Congrats to Our Very Own Dena Fahlquist, the 2024 New Mexico Mother of the Year


We could not be more proud to congratulate our very own ABQ Mom team member Dena Fahlquist who has recently been named the 2024 New Mexico Mother of the Year. 

American Mothers, a prestigious organization that recognizes outstanding mothers across the nation, bestowed this honor on Dena in early January. Since 1935, American Mothers, Inc. has been honoring mothers to inspire the nation and represent a mother’s unconditional love, inner strength, and courage. American Mothers, Inc. is also the official sponsor of Mother’s Day.

This well-deserved accolade celebrates not only Dena’s dedication to her own family but also her inspiring contributions to the community.


ABQ Mom Contributions

Dena has been a contributor to ABQ Mom since early 2021. Over her tenure as a writer, her articles have covered a diverse range of topics from domestic violence resources to guides for parents of children with medical needs to her personal experiences growing up in an Asian-American household. Her desire from the beginning of her tenure has been to truly serve moms in the Albuquerque area, which she has done with excellence.

Additionally, Dena’s role as the founder and facilitator of the ABQ Mom Book Club is a testament to her passion for creating connections among local mothers. She had the idea and took the initiative to begin the book club as a virtual group on Facebook in October 2021. It has now evolved into a thriving in-person community that meets monthly and has provided support that connects local parents. (Should you join? Totally!)

ABQ Mom book club

Community Service

Dena’s contribution to the ABQ Mom community has been so significant that I’m always surprised to learn of other ways she serves the community. Where does she find the time? Dena’s significant contribution as the Silent Auction Committee Chair for the Parent Board of Paradise Hills Community Preschool demonstrates her dedication to supporting local non-profit organizations. She also served as the administrator for her neighborhood’s Buy Nothing group from 2020-2023. Her commitment to reducing environmental waste and supporting the community reflects her genuine concern for creating a better world for future generations.

Professional Accomplishments

Professionally, Dena’s degrees and accomplishments speak for themselves. She has a Doctorate of Audiology degree in addition to numerous certifications, licenses, honors, and awards. Her work with families and children in the Deaf community highlights her commitment to fostering language acquisition and creating an inclusive environment. Her pursuit of American Sign Language and efforts to introduce her family and children to friends who are deaf and hard of hearing showcase her dedication to celebrating diversity and advocating for rights.

Of course, all of this is on top of everything that comes with being a mom to two young children who fill her mornings, evenings, and weekends with equal parts love, laughter, and insanity.

Those of us who know Dena are not surprised in the least that she’s been granted the honor of 2024 New Mexico Mother of the Year. But it sure is beautiful to see someone so worthy receive this award. You are an inspiration, Dena!

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Vanessa Bush
Vanessa loves her people and loves Albuquerque and has lots to say about both. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, Nate, and they have three kids (Micah, Corban, & Evangeline). Originally from Florida, she’s lived in Albuquerque since 2009 when she and her family relocated to start a new church. Even though she misses wearing flip-flops year-round, New Mexico has truly enchanted her, and the desert feels like home. When she is not chauffeuring children about town, Vanessa works as the Director of Strategy and part-owner of Truly Social Digital Marketing Agency, enjoys volunteering at church, loves watching college football, and drinks a little too much coffee. She is passionate about connecting women with each other, loving her people, and finding the good in her place. Follow her on Instagram @vanessamaebush.


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