Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of San Antonio for 2023. San Antonio, known for its affordability, safety, amazing food scene, and relaxing way of life, is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The globally competitive city has experienced solid economic growth in industries including bioscience and healthcare, aerospace, IT and cybersecurity and green technologies. Not only are this year’s awardees leaders within many of those industries, but they are also leaders and advocates for individuals within their communities. They are change makers and innovators, paving the way for future women leaders.

Among this year’s awardees Lisa Heritage McLin, Global Vice President of Channels and Alliances at Unisys, is known for mastering the development of high-velocity sales organizations, leading to double digit revenue growth and global expansion. Awardee Kelly Butler, Chief Diversity Officer and SVP of Global HR Services with Rackspace Technology, has a passion for women in the STEM which later lead her to founding Women In Technology Mentor Circles. Also awarded is Vanessa Beasley, President of Trinity University, first female president in the school’s 153-year history.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of San Antonio for 2023.

1. Celie Niehaus
SVP & Chief Compliance Officer, USAA

Celie Niehaus began her professional career 35 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President of USAA, leading its enterprise compliance team. She is responsible for defining and executing USAA’s enterprise-wide strategy for managing compliance risk.

Prior to joining USAA, Niehaus was the COO for BBVA USA where she led oversight of compliance activities for Retail Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth, Corporate and Investment Banking, Treasury and Digital businesses. Prior to joining BBVA in 2018, she served as the CCO for Capital One Retail and Direct Bank and Enterprise Services, and was also the company’s chief privacy officer. Earlier in her career, she held positions at E*TRADE Financial and Bank One. Niehaus graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and American Bankers Association Graduate Compliance Schools. She is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager.

2. Peggy Rubenzer
SVP & Chief People Officer, Whataburger

Peggy Rubenzer is Whataburger’s Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer. Peggy is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in human resources, having built teams at True Food Kitchen, Shake Shack Enterprises, PF Chang’s China Bistro Inc., Southwest Airlines, and other companies.

Peggy oversaw all HR-related functions at True Food Kitchen as chief people officer, from leadership development to compensation, benefits, performance management, and training. Before joining True Food in 2019, she was SVP and CPO at Shake Shack, where he oversaw the entire people and HR function from 2011 to 2019. Peggy earned an undergraduate degree in corporate communications from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

5. Kelly Butler
Chief Diversity Officer & SVP of Global HR Services, Rackspace Technology

Through her role as Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President of Global HR Services at Rackspace Technology, Kelly Butler leads global strategy and solutions to deliver business outcomes through a diverse and highly engaged, high-performing workforce. Kelly has more than 25 years of consulting and corporate experience in the technology and services industries, with companies including Accenture and Dell. At Rackspace Technology, she's accountable for global people strategy and solutions, M&A, HR technology & insights, and diversity, inclusion & belonging.

Kelly is passionate about helping others discover how excellence, perspective, and balance are key to satisfaction and success. As a believer in the power of the whole person and taking action on the things you care about, Kelly is a founder of the Women In Technology Mentor Circles, the Women in Tech & Leadership Resource Group, and the Elevate Conference for Women. She is currently the board secretary for the bands of CTJ Foundations nonprofit, and has served on the boards for the Schertz Humane Society and the San Antonio Food Bank. She regularly gives back to her community through volunteerism, and mentors young professionals on career progression and leadership through a variety of forums including as an advisor on CareerVillage. Kelly received an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Purdue University.

6. Lisa Heritage McLin
Global Vice President of Channels & Alliances, Unisys

Lisa Heritage McLin has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, taking on roles in all areas of the business from staff accountant, customer experience, sales leader, transformation leader, go-to-market leader and alliances & channel chief. She is known for her strengths in strategy and execution, of growing partner relationships, direct sales and customer satisfaction propelling organizational revenue, while serving as a visionary, known for directly mastering the development of high-velocity sales organizations. Her success is focusing around a repeatable sales process & methodologies, while owning accountability for profit-generating programs, and building alliance & partnership strategies across global market segments. This has led to double digit revenue growth and global expansion. Lisa leads with her servant leader style. She develops strong winning teams and is heavily invested in mentoring and advancing the careers of those around her.

