Albuquerque Progress was the brainchild of advertiser Ward Hicks. Hicks arrived in Albuquerque in 1924 as a tuberculosis patient. He was treated in the Methodist Sanatorium and recovered sufficiently to begin working for Gruehl Advertising, Inc. In 1926, Hicks took over Gruehl and changed the agency's name to Ward Hicks, Inc.
In 1934, Hicks sold the idea for Albuquerque Progress to Albuquerque National Bank. Its first issue appeared in March 1934
in the midst of a national depression and a paralyzing drought... In those circumstances, issuing the magazine, headed ‘Business News of our City and Vicinity,’ constituted a strong act of faith, probably mixed with a strong dash of hope.
In 1937, the magazine declared its purpose: “published monthly for the information of all who are interested in Albuquerque’s business activity, growth, and development.” It featured annual business surveys, reports on civic projects, news about business start-ups, moves, and renovations, and lists of building permits. In 1956, it shifted to a bimonthly schedule and a larger format to “devote additional time to research and preparation on broader subjects of importance to our city.”
In 1965, one issue was published under the title Albuquerque Progress. The new title, New Mexico Progress, better reflected Albuquerque National Bank's statewide interests. Albuquerque National Bank became First New Mexico Bankshare Corporation and later Sunwest Bank. Sunwest dropped New Mexico from the title in 1995, following the acquisition of a bank in El Paso. After NationsBank took over Sunwest, Progress continued from 1997 to 2002 as a subscription newsletter published by Harold Morgan, its editor since 1980.