Lead SA

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Focus Issues & Initiatives

Lead SA is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and sponsor North Chamber programs and initiatives which promote educational, leadership, career and professional development in San Antonio.

Lead SA has awarded scholarships for the award-winning Leadership Lab program, a nine-month leadership development series, and the Enterprising Women’s Conference, a full-day professional training program.

Since 2003, Lead SA has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to area institutions including Alamo Colleges, Our Lady of the Lake University, The University of the Incarnate Word, UTSA and Haven for Hope to support its career and workforce development program, as well as grants to the North SA Chamber to support small businesses and nonprofit organizations with support for leadership and professional development program attendance.

North Chamber members have an opportunity to support Lead SA and its educational mission by making an annual contribution through their membership renewal statement or by sponsoring or attending any of the organization’s annual fundraisers Employment Law Update, Salute to Excellence Luncheon and Sustainability Series.

Employment Law Update

Since its inception in 2003, the employment law seminar has been sponsored and presented by Haynes and Boone, LLP. This full-day program is designed to update employers, human resources professionals, in-house councils, managers and business owners on the latest in employment law to help reduce and/or avoid costly litigation. Haynes and Boone lend their most skilled employment law attorneys from across Texas for this enriching legal seminar. Continuing education credits are available.

Employment Law Update Chair

Laura O'Donnell
Laura O’Donnell
Haynes and Boone, LLP

About the Company: Laura O’Donnell is a Partner with the law firm of Haynes and Boone. She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Laura specializes in FLSA collective actions and state wage and hour class actions as well as class discrimination, particularly EEOC claims of systemic discrimination. Laura is co-leader of the Firm’s Wage and Hour Litigation group.

About the Program: This year, the North Chamber and Haynes and Boone, LLP will present an Annual Employment Law Update for the 12th consecutive year. This full-day program is designed to update employers, human resources professionals, in-house councils, managers and business owners on the latest in employment law to help reduce and/or avoid costly litigation. Haynes and Boone lend their most skilled employment law attorneys from across Texas for this enriching legal seminar.

Personally Speaking: Laura has been involved with the North Chamber for many years working on the Enterprising Women’s Conference and chairing several EWC committees. Laura has chaired the Annual Employment Law Update since its inception 12 years ago.

Salute to Excellence

This recognition event is designed to honor San Antonio’s finest leaders and organizations for their contributions in the areas of community contribution, business achievement, leadership and philanthropy. In 2010, the award was renamed the Gov. Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Salute to Excellence Award in memory of Briscoe’s contributions to the state of Texas.

Salute to Excellence Honorees

2013 Maj. Gen. Joe Robles, USA Ret., USAA
2012 Charlie Amato & Gary Dudley, SWBC
2011 Dr. Louis Agnese, The University of the Incarnate Word
2010 Dr. Ricardo Romo, UTSA
2009 Bill Greehey, NuStar Energy, L.P.
2008 Tom Frost, Frost
2007 Governor Dolph Briscoe, Jr.
2006 Lila Cockrell, San Antonio Parks Foundation & Former Mayor of San Antonio
2005 Charline and Red McCombs, McCombs Enterprises
2004 San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (EDF)
Mario Hernandez, EDF President
Ed Kelley, USAA Real Estate Company, Retired & 2004 EDF Chairman of the Board
Joe McKinney, Broadway National Bank & 2003 EDF Chairman of the Board
2003 Kent Krauss, San Antonio Business Journal, Publisher

Sustainability Initiative

In 2010, the North Chamber and its non-profit entity Lead SA launched a sustainability initiative that included a professional development series and an endowed scholarship to support the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute (TSERI) at UTSA. Since then, the Sustainability Series has presented experts on the topics of energy tax savings, commercial recycling, water conservation and air quality, and Lead SA shares a digital Sustainability newsletter.

Sustainability Series Chair

John Facey
John Facey
UTSA Institute for Economic Development

About the Company: The Institute assists communities and businesses from conception to startup and expansion with a broad array of advising and research services. These services are provided by 11 centers of excellence located at UTSA’s downtown campus. The Institute’s services have an international reach, but are most heavily focused upon national, regional and local communities and businesses.

About the Program: The SustainAbility program is a three-part series designed to work with the business community to preserve the future by focusing on commercial and practical sustainability awareness and programs that can be implemented in businesses. Proceeds from this series benefit Lead SA, the North Chamber’s 501 (c)(3) organization that serves to promote educational, career and professional development in San Antonio.

Personally Speaking: UTSA has been a Chamber member for many years. John has been on the SustainAbility committee since 2011 and served as co-chair in 2012. John says the committee’s programming adopts a very pragmatic approach in presenting sustainability topics to the business community with the key theme being the many ways sustainability can improve the bottom line of a business.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Annie Turner
Wells Fargo


Rob Killen
Kaufman & Killen, Inc.


Phyllis Gallay


E. Duane Wilson
North Chamber


Board Members

Larry Anthis
Capital One Bank


Pamela Bain
Bain Medina Bain

Edward De La Garza
Gonzalez + De La Garza & Associates


Brent Given
Bank of San Antonio


Bryan Guinn
Prism Technologies Group


Beth Hair
Aventine Hill Partners


James Hardin
USAA Real Estate Co.


Terry Hookstra
eEmployers Solutions, Inc.


Gary Hoyak


Alan Kramer
Bank of America


Troy Law


Leslie Luttrell
Luttrell Zucker Law Group, PC


Victoria Martin, CPA
Padgett, Stratemann & Co., LLP


Dick McNary
Project Control


Brad Rollins


Steve Schipull
Generations Federal Credit Union


Sandy Schlortt


Gerado Ventura
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union


John A. Worthington
Security Service Federal Credit Union