Roman Maes, III


Roman Maes, III 2016 Distinguished Alumnus

Roman Maes, III
2016 Distinguished Alumnus


Roman Maes, III, a longtime New Mexico business leader, is the founder and CEO of Access Communications, a prominent government and public relations firm in the southwestern U.S.

Maes was also a leader in the New Mexico Legislature for 20 years, serving with distinction as the state senator representing District 25, which encompasses Santa Fe County.

Maes earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Highlands in 1968, and his doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Denver School of Law in 1971.

“At Access Communications, I provide opportunities for my clients to communicate with decision makers in both the public and private sector to advance their services and products,” Maes said.

He established Access Communications in 2011, a spinoff of New Mexico Public Relations, LLC, which Maes founded in 2005. He expanded his business into Arizona, Nevada and California.

Some past and present clients include Cisco Systems, Qwest, Microsoft, Behavior Change Institute, LLC, Fidelity Insurance and Blackboard, Inc.

“Roman’s knowledge of New Mexico, including its business and political dynamics, helped him become one of the state’s leading governmental relations firms,” said Bill García, the Highlands Foundation Board president who nominated Maes.

Maes is also a real estate expert and licensed broker in three states. From 1985 – 2014, he was the founder and managing partner of Four Star Property Management in New Mexico and Five Star Properties in Arizona.

During his state senate tenure from 1985 – 2005, Maes held numerous leadership positions which included chairing five legislative committees.

“As a state senator, I wanted to be part of positive change, and see New Mexico compete globally in all areas of business,” Maes said.

Maes sponsored 165 bills that became state law on topics like education, the environment, economic development, state budget and appropriations.

“I am most proud of the 1998 Solid Waste Act that helped prevent our state from becoming the solid waste capital of the U.S. Before that, our solid waste laws were very weak,” Maes said.

Before running for public office, Maes was appointed to the New Mexico State Board of Finance. He was also a civic leader in Santa Fe, chairing entities like the Santa Fe Planning Commission and Santa Fe Affordable Housing Authority. After his state senate tenure, Roman was appointed to serve as a transportation commissioner for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

Maes said he got a well-rounded education at Highlands that provided him with the tools he needed to move forward successfully in life.

“Highlands offered me a great deal of opportunities and outstanding professors in the School of Business,” Maes said.

He is a Las Vegas, New Mexico, native whose family goes back five generations in New Mexico.

“Las Vegas was a wonderful place to grow up. Then at Highlands, there was a real sense of community. The university was like family to me,” Maes said.

He was one of the founding members of the Highlands Alumni Association in 1984.

Maes has been married for 48 years to his high school sweetheart Dolores. The couple raised two children, Roman IV and Tanya. Maes said semiretirement gives him the chance to spend more time with his four grandchildren.