Sonia Rodriguez began her work with SA2020 in 2010 when she was tapped as one of the tri-chairs of what began as a community engagement process to create a ten-year vision for the future of San Antonio. In 2012, she became a founding member of the Board of Directors for what would ultimately become SA2020, the nonprofit organization responsible for helping drive progress toward this shared vision. Then, in 2014, she became Chair of the SA2020 Board of Directors when then-Mayor Julián Castro moved to D.C. to become Secretary Castro. In 2018, she shifted, again, to a new role: Immediate Past Board Chair. For the past decade, she has been passionate and serious about ensuring SA2020 is inclusively and transparently driving progress toward San Antonio’s shared Community Vision.
I shared a version of this commentary when Sonia’s tenure as Board Chair ended, and I’ve updated it now because her tenure on SA2020’s Board of Directors has come to an end.
I’ve had the privilege of witnessing her leadership over the years. I remember attending a meeting with her once, early in our working relationship, and thinking how the fierceness she exuded was inspiring. I remember how she walked us through that agenda, listening and amplifying the quieter voices in the room.
We do our work in partnership with multiple other agencies, but who sits in that volunteer leadership role — particularly for an organization like SA2020 — is critical to the long-term success of our work. And in Sonia, the lawyer/mother/wife badass, we have someone who was always willing to go the extra mile.
For ten years, Sonia has volunteered her time and brilliance (and donated her dollars) to SA2020. She has helped navigate us from a community vision to a fledgling nonprofit to an established organization reaffirming and strengthening San Antonio’s shared Community Vision for another decade.
San Antonio is better for her service to SA2020, and I am better for her leadership and friendship. San Antonio is made up of people like Sonia Rodriguez, and for that, I am eternally grateful and keenly aware that this is what sets our city apart from the rest.