New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez today announced the nomination of Alex Romero of Albuquerque for appointment to The University of New Mexico Board of Regents.

“There are few people who share Alex Romero’s passion and commitment to making our state a better place,” Governor Martinez said. “He’s a pillar of our community who firmly believes that we need a strong education system if we want our state to thrive. Anyone who knows him will tell you he will fight hard to do what’s right for our students and the University of New Mexico.”

Romero replaces Don Tripp, who was nominated by Martinez earlier this year. Tripp withdrew after a question arose regarding his eligibility to serve as a UNM regent at this time given his elected term as a state representative.

Romero serves as the CEO of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, and will retire in April after 12 years of service. AHCC promotes economic development and workforce education in Albuquerque and New Mexico. Romero brings a passion for opening educational and economic opportunities for New Mexico’s youth.

As part of these efforts, the Chamber has raised more than $2 million to help hundreds of students have the opportunity to pursue higher education, many of whom are first-generation college students in their families. Romero also serves as co-chair of the New Mexico Hispanic Education Advisory Council, which works to close achievement gaps among Hispanic students throughout the state.

“I am honored by the Governor’s confidence in me to serve as a regent for the University of New Mexico. My passion has always been – and always will be – to serve my community in any way that will make it a better place,” Romero said. “The people of New Mexico have my commitment that I will always do what’s right for our students and our flagship university.”

The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber was also recognized as Chamber of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2014. Last year, Romero also led the Hispano Chamber’s efforts to facilitate a long-term plan to keep the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque. AHCC has also been active in establishing Innovate ABQ, which was created by the UNM Regents in 2014 to bolster Albuquerque as a hub for researchers, investors and entrepreneurs.

Romero will bring nearly a decade of higher education experience to the UNM Board of Regents. From 2000 to 2006, he served as a member of the board of trustees for the College of Santa Fe, and from 1996 to 1999 he served on the faculty of the BMA School of Bank Marketing at the University of Colorado.

Before his career with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber, Romero worked as a senior executive in finance with community and regional banks for more than 30 years. He is also active in several other community leadership organizations, such as the New Mexico Economic Development Commission and Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico.