President and CEO
Richard Perez, the President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, is the 18th President to lead the 2,000 member organization in its 117-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 almost 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. He:
- chaired 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,
- served as the point-person in recruitment efforts to attract, and negotiate the contract bringing City Manager Sheryl Sculley to San Antonio,
- chaired the Transportation Policy Board of the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which set policy that identified, prioritized, and allocated over $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.
- served as senior City representative, with the County Judge and Greater Chamber President in negotiating the relocation of a new National Security Agency (NSA) office in San Antonio with 500 employees.
- served on the City’s International Economic Development strategic efforts team by acting as a City Ambassador via travels to India, Mexico, and Japan, and led 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.