San Antonio Report board welcomes new chairman in new year

San Antonio Report board welcomes new chairman in new year

This story was originally published by San Antonio Report and can be found here

The turning of the calendar brought a turn in leadership to the San Antonio Report’s board of directors. A.J. Rodriguez ascended to board chairman late last month, after John “Chico” Newman Jr. stepped down from that position and the board after more than five years.

The changes went into effect at the board’s Jan. 25 meeting.

Rodriguez joined the board in 2020, after briefly serving on the San Antonio Report’s Board of Community Advisors. Founding Vice Chair Newman, who served as chairman for a year, decided to retire from the board because he believes the organization needs a fresh set of eyes. Newman served on the board since its inception, when the San Antonio Report, founded in 2012, reorganized as a nonprofit in 2016.

The change in board leadership comes three months after the board named Angie Mock publisher and CEO of the nonprofit news organization, replacing co-founder Robert Rivard, who continues to serve as editor and lead columnist. Mock previously served as CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio and had been a member of the San Antonio Report’s board since 2018.

“We are deeply grateful for Chico’s vision, dedication, and passion that led us from a blog to a thriving nonprofit news organization,” Mock said. “Equally, I’m excited about what the future holds with A.J.’s leadership. A.J. brings a wealth of nonprofit success and strategic vision to the San Antonio Report.”

Rodriguez joined the nonprofit Texas 2036 in September 2020 as the executive vice president. Texas 2036 is a nonpartisan organization that provides research-based solutions to make Texas a better place for all residents by the state’s bicentennial. Before that, he served as vice president of external affairs and on the executive leadership team of Zachry Group, a privately held construction and engineering business. Rodriguez also served as the deputy city manager for the City of San Antonio from 2008 to 2011.

This experience makes Rodriguez the best fit to lead the board of directors as the San Antonio Report continues to evolve, Newman said.

“He is the right person at the right time,” Newman said. “You really can’t be any better than the leadership of an organization. With the combination of Angie and A.J., the San Antonio Report has outstanding leadership.”

A longtime fan of the San Antonio Report, Rodriguez said he joined the Board of Community Advisors and then the board of directors because he truly believes in the organization’s mission.

“I’ve felt compelled to participate in any way I could to support the mission of the organization,” he said.

Retired SBC Southwestern Bell President Wayne Alexander is the vice chair and treasurer of the board, while San Antonio Report founder and Editor Rivard serves as secretary. Other board directors include Teach for America Chief People Officer Laura Saldivar Luna, attorney Brian Steward, former Rackspace Community Affairs Director Cara Nichols, and Dr. Erika Gonzalez, CEO, president, and co-founder of South Texas Allergy and Asthma Professionals. Kate Rogers, a longtime H-E-B executive and the former vice president of community outreach and engagement for the Charles Butt Foundation, rounds out the eight-member board.

As the new board chairman, Rodriguez said he wants to serve as a resource for the organization, to help grow and develop the San Antonio Report at “an increasingly rapid rate,” and to maintain the high standards of journalism it upholds. He also said he is excited to work with Mock as she carries the organization forward under her leadership.

“There’s nowhere to go but up,” Rodriguez said.

Looking back over the past five years, Newman said he could not agree more. If someone had told him five years ago that the San Antonio Report would be where it is today, he would have said that was “aspirational.”

“For a small group, we punch way above our weight,” he said.

Newman has watched the organization evolve from just a handful of people to a staff of 20, from a small startup to a professional organization. He said the shifts in leadership are part of the same evolution for the San Antonio Report and will help further its mission to build a more informed community.

“We should constantly be learning, evolving, and getting better – and we have,” he said. “The organization has come a long way in five and a half years.”

San Antonio Report Staff

SAN ANTONIO REPORT STAFF

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff. 

Three named to San Antonio Report board of directors

Three named to San Antonio Report board of directors

This story was originally published by San Antonio Report and can be found here.

The San Antonio Report board of directors has elected three new directors.

Confirmed during a board meeting on Monday, the three new directors are Dr. Erika Gonzalez, Cara Nichols, and A.J. Rodriguez. They will begin serving at the Oct. 28 board meeting.

With the addition of these new members, the San Antonio Report board, which provides oversight of the nonprofit news organization, better reflects the ethnic and gender makeup of the San Antonio community, said board Chairman John “Chico” Newman.

“I truly am very excited about these three individuals,” Newman said. “They’re just going to make the board a lot better – just having different perspectives is really important. The better we can be in the boardroom, the better off it is for the organization and for San Antonio.”

The additions expand the board to 10 members and follow the Aug. 10 renaming of the San Antonio Report that occurred during its eighth year as a local news source.

“The San Antonio Report continues to be my go-to news source for high-quality, timely, well-researched, thorough local updates on important community activity,” said Rodriguez, who is executive vice president of the nonprofit think tank Texas 2036. “I’m thrilled to participate on the board to support the publication’s ongoing growth and commitment to excellent service for our readers.”

Prior to his recent appointment at Texas 2036, Rodriguez was vice president of external affairs at the San Antonio-based Zachry Group.

A former director of community affairs for Rackspace Technology, Nichols said the San Antonio Report continues to lead the way in creating an informed citizenry with integrity, relevance, and credibility. “I am honored to join the board of such an outstanding organization and to continue to advocate for San Antonians to be aware of, and take an active role in, our city’s progress,” she said.

Nichols serves on the board of the employee-funded Rackspace Foundation and previously served as editor of a high-end lifestyle magazine, C San Antonio. She is currently writing a book.

A physician and 2020 chairwoman of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Gonzalez said she is joining the board during a time when people are looking in many places for news and information, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The San Antonio Report’s nonprofit approach to news is helping our community receive their news in an equitable way,” Gonzalez said. “I am excited to join the board of directors for a news source that has earned the respect of San Antonians.”

Newman, an investor and president of the John and Florence Newman Family Foundation, began his term as chairman of the board in February. He succeeded founding Chairman Richard “Dick” T. Schlosberg III, who is now chairman of the San Antonio Report’s Board of Community Advisors, an advisory group of 20 nonvoting members established in July.

Newman said the significant changes happening within the organization in the last year have been in the works long before now. “It just so happens it’s all coming together right about now,” he said. “The steps we’re taking now will make us successful and sustainable in the future – that’s the game plan.”

Retired AT&T executive Wayne Alexander is vice chairman of the board, and other board officers include treasurer Angie Mock, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio, and Robert Rivard, the San Antonio Report’s publisher and editor who serves as the board’s secretary.

“The addition of these three outstanding community leaders will give the San Antonio Report a more diverse and representative board of directors,” Rivard said Monday.

Rounding out the San Antonio Report board are Kate Rogers, vice president of community outreach and engagement for the Charles Butt Foundation; Laura Saldivar Luna, chief people officer for Teach for America; and trial attorney Brian Steward.

Board members serve for three years with the opportunity to renew for a second three-year term.

The San Antonio Report, founded in 2012 as the Rivard Report, reorganized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2015.

Shari Biediger

SHARI BIEDIGER

Shari Biediger is the business beat reporter at the San Antonio Report.