The Rivard Report has selected 13 people to serve on its newly formed community advisory board.

Advisory board members represent 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. 

“It will be a real step forward for the Rivard Report to have such a diverse group of proven community leaders working with our team to improve our content and our audience reach,” said Robert Rivard, publisher and editor of the Rivard Report. “Our view is that we are providing a valuable public service in San Antonio, but we could be better, and we pledge to be better. The advisory board members will help us live up to that commitment.”

Richard T. Schlosberg III, who was the Rivard Report‘s founding board chairman, will serve as chair of the community advisory board.

“We are really grateful to our inaugural Board of Community Advisors for their commitment to service,” Schlosberg said. “We know these community leaders are going to have a very positive impact on everything we do at the Rivard Report as we continue to grow and evolve.”

Janie Barrera, the founding president and CEO of microlender LiftFund, said that in serving on the advisory board she wants to draw from her knowledge of the nonprofit world and traditionally underserved businesses.

“I think the Rivard Report is building some great momentum in our community because it’s providing a voice for different groups that may not have had a voice before,” Barrera said. “And because of my background, I’m hoping I can bring additional material for the [publication] and different parts of the community as well.”

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. Schlosberg said in a letter Friday to the rest of the advisory board that he hopes to meet for the first time later in July.

“We formed the advisory board to broaden our community contacts, to deepen our community coverage, and to continue working on our own diversity at every level of our work,” Schlosberg wrote. “We welcome more voices in the room as we move forward with our community-based, public service journalism. How we operate as an advisory board will evolve as we proceed in the months ahead.”

Advisory board member David Robinson Jr., of investment firm Admiral Capital Group, said he read the Rivard Report even before he moved back to San Antonio from New York City, where he also worked in finance.

“The Rivard Report … always brought a fresh and new perspective that I really appreciated,” Robinson said. “I’m very honored to be part of that as [the community advisory board] moves forward, thinking about how to make that better and how to improve it, and keep this meaningful voice going – especially with COVID and everything, it’s only more important to have voices like [the Rivard Report].”

Laura Cabanilla, the vice president of community relations at Wells Fargo who will serve on the advisory board, said she was impressed with the Rivard Report‘s in-depth reporting and ability to create an “interactive environment” for readers and members through panels and events.

“This may be the cusp of a different era for news reporting, and I’m excited to learn more about what this advisory committee holds and how I can support this publication,” Cabanilla said.

Here are the Rivard Report’s community advisors:

  • 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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Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.