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Acting director of Spanish Colonial Arts society named

SANTA FE – Former UNM regent and Hispano Chamber of Commerce CEO Alex Romero has been named acting director of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, the group that stages the annual Spanish Market on the Santa Fe Plaza and runs the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.

Board president Joel Goldfrank said Romero has been working as a business consultant for the past several months as then-acting director and chief curator Josef Diaz refocused on curatorial matters. Diaz had assumed the society’s interim director role after executive director David Setford left in February 2018.

Alex Romero, new acting director of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, speaks at Albuquerque’s State of the City event in 2016. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

On Monday, the nonprofit’s board gave Romero the official acting director title after Diaz left his position to deal with a personal matter.

Romero is on contract until the end of the year. He and recently appointed chief operating officer Barbara Schwarz will oversee the business side of things, he said.

“I was drafted to come here and help, and I agreed to do so back in February,” Romero told the Journal. “And I didn’t realize at the time that it would turn out to be longer than I expected, but I’m here and obviously committed. We have some important stuff coming up here with summer market.”

Spanish Market takes place July 27-28. The Spanish Colonial Arts Society also organizes the Winter Spanish Market in Albuquerque.

Romero, a retired bank executive, spent a little under a year as a UNM Regent before resigning in February 2018. He retired in April 2017 after 12 years as president and CEO of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

Goldfrank said the society board will start its search for a chief curator to replace Diaz prior to Spanish Market. As for his new role, Romero said he will support the search for a permanent director. Goldfrank said the board could start that search in August or September.

“We’re very pleased that (Romero) is with us,” Goldfrank said. “We’re sorry to see Josef go, but we understand.”

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