CONTACT: Laura Mayes, City of San Antonio (210) 207-1337
Michelle Vigil, City of San Antonio (210) 207-8172
San Antonio (September 27, 2021) – City of San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh today announced the appointment of Mark Carmona as the city’s first-ever housing manager. Walsh also announced several organizational improvements to better align with the Housing Strategic Implementation Plan (SHIP), enhance the historical and cultural contributions of significant projects in San Antonio, and elevate and streamline neighborhood engagement.
âThroughout the pandemic, San Antonio has been recognized nationally for its housing assistance programs. Mark’s experience and understanding of the issues facing our community make him a valuable asset to the City. Under his leadership, the City will deploy a more coordinated approach to housing affordability, addressing homelessness and long-term housing solutions, âsaid City Manager Erik Walsh.
Carmona was appointed following a national recruitment process. For the past three years, he has been a consultant to the HE Butt Foundation and led a cohort of churches to develop a coordinated response to mental health needs in San Antonio. He was previously President and CEO of Haven for Hope. He brings to the organization more than 20 years of experience in various social services and housing. Mark holds a Masters of Business Administration in Leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary College.
âI look forward to Mark joining the City team to work with our community to ensure a coordinated approach to housing,â said Walsh.
Walsh also announced several executive appointments and organizational realignments. Veronica Garcia has been appointed Deputy Director of the Department of Neighborhood Services and Housing (NHSD). In this role, she will continue to oversee the City’s fee waiver program and project coordination efforts. It will also oversee housing preservation and production programs, as well as the monitoring and administration of grants. Positions within the Center City Development Office (CCDO) that currently manage the fee waiver program will also be realigned under the NHSD. Garcia was appointed Deputy Director of CCDO in 2018 and has worked for the City of San Antonio since 2004. As Deputy Director, she has led the Development, Real Estate, Leasing, Contracts and Facilities divisions.
âVeronica has overseen some of downtown’s most transformational projects and also worked on other important issues, including re-equipping development incentives with a focus on affordable housing,â Walsh continued.
In addition, staff and neighborhood engagement initiatives that currently reside in the NHSD will be transferred to government and public affairs. These positions will add capacity to the City’s public engagement efforts and streamline communication with neighborhoods.
Walsh also appointed Renee Frieda to the position of Director of Human Resources. Renee has over 15 years of experience with the City of San Antonio and 26 years of experience in human resources management. She most recently held the position of Acting Director of Human Resources and previously Deputy Director of Human Resources overseeing the Employee Relations Division. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management and is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources.
âRenee brings a great deal of experience, leadership and thoughtfulness to the human resources team,â said Walsh. “Recruitment efforts are intensifying for vacant positions within the city and Renee will bring excellent vision and a great strategy to fill these positions, while continuing to focus on making the City of San Antonio an employer of choice.” . “
Walsh also appointed Shannon Sims to the position of Director of Animal Care Services. Shannon has been with Animal Care Services since 2014 and as Deputy Director since 2017. He previously served as Director of Field Operations and Head of Field Operations for Animal Care Services.
âShannon has done a great job heading the Animal Care Services Department over the past year as Acting Director. I am happy to see his continued leadership within the organization, âsaid Walsh.
In addition, John Stevens has been appointed Acting Deputy Director of the CCDO. Stevens is currently Deputy Director of CCDO and was the Project Manager for the City Tower Renovation Project. Walsh also appointed Andrew Gutierrez as deputy director of the solid waste management department. Andrew has served the residents of San Antonio since 1992, most recently as a division manager overseeing the Brush division. Andrew previously held managerial and supervisory positions overseeing residential collections, recycling efforts, downtown collections and more and led our storm recovery efforts locally and in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
Walsh also announced the formation of. a transformation project division within the Office of Historic Preservation, under the direction of Shannon Miller. The division will oversee projects such as the Alamo redevelopment, San Pedro Creek, Riverwalk Capital Improvements, La Villita Culinary Concepts, Deco District Revitalizations and Hemisfair.
âThis new office of the Historic Preservation Division will streamline resources better equipped to facilitate specific types of development with the facilitation of housing projects residing in the NHSD, the facilitation of cultural and historically significant projects in OHP and development projects. economic, âcontinued Walsh.
With the approval of the FY2022 budget, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Office was formed, which includes a Civil Rights Coordinator. The municipal prosecutor and staff have started the initial work of establishing this office and are in the process of identifying an interim director.
âWith the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget and several major initiatives, such as the US Rescue and Recovery Plan Bond Program and Funding Allocation and Metro Health’s Strategic Growth Plan to the horizon, the city of San Antonio stands ready to serve our residents. Said Walsh.