Richard Perez, the President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, is
the 18th President to lead the 2,100 member organization in its 121-year history.
Richard grew up in San Antonio and attended South San Antonio ISD schools. As a
young student, Richard got his first taste of business experience working at his family’s
landscaping company, Fairway Landscape and Nursery, during junior high and high
school. Following graduation from South San High School in 1985, he received his
Bachelor’s degree with a major in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas State
University in San Marcos. He then went on to attain a Master’s degree in Public
Administration from the University of Kansas.
Richard often says that he felt that studying public administration and urban planning is
the best way to give back to the community that gave so much to him. Richard keeps
his promises. His career has become one of community service for two decades.
Following graduate school, Richard served as Assistant to the City Manager for the City
of Laredo. It was during this time that he witnessed the challenges facing cities along
the South Texas border due to the exploding population and changing demographics.
His ability to work well with constituents led him to his next career step. In 1998, Richard
was appointed by the Clinton Administration as the Special Assistant to the Deputy
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he served
until January, 2001.
Richard then returned to San Antonio and rejoined the family business from 2001 -
2004, when he was elected to the San Antonio City Council for District 4. While on City
Council, Richard quickly became a go-to leader for important tasks, including:
Chairing the San Antonio Military Transformation Task Force – which continues
to help facilitate and implement post-BRAC plans, the largest single development
project in the history of the City, worth up to $2 Billion in construction, and adding
thousands of jobs for San Antonians.
Serving as the point-person in recruitment efforts to attract and negotiate the
contract bringing City Manager Sheryl Sculley to San Antonio.
Chairing the Transportation Policy Board of the San Antonio-Bexar County
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which set policy that identified,
prioritized, and allocated more than $100 million annually in state and federal
funding for the construction of roadway improvements, planning studies, and the
implementation of various multi-modal initiatives such as bus rapid transit (BRT)
and commuter rail/rail relocation efforts for the Bexar County region.
Serving as senior city representative, with the County Judge and Greater
Chamber President in negotiating the relocation of a National Security Agency
(NSA) office in San Antonio with 500 employees.
Serving on the City’s International Economic Development strategic efforts team
by acting as a City Ambassador via travels to India, Mexico, and Japan, and
leading two trade missions to India, resulting in a sister city agreement with
Chennai, India in 2008.
Richard became recognized for his ability to cross political lines to ensure the best
results for the City of San Antonio. He also followed a strict open-door policy and was
always willing to listen and respond to the needs of all citizens of the community.
With all of these accomplishments, Richard will tell you his most prized possession is
his family. Richard is married to Judy Lynn (Patterson) and they are the parents of three
children: Clarissa, Elissa and Ricardo Antonio.
San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO