Congratulations to the 2014 Leadership Lab Class Graduates

LL Lab Photo_Retreat2014 Leadership Lab Class

Bruce Ahlswede
Walton Signage

Gena Alvarez
C.H. Guenther & Son, Inc

Rosantina Aranda

Victoria Arellano
Reece Supply Company

Danny Arnold
Security Service FCU

Caitlin Bagnall
2014 Lab Student

John Barbour
Alterman, Inc.

Colleen Bartee

Sjanna Bernal
Security Service FCU

Bryan Beverly
Denim Group, Ltd

Marian Braggs
CPS Energy

Scott Brant
Catholic Life Insurance

Meagan Brown
San Antonio Water System

Christal Carrick

Genaro Castro
SeaWorld San Antonio

Melissa Cody
SeaWorld San Antonio

Jonathan Contreras
Structure Tone Southwest

Rosemary Davis
Security Service FCU

Jessica Delgado
Broadway Bank

Ben Dolan
Deacon Recruiting, Inc.

Brenna Dominguez
Airrosti Rehab Centers

Michael Easterling

Jan Edmondson

Bryan Edwards
MGR Accounting

Candy Ferdin

Samantha Fojtik
North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

Todd Freedman
Security Service FCU

James Garcia

Bonnie Garza

Fred Gibbons
Broadway Bank

Marco Gonzalez
Plains Capital Bank

Joey Goode
CPS Energy

Shannon Grenet
USAA Real Estate Co.

Phillip Guajardo
Cleary Zimmermann Eng.

Michelle Hartman

Meredith Hatzenbuehler
2014 Lab Student

Greg Hemphill

Ralph Hernandez
Walton Signage

Katherine Howe-Frilot
Wells Fargo

Mark Johnson

Juan Juarez
Bear Audio Visual, Inc

Louis Labatt
CPS Energy

Kathleen Labus
NE Lakeview College

Yvonne Larson
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Blake LaRue
Joeris General Contractors

Jesse Lotay
Jackson Walker L.L.P.

Selena Marquez
2014 Lab Student

Charlie Martinez
Robot Creative

Pablo Martinez
DeWied International

Willie Martinez
CPS Energy

Teresa McFalls
DeWied International

Sonny Montiel
Broadway Bank

Peter Moser
Security Service FCU

Eric Neuner
Raba Kistner Consultants

Adam Neveu
Beyer Mechanical

Amy New
2014 Lab Student

Greg Padalecki

Ann Pena

Wende Preston
Security Service FCU

Hilda Quinones
2014 Lab Student

Christen Ramirez
Goen South Events

Kent Rooen
Walton Signage

Sonya Ryals

Krystal Saenz
eEmployers Solutions

Rosa Santillan
Crosspoint, Inc

Paul Santoyo
Cox Smith

Bronwen Scott
Deacon Recruiting, Inc.

Rhonda Scott
eEmployers Solutions

Sally Smith
Marmon Mok

TJ Steinkirchner
Project Control

Mark Tang
Equinox Louvered Roofs

Susan Valdez
Akin Doherty Klein & Feuge, P.C.

Jorge Vazquez

Dennis Wagner
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co

Eric Wanke
SpawGlass Contractors

Jen Webb

Chris White
Walton Signage

Alexandra Wood

Michael Wyant

Andrew Young
ENTRUST Technology Consulting Services

Broadway Banker proves it’s never too late, graduates and takes home service award

BroadwayBank_Logo_tagIt takes a savvy, confident and fearless leader to run the Broadway Bank Care Corps, a boots-on-the-ground volunteer battalion, which sets the standard for community service in San Antonio. It takes Jeannette Flores Westbrook, Broadway Bank senior vice president, community reinvestment. Under her leadership Care Corps has already served in 45 charitable projects for 2014, setting the pace for topping the 130 served in all of 2013. With grit and determination, Flores Westbrook does as she says. She serves on the board of Dress for Success, Communities In Schools, Project Quest and volunteers regularly with Habitat for Humanity and the United Way VITA program. Above all, it is her leadership at Broadway Bank that is improving the quality of life for so many people in the local communities.

Jeannette Flores Westbrook General R. L. Herring Award“It takes all of us in San Antonio and even our outlying communities to make a difference. The Care Corps proves this every time they take on a project,” said Flores Westbrook. “Our employees who make up the Care Corps are community-spirited and very generous with their time and talent,” she added.

The Care Corps is her brainchild—an idea she made a reality in 2004 as another way to achieve the goals of the Broadway Bank community reinvestment office which she heads. It has grown ever since, with almost 60 percent of Broadway Bank employees serving on the Care Corps and frequently bringing along family members and friends in accomplishing the mission.

“Jeannette has taken a brilliant idea and put it into action to accomplish so much good for our community and in the process has fostered the culture of dignity, respect and love of neighbor that permeates the Broadway Bank experience,” said Jim Goudge, chairman and CEO of Broadway Bank. “We know that the Broadway Bank founding principles of giving back to our community are in the right hands.”

In 1974, at age nineteen, Flores Westbrook accepted a job as a teller for Broadway Bank and has her own unique story that is only possible because of an organization and environment that empowers and develops human capital with extreme premeditation. She stepped in as a secretary for an employee who had gone on maternity leave and from there she shot up in the organization taking advantage of training opportunities and graduating from banking schools.

“I have been blessed to be part of the Broadway Bank family who has a genuine commitment to the community,” she said.

Celebrating 40 years at Broadway Bank represents a major milestone only a select few attain. It is a testament to her loyalty and perseverance and it’s these characteristics that propelled Flores Westbrook to achieve one other life-changing milestone in 2014. On June 27, she walked the stage, graduating with honors, at Wayland Baptist University and while she never considered herself an ordinary student, the university considered her an extraordinary student. Along with her coveted college diploma, Flores Westbrook was awarded the General R. L. Herring Award as the outstanding graduate majoring in human services who has demonstrated a dedication to advancement in their career, education, faith and helping their fellow man—all values that embodied the life of Herring.

“I hope that through finishing my degree, I can really encourage and inspire young girls and other women. It is never too late,” said Flores Westbrook. “The value a college education adds to your life is immeasurable,” she added.

With tears in her eyes, she reflects on the meaning of this accomplishment, “My 89-year-old mother, along with the rest of my family and friends, was there to see me graduate.”

About Broadway Bank
Headquartered in San Antonio, Broadway Bank was founded in 1941. It has evolved from a small neighborhood bank into one of the largest independently owned banks in Texas. Today, Broadway Bank continues to function as a family-owned and operated financial institution. Broadway Bank offers a full- range of sophisticated financial services, including personal banking, private banking, military banking, business banking and wealth management. With more than $2.9 billion in total assets, the highly rated Bank operates 40 locations in San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding areas. Visit the Broadway Bank website at for more information.

North San Antonio Chamber partners with State Farm and UTSA to launch Student Memberships

North Chamber logo 4c stackedThrough the generosity of a grant by State Farm, the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce announces the addition of college student membership to its community offerings, and the first 10 student members will be selected from the UTSA College of Business.

State Farm LogoCOSOne of the North SA Chamber’s strategic goals for 2014 is to meet the needs of the business community with a readied workforce. The North SA Chamber 2014 Chairman of the Board, Annie Turner, Vice President and Business Banking Manager for Wells Fargo, is focused on engaging millennial workers by building a bridge between education and the workforce.

“So many business owners and organizations are looking for qualified people. If you have a qualified workforce, then that just improves the community overall,” says Turner. “Thousands of baby boomers are retiring from the workforce each day, and we’re facing an enormous leadership gap. The North SA Chamber can help veterans, millennial workers and just about every professional in any interest area to access resources to sharpen their professional skills and build relationships through our various instructional and networking events and volunteer opportunities,” she adds.

The college student membership is $75 per student and is a two-year, non-renewing membership. Students must be 18 years or older, enrolled in a four-year university or college, and enrolled in their senior year of coursework. Through membership with the North SA Chamber, college students will be afforded the opportunity to meet professional members, get involved in committees, learn about community initiatives, share information, gain personal visibility and develop personal, professional and leadership skills through their involvement. Additionally, student members will be promoted through the Chamber’s online membership directory under the categories of “Student” and “Job Seeker.”

North SA Chamber member Jake Jacobson, Sales Leader of the West Sales Territory for State Farm, was seeking ways to increase the insurance company’s involvement within the North SA Chamber and recognized the student membership offering as an ideal opportunity to support emerging leaders. “State Farm engages in ongoing efforts to recruit the best qualified talent,” says Jacobson. “Getting college students involved in real-world interaction with the business community struck us as a practical way to help grow the local talent pool,” he adds.

Jacobson, who works closely with the UTSA College of Business, identified UTSA as the sponsoring university to select the inaugural 10 student members.

Dr. Lisa Montoya is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in UTSA’s College of Business. She will work with Jacobson to identify eligible students and the State Farm Team will select the grantees. The 10 student members will be identified and their memberships activated by August 1.

“At UTSA, we’re doing our part to educate our future business leaders and provide them with the skills they will need to compete in the business world,” says Dr. Montoya. “We’re excited that the North Chamber is providing college students a forum for relationship building with business leaders in a real-world environment. Experience makes all the difference when it comes job seeking and candidate selection. We’re grateful to the North Chamber and State Farm for creating this opportunity,” Dr. Montoya adds.

State Farm will identify five local agents who each will mentor two college students through their early months of membership with the North SA Chamber. “The business community is a big place. We want to help shepherd the college students through to help them network and build confidence,” says Jacobson. “But we trust this first class of students will leverage their membership, and hope to see each of them placed with local employers as they build relationships and build their resume,” says Jacobson.

Businesses interested in sponsoring college student members, or students interested in joining individually may learn more by visiting and clicking on the Join Now tab or calling (210) 344-4848.

About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit®.

About UTSA
The University of Texas at San Antonio is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. The UTSA College of Business offers a comprehensive curriculum at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level that expands the boundaries of a traditional business education. Nationally ranked and internationally recognized, the college is home to 5,100 business students and features traditional degrees in areas such as accounting, finance and marketing as well as specialized programming in entrepreneurship, information security and real estate finance and development.

About North SA Chamber
The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has been keeping member businesses and San Antonio strong for 40 years by advocating on behalf of member businesses large and small; delivering exceptional, business-to-business networking opportunities; honoring leaders at every age and career stage; and cultivating the workforce through leadership and professional development training. For more information, visit us online at


TMI celebrates 120th graduation

TMI crest, verticalTMI – The Episcopal School of Texas celebrated its 120th graduation ceremony May 24 in the school’s All Saints Chapel.

Members of TMI’s class of 2014 were offered a total of $9 million in scholarships. All 74 graduates will attend four-year colleges and universities, including Boston College, Boston University, Duke, Emory, Georgetown, Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Notre Dame, Rice, St. Olaf, UCLA, the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington and Lee, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as Baylor, SMU, Trinity, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.

graduation_P2170558 copyMembers of TMI’s class of 2014 celebrate at the end of their graduation ceremony, held May 24 in All Saints Chapel.

“This is a special place,” said TMI Headmaster John W. Cooper, Ph.D., in his welcome address. “Of course, it’s a beautiful spot in the Texas Hill Country, but more important, it’s a place where some incredible people – adults and youth – work and study and laugh and cry together, and build their futures and make memories.”

Class speaker Berkeley Brown, who will attend Harvard College in the fall, said, “Our teachers never ceased to believe in our abilities and potential, not just as leaders and intellects but as people. As a class, we dare to believe that we can do anything, that we can inspire change, that we have the strength to go the extra mile.”

Susannah Wright, a National Merit Scholar, was awarded the Bishop’s Cup, for the member of the graduating class who has demonstrated the finest qualities of Christian citizenship. She will attend Rice University in the fall. Taylor Devlin was the recipient of the Founder’s Award, presented to the student who best embodies the TMI mission statement. She will attend Trinity University in the fall.

About TMI
Founded in 1893, TMI is the flagship school of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, a private, co-educational, college-preparatory school for grades 6-12 with optional Junior ROTC and boarding programs. For information, visit or call (210) 698-7171.

Five Highland High School students awarded Broadway Bank scholarships

BroadwayBank_Logo_tagHighlands High School Students with Jeanette Flores Westbrook Cheever BuildingHighlands High School Class of 2014 graduating seniors, Christian Garcia-Hernandez, Anthony Lopez, Jason Lopez, Artemio Ortiz and Eduardo Velazquez, took center stage as Broadway Bank awarded them each $2,000 scholarships in support of their next step in education. San Antonio Independent School District superintendent Sylvester Perez, Ed.D., and the executive director of the San Antonio Education Partnership (SAEP), Eyra Perez, joined with Jim Goudge, Broadway Bank, chief executive officer, and a large group of Broadway Bankers to recognize the students.

“It’s an honor to celebrate the success of these Broadway Bank scholarship recipients and to learn about their plans for the future,” said Sylvester Perez, Ed.D. “They have great aspirations, and this generous contribution toward their college education will bring them a step closer to achieving their goals.”

