Brooks President and CEO Leo Gomez has accepted a role on the board of directors at the San Antonio Report. (Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report)

The board of directors of the San Antonio Report has elected Leo Gomez, Brooks president and CEO, to its board.

Gomez joins seven other local leaders, including Chairman A.J. Rodriguez, in overseeing the work of the 501(c)3 nonprofit local news organization.

“Leo has demonstrated through his word and action a consistent balance between adept and passionate leadership throughout his career,” said Rodriguez. “He’s aka Mr. South SA! Our board is so fortunate he has enthusiastically accepted the nomination to serve and we look forward to collaborating with him on the continued progress and growth of the San Antonio Report.”

A strong belief in the importance of civic engagement is what drove Gomez’s commitment to the San Antonio Report.

The Report empowers people to be engaged in the community, he said. “That’s different from anything else that we see in media in San Antonio. And it’s readily available, it’s timely, it’s empowering.”

A native of McAllen, Gomez was named to the top post at Brooks in 2013 after holding leadership positions with the local chambers of commerce and as the public and government affairs executive for Spurs Sports & Entertainment.

In the four years since the San Antonio Report published a profile story about Gomez upon the 15th anniversary of Brooks’ formation, much has changed at the mixed-use campus on the city’s South Side.

Ribbon-cuttings for several new corporate headquarters and educational institutions, plus retail and food and beverage developments, have been hosted in recent years, and the 1,300-acre former Air Force installation was named the state’s first Opportunity Zone in 2019.

The count of people employed at Brooks is pushing 3,200 and that number is expected to double in the next three years, according to Gomez. Homebuilders have broken ground on new single-family housing and the campus was recently connected to San Antonio’s miles-long River Walk trails via The Greenline.

For Gomez, there’s also been change personally and professionally. He is five years into his marriage to State Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) and has seen his two adult children graduate from college and start careers. It fills him with the kind of pride he wants to help others experience through education and opportunity.

“The American dream, as far as I’m concerned, is about paving the road so that the generations after you can do even better than you did, and that’s where I am in my life now,” he said.

Also different is the added gray he sees in his hair these days — a result he said of speaking his mind for the sake of the greater good. At age 56, having enjoyed a long, fulfilling career, Gomez feels it’s a right he’s earned.

More importantly, “I’ve seen what happens when people who know better don’t speak up,” Gomez said. “My grandpa taught me as a little boy, el que no habla ni dios lo oyeHe who doesn’t speak up, not even God hears. And I hear his voice telling me that now more than ever.”

Gomez said he hopes to bring to the San Antonio Report a greater awareness of the challenging issues and topics relevant to the South Side, including infrastructure development, job creation, and quality housing, and promote added coverage of the region beyond the city or county limits.

Last year, the San Antonio Report board named Angie Mock publisher and CEO, replacing co-founder Robert Rivard, who continues to serve as editor and lead columnist.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the addition of Leo Gomez to the San Antonio Report’s board of directors,” Mock said. “I’ve always admired Leo as a leader in San Antonio who can accomplish the seemingly impossible. The Report is on a growth trajectory, and along with the rest of the board, Leo’s leadership will help us take it to the next level.”