Southside First Economic Development Council Selects New Board Chair

March 14, 2018


SAN ANTONIO (March 14, 2018) - Southside First Economic Development Council has selected its first executive committee at a recent board meeting. The Council, established in late 2016, was created by the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to assess and monitor economic conditions on the Southside and connect resources to area businesses and residents. Additionally, the Council serves as a convener of major institutions, government agencies, local leaders and others through programming to gain a better understanding of challenges and opportunities on the Southside.


Laura Cabanilla was elected chair, Rob Rodriguez as vice chair, Samantha Carniero treasurer and Janie Martinez Gonzalez secretary.


Cabanilla serves as vice president of community relations and community development officer for the Central Texas region of Wells Fargo. Her experience and vision will be a vital asset as the organization continues to grow. “Organization sustainability and advocating for strategic, catalytic investments will be our focus for 2018. We have a strong board, representing major assets in the Southside and all are committed to rolling up our sleeves and growing our economy together,” said  Cabanilla. In her role at Wells Fargo, she helps provide oversight and direction to Wells Fargo’s leadership in the areas of housing, education, economic development and financial literacy. A native to the Southside, she also serves on various other boards including UTSA Public Administration Advisory Board, San Antonio Sports Board of Directors, Harlandale ISD Bridging Committee, and others.

Joining Cabanilla on the executive committee are two additional native Southsiders, and the CFO of Brooks. Rob Rodriguez, vice chair, is a commercial realtor and entrepreneur. He is a strong advocate for business and the real estate community. He currently serves on the Boy Scouts Leadership Resource Council and Youth Orchestra of San Antonio’s Boards.


Janie Martinez Gonzalez, secretary, is a founder and partner in multiple companies in technology, real estate and business consulting. As founder and CEO of Webhead, she leveraged technology to establish one of the original web development start-ups in the early 90s. Today she leads one of the largest privately woman-owned Web and IT Security companies in Texas. Webhead operates in California, Louisiana, Nebraska, Texas and Washington, DC.


Samantha Carniero, treasurer, is the Chief Financial Officer for Brooks and is responsible for overseeing the fiscal management and administration of Brooks’ budget planning, internal controls and financial reporting. Brooks was just named “Best Neighborhood Revitalization” by San Antonio Magazine.



















About Southside First Economic Development Council

Southside First Economic Development Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to be the voice of economic prosperity, community bridging and responsible development on the Southside (South San Antonio and South Bexar County). The 15-member board represents a cross-section of the Southside and has appointments from City Council Districts 3, 4 and 5, County Precincts 4 and 1, South Chamber representatives, Brooks, Texas A&M University – San Antonio, VIA Metropolitan Transit, Port San Antonio, Hot Wells Conservancy, and others. In 2017, the organization led many initiatives including a Symposium, Small Business Workshops, Success Series, and data research that is being used to provide insight into the Southside economy. For more information, visit

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