All five students are first generation college-goers and three of them boast a100 percent attendance rate. Broadway Bank awards these scholarships to students representing a different high school in Bexar County every year in collaboration with the SAEP.

Anthony Lopez plans to study electrical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He said, “I want to create a company that brings jobs here to San Antonio, Texas, my hometown.”

Christian Garcia-Hernandez with Jeannette Westbrook FloresGarcia-Hernandez plans to attend Northeast Lakeview College then transfer to UTSA. He is both a first generation high school graduate and college student. He said, “I’m very determined to graduate from college.”

Jason Lopez was thrilled to receive the scholarship. He never missed a day of school and will study technology engineering at UTSA. He said, “The reason I want to study engineering is because I want to be able to make a big change in the world. I even want to make history.”

Ortiz said, “I want to become a cyber-security computer programmer. I know it will not be easy but I will strive to succeed and reach my future goals.” He has 100 percent attendance and also plans to study at UTSA.

Eduardo Velazquez has a 98 average and has 100 percent attendance. He will study music performance at UTSA. He said, “For my career, I wish to be a music educator or instructor able to make a positive difference in children’s lives through music.”

Highlands High School Students with checksBroadway Bank’s Jeannette Flores Westbrook, senior vice president, community reinvestment, said, “There is no better investment than to help students pursue their dreams for a brighter future.” She told the students, “This scholarship means more than just dollars, it’s about giving you confidence and inspiration to realize your full potential. We all believe in you and we wish you the best.”

This is the fifth year that Broadway Bank and the SAEP have partnered to award these scholarships.

About Broadway Bank
Headquartered in San Antonio, Broadway Bank was founded in 1941. It has evolved from a small neighborhood bank into one of the largest independently owned banks in Texas. Today, Broadway Bank continues to function as a family-owned and operated financial institution. Broadway Bank offers a full range of sophisticated financial services, including personal banking, private banking, military banking, business banking and wealth management. With more than $2.9 billion in total assets, the highly-rated Bank operates 38 locations in San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding areas. Visit the Broadway Bank website at for more information.

IBC Bank awards $19,000 in scholarships to area graduates

IBC Bank logoFor the 13th consecutive year, IBC Bank-San Antonio is promoting higher education by awarding a combined $18,000 in scholarships to 18 area high school graduates as they embark upon college and a new chapter of their adult lives. The students were awarded the A.R. Sanchez, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Award at a citywide reception Thursday, June 27 at IBC Bank-San Antonio’s Nakoma branch located off U.S. Highway 281.

IBC Bank-San Antonio began this market-wide scholarship initiative in 2001 to provide the opportunity for higher education to youth from low to moderate income households. Born into a humble family, Antonio R. Sanchez, Sr., the namesake of the scholarship award and the founder of IBC Bank, was a strong supporter of making higher education available to those interested in bettering their lives. Sanchez’s commitment to the power of learning lives on in the A.R. Sanchez Scholarship Award, which is bestowed annually upon deserving high school seniors in South Texas and the upper Gulf Coast area.

“The A.R. Sanchez, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Award tangibly demonstrates IBC’s ‘We Do More’ philosophy and reiterates the bank’s firm stance on promoting higher education in the community,” IBC Bank-San Antonio President and CEO Mike Sohn said. “These deserving high school seniors are the future business men and women of San Antonio, and we are proud to assist them in their pursuit of higher education.”

This year, IBC Bank-San Antonio presented a total of 18 A.R. Sanchez, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Awards, each valued at $1,000, across 11 area high schools. Scholarship award recipients included: Orlando Ordonez – Luling High School; Malaina Vargas – San Marcos High School; Ben Pelayo – Roosevelt High School; Valeria Sanchez, Sierra Zamarripa, Doris Pineda, and Brianna Luera – Fox Tech High School; Yael Garcia-Torrescano, Amanda Balderas – Robert E. Lee High School; Emerald Lopez and Jorge Cano – South San Antonio High School; Amber Rodriguez – James Madison High School; Amanda Collins – Douglas MacArthur High School; Evelyn Cray, Tony Dawson, and Rodney Miller-Whitby – Sam Houston High School; Narda Martinez-Saenz – International School of the Americas; and, Rigo Cardenas – Harlandale High School.

