Suzanne Peterson earned a BS in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, from Trinity University and is a licensed CPA. Suzanne is an Executive Vice President in Corporate Banking at Frost Bank, where she has worked since 1983. In addition to the SAISD Foundation, Suzanne serves on Trinity’s Business Advisory Council, the Industry Advisory Council for CAST high school and is a board member of the Rotary Club of San Antonio. She is a past board chair for the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.
“I believe that the success of our schools that serve San Antonio’s downtown and surrounding areas is key to successful urban vitality and it is important for each of us to play a role in creating that success.”
Akin, Doherty, Klein & Feuge, P.C.
Kelly Boswell graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She has been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 2007 in Ohio and Michigan before moving to Texas in 2013. Kelly is a Tax Manager at Akin, Doherty, Klein & Feuge PC (ADKF) and specializes in IRS issues. She is a member of the AICPA, TSCPA and local CPA chapter. Kelly lives in San Antonio with her husband Joe and has two daughters.
“I’m honored to serve the San Antonio community. I can think of no better place to volunteer than the public school system which inspires our youth to build a stronger brighter future for our community. SAISD is instrumental in shaping the lives of our future generations and future leaders of our beautiful city.”
Chris Quinn is Vice President and Treasurer for Valero Energy Corporation, where he has worked since 1997 in both finance and corporate development roles. In addition to the SAISD Foundation, Chris serves on the board of The DoSeum, and is a member of the Rotary Club of San Antonio. He is a past board chair for the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio, and has also served on the Trinity University Business Advisory Council, the Building Conservation Trust, and is a graduate of Leadership San Antonio. Chris graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Economics in 1988.
“I am honored to serve on the SAISD Foundation board as it provides an opportunity to positively impact the lives of children and their families. The Foundation is a strong advocate for the San Antonio Independent School district, securing funding for vital resources the district otherwise could not offer to students and teachers, helping them to achieve their maximum potential. It is my privilege to play a small part in this mission-centered and fulfilling work”
Pescador Public Strategies
Ernest Bromley, an SAISD alumnus from Thomas Jefferson High School, is the Managing Partner at Pescador Public Strategies. He also the former Chairman/CEO of Bromley Communications, LLC. He was part of the original team that founded the agency in 1981. As CEO, he wore many hats throughout his career at the agency — director of research, executive vice president and president. Ernest was also been instrumental in developing the agency’s research and Hispanic marketing approach and a trailblazer in building the agency to be the leading Hispanic marketing communications company, empowering in the changing American marketplace. Prior to joining the agency, he taught economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“I believe a strong public education system is not only a necessity, it is a human right, especially here in the United States. I certainly benefited from a strong education at Thomas Jefferson High School. It is our social responsibility to make sure that our inner city school district, SAISD, provides a quality education for all children.”
Vice Chair, Development
Raise Your Hand Texas
Shari Albright received her BA in Education and MA in School Psychology/ Educational Administration from Trinity University before she received her Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Teachers College of Columbia University. She brings to the role of Chair of the Department of Education a background in elementary and middle school teaching, elementary and high school leadership and educational non-profit leadership. Shari is committed to fostering 21st century, global education for students that have traditionally been under-served in our communities. Shari lives and works in the District.
“I enjoy the role the Foundation plays in fostering a spirit of innovation and creative risk taking to increase student success.”
Vice Chair, Strategic Initiatives
Pat DiGiovanni earned a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University and a Masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Pat retired in 2017 from public service after 35 years. He served in multiple city management capacities throughout the country including City Manager of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Deputy City Manager of San Antonio, Texas. Pat also served as President and CEO of Centro San Antonio, 501(C)3 corporation which is dedicated to the revitalization of San Antonio’s downtown. He is married to Alicia who is on the Executive Sales Team for the Marriott RiverCenter and Riverwalk hotels.
“I believe a strong urban core is essential to the survival of a region. In order to build that urban core, there must be a strong urban school district dedicated to the success of its teachers and students. I am proud to serve on the SAISD Foundation whose mission is “to mobilize the community to invest in student and teacher success”. The future of our community and region depends upon our children reaching their full potential and the community must be a full partner in this endeavor.”