Lisa has received 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 recognized and honored as CRN 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 Women in the Channel and was awarded Top Gun 51 Channel Executive in 2019 for her executive vision, innovation and advocacy of the indirect channel. LATINA Style announced Lisa as 2018 Top 12 Corporate LATINA Executives of the Year and won a Gold Stevie for Woman of the Year in the Business Services Industries in 2019 along with a Bronze Stevie for Woman of the Year in Business Services Industries in 2020.

Lisa serves on the board of directors for Texas Conference for Women, as well as board of directors for Girls Inc. She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and business management from University of Texas in San Antonito University and an executive business administration and management degree from University of Texas in Austin. Lisa lives in San Antonio with her husband, and their two sons. For fun she likes playing golf, fitness, reading and spending time with her family.

7. Shahrzad Dowlatshahi
Chief Diplomacy & Protocol Officer, City of San Antonio

Shahrzad Dowlatshahi is Chief Diplomacy & Protocol Officer heading the City of San Antonio’s Global Engagement Office within the Economic Development Department. She oversees international business, protocol, and official global relationships and the Casa San Antonio, San Antonio’s Trade and Foreign Office in Mexico. More specifically, she advises, assists and supports San Antonio elected officials and executives on matters of international affairs, public diplomacy and diplomatic procedure and protocol and is responsible for coordinating official foreign travel of Mayor and Council as well as planning the program of visits for high-level foreign dignitaries, consular & diplomatic corps members working closely with Mayor and City Council.

Shahrzad works closely with other City of San Antonio departments to provide support on relevant international initiatives or projects. She manages the San Antonio Sister Cities Program and works closely with Sister Cities International as well as community stakeholders on fostering and maintaining San Antonio’s official relationships.

Shahrzad currently serves on the board of trustees of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, is VP of the San Antonio Mexico Friendship Council, and board member of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors. She is a member of the San Antonio Rotary Club serving on its International Service as well as the Program Committees. Shahrzad completed her undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Westminster in London and the University of Cambridge. She also studied at the Alexandria University, Egypt and the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

8. Keegan Villa
Vice President & Relationship Manager, Truist

Keegan Villa is a Vice President and Relationship Manager for Truist Financial Corporation. She provides banking services to commercial businesses and not-for-profits, and additionally, she serves real estate investors and developers. She is dedicated to providing distinctive service through touch and technology, and thrives in a collaborative team environment. This allows her to connect clients with the robust resources and thought leaders at Truist. With more than nine years of banking experience, she previously served as a portfolio manager for Truist's Commercial and Middle Market banking teams after graduating from BB&T's Leadership Development Program.

Passionate about breaking barriers for women, Keegan serves on the membership committee of Commercial Real Estate Women of San Antonio. She also serves as a mentor for the American Heart Association's mentorship program for high school girls interested in pursuing a STEM career. Keegan graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business and sociology from Wake Forest University.

11. Erin Echelmeyer
EVP of Marketing & Communications, Quadrant Biosciences

Erin Echelmeyer is a senior level marketing and communications strategist with over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications. She’s spent the majority of her career, over a decade, supporting the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Quadrant Biosciences and overseeing marketing and communications for its multiple healthcare businesses, she supported many initiatives at large healthcare systems like Community Health Systems and Hospital Corporation of America.

Focused on driving growth initiatives, Erin worked with hospitals and clinicians in the acute care space, leveraging expertise in marketing, digital, content, reputation and branding strategy. She has her Master of Business Administration and Management from Webster University and an undergraduate degree in marketing, retail merchandising and business administration from Lindenwood University.

View the complete list of awardees.

13. Bethany Allee
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Education, PDI

Bethany Allee leads Marketing and Education at PDI. Her strategic focus unifies technology solutions while shepherding growth as a change agent. She accomplishes this through the development of transformational brands, team building, industry partnerships, and a customer- and data-focused culture.

Prior to PDI, Bethany worked at iconic technology brands Broadcom and Brocade, as well as high-growth companies Cybera, NuView, and Powered in key leadership roles. During her career, she expanded market share for high-tech leaders like Dell, HP, and IBM and built new market segments for challengers in storage, networking, and security.

