Area Foundation Grant Recipient Dee Howard Foundation Welcomes New Leadership

By Cecilia Martinez

SAN ANTONIO — One of the San Antonio Area Foundation’s past annual responsive grantees and current Youth Leadership Development (YLD) grant recipients, The Dee Howard Foundation, is on a mission to grow and continue partnerships with schools to inspire, challenge and empower innovators in the aviation and aerospace fields.

Dee Howard announced that Bianca Rhodes, President and CEO of Knight Aerospace, was elected by the Foundation’s board to succeed Wayne Fagan as board chair and president.

“I know that Bianca will be an outstanding Chair. She brings with her a long list of accomplishments, community service, a strong financial background, and a deep commitment to the mission of the foundation,” Fagan said. “It has been my great honor to have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many of you, thank you all for your service to our community.”

Adding to that growth are five new officers and Executive Director Christina Martinez, who was brought on as their first staff member in July 2021. Martinez is “very excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow from the leadership of Bianca and the rest of the board officers.” The new officers joining Dee Howard are:

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  • Vice Chair: Tyler Schroeder, Manager, State and Local Government Operations at Boeing.
  • Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs: JoAnn Browning, Ph.D.,P.E., Dean of The College of Engineering and Integrated Design at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
  • Vice President: Timothy W. Strawther. Lead Executive, San Antonio, Texas, Lockheed Martin Corp.  
  • Treasurer: JT Norris, Ph.D., CPA, Director, MS in Accounting Program, University of the Incarnate Word (UIW).
  • Secretary Dan Gonzales, Vice President, Business Development, Military and Energy Sector, StandardAero.

Since 2013, The Dee Howard Foundation has partnered with seven area school districts, a public charter school and PreK 4 SA to engage over 4,500 students through an array of aerospace and aviation-based programs. Through these partnerships, schools have been able to integrate project based learning and aeronautical STEM curriculum into their programs. 

The Dee Howard Foundation Fund was established in memory of aviation pioneer and entrepreneur Dee Howard for the support of programs that enhance excellence and global leadership of the automotive and aviation sectors in San Antonio, Texas. Learn more about the fund or donate today by clicking here

Click here for more information on the San Antonio Area Foundation’s new Youth Leadership Development program and grant recipients.

Cecilia Martinez serves as Communications Specialist in the Area Foundation’s Marketing and Communications Department.