Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) speaks with San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ramiro Cavasos before the event begins. Photo by Michael Cirlos.
Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1), a Leadership SA alumni, speaks with San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ramiro Cavazos before the event begins. Credit: Michael Cirlos for The San Antonio Report

Fifty-six individuals in Leadership San Antonio’s (LSA) 2017 class were announced Tuesday, with representation from fields as disparate as education, banking, and the nonprofit sector.

The leadership development program, sponsored by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, brings together the “best of the best from all sectors of the community” to engage and become positive change agents in the city’s most pressing issues, said Chamber Vice President Priscilla Camacho.

“We try to get a good representation of the industries that we have in the community,” Camacho told the Rivard Report.

For a list of LSA’s new leadership class and steering committee, click here.

From January to October, the highly competitive program offers monthly, day-long sessions on specific themes, such as education, government, and poverty. Participants are bussed to several different locations to participate in a variety of programs and attend speeches by public officials and industry leaders.

“A lot of people find their causes through LSA,” Hispanic Chamber Vice President of Communications Brianna Dimas said.

For example, during a day focused on criminal justice, members of the 2016 class visited the Juvenile Detention Center and a handful signed up to become mentors to young inmates. In other instances participants have learned about innovative schools and programs helping teen fathers.

Participants must have at least one year of residency in San Antonio and are expected to be involved in service-focused leadership, Dimas said.

“It’s someone who’s not just looking to build up their resume or do a normal leadership training,” Dimas explained. “It’s someone who’s really invested in making a difference in San Antonio.”

Attorney Andrew Casillas and San Antonio Area Foundation Vice President of Development & Donor Services/Communications Lisa Brunsvold will co-chair the class, which will be the 42nd since the organization’s founding in 1975.

“Leadership San Antonio is one of the most dynamic leadership programs in the country,” Casillas stated in a news release. “And this year’s class will continue that tradition by examining the current trajectory of the city and tackling issues that will affect San Antonio into the next generation.”

LSA’s more than 1,500 alumni include former U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, former Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, Mayor Ivy Taylor, City Council members Shirley Gonzales (D5), Ron Nirenberg (D8), and Roberto Treviño (D1), and business leaders Pat Frost of Frost Bank, Hispanic Chamber CEO and President Ramiro Cavazos, and former Chamber presidents David McGee and Sam Dawson.

“If you look at the list of leaders that we have selected, you will see a really good array of employer backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, female-to-male ratio,” Camacho said. “You’re going to see a very good representation of what our population looks like, and so I think that is going to speak volumes of the type of work that’s going to be put out by this group.”

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Daniel Kleifgen

Daniel Kleifgen graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., he came to San Antonio in 2013 as a Teach For America corps member.