Vice Chair, Teacher Grants
Victoria Moreno-Herrera is an active community member who recently served as the President of Leadership SAISD and Co-Chairman of the Political Action Committee for SAISD’s successful 2017 Bond and TRE Campaign. She is the owner of her own small business, Baby Besos, a children’s clothing company which earned San Antonio Magazine’s Best of the City Editor’s Pick for Children’s Clothing. Victoria has three children who attend school in SAISD. Victoria shares a concern for education equity within the city of San Antonio.
Deborah Amini has been a resident of San Antonio since 1962, having graduated from its public school system in 1968. She received her BA in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas in Austin in 1972 and her Masters in Educational Psychology from the same institution in 1976.
She spent three years working at St. Jude’s Childrens Psychiatric Hospital in Austin before going to work for the Edgewood Independent School District as a psychologist at the Jose Cardenas Center for Developmental Disabilities. Subsequently, she was a co-owner of the PlayWorks Toy Stores before beginning a successful career as a commercial broker.
Mrs. Amini has been a board member of Boysville, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Antonio and Young Life San Antonio. She and her husband, Rex, were active supporters of and contributors to the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, helping to build schools from 2005-2007. Mrs. Amini served on the board of San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries(SAMM) from 2005-2014 and was Board Chair in 2012-2014. She is currently a regional board member of KIPP Texas Public Schools and Teach for America, where she serves as vice-chair and a member of SAMMINISTRIES Advisory Council.
“The future of our city is in the hands of today’s young students. Providing them the tools and resources they need to be successful is critical. As a product of public education, I know how important strong programs are and am honored to be apart of the SAISD Foundation Board.”
Norton Rose Fulbright
“Next to good health, there is no better gift a person can receive than an excellent education and as a community, it is our moral and legal right to provide that to every young person. Unfortunately, throughout the years, our core inner city school districts like SAISD have suffered greatly from an exodus of students, families and funding and that is where a foundation like SAISD’s is critical. We are a strong group of community leaders from within and outside the District who share one common goal – to ensure that every one of our students receives the best education possible and we try to accomplish that by raising awareness of the District’s needs and raising funds that are reinvested in the District through a variety of means including innovative teaching grants. That’s why I love our Foundation.”
Diversity & Inclusion Manager, H-E-B
Sonia Quirino Canales is a proud alumna of SAISD, having attended Wilson Elementary, Tafolla Middle School and Brackenridge High School. She is the Diversity & Inclusion Manager for H-E-B where she develops, implements and manages the company’s diversity and inclusion programming and strategies that align with H-E-B’s business goals. She is responsible for ensuring workplace diversity and inclusion awareness and education across Texas. Additionally, she executes the department’s charitable giving and works to strengthen relationships with diversity advocacy groups and community-based organizations.
In addition to serving on the Board of the SAISD Foundation, Quirino Canales currently serves on the Latina Leadership Institute Steering Committee, Texas Diversity Council’s Greater San Antonio Advisory Board, the UT Dallas Diversity Advisory Council and she is the Immediate Past Chair of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas-San Antonio Chapter. She is also a graduate of the Latina Leadership Institute of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University.
Quirino Canales is married and has three children. In her spare time, she enjoys singing.
“As a proud alumna of SAISD, I can truly say that the dedication and commitment of my teachers and school staff truly set me up for success. Serving on the board of the SAISD Foundation gives me the opportunity to give back and help ensure that every student and teacher thrives in our public schools. Education equity and access to resources are paramount to providing an innovative learning experience for each and every student. Providing a strong K-12 education is critical to the quality of life of not only our students, but for the future generations of our city.”
CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Julian Casillas, a San Antonio native, earned his BS in Finance from Trinity University. Continuing his education, Julian earned both a Juris Doctorate and Master’s in Personal Financial Planning from the dual degree program offered by Texas Tech University. He graduated from the School of Law and College of Human Sciences in 2017.
Following his time in Lubbock, Julian was hired as an attorney at Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, where he represents various taxing entities, including Bexar County, the City of San Antonio and SAISD. Julian is also a member of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Division and the Order of the Alamo.
Julian enjoys golfing and exploring the amazing food scene that San Antonio has to offer.