Bethany serves as a writer for Medium, is a member of multiple NACS Committees, and a CRN Channel Chief. She also serves on the emeritus board for Dress for Success, and is an active board member for WISE4 Women, and Sound & Vision Social Club. With a background in advertising from the University of Texas, Austin, Bethany holds a degree from the University of Houston and continued executive studies at Vanderbilt.

15. Vanessa Beasley
President, Trinity University

Vanessa Beasley, PhD, began her tenure in July 2022 as Trinity University’s 20th president. Beasley, Trinity’s first female president in the school’s 153-year history, previously served as vice provost for academic affairs, dean of residential faculty, and an associate professor of communication studies at Vanderbilt University. Beasley’s charge is to ensure Trinity remains recognized nationally as a leader in the 21st-century liberal arts for its unwavering commitment to the student experience through interdisciplinary experiential learning and undergraduate research on a residential campus in one of the nation’s most vibrant urban areas. Her mission is simple: to provide the best education possible to Trinity’s students.

Beasley's academic expertise includes the rhetoric of American presidents, political rhetoric on immigration, and media and politics. She holds a doctorate in speech communication from the University of Texas at Austin and attended Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate, earning a degree in speech communication and theatre arts.

Trinity University is known for having the flexibility, intimacy, and community of a small college with the facilities and resources of a large university. While many liberal arts institutions are in rural areas, Trinity University is located in the heart of San Antonio, a rapidly expanding, multicultural urban environment that opens doors in healthcare, business, technology, and nonprofit sectors. For more than 150 years, Trinity has used its liberal arts foundation to focus on teaching how to think, not what to think, which empowers students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers in life beyond college. With confidence, curiosity, and creativity, Trinity University plays a transformative role in our world’s future—and Beasley is leading the charge.

Beasley is married to Trey Beasley, and they have two adult sons. She enjoys traveling, listening to live music, and lifting weights in her free time.

19. Lori Castillo
VP of Marketing, NatureSweet

Lori Castillo is a talented marketer with over a decade of passion and experience in building brands through innovation. She currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing for NatureSweet.

Lori previously held the position of brand manager for Procter & Gamble where she was the leader for all P&G marketing at Rite Aid Pharmacies. She was responsible for marketing capability and innovation across the US. She joined Procter & Gamble as an assistant brand manager where she helped build COVERGIRL Cosmetics to a $1 billion global brand. Prior to this, Lori was with JPMorgan Chase where she was an AVP in the Small Business Equipment Finance division with previous roles across Chase Home Finance, and several retail bank branches. Lori holds an MBA from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University as well as an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.

23. Leslie Swanson
EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Tanger Outlets

Leslie Swanson was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tanger Outlets in 2021. She joined the company in 2020 as EVP of operations, bringing more than three decades of experience in shopping center operations, management and marketing and recognition as a thought leader in the industry. Previously, she served as EVP of property management for Simon Premium Outlets, guiding eight consecutive years of NOI growth.

Leslie is responsible for asset management, strategic operations and execution, and business continuity and resiliency. She is a proven leader who has continually demonstrated her commitment to developing winning practices designed to cultivate future corporate growth. Leslie serves as part of Tanger’s senior leadership team, elevating the company’s mission, vision and values with an emphasis on ESG practices and performance. She also creates and spearheads disciplines that generate new revenue streams and unlock additional value in Tanger’s portfolio of centers across the US and Canada.

In her role as COO, Leslie has led a corporate and field reorganization, with a people-first approach to culture that has delivered significantly year over year. Her focus on asset management and corporate operating procedures has enabled Tanger to create new revenue levers that complement its core business, strengthening revenue generation and operating capacities at all levels. She is a graduate of Illinois State University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in public relations and organizational communication psychology.

26. Veronica Edwards
CEO, InGenesis

Veronica Muzquiz Edwards is CEO of San Antonio-based InGenesis, Inc., one of the nation’s largest total talent solutions firms. Prior to founding InGenesis in 1998, she was regional director of marketing for AT&T. She serves as chair of the International Standards Organization/Technical Committee 304 for Healthcare Organization Management and collaborates with national standards bodies on global initiatives. She is president of the Healthcare Standards Institute and serves on the Texas State University System Board of Regents where she chairs the Rules and Regulations Committee.

