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 $54,000 in scholarships for the award-winning Leadership Lab program, a nine-month leadership development series, and $155,000 to grant attendance for small business and non-profit members to the Enterprising Women’s Conference, a full-day professional training program, and as well as other North SA Chamber leadership and professional development programs.

Since 2003, Lead SA has awarded more than $71,000 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, for a total of $280,000 in support of leadership and professional development and the advancement of higher education.

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: Haynes and Boone, LLP is an American Lawyer top 100 law firm, with more than 550 lawyers in 13 offices and 30 major legal practices. Laura O’Donnell is a Partner and leads the firm’s Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group. 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.

About the Program: This year, the North Chamber and Haynes and Boone, LLP will present an Annual Employment Law Update for the 13th consecutive year. The Employment Law Update is a one-day seminar that provides valuable information on current liability trends and strategies to reduce employers’ exposure. The seminar is presented by experienced Haynes and Boone attorneys who exclusively practice labor and employment law and is ideal for human resources professionals, business owners, managers and executives.

Personally Speaking: As the partner over the Haynes and Boone’s central Texas labor and employment practice, Laura O’Donnell has led Haynes and Boone as they have sponsored the Employment Law Update since its inception in 2003. Laura has also served on the Enterprising Women’s Planning Committee and chaired the EWC Athena Award Committee and the Sponsorship and Table Sales Committee.

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

2014 Edith McAllister, Jane Macon, Rosemary Kowalsky
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 Chair


About the Company:

About the Program: The SustainAbility program works 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:

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Rob Killen
Kaufman & Killen, Inc.


Gary Hoyack


Phyllis Gallay


Terry Hookstra
eEmployers Solutions, Inc.


E. Duane Wilson
North Chamber


Board Members

Larry Anthis
Capital One Bank


Pamela Bain
Bain Medina Bain


Marco Garcia
Lone Star National Bank


Bryan Guinn
Prism Technologies Group


James Hardin
USAA Real Estate Co.


Alan Kramer
Bank of America


Troy Law


Victoria Lockwood Martin
Padgett, Stratemann & Co.


Leslie Luttrell
Luttrell Villarreal Law Group, PC


John McFall
Security Service Federal Credit Union


Dick McNary
Project Control


Ryan Parker
BBVA Compass


Steve Schipull
Generations Federal Credit Union


Sandy Schlortt


Chris Thiel


Annie Turner
Wells Fargo


Gerado Ventura
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union


Elena Villaseñor Sullivan
Jackson Walker LLP