IBC Bank IMG_4554

In addition to their scholarship, students were provided a free “Get Smart About Credit” financial literacy course, presented by IBC Bank-San Antonio. Credit management techniques taught in this course empower students to develop strong financial habits for a lifetime. The course informed students about different types of credit, the importance of credit worthiness, keeping records for checking accounts and how to identify ways to save money.

IBC Bank-San Antonio is a division of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), an $11.5 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas, with 217 facilities and 337 ATMs serving 88 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. IBC Bank-San Antonio has been serving the Alamo City community since 1986 and has a retail branch network of 30 locations throughout the area. More information is available at Visit us on our YouTube channel, IBCBankWeDoMore. Member FDIC/International Bancshares Corporation.

SACU Bridge for U Scholarship awards $18,000 to students

SACU logoSACU is pleased to announce the six recipients of its 2013-2014 SACU Bridge for U Scholarship, designed to assist SACU members as they move from a two-year community college to a four-year college or university. This year’s scholarship awards totaled $18,000.

“One of San Antonio’s strengths is its solid and accessible community college system. This scholarship is a benefit of SACU membership, providing $3,000 per student to assist our members in ‘bridging’ from a two-year community college to a four-year college or university,” SACU Scholarship representative Juan Antonio Ruiz said. SACU Board of Directors Scholarship Chair Deborah J. McCrary introduced and recognized three of the six winners who attended the credit union’s 78th annual meeting on May 16.

Amy Blanks, member since 2011, from San Antonio; attending the University of Texas at San Antonio; major: psychology.

Silas Espino, member since 2009, fromSan Antonio; attending the University of Texas at San Antonio; major: anthropology

Michaelina Guerra, member since 2010, from San Antonio; attending Texas A&M-San Antonio; major: kinesiology

2013 Bridge for U Scholarship winners & McCrary 78th ann meeting 1960

(photo) SACU Bridge for U Scholarship winners (L to R): Amy Blanks, Michaelina Guerro and Silas Espino. (Not shown: Kyla Barcenas, Ashley Baum and Andrea Rivas)

Unable to attend were:

Kyla Barcenas, member since 2012, from San Antonio; attending Texas A&M-San Antonio, major:  physical therapy

Ashley Baum, member since 2003, from Katy, Texas; attending Texas A&M, major: horticulture

Andrea Rivas, member since 2010, from San Antonio; attending Texas State University; major: visual studies.

SACU established The Bridge for U Scholarship in 2009 and has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships since the program began. The funds can be used to defray the costs of tuition, books and lab fees and other education expenses. It is available annually to students who qualify. Watch for scholarship information through SACU publications. Visit in November 2013 to access applications for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Funding for the SACU Bridge for U Scholarship is part of the credit union’s broader commitment to educational programs in the community, including 14 years as co-sponsor for the ExCEL Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching and support for the Team-Up Challenge and High 5 Readers programs through the Spurs Silver and Black Give Back. SACU provides endowments at UT San Antonio, University of the Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake University and the Alamo Colleges through the Jeffrey H. Farver Endowed Scholarship. It also supports scholarships through the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo sponsorship and provides an employee tuition reimbursement program.

SACU is a $2.9 billion credit union, with 16 locations in San Antonio and one in Houston. As a member-owned financial institution, SACU provides a wide array of convenient services to members through GOTM, the mobile app from SACU, and numerous online services. Members benefit through competitive savings and loan rates and reasonably priced financial services. There are hundreds of ways to qualify for membership at SACU. Visit, or call 210-258-1234 or 1-800-688-SACU (7228) for information.

May 2013 Word from the Chairman

Rollins_Brad-ChairmanOn behalf of the board of directors, thank you for your membership and involvement with the North SA Chamber. Since the beginning of the year we have welcomed more than 80 new members and refocused our energies on orienting new members and facilitating participation across the organization. In doing so, we have initiated a personalized welcome for all new members at monthly Networking Breakfasts, personal calls from Membership Committee members, an email series detailing visibility opportunities, and most recently, we have added a new staff member to help navigate new members into involvement that best matches individual focus areas. Christabel Cook is the North SA Chamber’s new Marketing & Membership Services Coordinator and she is available to help connect you to chamber resources.

Government Affairs
On May 1st, the North SA Chamber was honored to host U.S. Senator Ted Cruz for a Small Business Roundtable discussion at the chamber office. A dozen business owners had the opportunity to ask their Senator direct questions and express their concerns over topics including tax reform, government contracting availability for small businesses and health care reform – among many others. We thank Sen. Cruz for asking the North SA Chamber to host the discussion and we were pleased to provide our members the opportunity to have their voices heard before their elected official.

