Meet the 86 Volunteers Who Will Guide San Antonio’s Climate Plan

BRENDAN GIBBONS | FEBRUARY 23, 2018

HANNAH WHISENANT / RIVARD REPORT

Supporters hold up signs stating at a rally to support the Paris climate accord.

UPDATED FEBRUARY 24, 2018

City officials have released a list of the 86 volunteers who will help guide San Antonio’s plan to do its part to address climate change.

Related: San Antonio’s Next Climate Event is All About Public Input

The so-called Climate Action and Adaptation Plan aims to guide San Antonio in helping meet the goals of the Paris Accord, an international agreement to reduce emissions of global warming gases.

A 21-member steering committee will advise staff with the City and the University of Texas at San Antonio on the overall process over the next year. The City and UTSA are working in a partnership that also includes CPS Energy, which is providing $500,000 in funding for the plan.

Related: San Antonio Joins Hundreds of Cities in Support of Paris Accord

Five working groups will offer technical advice and strategies both on reducing San Antonio’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of rapid global warming, such as more extremely hot days, fewer cold spells, and more extreme and variable droughts and floods.

Doug Melnick, the City’s chief sustainability officer, said the groups will meet at least four to six time before the plan is finished by March 2019, though they could choose to meet more frequently.

Here is the full list of committee members. The list may change, as some members have not yet confirmed they’ll be participating, according to a disclaimer included on the list.

Steering Committee

  • Krystal Henagan, Texas field organizer for Mom’s Clean Air Force
  • Steve Clouse, chief operating officer of the San Antonio Water System
  • Diane M. Duesterhoeft, professor and librarian with St. Mary’s University and San Antonio Interfaith Environmental Network
  • Jessica O. Guerrero, member of Vecinos de Mission Trails
  • Richard McDonald, director of environmental affairs at H-E-B
  • Rey Chavez, president and CEO of the San Antonio Manufacturers Association
  • Emily Christy, director of government relations at USAA
  • Trey Dawson, vice president of Pape-Dawson Engineers and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio
  • Carlos A. Garcia, dean of the School of Math, Science and Engineering at the University of the Incarnate Word
  • Sara Beesley, director of Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
  • Kristi G. Villanueva, interim president of the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
  • Olufemi Osidele, independent consultant formerly with Southwest Research Institute
  • Harjot Kaur, environmental attorney and member of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
  • Jeffrey Arndt, president and CEO of VIA Metropolitan Transit
  • Naomi Arredondo, director with Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio
  • Greg Harman, clean energy organizer with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
  • Steve Graham, assistant general manager of the San Antonio River Authority
  • Peter Bella, former natural resources director with the Alamo Area Council of Goverments and member of Climate Action SA
  • Anita Ledbetter, director of Build San Antonio Green
  • Samuel J. Klein with Joint Base San Antonio
  • Matt Cox, associate with Kimley-Horn and Associates and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio

Energy and Buildings

  • Julia Emerson with Highland Commercial Properties
  • Timothy Heinle, vice president of OCI Solar Power
  • Erin Zayko, sustainability project manager with Lockheed Martin Energy
  • Russell Seal, member of the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club
  • James Nichols with Joeris General Contractors and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio
  • Lina Luque, director of certification and technical services with Build San Antonio Green
  • Aaron Stein, director of energy and sustainability at San Antonio Independent School District
  • Sandra Montalbo with Overland Partners
  • Shane Siebenaler, manager with Southwest Research Institute
  • Virginia Palacios, state and local policy member South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource
  • Kaiba White, energy policy and outreach specialist with Public Citizen
  • Stephen Colley, architect with Stephen Colley/Architecture
  • Jason Pittman, co-founder and president of Go Smart Solar
  • Elizabeth Kertesz, director of San Antonio 2030 District

Transportation and Land Use

  • Cameron Patterson with Overland Partners
  • Buck Benson, attorney and partner with Pulman Cappuccio Pullen Benson & Jones  and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio
  • Leslie Ostrander, land manager at DR Horton
  • Jason Hinojosa, GIS analyst with the San Antonio River Authority
  • Allison Blazosky, transportation planner with the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Jody Sherrill, member of the City’s Planning Commission
  • Casey Whittington, Planning Commission member, executive in the The Whittington Group, and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio
  • JD Simpson, director of San Antonio Bike Share
  • Brian Buchanan, senior vice president of development with VIA Metropolitan Transit
  • Chris Corbett, applications expert with H-E-B
  • Cynthia Merla Spielman, secretary with Beacon Hill Neighborhood Association
  • Marco Carmona with Cherry Street Bicycle Co-Op and Alamodome Gardens Neighborhood Association
  • Janel Sterbentz, interim director with Bike San Antonio
  • Meg Reyes, installation encroachment manager with Joint Base San Antonio
  • Steven Duong, associate vice president with AECOM

Water and Natural Resources

  • Beto De León with Southwest Workers Union-Centro por la Justicia
  • Adam Conner, water resources planner with San Antonio Water System
  • Bryan Blaisdell, engineer at AECOM
  • Brandon Wenzel, accountant and tax manager with Wenzel and Associates
  • Kevin Ellis with the National Center for Appropriate Technology
  • Steve A. Tomka, cultural resources program director Raba Kistner and member of Professional Engineers in Private Practice
  • Kate Zerrenner, senior manager for energy and water initiatives with Environmental Defense Fund
  • Meredith McGuire, member of the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club
  • Melissa Bryant, environmental sciences manager with the San Antonio River Authority
  • Lissa Martinez, member of Texas Master Naturalists
  • Karen Guz, conservation director with San Antonio Water System
  • Annalisa Peace, director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
  • Terry Burns, chair of the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club
  • James Winterle, director of modeling and data management with the Edwards Aquifer Authority
  • Tony Saucedo, senior project manager at M&S Engineering and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio

Climate Equity

  • Alfred Montoya, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Trinity University
  • Tim Barr, collective impact strategy manager with Methodist Healthcare Ministries
  • Diane Elisa Lopez Perez with Southwest Workers Union-Centro por la Justicia
  • Elizabeth Montgomery, earth sciences professor at Palo Alto College
  • Adelita G. Cantu, with UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing and Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
  • Isaac Garcia with Southwest Workers Union
  • Leslie Provence, co-founder of the Food Policy Council of San Antonio
  • Frankie Orona, director of the Society of Native Nations
  • Beth Keel, sustainability liaison with the San Antonio Housing Authority
  • Laura Rios-Ramirez with the Martinez Street Women’s Center
  • Susan Wright with Susan Wright and Associates and member of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio
  • Hector Morales Jr.,  director of government relations with the San Antonio Apartment Association
  • Mario Obledo, chief of government and public affairs at San Antonio Food Bank
  • Graciela Sanchez, director of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

Solid Waste Resources

  • Kevin Salfen, associate professor of music history at the University of the Incarnate Word
  • Kate Jaceldo with Compost Queens
  • Ryan Whiteside, general manager with Republic Services
  • Mitch Hagney with Local Sprout and the Food Policy Council of San Antonio
  • Georgia Zannaras, resource recovery manager with Alamo Area Council of Governments
  • John Davis with Heil of Texas

Disclosure: The San Antonio River Authority, Build San Antonio Green, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, H-E-B, UT Health San Antonio, CPS Energy, USAA, Joeris General Contractors, St. Mary’s University, Alamo Colleges, Overland Partners, Raba Kistner, and Go Smart Solar are Rivard Report business members. For a full list of supporters, click here.

ABOUT BRENDAN GIBBONS

Brendan Gibbons is the Rivard Report’s environment and energy reporter.