Planes, trains, and automobiles; but wait, is that it?  It was not for the class members of Leadership San Antonio 39 who tackled transportation issues head-on during their April meeting on April 2.

Class members started the day with a tarmac tour and briefing of the latest developments occurring at the San Antonio International Airport.  Assistant Aviation Director, Tim O’Krongley (a graduate from the LSA 38 Class) and Airport Operations Manager Ryan Rocha, briefed the class on the latest constructions projects occurring at the city airport along with long term plans for the facility including plans for a one-stop rental car area closer to terminals A & B.

Continuing in the world of aviation, the class was then able to enjoy a morning stroll through the Valero Energy Corp. hangar.  While there members were able to get up-close and personal with Valero’s business aviation fleet as well as see how privately operated hangar’s function.  But, corporate aviation is not about flying executives across the country.  Corporate aviation serves a real economic purpose for businesses which include Valero and Zachry.  According to Scott Miller, Valero’s  Manager for Aviation Safety, more than 64% of corporate aviation is used to support travel that cannot be met by scheduled airline flights and allows for more cost-effective travel for employees.

Moving on to the south side of San Antonio, the class traveled to Port San Antonio where they were welcomed by Marcel Johnson, Senior Business Development Manager for Port San Antonio.  Afterwards, the class was able to witness an impressive panel discussion on transportation in San Antonio.  Moderated by Terry Brechtel, former Executive Director for the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA), the panel included leading members in the region’s transportation initiatives: Alex E. Briseño, Chairman for the VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority; Joe Krier, San Antonio City Council Member for District 9 ; Ray Lopez, San Antonio City Council Member for District 6 and Chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Board; Tullos Wells, Senior Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani and Chair of the Lone-Star Rail District; and Bruce Miller, President and CEO of Port San Antonio. Ranging from attracting and retaining new talent to addressing the ever increasing mobility needs for San Antonians, the panel engaged in a lively dialogue highlighting the various views and strategies available to help alleviate our city’s travel needs.

But the day didn’t end there.  After hearing about travel options in San Antonio, class members were able to exercise these various modes of transportation in the afternoon’s amazing race!  Beginning at the Alamodome, class members, in very fiesta-looking t-shirts, were informed of the rules and encouraged to try various modes of transportation while solving clues for their next location.  Whether it was through riding a bike using San Antonio B-cycle,  riding a VIA bus, taking a Yellow Cab, or maybe even just walking, all 74 class members and steering committee members explored downtown in a way many had never done before.  Even though it was not as cool of a day as one would have hoped for that afternoon, the class still managed to have an unforgettable and enjoyable journey throughout downtown San Antonio.

After breaking a sweat in downtown San Antonio, class members were able to relax and enjoy the cool atmosphere provided by NuStar Energy, LP’s airplane hangar.  There members enjoyed good food and good company while listening to the musical talents of the South Texas Jazz band.

The members of LSA class 39 are grouped into committees responsible for developing agendas for each of the eight class days throughout the calendar year. The agenda for this month’s Transportation & Infrastructure day was developed by class members:

The committee was also assisted by steering committee members:

LSA is a joint partnership of The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Click here for more information or email Priscilla Camacho.