OLLU alumni shaping the city of San Antonio
OLLU at City Hall: (L-R) Edward Benavides, Ana Federico, Javier Flores, Lorraine Pulido, Ed Belmares and
Cambri Ensminger. (Photo courtesy of City of San Antonio)
The impact and influence of Our Lady of the Lake University reverberates
Throughout San Antonio’s municipal government.
From the city manager’s office to communications and information technology, OLLU graduates are using their skills and expertise to shape and direct the future of San Antonio.
As assistant city manager, Ed Belmares (BA in Sociology – 1996) oversees the departments of Aviation, Public Works, Parks and Recreation and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.
As chief of staff for City Manager Sheryl Sculley, Edward Benavides (MA in Human Sciences – 2000) provides oversight to the Communications and Public Affairs Department, the Office of Environmental Policy, and the Office of the City Council. He also provides executive level support to the City Manager’s Office.
Belmares and Benavides use the knowledge and skills acquired from OLLU in their work today. “I still remember a lot of my sociology background from the Lake as we deal with public policy issues,” Belmares says.
Adds Benavides, “I enjoyed my time at Our Lady of the Lake as it prepared me for my career in government.”
Three OLLU alumni and one current student serve in Communications and Public Affairs. Viewers of the City of San Antonio (COSA) homepage (www.sanantonio.gov) can see the creative handiwork of Cambri Ensminger (BS in Computer Information Systems – 2003, MEd – 2007). As the Lead Web Designer for COSA, Cambri oversees all content and language on the city websites, manages rotating ads, creates graphics and promotes city events.
Lorraine Pulido (PhD in Leadership Studies – 2010) serves as the Public Relations Manager of the department. She oversees a team that handles marketing, advertising, community relations, media outreach and inquiries, open records requests, public relations and production of shows for TVSA, the City’s government access channel. She supervises two public information officers, a photographer and a graphic designer.
“OLLU’s Leadership Studies PhD program inspired me to pursue a leadership position in the public relations industry,” Pulido says.
As Public Information Officer, Javier A. Flores (BA in English and Art – 2001) works with half of the city’s 39 departments on their marketing and communications needs. He also promotes San Antonio regionally and nationally, edits the city employee newsletter and assists with productions for TVSA.
OLLU senior Ana Federico, 21, serves as an intern in Communications and Public Affairs. A double major in Spanish and Public Relations, Federico assists with national media list creation, print media clippings, writing for the employee newsletter, market research and other duties.
University alumni also wield their expertise in Information Technology (IT) Services. As IT Security Lead, Esmeralda Robledo-Esparza (MS in Information Security – 2011) implements and maintains data security measures and disaster recovery implementation, analyzes security analysis reports, performs security audits and solves security-related problems.
Jorge Contreras-Perez (BA in Mathematics – 1997) serves as Customer Support Lead for the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) Information Technology. He sets up desktop computers at SAPD headquarters and substations, troubleshoots for officers who have problems with laptops in their squad cars and lends additional customer support.
Behind the scenes, these alumni – and others – are providing leadership, creativity and strong technical skills for the City of San Antonio. They are not only serving residents, they are helping propel San Antonio into its destiny.