“At an early age I was taught the value of an education and what it can do for you. I come from a family of educators and I have witnessed firsthand the positive difference a good teacher and principal can make in the life of a child. My education has prepared and placed me in an amazing position to help the children in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) by serving on the Board of Directors of the SAISD Foundation. I understand that although talent may be evenly distributed, that is not always the case with opportunity. I want to do my part to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to realize their gifts and talents.”
Port Authority of San Antonio
Rick Crider earned his BS in Aviation Management, Minor in Business Administration at University of Central Texas (Now Texas A&M University-Central Texas) and his MA in Public Policy & Management at Ohio State University.
Rick is Executive Vice President, Airport/Railport & Military Relations at Port San Antonio, which resides on 1,900-acres of the former Kelly Air Force Base in southwestern San Antonio, TX. Port San Antonio is a logistics-based industrial platform home to some 80 companies and governmental agencies that employ 13,000 workers, representing more than $5.2 Billion in annual local economic impact. A significant component of the Port San Antonio holdings is the civil facet of Kelly Field, a vibrant industrial aerospace base of aviation giants such as Air Methods, Boeing, Chromalloy, GDC Technics, SAFRAN and StandardAero. Aerospace and aerospace-related firms at Port San Antonio employ approximately 3,000 workers, most of whom specialize in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), specialized aircraft services, and research and development (R&D) activities.
Prior to joining Port San Antonio, Crider served as Vice President of Airport Development and Management Services at RW Armstrong, establishing and leading the Austin office that served aviation and transportation customers in the southwestern United Sates, the Caribbean and Latin America. He is a commercial pilot, aircraft owner and former flight instructor.
Rick is on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Airport Executives and Immediate Past President of the South Central Chapter. He is an Honorary Commander – Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) 502nd Operations Support Squadron and Chair of the Industrial Aviation / Military Relations Committee of the AAAE. He is also an Eagle Scout and Past Board member of two different Boy Scouts of America Councils. Rick is married to Joyce Crider and has three adult children.
“Great cities rely on the vibrancy of their core, and it’s education and the support of young people that will keep our City core alive. The SAISD Foundation is introducing innovation and filling gaps that have emerged over time; I’m very proud to be a part of this exciting work.”
City of San Antonio
Rebecca rejoined the City of San Antonio team where she oversees many of the City’s education and youth initiatives. She has an extensive background in education and worked with school districts throughout the state on school finance, assessment and accountability issues while working at Moak, Casey & Associates. Rebecca also worked on developing and implementing “Pre-K 4 SA,” a city-wide early education initiative.
She also served as the director of government relations for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and oversaw the district’s federal, state, and local legislative issues. She proudly taught in HISD and served as an adjunct professor for the Houston Community College System.
Rebecca has a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Rebecca Flores …
Rudy Garza joined CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally-owned electric and gas utility, in 2012 as Vice President of External Relations. In 2016, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Distribution Services & Operations and is currently responsible for the largest operating division at CPS Energy, with four Service Districts responsible for electric distribution system maintenance and construction activity as well as the Energy Management Center which operates the system on a 24/7/365 basis.
Before arriving at CPS Energy, Rudy served in a number of executive leadership roles. Prior to his current opportunity, he served as Assistant City Manager of Business Support Services and Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the City of Corpus Christi over a 5 year period. In addition, he served the largest utility in Texas, TXU Corp., in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex for 13 years, working in various operational, engineering, regulatory, and public affairs capacities. In 2004, he was promoted to Director of State Affairs, responsible for managing TXU’s Austin legislative affairs office directing advocacy efforts before the Texas Legislature.
With more than 20 years of experience in the energy and utility sector, Rudy maintains a strong understanding of the utility industry. As a result, Rudy has been named one of the 10 most influential Latinos in the energy industry by Latino Leaders magazine on multiple occasions. Rudy is a 1996 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin earning his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. In 2004, he also successfully completed his MBA at the University of North Texas. Rudy continues to provide service to the community through multiple board positions and serves his UT alma mater on advisory boards of both the College of Engineering and the School of Electrical Engineering.
“San Antonio is one of the fastest growing communities in the country. As this growth brings new opportunities for our citizens, a strong educational system is critical to providing the human capital needed to attract great companies and grow jobs in our community. The work the SAISD Foundation does to support the mission of SAISD is critical to creating opportunities for our students and pathways to investing in the future human capital needed to allow our economy to grow. As a father of two high schoolers, I want to give my boys the same opportunities I wish for all students to stay in San Antonio after college and build a life here at home!”
