Tell us about your current job and what attracted you to this profession.
I am a Corporate Securities and Real Estate Attorney with Hornberger Fuller & Garza Incorporated, a mid-size firm in San Antonio. My dad is a lawyer, my brother is a lawyer, my uncle is a lawyer and my aunt is a lawyer. I’ve always looked up to my dad and as a kid I really thought I wanted to do what he did. Also, my brother was in law school at the time, and being as competitive as we are, I thought “I can do that too”. I graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law summa cum laude in 2006. I received a job offer right out of school with one of the biggest firms in the country. They closed their San Antonio office shortly thereafter and I had to explore staying in San Antonio or moving to Miami or Chicago. San Antonio is where I am from and I am close to family and friends here so ultimately I decided to stay.
You are involved with several organizations outside of work. Can you tell us a little bit more about your community involvement?
“I’m very proud of LOOP and it is reflective of what is happening with the young professional community in San Antonio”
Initially out of law school I got involved with the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (SAYLA) for several years and served on the Board as Secretary, Vice-President, President and Past-President. It was a really good business development tool for me and I also made some really great friends that I might not have crossed paths with otherwise. I still attend the luncheons and in fact, I’ve presented as a lecturer there. I was a founding member of the San Antonio chapter of Young Texans Against Cancer (YTAC), which we started in 2008. Several of us started a fishing tournament, to raise funds for cancer research, called “Bay Bash” that attracts about 140 competitors to Port Aransas every year. I am also a founding Board Member of Leadership Organization of Professionals (LOOP) which we started about 3 years ago. LOOP works to engage, lead and transform San Antonio into a premier location for talented young professionals. I’m very proud of LOOP and it is reflective of what is happening with the young professional community in San Antonio. I’m also currently serving on the Witte Society Board which is the young professionals group for the Witte Museum.
With all the things you have going on, how do you keep a healthy work/life balance?
I really don’t do a very good job of that. I work a lot of hours. I work most weekends and I’m here at the office early. This year I’ve worked more hours than I ever have before. Many days I’m here in the office and then home to attend cocktail receptions in the evenings. Then on the weekends I push really hard to have fun or come in to work. So sometimes things get left out whether its relationships or health. I’m trying to find time to go to the gym more. Work has really been the priority for me.
What aspects of personal development are you currently working?
I’m trying to do a better job of balancing my professional well-being with my physical well-being. I was a foreign-exchange student to Mexico when I was in high school and my Spanish use to be really good. But over the years I’ve let it go and I would like to be fluent in Spanish more than anything. A few years ago I actually enrolled in Spanish classes again.
Let’s shift gears a little bit. What do you enjoy most about being a young professional in San Antonio?
“These organizations, venues and city are embracing Young Professionals and offering us the opportunity to meet each other and get together and communicate”
What I enjoy about it now is the accessibility to a variety of organizations. I think 5 years ago, that question would have been a lot harder to answer because there wasn’t anything really related to the Young Professionals community. Now you have LOOP, Ghost Light Society, Zoomers, SAMA’s Young Friends, SAYLA. There are a lot of different events and organizations you can be a part of. When I hear someone say there isn’t anything to do or it is boring here, I let them know that one of the reasons I joined as many organizations as I did is because you can get a full calendar pretty quickly. I grew up in San Antonio and didn’t know about the Witte Society and just stumbled across it on the internet one day 9 years ago. Through that I’ve met so many good friends that I would not have crossed paths with otherwise. These organizations, venues and city are embracing Young Professionals and offering us the opportunity to meet each other and get together and communicate.
What are your thoughts on reaching out or engaging certain demographics or geographic areas that are not well represented in some of these organizations?
It’s interesting because, for example with SAYLA, we would try to host events in different areas of San Antonio, to make it more convenient and easier for our members to participate. What we’ve found was that the greatest participation we would have was downtown. We’ve hosted things on the north side and other areas that were not well attended. It’s been a real issue with other groups, as well. We have a metrics committee within LOOP that’s doing a really good job breaking down the data of all of our members and people who participate in our events. Where do people live? What type of profession do they have? Their ethnicity. What are we lacking in diversity? What do we need to do a better job engaging these professions? It might also be a function of where Young Professionals live and tend to congregate. All of the organizations have the same issue. Their membership demographic tends to come from very limited areas of San Antonio.
Name something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m working on my pilot’s license. My favorite thing in the world is fishing. I think my fishing frequency will triple if I get my pilot’s license, haha.