Edwards’s numerous acknowledgments include the 50 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leaders and Top 100 Middle-Market CEOs. Since 2018, Fortune magazine has listed Edwards as one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America. Her additional honors include the 100 Most Influential Latinas in America by the Association of Latino Professionals for America, Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and listing on the Global Power 50 Women by Staffing Industry Analysts.

Edwards earned an undergraduate degree in communications from Texas State University and was named a distinguished alumna. She earned an MBA and doctorate in business administration from the University of the Incarnate Word, where she also was named a distinguished alumna.

27. Xochy Hurtado
Chief Operating Officer, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas

Xochy Hurtado is the Chief Operating Officer at Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. Building upon 18 years of progressive leadership experience in the healthcare industry, Xochy guides the direction of clinical and regional operations to ensure the organization’s mission and vision are realized. Her oversight of clinical operations includes two primary care clinics in San Antonio and two School Based Health Centers in Schertz and Marion. Regional operations across MHM’s 74-county service area emphasize community health and wellness and include MHM’s Wesley Nurse Program; Community Counseling Services; and family wellness programs such as Get FIT (Families in Training); and Blue Ribbon recognized Parenting Programs. She also oversees the Prosperemos Juntos/Thriving Together program that supports communities in cultivating behaviors, processes, and systems leading to a culture of health and sustainable improvements in well-being and equity.

Under her leadership, MHM has: Transitioned to telehealth for all clinical operations with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic; MHM Implemented PRAPARE (Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks and Experiences) – a nationally recognized social determinants of health screening tool – in MHMs clinical and regional services; and she serves as the executive sponsor overseeing the establishment of a Medical Legal Partnership pilot program within the organization to better serve the needs of patients and clients. During her tenure, MHM has been recognized as having “Top Decile Quality Metrics” for medical patient services. Xochy also oversaw the organization-wide effort to implement two major process-improvement efforts: Becoming a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and the first organization in Bexar County to become a Trauma-Informed Care Certified entity. Xochy also directed MHM’s response to the changing healthcare landscape brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic and spearheaded efforts to ensure not a single outbreak occurred among staff or patients/clients.

Xochy earned her undergraduate degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University in College Station, a master’s degree with a specialization in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, and certificates in population health essentials and population health management & strategy from the Jefferson College of Public Health. In December 2023, she will earn an MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Xochy is a member of the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative and a graduate of Leadership Women Texas 2020. She volunteers her time as a board member for the Trinity University Board of Visitors and the United Way of San Antonio. She also serves as a member of Methodist Healthcare System’s Clinical Excellence Committee and Ethics and Compliance Committee. Xochy’s personal interests include photography, bible studies and spending time with her family. Hurtado lives in her hometown of San Antonio with her husband Todd and their two children.

31. Blanca Abbud
Vice President of Sales, Engage PEO

Blanca Abbud is a sales professional that produces winning results for organizations as an individual contributor and sales team leader, delivering consistent results. Her passion is helping businesses get better, grow faster, and become more profitable. She has 11 years of PEO experience. That experience combined with her education and industry knowledge is what allows her to perform as a top producer in all her roles. With a high level of energy, motivation, business ethics, and sound judgment, Blanca has a proven record of building long lasting relationships.

Blanca’s business accomplishments have been recognized by a number of publications including the San Antonio Business Journal’s 2018 Top 40 under 40, Eleanora Magazine’s Texas Top 50 Women to Watch, Inspiring Women of San Antonio, Latina Women's Book, SA Monthly Magazine Business Woman, and a profile in Texas Business Magazine’s NSIDE. She has also received six President's Club awards for her exceptional sales production year over year.

Blanca is now Vice President of Sales for Engage PEO. She manages the Texas market but has clients all over the country. She strongly believes she is with the best company she has worked for in regards to leadership and sales culture. Engage PEO delivers comprehensive HR solutions to small and mid-sized businesses nationwide, sharpening their competitive advantage. Comprised of the industry’s most respected veteran professional employer organization executives, certified HR professionals and attorneys, Engage PEO provides hands-on, expert HR services and counsel to help clients minimize cost and maximize profits.

View the complete list of awardees.

