A proud South Sider returns home

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera is the President and CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation — the entity responsible for bringing employers from all corners of the world to our city — but before that, she was a kid growing up on the South Side. Jenna attended Holy Name High School and was born and raised in Elmendorf, the neighborhood on the Southeast side that her family still calls home.

“Every time I’m there I continue to be impressed by the growth,” Jenna said. “It’s not just growth, it’s improvement. I’m energized every single time I’m on that side of town.”

As a driving force behind major developments in San Antonio, Jenna gets an up-close look at just exactly how the South Side and the city as a whole is evolving, and she’s more than pleased with the progress.

“What I’ve seen by way of thoughtful growth is really focused on the quality that we all believe the South Side deserves,” she said. With global employers bringing hundreds and thousands of jobs to the region that includes Brooks, such as Nissei, Mission Solar, OKIN BPS, and Cuisine Solutions, the community is meeting the potential it’s always had.

In her efforts to persuade global businesses to expand into San Antonio, often in places like Japan and Spain, Jenna speaks to the balance that the South Side holds that many people are unaware of. The Brooks area isn’t just full of places to work, she tells them, but also brand-new apartments, education options ranging from Pre-K to medical school, beautiful green spaces, and convenient retail options.

Another misconception that Jenna clears up to business owners around the world: the size and continued growth of San Antonio.

“Oftentimes people don’t realize how large we are,” she said. “We’re the 7th largest city in the country and we’re preparing to be the 6th soon. Soon, we’ll be the same size as Chicago.”

While she represents the entire city of San Antonio, Jenna has a special passion for the South Side since it’s where she grew up. In her expertise, Brooks is the future face of Texas — the direction that San Antonio’s South Side is taking in terms of economic development and demographics is the same direction that Texas as a whole is heading in.

A true Texan to her core, Jenna misses her home whenever she travels abroad. She loves the welcoming nature of San Antonio and the fact that strangers smile and make eye contact on the street. The culture is so unique, not to mention the food.

“Whenever I’m gone on a long trip, the first thing I want is for my husband to take me to Bill Miller’s,” Jenna said.

It’s all happening at Brooks

New developments are breaking ground at Brooks all the time. Stay up-to-date.