The Rivard Report has expanded its newly formed Board of Community Advisors to include seven additional members.

The 20-member advisory board represents a broad range of businesses and nonprofit organizations with areas of expertise ranging from health care to technology startups. Board members were chosen to provide different perspectives and broaden the nonprofit Rivard Report’s reach and access into the San Antonio community. 

“We now have a 20-member advisory board that we believe addresses the critical feedback we received after our initial announcement,” said Robert Rivard, publisher and editor of the Rivard Report.  “We’ve added diversity on a number of fronts: race, income, geography, community experience and focus, and age. It’s an amazing group of people, and we expect them to help elevate the work and mission here.”

The community advisory board will not have voting power; members of the board of directors make decisions regarding the Rivard Report’s operations, including hiring for leadership positions and approving the annual budget.

The seven additional members were invited to participate on the board after the Rivard Report received insightful community feedback following the announcement of the advisory board earlier this month, said Richard T. Schlosberg III, chair of the new board.

“We have taken that feedback to heart and expanded the advisory board with seven additional outstanding community representatives,” Schlosberg said. “I am very much looking forward to our first meeting on July 30.”

Alex Birnel, advocacy manager for MOVE Texas, said he is excited to join the advisory board because he wants to help spark more discussion about San Antonio’s underprivileged class. MOVE works to increase participation in local elections, especially from younger voters and underserved communities. 

“San Antonio as a city is trending younger, and the voices of young people need to be in the conversation,” Birnel said. “I’m excited to bring some of that perspective to the conversations on the board.”

Ojiyoma Martin, founder of local justice organization Fix SAPD, said she hopes to bring the voice of other San Antonians to the table. Martin said she understands what it is like to be a busy mother, to be a woman who’s started a business, and to see a need in the community that needs to be represented. 

“My eyes have been opened to so many areas of our city that need someone to speak out for it,” Martin said. “The San Antonio voice is what I’m hoping to bring.”

David Nungaray, principal of Bonham Academy in the San Antonio Independent School District, said he’s looking forward to representing both local educators and immigrants who have come to San Antonio. Nungaray said he’s seen San Antonio grow and change in the past decade. 

“The first thing I bring to the conversation is my perspective as a school leader and as someone who’s worked a decade in education here,” Nungaray said. “The second voice that comes to mind is of our Spanish-speaking community. That community is part of why I wanted to live in San Antonio, I wanted to be in a place that reflects my culture and language.”

Here are the advisory board’s seven new members:

  • Anais Biera Miracle, The Children’s Shelter
  • Fátima Menéndez, MALDEF
  • Alex Birnel, MOVE Texas
  • Ojiyoma Martin, Fix SAPD
  • David Nungaray, Bonham Academy – SAISD
  • Sofía Bahena, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Dr. Melissa Walker, Carol Clinic for Family-Centered Healthcare

The board’s other members are:

  • Richard T. Schlosberg III (chairman, and founding chairman of the Rivard Report)
  • Lew Moorman, ScaleWorks (founding Rivard Report board member)
  • Katy Flato, San Antonio Book Festival (founding Rivard Report board member)
  • Janie Barrera, LiftFund
  • Harriet Dominique, USAA
  • David Robinson Jr., Admiral Capital
  • John Agather, Keller Williams Realty
  • AJ Rodriguez, Zachry Group
  • Laura Cabanilla, Wells Fargo
  • Jessica Muñoz, Methodist Healthcare Ministries
  • Sheryl Sculley, former San Antonio city manager
  • Suhail Arastu, Musical Bridges Around the World
  • Dirk Elmendorf, Rackspace co-founder and founder of Jobward
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Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.