More recently, our Government Affairs committee gained insight on the issues of higher education funding, downtown development, health care and justice.

UTSA Director of External Affairs Albert Carrisalez reviewed the State’s changing role in higher education funding. He explained that up until the 1970s, public universities relied heavily on the legislature for funding. Today, State funds are only about 17% of UTSA’s budget. UTSA been a responsible steward and has been successful in raising private funds from the community for many of their capital building and research funding needs. The university is now seeking approximately $46M from the State to build a new science building to replace their existing 37 year-old obsolete building. The university asks for your support before the legislature to support SB 16 for revenue bonds.

We were also joined by Director of Center City Development Lori Houston. As a direct result of SA2020 vision planning, Houston’s department was created to facilitate redevelopment of our inner city and downtown core and her team is focused on creating more housing and retail opportunities. Here’s a quick synopsis of our downtown economic impact. Downtown is home to an $11B tourism industry – the city core’s anchor, 65K employees representing $2.4B in wages, and 3.4K households accommodating 18K downtown and surrounding area residents. Overall, this has a $6B economic impact on San Antonio. Additionally, Center City is working to mitigate the regulatory challenges to development in downtown, reviewing and amending the Universal Development Code annually and offering incentivized development. If your business is part of a new development or redevelopment project in downtown or the surrounding area, please seek out Center City Development to help facilitate meetings with city departments.

Finally County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson reviewed the County’s focus areas in transportation, healthcare, neighborhood revitalization, jail population reduction, resource recovery – recycling, and energy consumption reduction. Overall, approximately 62% of County revenue comes from property taxes and the County focuses 80% of their efforts on health and justice. Commissioner Adkisson explained that as property values have increased, the County has been diligent to maintain or lower tax rates. The County works with the State, Texas Workforce Commission and nearly 40 nonprofits to correct offenders re-entering society in an effort to reduce re-offenses and volume in Bexar County jail. On the heath front, Commissioner Adkisson says the University Health System is focused on clinical treatment versus emergency, reactive care. The UHS is moving to a leadership role in diabetes control to lessen the costly care that can result from lack of preventative treatment.

Upcoming Events
We’ve got a full slate of summer programs scheduled and there’s sure to be a topic to meet you interest area. Our first CSO SustainAbility Summit is Wednesday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Hilton San Antonio – Airport. CSO Workshops, presented by the Mission Verde Alliance, precede the Summit from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

I hope you’ll join us to “Get the Bexar Facts” at the Eighth Annual State of the County Address with Judge Nelson Wolff on Friday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Judge Wolff will present the County’s priorities and will likely announce a newsworthy initiative or two.

Additionally, the Small Business How 2 Series topic is How 2 Generate Social Media Content: Strategy, Photo, Video and Blog. The seminar is designed for small businesses just launching a social media strategy and will take place Thursday, June 6, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Hilton San Antonio – Airport.

Lastly, the Technology Council presents the Business Technology Series: Accounting Software & Your Business on Wednesday, June 12, from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Petroleum Club. Learn more about what considerations should be made before purchasing, upgrading or transitioning programs.

Be a part of it.
I hope you will join us at these and our other upcoming events, enroll on a committee and be a part of it all here at the North SA Chamber. Thank you for all you do to keep Bexar County strong and I hope to see you soon.

80/20 Foundation Funds Social Entrepreneurship at St. Mary’s University

rackspace_logo_08_07_20122Rackspace Hosting co-founder and chairman, Graham Weston’s 80/20 Foundation has announced a substantial grant to St. Mary’s University’s new Social Entrepreneurship Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. The grant funds a 3 Day Startup weekend that fosters socially-responsible entrepreneurial progress in San Antonio.

hearSA_StMarys_Logo_BlueSt. Mary’s is among the first nationwide to create a specialized MBA program. The university implemented the program after it saw a need for more lab-experiential learning, thus adding value to the degree and graduating students who have real-world experience. St. Mary’s Dean of the Greehey School of Business Tanuja Singh, believes this program will have a larger impact on these students’ lives and on San Antonio.

“We want our students to do well by doing something good,” said Singh. “We are helping teach a generation of students who will pay attention to the double bottom line, which includes measurements on financial growth and positive social impact, creating ripple effects of better business practices and a more socially responsible business climate in San Antonio.”

