Stephanie Maez

Executive Director

Stephanie Maez is the Executive Director for ProgressNow New Mexico, one of our state’s largest nonprofit communications-specific organizations working to amplify the voices of New Mexico’s hard working families and vulnerable children.

Maez worked as Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Civic Policy, and belonged to former New Mexico Governor Richardson’s administration.  As a state legislator in New Mexico’s House of Representatives, Maez sponsored and supported a slate of innovative social justice policy proposals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science from the University of New Mexico.

Maez has played a vital role in achieving policy and civic engagement wins across the state of New Mexico, some of which include creating legislation to:

  • Increase several municipal minimum wage rates
  • Generate additional revenue for critical programs and services benefiting New Mexico’s working families
  • Require health insurance companies to be more transparent and fair in setting premium rates
  • Prevent New Mexico’s local electric utility from increasing rates
  • Allow online voter registration

She was also instrumental in preventing passage of legislation that would have negatively affected vulnerable and marginalized communities, including harmful anti-labor,  anti-reproductive health, and anti-immigrant efforts.

In addition, she is the Senior Fellow for Race and Diversity at the Topos Partnership. Topos seeks to synthesize traditional public opinion research with state-of-the-art cognitive science perspectives and methodological innovations.

Maez approaches her work with determination, agility, compassion and imagination.  She resides in the Land of Enchantment with her son, Donovan and daughter, McKayla.

Alex Curtas

Senior Communications Advisor 

Alex has been with ProgressNow NM since 2012 and has had the privilege of holding quite a few positions during his time here, including Research and Special Projects Director, Communications Director, and Managing Director.

In his role now he assists over 30 New Mexico non-profit advocacy organizations — organized as the NM Civic Engagement Table — with the development and implementation of their strategic communications needs.

Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Alex has lived in (and loved) New Mexico since 2005. Alex studied political science at American University in Washington D.C. and holds his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from the University of New Mexico.

He lives in downtown Albuquerque with his wonderful girlfriend Sydney and their two crazy cats.

Lucas Herndon

Political Director

or-this-is-maybe-betterLucas Herndon is a lifelong resident of Doña Ana County and is based in our Las Cruces office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from New Mexico State University. After opening his second business in 2011 Herndon became aware of the need for increased dedication to social issues in and around his community and became involved with the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, as well as being hired as the Executive Director for the Organ Mountains National Monument campaign in the area.

His love of the outdoors is shared with his daughter and together they love exploring New Mexico and learning more about their community and their state.

Herndon came to ProgressNowNM after working on a number of local campaigns and seeing the need to work closely with progressives around the state for the betterment of all.

Rachael Lorenzo

Digital Engagement and Political Coordinator

Rachael Lorenzo (Mescalero Apache/Laguna Pueblo/Xicana) is the Digital Engagement and Political Coordinator at ProgressNow New Mexico.  She will lead, support, and inform various digital outreach strategies at PNNM.

Rachael was raised on her traditional values and on politics.  Throughout her academic career, she volunteered for political campaigns, ranging from city council elections to presidential campaigns.  She was selected as a fellow for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, Obama For America (OFA).  In 2017, she was accepted to Emerge New Mexico, a prestigious program that trains women in the Democratic Party to run for office.  She was part of cohort of brilliant change-makers in the Western States Center’s Western Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), a program to build capacity for community organizers with intersectional and anti-oppresion lenses.

Rachael graduated with a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public administration, focusing on public health; both degrees are from the University of New Mexico.  She studied political campaigns, participated policy analyses, and has been consulted for her expertise in public health policies that could impact Native communities.

She was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico to young parents and was raised on her father’s ancestral land in Seama, New Mexico, one of six villages on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation.  Currently, she lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Justin, and their two children, Adalie and Jude.