San Antonio’s most influential ad man will help lead an advisory committee reviewing big changes to the Alamo and its surroundings.

Lionel Sosa has been appointed as the third chair of the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee, Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced in a news release Friday. The committee of 28 people appointed by City and State officials is gathering public input and advising Alamo Management Committee on a master plan with a revised draft still in the works.

In the early 1980s, Sosa founded Sosa and Associates, which later became the largest Latino-oriented ad agency in the United States. He also served as a media consultant in seven U.S. presidential campaigns.

“The Alamo is San Antonio’s most iconic treasure,” Sosa said in a prepared statement. “I am excited to play a part in working with the community to help develop a plan that ensures it will be preserved and properly showcased for the next 300 years.”

Sosa, who also serves on the Tricentennial Commission, replaces former tri-chair Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum, who resigned in June. City Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) and Sue Ann Pemberton, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Texas at San Antonio, are the committee’s other chairs.

“Lionel will bring fresh eyes and objectivity,” Nirenberg said in a statement. “He brings gravitas and a deep understanding of San Antonio’s diverse culture to the committee. I am grateful to him for his willingness to serve.”

At a meeting Tuesday, the committee heard reports from experts studying archaeology, traffic flow, and branding issues surrounding the redesign of Alamo Plaza. It has not yet announced its next meeting date.

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Brendan Gibbons

Brendan Gibbons is a former senior reporter at the San Antonio Report. He is an environmental journalist for Oil & Gas Watch.