The program will culminate each May with a required fast-paced boot camp weekend where the 4 to 5 student-led teams will take their idea to reality with the help of 3 Day Startup (3DS), an Austin-based non-profit organization focused on entrepreneurial education through experiential learning. This will be the first 3 Day Startup weekend at St. Mary’s University and the first exclusively focused on social entrepreneurialism.

According to 3DS CEO Cam Houser, who runs 3DS weekends all over the world, this program is unique because, where 3DS often works with students for just an intense 3 days, this time 3DS representatives will be visiting the campus often, helping the students throughout the semester.

“The 3DS program is imbedded into the curriculum,” said Houser. “St. Mary’s program is helping the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

According to Houser, he has seen more socially-responsible startups in recent 3DS weekends, increasing from 10% of start-up ideas to 20% over this past year.

80/20’s founder, Graham Weston is focused on building San Antonio into the cloud capital of the world. He was drawn to the program due to the focus of creating a technological solution for social problems.

“Most MBA programs don’t create entrepreneurs and don’t put their students in motion,” said Lorenzo Gomez, III, executive director of 80/20 Foundation. “What 80/20 saw in St. Mary’s is that it’s ahead of the curve when it comes to specializing MBA programs. It put its students in motion and in a direction to positively impact the world.”

For information about 3 Day Startup, visit For information about St. Mary’s University, visit

Educating Lincoln in the 21st Century

ThomasMengler_finalBy Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., president of St. Mary’s University

The brilliance of Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln” is its nuanced portrayal of Abraham Lincoln’s wisdom, craftiness and compassion. As a university educator, I left the movie theater over Thanksgiving wondering what kind of education is necessary today to educate a magnificent leader like Lincoln, who most historians rank as our finest president.

Lincoln’s education derived significantly, though not solely, from the breadth and depth of his reading. One of young Lincoln’s contemporaries unflatteringly characterized him as a “very lazy man” because he was “always reading – scribbling – writing – ciphering – writing Poetry.” Lincoln himself credited the source of his wisdom and knowledge to expansive reading: “All I have learned, I learned from books.” Lincoln was drawn to math, especially Euclid’s works on geometry. In an important scene in Spielberg’s movie, President Lincoln advocates for equality among all people by quoting Euclid’s principle that things equal to the same thing are also equal to one another.

Lincoln also studied theology, especially the Bible, and his most important speeches contain frequent references to scripture. He loved poetry and was particularly fond of several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Richard III, King Lear and Macbeth, which he could recite by heart. And Lincoln the lawyer had read the most significant law texts of his time, including Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Lincoln, as we know, was self-taught, reading and studying by himself. Even Lincoln’s study of the law was solitary and thus atypical, since most lawyers in 19th century America learned the law under the apprenticeship of an experienced senior lawyer. One might be tempted to conclude, therefore, that an education like the one Lincoln received can occur in solitude, in your pajamas, in front of a computer screen.

Lincoln’s education, however, would suggest otherwise. As a lawyer in rural Illinois in the 1840s and 1850s, Lincoln continued his transformation from backwoods youth to moral leader while “riding the circuit.” During that period, lawyers and judges in rural America would ride from town to town, trying local cases. Most towns in central Illinois, where Lincoln rode the circuit, were too sparsely populated to have a judge or even a lawyer. At the end of every day after the court session, the circuit judge and lawyers would swap stories, discuss the most vital moral and political issues of the times, and build friendships. They grew as men around a campfire through discussion and reflection.

The modern equivalent to Lincoln’s education, I would argue, is the kind of education – a values-based liberal arts education on a residential campus – St. Mary’s University and many other fine liberal arts institutions have provided for a long time. It is an education where students read broadly and deeply, think critically, and learn to write and speak effectively, though a nurturing community where faculty and staff facilitate the shaping of students’ hearts as well as minds. It is not a drive-thru, discount model of education. No, the lesson of Lincoln’s education is that the transformative education of young adults into ethical leaders is hard work, collaborative and multidimensional.

After you see Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” ask yourselves, what kind of education produces a leader who, as the bloodiest war in our history ended, exhorted the American people:

With malice toward none;
with charity for all;
with firmness in the right,
as God gives us to see the right,
let us strive on to finish the work we are in.

The moral of Lincoln’s story may be that some things – like the value of a liberal arts education – don’t change. The good and the true should endure.