I am a native Arizonan, born in Nogales and raised in Santa Cruz County. I am the youngest of nine children. My parents immigrated from Mexico at a very young age and worked hard all their lives. This work ethic is something my siblings and I mirror. As a cattle rancher, my father, Santiago Gallardo, was a true Vaquero. He was a horse whisper who was known for his home remedies for curing ailing animals, and was truly known for his roping skills. My tenacious mother, Olga, managed to raise her nine children and assist my grandparents on a limited income. My favorite memory is having my mom’s homemade bread and tortillas every day. Mom was known in Nogales, Sonoita and Tucson for her homemade queso fresco, queso cocido and quesadillas, which she sold to help make ends meet. I am proud of being raised by this dynamic duo.
My parents early life in Arizona is best established as Legions at The Historic La Canoa Ranch. My family has a long family history in this area, and I am proud that my great, great uncle Ramon Ahumada was the first cowboy from Arizona to be inducted in the Hall of Great Westerners in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
I have been married to Mario for 31 years, and we raised two beautiful daughters. Mia Ivana is 29 years old, and Talia Ali is 23. I live in the best community in Arizona, and the friendliest people anywhere surround me. I am truly blessed.
The major part of my professional career was working with Lawyers Title of Arizona for over 33 years in the title and escrow business. I worked extremely close with real estate agents, attorneys, lenders, contractors, developers, state, city and county officials and their departments. Therefore, I garnished the knowledge of the County Recorder process in all categories of legal documents. This includes knowledge of the County Treasurer’s, County Assessor’s and Superior Court Clerk’s records. I was proud of assisting people in their real estate investments. The best feeling was when the real estate transaction closed and both the Seller and Buyer walked away happy.
I presently serve on the Board of Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital and Catholic Daughters of America. I previously served on the board of the United Way of Santa Cruz County AZ, where I served as president for several terms. I was inducted to the Nogales High School Hall of Fame in 2015. I have been active for several years in fundraising for various clubs and organizations within the Nogales Unified School District. I used my business skills to volunteer in assisting others with their various fundraising projects such as The Alex Bermudez Golf Tournament, The Santa Cruz Board of Realtors Golf Tournament, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Most Holy Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ Catholic Church, Relay for Life, March of Dimes, benefit ropings and in scholarship recruitment for the NHS Hall of Fame and the Nogales Education Foundation.