The Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program Announces the Class of 2019



SAN ANTONIO (May 16, 2019) – Celebrating 20 years, graduating now 477 candidates and inspired by a true San Antonio Icon, the Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program (ABLDP) announces its Class of 2019.  The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC) is proud to announce its ABLDP program’s 59 local leaders who were selected to take part in this year’s program.


ABLDP has helped inspire many local leaders, including Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 recipient and CEO of Cityflag Alberto Altamirano, and has helped create change-making programming for organizations such as the annual VIA GoCodeSA Codeathon, the ReadySAGo! Transit on Tap brewery event series, Student Aid Saturdays, and the RAICES Court Observer Program in partnership with St. Mary’s University, to name a few.


Individuals selected for this year’s program will be immersed in educational sessions that address topics that spark an interest in becoming a change-agent in San Antonio including strategic planning; leading and managing change; building great teams; improving quality both operationally and culturally; and creating and sustaining professional and organizational results.


“We are excited to welcome to newest cohort of 59 emerging leaders to the Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program. ABLDP has been successful in cultivating a diverse group of business professionals into change agents that will lead our city with compassion, courage and innovation,” said San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Diane S. Sánchez. “The programs and initiatives that have been created as a result of our ABLDP participants and alumni are a testament to our program.”


Named after Mr. Alexander Briseño, retired San Antonio City Manager, distinguished Professor of Public Service in Residence at St. Mary’s University and Hispanic Chamber 2013 Chairman of the Board, this year’s ABLDP will provide participants with an opportunity to learn from an impressive faculty of community and business leaders who will share their personal experiences, achievements and challenges that they encounter as leaders in both the public and private sectors.


“The ABLDP was instrumental in my professional growth, providing me not only the leadership skills and mindset to be successful, but also in creating an array of amazing personal and professional relationships that have become invaluable,” said Jacob Cavazos, Vice President of Marketing for Frost Bank, a proud graduate of the program.


“Every year, we think we have assembled the most promising, emerging leaders our City has to offer and graduate the best class ever, and then this happens: a roster of such high quality and talent that we stand to break the mold (again) and exceed our own expectations. I look forward to what this cohort will help disrupt in moving our City forward as well the innovative thinking and energy they will bring back to their organizations.” said Winslow Swart, Co-Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at One Million Dreams.


This year’s Steering Committee comprised of 14 ABLDP alumni will be led by tri-chairs Gary C. Thobaben of Nationwide, Jason Rodriguez of HNTB Corporation and Vanessa Tobares of St. Mary’s University.


The Hispanic Chamber congratulates the following 59 individuals who were selected to participate in this year’s highly competitive program:

  • Amanda Gonzalez, American Heart Association
  • Anna Ulate, San Antonio Independent School District
  • Antonia Alvarado, Nationwide
  • Callan Henrich, The IMG Studio
  • Candy Valadez, Generations Federal Credit Union
  • Carlo Gino Macias, City of San Antonio
  • Carlos Acosta, LiftFund
  • Catalina Gonzalez, Bexar County Sheriff Office
  • Clarissa Thomas, Vaco onsite at Google Fiber
  • Courtnie Mercer, The Public Theater of San Antonio
  • Daniel Diaz, USAA
  • Danny Chavez, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation
  • Don Vasser, Office of Congressman Will Hurd
  • Elizabeth Diaz, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
  • Elma Nieto-Rodriguez, San Antonio Public Library
  • Erika Mtanous Flores, Northwestern Mutual
  • Estefania Davila Lopez, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
  • Freddie Cuellar, Vantage Bank Texas
  • George Anglin, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
  • Harvinder Singh, Bestica, Inc.
  • Jacob Covarrubias, San Antonio Water System
  • Jenness Gough, VelocityTX
  • Jessica Leal, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System
  • Jonathan Scudder, Texas Biomedical Research Institute
  • Jose Martinez, Forma Automotive
  • Karen Ivy, Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  • Khristene Cano, Broadway Bank
  • Kristen Alonso, AT&T
  • Leslie Rangel, St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Lisa Mendoza, HomeRiver Group San Antonio
  • Lori Lopez, CPS Energy
  • Lucy Huereca, Legendary Realty
  • Madeleine Mendez, City of San Antonio
  • Marcie Hernandez, KGBTexas Communications
  • Maren Senn, TradeCraft
  • Mario Bravo, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Martha Flores, VIA Metropolitan Transit
  • Martha Livingston, San Antonio Counseling and Behavioral Center
  • Matthew Loaiza, San Antonio Public Library
  • Michelle Vidal, Judson Independent School District
  • Mickey Johnson, The Powell Law Firm
  • Mo Arguello, USAA
  • Natalie Barajas, Palo Alto College
  • Noah Barshop, VivaPolitics LLC
  • Pamela Canales, Pape-Dawson Engineers
  • Paola Sofia Fernandez , Able City LLC
  • Rachel Brehm, Atkins North America
  • Rachel Mercer-Smith, City Education Partners
  • Rico Riojas, TRDI / Green Realty Advisors
  • Roland Tamez, Spectrum Reach
  • Rosa Olivares, University Health System
  • Shuchi Nagpal, City of San Antonio
  • Sunny Hernandez, San Antonio College
  • Taylor Mohler, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
  • Terry Rawe, Nationwide
  • Tessa Benavides, H-E-B
  • Valmore Smith, USAA
  • Will Maney, USAA
  • William Ramos II, Grande Communications


A special thanks goes out to the 2019 ABLDP Steering Committee:

Steering Committee Tri-Chairs:

  • Gary Thobaben, Nationwide
  • Jason Rodriguez, HNTB Corporation
  • Vanessa Tobares, St. Mary’s University

Steering Committee Members:

• Blanca Maldonado, Whataburger
• Brittany Alonzo, USAA
• Christopher Mammen, The Mammen Group
• Delia Covo, Teach for America/Edible San Antonio
• Gladys Hernandez, Leadership SAISD
• James Chandler, The IMG Studio
• Jennilee Garza, The University of Texas at San Antonio
• Karla Duran, Alamo Academies
• Marissa Rodriguez, IDEA Public Schools
• Meghan Regis Rodriguez, San Antonio Housing Authority
• Michael Terrell, Department of Defense
• Santiago Jaramillo, VIA Metropolitan Transit
• Simon Castillo, CPS Energy
• Stacy Jones, Centro San Antonio


2019 Facilitator:

  • Winslow Swart, One Million Dreams



For more information about the Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program please contact Victoria Shoemaker at or (210) 208-8210 or visit our website at

Founded in 1929, America’s first Hispanic Chamber and San Antonio’s only Five-Star accredited organization by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce continues to be the leader in business assistance, connecting its members to needed resources, providing procurement, marketing and networking opportunities, advocating for legislation affecting small businesses and corporations in the San Antonio metropolitan area, and better training to develop the skills of our local workforce. The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is San Antonio’s largest independent business organization with more than 1,300 members.