Original Article | Nov 22, 2022

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center presented its first Women Entrepreneurs (WE) Mean Business Women Entrepreneur of the Year award to Leah Messina, founder and CEO of Sinuate Media in Las Cruces, on Nov. 17.

Messina received the award during a reception that culminated Arrowhead Center’s sixth annual WE Mean Business Conference. During the reception, Messina served as the event’s keynote speaker.

“It is truly an honor to be the first recipient of this award, not only for myself but for my hardworking team that steps up every day to deliver world-class service,” Messina said. “As a woman in marketing technology, I’ve often found myself to be one of the few women in the room. I’ve tried to set an example to my daughters and team that there are no limits to what you want to achieve, and barriers are meant to be broken. To be recognized makes many of the decisions and sacrifices I have made for the sake of my business worthwhile.”

Messina founded Sinuate Media, a marketing technology firm, in 2006 after working at a digital agency in New York City, where she led accounts for American Express, Sony Music, A&E Television and others. She is an innovative digital marketer, delivering cutting-edge campaigns that give clients a competitive edge, and a pioneer of integrating the latest marketing technologies into growth-oriented businesses, from the National Hockey League to Electronic Caregiver.

Messina also holds leadership positions with two blockchain-based startups, both with early 2023 launch dates, and has been an advisor to the startup community for more than seven years, serving as one of Arrowhead Center’s entrepreneur advisors. She is a frequent speaker on digital marketing and gave 17 talks within a year on marketing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She developed and taught a course at NMSU – “E-Commerce for Art Students” – to ensure students had both the business and technology skills to support their passion for the arts. A native New Yorker, she attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and later started her business in Baltimore while attending graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. In 2010, Messina settled in New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and three kids.

The WE Mean Business Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes local women entrepreneurs making significant impacts in the Las Cruces business community. This is the first year Arrowhead Center has bestowed this award. The center will continue to honor local women entrepreneurs annually. 

“The goal of this award is to recognize women entrepreneurs who are leading the way in our community,” said Kathy Hansen, director and CEO of Arrowhead Center. “Leah is a pillar of our entrepreneurial community, and we’re pleased to recognize her efforts.”

To learn more about the WE Mean Business program, visit https://arrowheadcenter.org/program/wemeanbusiness/.