Leonard B. Rodriguez, President and CEO of the City of San Antonio Westside Development Corporation (WDC), has submitted his resignation letter and will be transitioning at the end of February. After 6 years of service, Rodriguez leaves WDC on a high note, with a legacy of accomplishments that have strengthened the organization’s vision and expanded its programs and services. This leaves the organization systematically poised for continued growth, as well as increased visibility and community advocacy.
WDC has been in operation for a total of 13 years. Under Rodriguez’ leadership, the economic and community development organization has diversified its’ revenue streams and strengthened its foundation. As a result, WDC has:
- Established its real estate development portfolio; through the acquisition of the historic Basila Frocks building at N. Zarzamora and Martin St;
- Played a significant role in launching the CPS Energy and Go Smart Solar’s Big Sun Community Solar Equity Initiative with the help of Microsoft, the 80/20 Foundation and the Area Foundation;
- Helped launch La Printeria with the support of a $100,000 IMPACT-SA grant in the Edgewood ISD with Alamo Colleges District;
- Steered the community public relations campaign that increased the bond funding at Alamo Colleges District Westside Education and Training Center (WETC) from $12 million to $24 million for a new state-of-the-art campus; where WDC will office for the next 25 years as part of the new WETC;
- Awarded more than $500,000 in loan and grant funds to support small businesses in the Westside community; and
- Hosted San Antonio’s number one outdoor gala that has recognized Westside community leaders for the last 10 years
WDC has seen tremendous growth in their extensive and comprehensive economic and community development services under Rodriguez’ strategic direction. In the past year alone, the WDC:
- Preserved La Prensa Texas newspaper to help keep the publication in business;
- Carried out economic studies and plans for the City of San Antonio, most recently the:
- Near Westside Opportunity Zones Investment and Neighborhood Preservation Plan; and
- Westside Business Alliance and Legacy Corridor Initiative for District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales
- Lead the La Musica de San Anto Mural restoration project with Google Fiber, Weston-Urban and the University of Texas at San Antonio
- Managed and transformed the City of San Antonio’s Official Fiesta Earth Day event for the last three years with help from District 6 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval
Rodriguez also received an SBA Accelerator Award in 2015 for the WDC Live-Work Unit program at the Gardens at San Juan and was recognized by the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence who bestowed Rodriguez with the 2017 Sister Benitia Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work in the community.
Leonard Rodriguez has been named Senior Vice President at the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC), where he will continue to champion for Hispanic-owned small businesses. The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is looking to play a greater role in facilitating economic growth in San Antonio’s Small Business Sector.
Rodriguez brings to the Chamber his vast White House and Wall Street experience to oversee business development for the oldest Hispanic chamber in the country. The native San Antonian brings a wealth of experience and passion to the position. “It’s time to vastly improve the landscape for Hispanic businesses in San Antonio. This is the new vision for the Hispanic Chamber, and I am honored to work with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to make it happen. This is where we turn around the economic segregation that plagues our amazing 300-year old Alamo city. It’s our time,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has dedicated his career in serving the Hispanic Community where he began his career as part of President Bill Clinton’s Volunteers In Service To America program working on San Antonio’s West Side. Rodriguez launched his business career by creating a publishing company, where he profiled the accomplishments of hundreds of Hispanics. He has worked in the venture capital arena in New York and later established a consulting company in San Antonio that had offices in Washington, D.C. and in Houston. Rodriguez has worked with Fortune 100 companies and with small businesses.