficiency'
Dan Apodaca joined the U.S. Army after high school he had his
eye on becoming an electronics specialist.
colorblind and I couldnt pass the test, he recalled.
choice was to become a 63 Charlie 10.
worked on tanks, he explained.
army, Apodaca moved back to his hometown, Questa, N.M. Although
offered a job in the mines, he wanted more stability and headed
south to Albuquerque where he spent 15 years working in automotive
Apodaca joined the UNM Physical Plant Department (PPD) Automotive
and Fleet Services division as an automotive technician.
did that for 10 years, he said, noting that he didnt
angle to become supervisor.
someone had an eye on him.
Kirkman, assistant director for PPD Finance and Services, saw
Apodaca had the potential to become a leader and helped him
gain the promotion in 1997.
was recognized for his leadership qualities, attention to detail,
knowledge of the automotive repair and maintenance industry,
and hard work and dedication, said Gary Smith, PPD associate
was recognized for his leadership qualities...hard work
and dedication. He clearly has the best interest of the
PPD and University in mind when he performs his managerial
duties. The way the auto department is managed by Dan
has made it the model of efficiency for the University.
and Fleet Services provides mechanical care for about 800 vehicles
throughout the main and satellite campuses from Medical
Examiner vans to KNME-TV assigned vehicles and UNM Police cruisers.
service everything from golf carts to garbage trucks and shuttle
buses, Apodaca shares. Everything with a UNM decal
on it, we service it, except for the lawn mowers. Those are
taken care of by the small engine shop.
is well organized and its not necessarily the military
background responsible for the tight ship.
raised on a ranch was a hard way of life. I grew up with the
concept you work hard. My dad was a workaholic by
necessity. I can honestly say who I am is because of my parents,
One of 14 siblings, Apodaca has been married to Gladys Tafoya
for 23 years and is the father of two boys, Daniel, 17, and
is an ultrasound technician at a local breast cancer center
and the Apodacas and Tafoyas spearhead an annual breast cancer
awareness motorcycle rally.
father Ive always been involved in my boys
lives he is a recognized figure in YAFL (Young
America Football League) where he coached for 10 years and he
is president of the West Mesa High School Football Boosters
coached basketball, football, and for my little one, baseball,
still poke his head under the hood? Yes, I especially
like it when I can help family and friends, he said.
likes to get his hands dirty, too. The duo recently souped up
a 69 Mustang coupe. But under Dads watchful eye,
Daniel will move up sooner rather than later. The young man
is headed for UNM with aspirations to become a member of the
Albuquerque Police Department.
automotive field is hard work, and I dont want him to
follow in my footsteps. I want him to get a college education,