Connie Gonzalez, Director of Public Relations at Brooks, is responsible for all external communications, media and public relations. Connie also manages tenant relations, special events, social media and marketing programs for Brooks. She also lives and works at Brooks, a growing community in SAISD. Prior to joining the team at Brooks, Connie was a weekend anchor and reporter for both KNWA and KFTA in Fayetteville, Arkansas and KSAN in San Angelo, Texas. Raised in San Antonio, Connie began her professional career as an intern with News 4 WOAI and worked in the public affairs division of Spurs Sports & Entertainment. She is also active in the community serving on the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Communications Co-Chair of the Urban Land Institute-San Antonio. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Electronic Media from Texas State University.
“Education is our greatest resource and we have a responsibility to ensure that every student receives the best education possible. That’s why I’m honored to be part of the SAISD Foundation in supporting SAISD schools and teachers and providing San Antonio students with learning opportunities that will help shape their future successes.”
San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Born and raised in San Antonio, Amanda is the Vice President of Cybersecurity and Director of CyberSecurity San Antonio at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
During President Obama’s administration, Amanda served as a special assistant and policy advisor to the Federal Chief Information Officer at the White House. Before that, Amanda led digital marketing initiatives at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and managed communications and community relations at the LULAC National Office.
Amanda is the founder and CEO of Javilud LLC, a small business focused on transforming partnerships at the intersection of people, politics, technology, and art. She is also the co-founder of the What in the World?! event series, which showcases women in international affairs, educates the public about global issues, and elevates diverse and undervalued voices.
Amanda earned her Master of Arts in Global Communication with a double concentration in national security and IT policy from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Amanda graduated from Smith College with her Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies.
Amanda is currently an Honorary Commander with the 502d Air Base Wing, and a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project. Amanda is a proud graduate of San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) public schools, including Brackenridge High School.
“As an SAISD alum, it is an honor to serve on this board, and give back to my community. From the digital divide to social determinants of health, so many factors impact a student’s life that are out of their control. Through the Foundation, we have the power to transform a student’s classroom experience, and provide access to opportunities that our students need to succeed in this increasingly interconnected world.”
Firstmark Credit Union
Mark Leita earned his BA in Political Science from Texas Tech University and is the Vice President of Community Partnerships at Firstmark Credit Union. Mark is heavily involved in local community organizations such as San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way. He also helps mentor young adults and children through non-profit organizations such as the All Pro Dad program and his church. He also finds time to volunteer at local high school athletics programs. Mark is married to his beautiful wife Wendy and has three amazing children.
“Firstmark Credit Union’s foundation is education. As original partners with SAISD, it is important that we continue to give back to the next generation of students, teachers, and faculty. In doing so, members of the Foundation help bring innovation and creativity to a bright San Antonio future.”
Carlos Maestas Carlos founded Key Ideas nearly 15 years ago at the age of 22. It was through some personal pain, spiritual growth, and four mission trips to Africa that he discovered a passion for social impact storytelling. Carlos delivers powerful, cinematic-style videos to draw in an audience by capitalizing on emotional connection and impact. His work has garnered multiple industry awards, an Emmy Nomination, and has been featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation and Upworthy. He also occasionally moonlights as a stand-up comedian, opening once for five-time Emmy award winner and Saturday Night Live alumnus, Dennis Miller. Carlos holds a B.A. in Marketing from The University of Texas at San Antonio and an MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word. Carlos is married to an SAISD Elementary School Principal. They are the proud parents of two boys who attend SAISD schools and a 2 year old daughter Elyse.
Anthony Magaro, CCP, SPHR, CBP, GRP, SHRM-SCP is the Executive Director of Human Resources at Southwest Research Institute. He has served as a college adjunct faculty member teaching courses in Human Resources, Compensation, Organization Design and HR Law. He is a faculty member of the World at Work (American Compensation Association) faculty training HR professionals in base pay management, the regulatory environment of compensation, use of compensation market data, FLSA and international management of human resources. Mr. Magaro is a past coordinator of the San Antonio Compensation Association and member of the Resource Center for the San Antonio Human Resource Management Association. He is a Past President of the Southwest Association of Colleges and Employers and served on the Board of Directors and strategic committees of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
“The future and continued evolution of our city is highly contingent on the education of our youth…then assisting them in finding a career in which they have an interest, that takes full advantage of their capabilities and challenges their desire for continued personal growth. SAISD Foundation plays a distinct role in supporting the efforts of our inner city schools in meeting the educational mandates that spur our future. I am proud to be a part of that effort.”
