Less than 10 days after winning a narrow re-election victory, Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced two significant staff changes Monday, bringing in Jim Greenwood, former vice president of government affairs for Valero Energy Corp., as his chief of staff and hiring Ivalis Gonzalez Meza as his new point person for public engagement.
The two staff changes, effective immediately, come after Nirenberg fended off a strong runoff challenge from Councilman Greg Brockhouse.
Greenwood replaces Trey Jacobson, a longtime City staffer who worked for Nirenberg since he was elected to the mayor’s office in 2017 and also worked for Mayor Phil Hardberger. Jacobson “is leaving the mayor’s office to pursue other opportunities,” according to the news release.
“Jim brings a wealth of experience from inside and outside government,” Nirenberg said of Greenwood. “I am excited that he has agreed to fill this crucial leadership role, and I know he has the necessary skills to be effective.”
Greenwood, who retired from Valero in 2016 after 20 years with the company, has volunteered for Nirenberg’s office for more than a year, served as board chairman for Family Services of San Antonio, was chairman of the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s $40 million capital campaign, was chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and worked with then-Mayor Julian Castro to get Pre-K for SA approved by voters, according to a news release issued by the mayor’s office Monday evening.
Meza, who served as Nirenberg’s senior policy advisor and worked on his reelection campaign, was promoted Monday to fill the newly created position of director of policy and public engagement.
“I was elected to represent the people, and my door is open to the community. San Antonians also are going to see more of me in their neighborhoods,” Nirenberg said. “The new public engagement position will enhance and strengthen the public’s relationship with the mayor’s office. Ivalis has proven skills in this area.”
Meza has a degree from St. Mary’s University’s School of Law and has worked for the San Antonio River Authority and Spurs Sports & Entertainment. She previously served on the boards of Healthy Futures of Texas and the Martinez Street Women’s Center.