Honoring Jennifer Stoneby Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham
Posted on 2016-01-04
of new mexico
in the house of representatives
Monday, January 4, 2016
Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I rise today
to honor a constituent and long-time colleague, Jennifer Stone.
Jennifer represents the best of our great State of New Mexico: she is a
loving parent, a loyal friend to so many, a brilliant, hardworking and
talented professional, and a dedicated member of her community. She is
also my dear friend.
Jennifer was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico on November 1, 1965, to Peggy and Sid Pinkston. In 1985, she was the Grand Worthy Advisor of the State of New Mexico for the Order of Rainbow for Girls, an organization dedicated to empowering young women with leadership, public speaking, project management, teamwork and interpersonal communication skills.
Jennifer was always a brilliant student. In 1983, she graduated a year early from Los Alamos High School and then enrolled in the University of New Mexico where she met her future husband, Chip Stone, and subsequently graduated in 1988. While an undergraduate, Jennifer worked full time from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Rodey Law Firm, one of Albuquerque's oldest and most prestigious firms. Somehow, Jennifer found the energy to work until midnight, go home, do her homework, sleep a little, and then wake up fresh for another day while maintaining a full course load. After graduating, she attended the University of New Mexico School of Law, and on the first day of her third year, her son Jordan was born. During that third year of law school, in addition to being a new mother, Jennifer was also the Lead Articles Editor for the New Mexico Law Review from 1990-1991. In 1991, Jennifer graduated cum laude, Order of the Coif, and was the University's recipient of the Outstanding Clinical Law Student Award. Following graduation, her impressive legal career included being: an associate at the Rodey Law Firm (where she had previously clerked during the summers while she attended law school), an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Mexico, in-house counsel for the Sun Healthcare Group, a partner at the Miller Law Firm, and General Counsel and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health. She then returned to her beloved Rodey Law Firm, where she remains a partner and shareholder.
I met Jennifer through our children and their schools and our families have been close ever since. I even had the opportunity to work professionally with Jennifer when she was General Counsel and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health while I was serving as the Secretary of the Department. I already knew that Jennifer was a gifted legal writer and researcher, but she proved to be the best teammate I could have ever asked for. Jennifer managed all litigation brought against the Department and provided me with stellar advice and penetrating wisdom on how to better operate the Department. Her intellect, professionalism, and passion enabled us to help many New Mexicans.
Jennifer is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers for her expertise and experience in healthcare law. In 2009, Jennifer was selected by New Mexico Business Weekly as one of New Mexico's ``Best of the Bar.'' Jennifer has had an outstanding legal career and New Mexico is fortunate to have her.
Chip and Jennifer married on May 30, 1987, and have two wonderful children. Jordan, 25, lives and works in Denver, and Caitlin is a 22- year-old senior at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. On December 15, 2015, Caitlin gave birth to Jennifer and Chip's first grandchild, a beautiful girl named Catarina Elyse Martinez.
Jennifer has many hobbies. She took up knitting in middle school and became a world class knitter, making beautiful creations for friends and family. Jennifer and Chip traveled frequently to Grateful Dead concerts prior to Jerry Garcia's death in 1995, and have collected Grateful Dead and rock poster art for decades. In recent years, Jennifer and Chip have been devoted to indoor and outdoor rock climbing.
Jennifer has remained steadfast in her determination to bring good things to our community despite the burdens of living with ovarian cancer. Even while undergoing cancer treatments, Jennifer participated in the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation's Climb4Life in Boulder, Colorado, to raise funds for research to eliminate ovarian cancer. That year, Jennifer was the only participant who climbed outdoors in Boulder Canyon, despite active cancer treatment. This came as no surprise to me as she is one of the most determined and energetic people I know.
Jennifer is one of my oldest and dearest friends. It has been difficult to watch such a close friend, so loving a mother, such a skilled and hard-working colleague, and such a dedicated member of our community struggle with this terrible disease. I cherish our friendship and all of the wonderful contributions she has made to our state.