President and CEO
Richard Perez is the President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. From advocating for business on the local, state, and federal levels and supporting San Antonio’s targeted industries to developing partnerships between business leaders and educators to ensure San Antonio has a strong workforce pipeline, Richard and his team create an environment that fosters success for businesses and the city.
Richard grew up in San Antonio and received his first taste of business experience at a young age while working at his family’s landscaping company, Fairway Landscape & Nursery. Following graduation from South San High School, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
Following graduate school, Richard served as Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Laredo, and in 1998, he 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. He then returned to San Antonio and rejoined the family business from 2001 – 2003, when he was elected to the San Antonio City Council. While on City Council, Richard quickly became a go-to leader for important tasks, including chairing the San Antonio Military Transformation Task Force and negotiating the relocation of a new National Security Agency (NSA) office in San Antonio. He was also recognized for his ability to build consensus among his colleagues to ensure the best results for the City of San Antonio.
Following his two terms serving as City Councilman, Richard was recruited in November 2007 to lead the Chamber as its 18th President and CEO. During his tenure, the Chamber has focused on significant issues that impact the business community, including defeating the Labor Peace Agreement, championing the City’s Non-discrimination Ordinance, and securing City Council passage of the Vista Ridge Pipeline project to ensure a stable water supply for the future.
Richard is also an active participant in various charities and corporate leadership activities.