33. Stephanie O'Rourke
Managing Principal for San Antonio, Cokinos Young

Stephanie O’Rourke is a member of the Cokinos Young’s litigation practice group and manages the firm’s San Antonio office. Her practice focuses on the representation of general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers in construction disputes as well as businesses in complex disputes. She has a wealth of experience in litigation, and she is consistently asked to present at workshops and seminars regarding her expertise on contracts, liens and bonds. Stephanie’s expertise in construction litigation has earned her recognition from numerous publications and organizations. She is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

36. Sabina Carr
Chief Executive Officer, San Antonio Botanical Garden

Sabina Carr is Chief Executive Officer for the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Sabina joined the Garden in the fall of 2019 after an extensive national search and is the first female leader of the organization in its 40-year history. She arrived at a significant juncture for the public garden that transitioned to privatization in January 2019. Sabina directs all operations for the 38-acre public garden located in the heart of San Antonio’s cultural corridor, and under her leadership oversees fundraising, education, marketing, business administration and horticultural efforts. During her first two years, she doubled annual visitation to 368,000, doubled membership households to 12,000+, and increased the annual operating budget two-fold.

In 2022, Carr was awarded with the prestigious Club Civic Improvement Commendation Award by The Garden Club of America recognizing her dedicated and innovative leadership. She is a past president of the American Public Gardens Association, a national network of over 800 member gardens and over 9,000 individual members in 14 countries. Prior to joining the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Carr was VP of marketing for the Atlanta Botanical Garden where she helped lead that garden’s impressive growth over 15 years by quadrupling three key areas: annual operating budget, annual visitation, and household membership. Before her career in public gardens, Carr worked in New York City and held marketing positions with American Express, Condé Nast, and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. She holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

37. Marilyn Weber
President & CEO, Deaf Interpreter Services

Marilyn L. Weber, President and CEO of DIS, is a certified sign language interpreter and has an adult daughter who is deaf. Marilyn has been working for more than 25 years promoting accessible communication, and advocating for the rights of the deaf community. She has interpreted in hundreds of professional situations, and conducts deaf awareness workshops, cultural diversity training, and ADA Compliance Consulting. Marilyn has over 2,900 hours of related professional training.

Marilyn has received several awards from various organizations recognizing her work and dedication to the deaf community, including the National Innovation Award from the Women President’s Organization, Outstanding Philanthropic Small Corporation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the San Antonio Ethics in Business Finalist Award from the City of San Antonio and the Ecumenical Center, Promoting Inclusion and Accessibility Award from the San Antonio Independent Living Services’ 24th Annual Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration of San Antonio and the ADA Employer of the Year award from the 18th Annual Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration in San Antonio. Marilyn has a pharmacy degree from the California Paramedical and Technical College where she graduated as salutatorian of her class.

40. Mary Pat Moyer
Founder, CEO & Chief Science Officer, INCELL

Dr. Mary Pat Moyer, Founder, CEO and Chief Science Officer, INCELL Corporation, is a biomedical scientist, entrepreneur, and passionate community activist for biotechnology business and education. Her company INCELL is a products manufacturer and contract services provider in regenerative medicine, cancer, and infectious diseases. She consults and serves on boards for national and international government agencies, universities and industry, has numerous scientific publications, is president of the San Antonio Life Sciences Association, and has founded or co-founded several for-profit and nonprofit entities.

Moyer is also adjunct professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where she served as a faculty member for 20 years as professor of surgery, molecular medicine, and microbiology. Her recognition includes Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, international Athena Award, Women of Voice and Vision award, and one of the Top Ten Texas CEOs in Life Sciences. Moyer earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in biology from Florida Atlantic University and a PhD in microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin.

41. Kayla Wagner
Chief Executive Officer, As You Are

Kayla Wagner is the CEO of As You Are, a world-class virtual clinic that dramatically increases access to virtual evaluations for children suspected to have autism. Kayla, a clinician and researcher, has dedicated her career to creating healthcare solutions that remove barriers and deliberately increase early identification of childhood disorders by increasing access to high quality care for all children, regardless of resources or socioeconomic status. During the pandemic, Kayla saw there was a huge need to reduce the average wait time for an autism diagnosis in the US. In August 2022, she launched As You Are, which is available to anyone, anywhere. All children are welcome and every child’s individual abilities are recognized and valued as part of this diagnostic model.

