Innovative Leadership Concludes Its Inaugural Year

Innovative Leadership Concludes Inaugural Year

At the encouragement of 2018 Chairman of the Board, Chris Thiel, of Alterman, the North San Antonio Chamber set out to develop an executive leadership program unlike anything our city had seen before. The end result was the creation of Innovative Leadership – a six-month program designed in partnership with the AACSB-accredited Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s University.

“Our goal was to inspire business leaders to delve deeper into every aspect of innovation. We wanted to challenge their insights on strategic and design thinking, the utilization of big data and artificial intelligence and the organizational culture found in businesses who have successfully embraced innovation.” stated Melodye Tomsu, Council Chair for Leadership and Professional Development, 2018 Innovative Leadership Chair and Business Development Manager with SpawGlass.

The 2018 class was comprised of nearly 30 local leaders who challenged personal mindsets and grew collectively by learning from one another. When asked to capture their leadership journey in one-word, class members used these words: insightful, empowerment, growth and even innovare – Latin for innovation.

David Pope, North SA Chamber Board of Directors member, Executive Committee Finance Council Chair and San Antonio President for Texas Capital Bank stated, “The inaugural Innovative Leadership program was a wonderful forum of business leaders that learned at a deeper level what it means to innovate. This was true at a personal and corporate level as each member brought their individual and company perspectives for the benefit of the group.”

Pope went on to say, “For me, this was a huge learning experience as this program taught concepts and exercised skills that I have not fully developed in my career journey. As always with a great group of diverse leaders, you walk away with more than you give. I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the program.”

The North San Antonio Chamber congratulates the graduates of the 2018 class and thanks them for their willingness to be the initial leaders to shape the evolution and ultimate success of Innovative Leadership.

2018 Class Members 

  • Chance Allen, Martin Marietta Materials
  • Kimberly Arispe, Family Service Association of San Antonio
  • Brian Billingsley, DOCUmation, LLC
  • Brian Buchanan, VIA Metropolitan Transit
  • Samantha Carneiro, Brooks
  • Maria Dunn, ATKG, LLP
  • Teresa Evans Ph.D., Teresa Evans PhD, LLC
  • Connie Gonzalez, Brooks
  • Shennandoah Goodson, Endeavor Management
  • Siro Gutierrez, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Victor Huerta, Turner Construction Company
  • Andrew Hunt, Project Control
  • Katelyn Machen, Gillette Air Conditioning Co., Inc.
  • David Pope, Texas Capital Bank
  • Dahlia Rigsby, BD
  • Abe Salinas, LNV, Inc.
  • Steven Siebert, San Antonio Water System
  • Jason Smith, SpawGlass Contractors
  • Denis St. Pierre, Alterman
  • RaChelle Streetman, Hulu LLC
  • John Titus, eEmployers Solutions Inc.
  • Cordelia Tostenson, Morningside Ministries at Menger Springs
  • Brian Trussell, ATKG, LLP
  • Steve Young, Via Metropolitan Transit

Thank You to Our Chair and Sponsors

Every level of support received from members of the North SA Chamber directly impact the overall success of each of its programs. Without it, new programs such as Innovative Leadership could not move forward with the confidence it did. Therefore, the Chamber thanks Melodye Tomsu of SpawGlass for her exemplary leadership during the development phase and execution of year one. In addition, the Chamber is hugely grateful for its 2018 sponsors who opened their doors and hearts to serve as session hosts for the program.

2018 Sponsors

Alterman, 2018 Sponsors (L-R) John Wright, Chris Thiel, Denis St. Pierre

Ramping Up for 2019

Although the curtain has closed on the inaugural year of Innovative Leadership, plans are currently underway for 2019. Siro Gutierrez III, Sr. Vice President with Bank of America Merrill Lynch will serve as the 2019 Chair and Dahlia Rigsby, Sr. Business Manager with BD will serve as the program’s Co-Chair.

Applications and sponsorships began in October, 2018 with the class kicking off in April, 2019. For further information about applying for the program or showing your support through sponsorship please contact Chris Bugg, Sr. Vice President of the North San Antonio Chamber – 210.344.4848 or

Melodye Tomsu 2018 Chair and Siro Gutierrez III, 2019 Chair