The VIA Board of Trustees on Tuesday unanimously elected Fernando Reyes, a local businessman, entrepreneur, and community leader, as its chair, with an initial term to lead the agency’s governing body from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2022.
Reyes succeeds Hope Andrade, who was first elected to the Board in the 1990s and twice served as its chair, most recently seated in February 2020. Andrade, a former Texas Secretary of State, is credited with helping to lead VIA through the recent approval of ATD Proposition A. The measure will increase funding for public transit use and help support the Keep SA Moving Plan.
“We thank Chair Andrade for leading us through many years and challenges, with wisdom and grace. In particular, we appreciate her steadfast leadership in the past year—during which she proved instrumental in the success of ATD Proposition A as we step into the Decade of Mobility she helped envision,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “We welcome Chair-elect Reyes and look forward to our work together to keep San Antonio moving on a positive path, with continued support from City and County leaders, the Board of Trustees, and the community.”
Reyes is a San Antonio native, born and raised on the South Side. As a civically engaged individual, he has served as Chairman of the Board for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, President of the San Antonio Fiesta Commission, Rey Feo LX and Treasurer for the Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation, and served the Boards of St. Mary’s University, San Antonio Parks Foundation, the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation, World Affairs Council of San Antonio, and the San Antonio Area Foundation.
He recently served as treasurer of the Vote Yes for Transit campaign in support of ATD Proposition A that was approved by voters on Nov. 3, 2020.
“I’m looking forward to beginning the new year and my work with the dynamic VIA Board and building the momentum created by Hope Andrade’s leadership and vision for the future of mobility in our region,” Reyes said Tuesday. “Transportation is an essential service and serves a critical need in our community. My goal is to ensure that VIA and public transit continue to be part of our city’s success story.”
Before entering private business, Reyes worked in the federal government, including at the Department of Defense and Housing and Urban Development. He has also served on the Harlandale Education Foundation, the Bexar County Community Arenas Board, and numerous others. He currently serves as the chair of Reyes Automotive Group II and Reyes AmTex Automotive, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, Inc. Tier One suppliers. He also established Reyes Development and Reyes Properties that are involved in land development and commercial real estate acquisition. His most recent endeavor is Site B Data Services LLC., a collocation center offering a variety of technological support for small- to medium-sized businesses.
VIA Board members are appointed for two-year terms. Trustees nominate and elect a chair every two years or when the seat becomes available and can select candidates from among Board members or members of the public, often collaborating with the sitting Mayor and County Judge to select a candidate to lead the 11-member Board. VIA Trustees may serve a cumulative total of eight years.