Kayla’s career originates from a research background in clinical psychology, where she conducted research investigating many areas of child psychopathology, including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. More specifically, Kayla’s published research has a translational focus, with her interests surrounding early identification of autism, management of the comorbidity between autism and ADHD, and targets for intervention aimed at improving social outcomes for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. In her clinical work, she provided diagnostic and psychological counseling services focused on improving functioning and well-being for children and adolescents with autism and other psychiatric disorders. She is an advocate for child-focused mental health and is driven to create a community where millions of children’s lives are improved from inclusive care. Kayla earned an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and psychology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Syracuse University.

44. Marisa B. Pérez-Díaz
Executive Director of Foundation, Firstmark Credit Union

Marisa B. Pérez-Díaz joined the Firstmark Credit Union team as the Executive Director for the Firstmark Foundation in April of 2021, after having spent nearly a decade as a district-level administrator in several Texas school districts. Pérez-Díaz is passionate about creating opportunity, access, and pathways for success for all Texas students, as well as the educators and support teams in the school systems that help to get the students through their respective education journeys.

In addition, Pérez-Díaz is an elected member of the Texas State Board of Education, representing District 3, and has held that title since Jan. 1, 2013. She is the youngest Latina, nationally, to have ever been elected to serve on a State Board of Education and is now serving her fourth term on the board, as the senior Democrat. During her time on the board, she has been instrumental in the redevelopment of high school graduation requirements, the update and approval of the Long-Range Plan for Texas Public Education and the rebranding of the Permanent School Fund. Additionally, she has been a leading voice in the fight to approve and implement ethnic studies courses for high school credit in Texas, including the approved Mexican American Studies and African American Studies courses.

Pérez-Díaz holds an undergraduate degree in sociology, with a minor in psychology, from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership from UTSA and is a former graduate fellow. Pérez-Díaz is a published researcher and has presented her work at several national education and education law conferences.

In 2022, Pérez-Díaz was selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders to serve as one of eight delegates to travel to Canada as part of an international policy exchange, joining a network of over 8,600 alumni in 129 countries and territories. She serves on several local and national nonprofit boards, including School Board Partners, and is an active member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her work in leadership and education, including being named as one of the San Antonio Business Journal’s 2021 40 Under 40 award recipients and the Texas State League of Latin American United Citizens’ Directors’ 2018 Leadership Award recipient.

45. Anne-Marie Grube
Director of Operations for Roberto Espinosa & Wealth Management Advisor, Northwestern Mutual San Antonio

Anne-Marie has been Director of Operations for Roberto Espinosa, Wealth Management Advisor, at Northwestern Mutual San Antonio since 2014. Anne-Marie has contributed to an exponential business growth placing the Espinosa Team as the top producer in San Antonio and in the Top 10 Financial Advisor Teams in the company on a national level. In 2021, Anne-Marie partnered with Roberto to create Avante Wealth. Along with a network of specialists they develop strategic plans that bring alignment to businesses, investments, and retirement plans towards a common purpose.

Anne-Marie received her undergraduate degree in business administration and economics and a master’s degree in international management and marketing at Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark. Anne-Marie moved to San Antonio 14 years ago as a partner in a corn tortilla factory, which was sold 5 years later. Shortly after her arrival to San Antonio, she received the Bravo! business award by the South Texas Women’s Business Center and LiftFund. Anne-Marie and the business were featured in several media outlets in the years she operated it, including the San Antonio Express News and the feature story in the Conexion magazine. In 2020, Anne-Marie was recipient of the San Antonio Business Journal 40 under 40 award.

Anne-Marie is an active member in the community participating in nonprofit and business organizations like Associacion de Empresarios Mexicanos, World Affairs Council, Classical Music Institute, Small Business Advocacy Committee, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Historic & Design Review Committee for the City of San Antonio. She is a class member of Leadership San Antonio Class 40, steering committee member of LSA Class 43 and co-chair for Class 46 in 2022. Born in Belgium with a Danish father and Mexican mother, she is fluent in English, Spanish, Danish and French.

View the complete list of awardees.

