|A. Regional Citizen of the Year:
1. James Pobanz
Nomination by Guadalupe Cornejo: "As a case manager, James Pobanz assists veterans and their families at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic where they provide quality, accessible, and comprehensive mental health care to veterans and their families at no cost. Services are available to any person who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, regardless of role or discharge status. James works with veterans and their families to facilitate services for them that they would usually be unable to receive. He also works to provide used furniture for veterans & their families who were once homeless or recently released from prison or a mental health facility. He also set up fundraisers for homeless veterans during the San Antonio Big Give, raising more than $10,000 in the past two years. James is an exemplary community partner, building bridges and partnerships between non-profits and city organizations. As a veteran and newly-minted licensed social worker, his tireless efforts to help those in need is an example for others to follow. James is also a devoted advocate and mentor for all veterans, especially those who struggle with mental health issues. Overall, James is highly committed to causes surrounding social justice and creating a supportive, socially conscious community.”
B. Business/Community Steward of the Year:
1. South Texas Energy Economic Roundtable (STEER), Capitol Aggregates, Martin Marietta, CEMEX, Alamo Cement, TACA, City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and CPS Energy
Joint Nomination by Leon Valley Mayor Chris Riley and San Antonio Councilman Roberto Treviño: "In June 2017, the Governor’s Office announced a veto of $1.4 million in funding for air quality planning programs in our region. These funds paid for AACOG’s work in forecasting harmful ozone levels, conducting emissions inventories, monitoring what’s in our air, and developing unique strategies for reducing regional ozone impacts. Further, this happened at a time when our region’s potential designation of nonattainment, and billions in economic impacts, could be announced at any time. The following companies, industry, government and utility representatives came forward to assist by providing over $300,000 in funding and services to continue these critical activities. These organizations understand the importance of air quality and its relationship to our region’s economic vitality. They are models of corporate stewardship and deserve recognition for their significant commitment to our region.”
2. Get Right City LLC - Presented to Jarvis Moore
Nomination by Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert: “Jarvis Moore and Get Right City LLC is a success story that demonstrates that if given a second chance via a support network and resources, former offenders can turn their life around and become success stories. Prior to being released, Jarvis Moore decided to leave prison behind him and unlock his inspiring future as a counselor, anger management consultant, and employment facilitator. Jarvis enrolled into programs at the Windham School District (WSD) such as the Cognitive Intervention Program while still in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Upon his release Jarvis found difficulty in acquiring decent pay employment opportunities, and resorted to side jobs to sustain his family. In 2013, he founded Jarvis Moore Inc., a local construction firm that specializes in demolition, site prep and debris removal. His two companies work together to put people to work, to hire employees for his construction company they need to have the preparation work done at Get Right City. Get Right City provides an avenue for former offenders to learn best practices about the hiring process and how to market themselves. Get Right City has a long history of successfully getting former offenders hired in full-time companies. Get Right City urges offenders to be honest about previous convictions, but encourages offenders to explain and highlight the education and skills they acquired via workforce development programs at WSD and the TDCJ work assignments to their advantage during interviews to demonstrate work experience and skills. Jarvis explains that in many instances employers are not concerned with what an offender has done in the past, rather they do not hire former offenders because they do not have the knowledge to properly market themselves."
C. Community/Non-Profit Project Award
1. RSVP of South Central Texas - Presented to Del J. Bauer
Nomination by Laurie Pruski, AACOG Employee: “RSVP pairs volunteers with at-risk students, covering over 30 area elementary schools. The students are struggling academically, particularly in reading. They are behind in their reading skills. The program offers the students a chance to receive additional help, outside of the classroom. The tutoring is offered during school hours, so there is no issue with interference with activities. RSVP is free for students; no one is turned away. RSVP covers a large region, including, Comal, Seguin, New Braunfels, Marion, La Vernia, Stockdale, Schertz, Floresville, Navarro and Poth ISD. Teachers and staff are pleased to have the assistance of the RSVP program and welcome it with open arms. The program has been sponsored by Texas Lutheran University since 1974.”
2. China Grove Lions Club - Presented to Shelly Chance
Nomination by Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert: “In March 2017, the China Grove Lions Club led by member, Shelly Chance, partnered with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives (RMYA) to furnish and design the new house in their Turning Point Independent Living Program. The service project, “Making this House a Home”, inspired local community support from across the state and several local news stations produced stories on the new home. The Lions Club seeks to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding. Through Shelly’s leadership they achieved their goal and sought numerous local businesses to donate furnishings, local artists created custom art, and a local writer compiled a home library tailored to the resident’s interests. In addition, a retired teacher developed a series life lessons (how to balance a checkbook, etc.) and a growing number of volunteers donated their time to complete the house. The house was completed the first week of May 2017. The homes purchased by RMYA provide shelter for young adults ages 18 through 23 who have aged out of the foster care system and have no place to live.”
D. Government Regional Project Award
1. Central Texas Technology Center Expansion Project - Presented to Chester Jenke
Nomination by Michele C. Valadez, City of New Braunfels: “Alamo Colleges Central Texas Technology Center (CTTC) is a Regional Campus providing both credit and non-credit courses for tomorrow’s workforce. CTTC’s student populace has expanded rapidly since 2010 to a campus that delivers coursework to over 1,000 students per semester. The rapid growth of the CTTC student populace has necessitated the expansion of the current campus facility. Facility expansion of more than 25,000 sq. ft. has opened for students in the Fall 2016 semester and now serves more than 1,200 students. The expanded facility has contributed to the advancement of our region and includes new biology and chemistry labs, a virtual library, and more student centered space to accommodate the increased student population. The expansion has also accommodated the number of courses offered in areas such as credit and continuing education to fit into the diverse schedules that so many students encounter today including an Integrated Basic Education and SkillsTraining, I-BEST Program delivering high-wage, in-demand job training for a diverse regional population."