Republic National Distributing Company
“As a product of SAISD, I understand the importance of supporting efforts to provide every student the types of opportunities I received in reaching my educational, professional, and personal goals. I feel it is my duty to give back to the community that gave so much to me.”
MissArk Real Estate Advisors
“Our students and teachers deserve the best. I want to see SAISD lead the way and be an example of how a school district can be successful. The SAISD Foundation’s Grant Program has supported schools in unique and exciting ways. I look forward to helping the program grow and become more impactful.”
Spurs, Sports & Entertainment
“I believe the SAISD Foundation plays an intregal role in aiding student success and SAISD’s success is critical to attracting businesses and residents to downtown. I am involved in this work because all children deserve access to a first rate public education.”
Ron Thomas received a B.A. and an M.Ed. from Trinity University, and he has been involved in education for over 45 years. While working in SAISD, Ron served as a teacher, counselor, and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels. Currently Ron is an administrator in the Office of Teacher Education Services in the College of Education & Human Development at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has extensive experience organizing and implementing preservice teacher field experience programs, mentoring/tutoring programs in inner-city school districts, and school/university partnerships.
“After 45 years of working as a school administrator in the inner-city schools of SAISD and other Bexar County districts, I firmly believe all children can reach high levels of achievement when given access to both high quality teaching and challenging educational programs. I know the important role strong community support plays in achieving excellence in our public schools. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the SAISD Foundation Board, and am committed to supporting the district’s work of providing a high-quality education for all students in inner-city San Antonio.”
VIA Metropolitan Transit
Steve Young has served as the Vice President of Technology & Innovation at VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas, since 2015. VIA Metropolitan Transit serves as the transportation leader for the greater San Antonio Metropolitan region, moving over 38 million passengers a year. Steve’s team oversees a wide range of areas including data center management, application development, business operations support, fare technologies, intelligent vehicle systems, and innovation opportunities.
Formerly, Steve served as Chief Technology Officer for nine years at Judson Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. In 2014 Steve was the recipient of the Texas K-12 CTO Council Grace Hopper CTO of the Year Award for Texas. In 2016 and 2019 Steve was selected as an Honorary Commander for the 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland Air Force Base and in 2017 served as the Chair of the North San Antonio Chamber CIO Breakfast Series. In 2018 VIA Metropolitan Transit received a Smart 50 Award from Smart Cities Connect for their VIA goMobile app. Also, in 2018, VIA received a coveted national award from the American Public Transit Association and was named the most Innovative Transit Agency in the United States. And finally, in 2019 Steve was named the CIO of the year for San Antonio and received an international CIO Award from Info-Tech.
“Having been a teacher and having worked in technology in both the public education and the public transit sectors in San Antonio, I view both transportation and educational as extremely critical to development of a strong community and vibrant city in the future. Education is the great equalizer in our society and access to a quality education is more important than ever, as technology is rapidly changing businesses, opportunities, and workforce needs. Now more than ever San Antonio needs to support students and educators to meet these societal challenges. The role that the SAISD Foundation plays in helping deliver the best education possible to SAISD students is near and dear to me, as I have seen how many teachers give their all every day, and how even a small show of support can help them take student learning to the next level.”
Charles T. Barrett | Joe Bernal* | Trish DeBerry* | Maria Ferrier | Pat Frost* | Leo Gomez*
Charles Gonzalez | Sarah Harte* | Derrick Howard* | Ed Kelley | Rosemary Kowalski
Brandon Logan* | John T. Montford* | Sonia M. Rodriguez* | Kate Rogers
Ricardo Romo | Manny Ruiz* | Julian Treviño
* Past Board of Directors
John Montford and Manny Ruiz also served as Past Board Chairman
Charles Barrett, Joe Bernal, Maria Ferrier, Charles Gonzalez, Sonia Rodriguez and Ricardo Romo are SAISD Alumni and past Inspire Awards Honorees.