Steve Maestas, the founder of Albuquerque’s NAI Maestas & Ward, is recognized as a local business leader in the commercial real estate and development field. He’s also past chair of Albuquerque Economic Development and a trustee for the Albuquerque Community Foundation. He was recently appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Kansas City Federal Reserve— an influential position for the native New Mexican.
You’ve been chair of the Kansas City Fed since January 1. How have the first six months been? I’ve learned how much I still need to learn. They have an incredible reach in areas I wasn’t aware of. What’s interesting is the access I’ve been given to see New Mexico as it compares to other states. It gives me the opportunity to be educated and hopefully to compel positive change.
You’ve taken a step back from Maestas & Ward. What’s your role in the firm?
Debbie Harms is our CEO and she’s doing a fabulous job with the company, allowing it to grow and flourish. Often, when I’m not involved with [Federal Reserve] activity, I’m working with the Maestas Development Group.
Tell me about the development group projects.
Las Estancias is moving ahead and the community has responded well to the businesses opening there. We’re working on another 100,000 square feet of new businesses that we hope to start construction on in the next 12 months. [The project] has a lot of momentum. We have also started 15,000 square feet of construction at NM 528 and Ellison Drive NW. We took down an old building and are looking forward to building vertical. It will be a contemporary convenience center of interesting restaurants that are new to the market and the best in class retailers.
What’s the next step in your career?
Contribution. Success is not what you get but who you become. I’m happy with what I’m doing and think I can foster change. I’m interested in the collision of philanthropy and economic development, and how philanthropy can help job creation. We’re seeing really interesting strategies across the country and in New Mexico, such as the Albuquerque Community Foundation and the Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship.
By: Stephanie Guzman, Reporter-Albuquerque Business First