Price Land Development’s Rico Gallegos is a master of numbers, which almost goes without saying. As the company’s Director of Finance, he keeps track of the myriad of figures affecting the company’s finances. But his role at Price reaches far beyond the books; over the course of four years, he has proved his valuable insight and influence throughout the company. “It’s a much broader set of responsibilities than I’ve had before. The diversity of what I get to do is fulfilling and ensures I’m always learning something new.”
A New Mexico kid born and bred, as many Price team members are, Gallegos grew up in Los Lunas with both parents working in the construction industry. After graduating from Los Lunas High School, he chose his local college (UNM-Valencia) to earn an Associate’s degree, and then earned his MBA from the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management with a focus in accounting. He spent several years working for a local auditing company before making the move to Pulte in 2016 where he learned a wealth of information about land development and homebuilding. Call it serendipity when, a week after leaving Pulte in 2018, Rico received a call from Garret Price who needed a finance expert to join his team. Rico celebrated his fourth anniversary at Price in May of this year. During that time, he has been a part of the start-to-finish development process including everything from entitlements to landscaping and witnessing the finished product when residents begin calling these developments home.
Of all the work he’s done while at Price, Rico said Colibri has been his favorite project so far.
“Colibri was the first piece of land we purchased after I started, so I was there from day one; overhearing negotiations with the land seller, learning the nuances of finalizing a deal, seeing it go through the land planning and entitlement process, and now Pulte is building homes within the community.” Colibri was also the first time in his career where he felt he was able to show his creative side and said he enjoyed the seemingly-easy-yet-difficult process of researching and brainstorming community and street names. “It’s fun to get outside of the number crunching and have more philosophical thoughts about the places people will call home. People want to be proud to live on their street – kids will always remember the name of the street they grew up on.” It was Rico’s idea to name the streets in Colibri after hummingbirds; each street identifying a different species. In fact, the word Colibri means hummingbird in Spanish. That name, too, was Rico’s idea. His thoughtfulness continued as the company began land planning for Aspire. “Most often builders base a community name off its location, but this required a more thoughtful direction. Aspire had some negative stigma around the property itself, so we wanted to recognize what happened and show that despite the history, it can be a positive place to live. First time homebuyers are aspiring for a place to grow their family and make memories – a place they are proud to call home.”
Outside of work, Rico enjoys spending time with his wife and helping his community look its best. “In my neighborhood we have an older demographic, a lot of retirees, and there was always a struggle to maintain the landscaping, so I took it over. If I see where my skills can be useful, I jump in.” He also spends time counseling others in finance. He and his wife paid off their home during COVID and now he guides others in achieving similar goals. “I enjoy helping others plan for something that seems insurmountable. People can take control of a 30-year mountain and turn it into a molehill with the right strategy and dedication. I like guiding others through that process and helping them realize it can be done sooner than they think.”
He can also frequently be found enjoying a cup or two at his favorite local coffee shop, Cutbow Coffee Roastology. When he’s not learning about the roasting and brewing process, he’s visiting with other patrons and learning about them, their experiences and what drives them. “So often we feel like our life experiences are novel, but when you visit with strangers, you begin to understand the patterns of life that permeate generations. There’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing someone recount a poignant life experience over a great cup of coffee.”
As the trajectory of his career moves along, Rico himself won’t be going anywhere. “I’m here to stay. I love to travel but my roots remain here in New Mexico.”