46. Jan Patterson
Professor of Medicine & Associate Dean for Quality & Lifelong Learning, UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine

Dr. Jan E. Patterson is an integrative medicine and infectious diseases physician who has practiced and taught medicine for more than 30 years. She received her MD degree at McGovern Medical School in Houston, did her internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt and her infectious diseases fellowship at Yale. She completed a master’s degree in health care management at Harvard School of Public Health and has also completed a fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at University of Arizona.

She is currently Professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Associate Dean for Quality & Lifelong Learning at UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine, and is Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at University Health. She has held leadership positions at the local and regional level, and at the national level in her professional societies.

Dr. Patterson has more than 150 scientific publications and has been an invited speaker in local, regional, national, and international venues, and has received honors and awards for her work and service. Her latest book is Breath for the Soul: Self-Care Steps to Wellness. She believes in using all the tools in the toolbox for better health, and works to integrate holistic therapies with conventional ones.

48. Sylvia Rincon
Director of Communications & Marketing, Southside ISD

Sylvia Rincon is a passionate, energetic, community-driven leader who constantly learns and strives to evolve her skill sets. She currently works for Southside ISD (SISD) in a dual role as the Director of Communications and Marketing and the Executive Director of the SISD Education Foundation. In these roles, she has been a part of the leadership team responsible for SISD's improved image, brand growth, and creating scholarship funds and grant opportunities for district students and teachers.

Prior to her segue into education, Sylvia was a veteran TV/Radio Broadcast journalist who dedicated nearly two decades to covering stories in Washington DC, Phoenix, AZ, and most of South, Central, and Eastern Texas. She was always a devoted advocate for compelling and truthful story-telling. Her tenacity led her to report on important stories of our time on location, including the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, the 2008 Presidential Primaries, and hurricanes Katrina and Ike. Sylvia also covered crime and courts. In San Antonio, she was a relentless advocate for victims of child abuse. Her dedication to finding the truth behind heinous acts and holding those charged with protecting our children led to a spotlight on the ineffectiveness of the state's Child Protective Services. News coverage spread and eventually led to statewide investigations and legislative policy updates that included the Blue Ribbon Task Force to end child abuse. Her range of stories and industry knowledge span state and national politics, education policy, medical, and military.

In addition to education and journalism, Sylvia is an active volunteer in her community, including the South & Central Texas Epilepsy Foundation and Mission San Juan Capistrano, among her causes. She is passionate about researching cures and treatments to fight epilepsy; in 2008, she wrote, produced, and directed a short film on epilepsy that was screened at the International League Against Epilepsy in Budapest and is currently being used in Switzerland, Ireland, and the UK as an awareness tool. In addition,

When she is not educating the community and students about how to fight the "fake news" epidemic, she is working with the San Antonio School Public Relations Association (SASPRA), which is a chapter of the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA).
Currently, Sylvia volunteers on the South Texas Business Partnerships Government Affairs committee. Sylvia is a lifelong learner. She is a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word, a fellow of the Washington Center/Georgetown University in Washington DC, and a graduate of the Poynter Institute for Journalism in St. Petersburg, FL. Sylvia currently attends Harvard Extension School and is pursuing her master's degree in government at Harvard.

Sylvia would tell you all the above is fun for her. Work is not working if you love it. But indeed, she does know how to relax and have fun with friends and family. Sylvia loves to read and watch movies and documentaries. She is a poet and an author.

49. Carolyn Evans
Founder & Executive Director, Cibolo Nature Center

Carolyn Chipman Evans is the Founder and Executive Director of the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, Texas. For twenty-five years she has worked with hundreds of donors and volunteers to protect and preserve the 100-acre natural area and land in the Cibolo Watershed. She created The Friends of the Cibolo Wilderness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of natural resources through education and stewardship. She has worked to build community and broad-based support by involving the Nature Conservancy, Texas Parks and Wildlife and many more agencies, service organizations, businesses, universities, Scouts, schools, clubs and individuals.

Carolyn is co-author, with her husband Brent, of The Nature Center Book. It has been instrumental in the creation of nature centers throughout the United States. Carolyn is also a founding member of the Cibolo Conservancy, a land trust dedicated to protecting private lands from development in the Cibolo watershed and surrounding areas.

View the complete list of awardees.