Staff

 


Nicole Amri, Class of 2006

Co-Executive Director

Nicole Amri is a 2006 alumna of SAY Sí and a 2012 graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BFA in Painting and a BA in Communication: Public Relations. She is also a certified nonprofit professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Driven by learning and creating, Nicole’s great passions are education and the arts. As a multidisciplinary artist she explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. In addition to her position as Managing Co-Director for SAY Sí, Nicole currently serves on local and national committees such as city-wide collective impact initiatives: SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA and national groups: the ARE (Artists for Racial Equity) Network of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Amri recently joined the advisory board of the Advanced Learning Academy, a PK-12 CAST Network school. When she’s not working or creating, Nicole loves to dance, cook and listen to music (often at the same time). For more information visit her LinkedIn Page.


Michael Foerster

Visual Arts & Woodshop Instructor

Michael is an artist who dabbles mainly in the ceramic, soft sculpture and performative arts. His work focuses on simplistic forms and smiley characters that speak about innocence, youth, love, kindness, fun, happiness, and how we became who we are. Michael can usually be identified as "the one with the yo-yo" or found doodling on random tables.


    Cassidy Fritts

    Programs Coordinator

    Cassidy Fritts is a San Antonio local who has a dedication to community and youth empowerment. She graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts, concentrating in Painting. Fritts is currently a local artist exploring mediums of painting and printmaking and is also a local muralist. Her artwork typically explores topics of personal identity, mental health, and community. Fritts was a featured artist in the 2019 San Antonio Street Art Showcase Phase II and has murals, public and private, throughout San Antonio; she has also participated in assisting with San Anto Cultural Arts murals. In addition to the arts, Fritts has a passion for immigration advocacy, anti-gentrification work, and education reform. Fritts believes that the fight for justice doesn't end when you clock out of a job, but everyday and every hour that injustice exists, the fight persists. During any free time Fritts gets, you can find her walking her dog, cooking, trying new San Antonio restaurants, or finding even more things to occupy her time.


      Anahí Gonzalez

      Operations Manager

      Born in Monterrey, N.L. Mexico and later raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Anahí González moved to San Antonio, TX to fulfill her college career at Our Lady of the Lake University. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Psychology and quickly dived into the world of social justice. She has experienced the harsh realities of our foster care system having served a role as Residential Specialist for a long-term care facility, Investigator 1 for Child Protective Service and Case Manager for a child placement agency. Seeing the lack of government support/funding in these areas of need led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management. She graduated in 2014 with an MS in Non-Profit Management from her alma mater, OLLU, which has allowed for her to thrive as Operations Manager for SAY Sí.  Her passions include spreading the message of health and wellness through nutrition & exercise, cooking authentic Mexican cuisine and photography.


        Stephen Garza-Guzman

        Co-Executive Director

        Stephen Garza-Guzman is a writer, photographer and graphic designer born and raised in the westside of San Antonio, Texas. Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Communications from St. Mary’s University. A lifelong learner, Garza-Guzman has been a nonprofit professional for 10 years. He currently acts as Co-Executive Director for SAY Sí, San Antonio’s premier creative youth development organization, primarily overseeing the organization’s brand by molding and sharing its multifaceted story with various audiences. In 2016, he participated in the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) Leadership Institute. He also sat as co-chair of the Engagement Working Group for Excel Beyond the Bell, San Antonio’s out-of-school time collective impact organization, from 2015 - 2017. Outside of SAY Sí, Stephen and his husband, Fred Garza-Guzman, co-own Curious Twins Paranormal, a San Antonio-based ghost tour company that shares curious, dark and often untold San Antonio narratives.


          Jon Hinojosa

          President and Director of Innovation

          Jon is an artist masquerading as an arts administrator. He is active in professional: local, regional and national creative youth development initiatives and has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth. He also serves as a board member of Texans for the Arts. Jon has prioritized youth voice throughout the organization's timeline, empowering SAY Sí's artists to drive the growth of the organization and take ownership of the internationally recognized programs. He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation's creative leaders.


            Emmanuelle Maher

            HIVE New Media Studio Assistant

            Emmanuelle Taylor Maher is a Queer artist and First-Generation American based in San Antonio, Texas. Between coding, drawing silly comics, and posting internal monologues online—Emmanuelle is always trying to find new ways to engage creatively with others. Their works exist at the intersections of Activism and Introspection surrounding Identity, navigating Mental Illness and often explores ideas of Consequence and Trauma recovery. As a huge proponent of Radical Tenderness, Emmanuelle applies these tenets when interacting with youths—both inside and outside of SAY Sí. Ultimately: It’s Tenderness that governs their art and actions.


              Ned Meneses

              New Media Teaching Artist

              A native from Bolivia, Ned Meneses completed his high school education in the US and received a BA in Art from the University of the Incarnate Word in 1996. He has shown digital art at various galleries locally and internationally. As a media arts instructor he has participated in the evolution of the Media Arts Studio into a high performance film program. Ned has worked with SAY Sí since 2002.


                Amalia Ortiz

                Theater Arts Director

                Amalia Ortiz is a performance-poet, actor and playwright with a BA in Theatre from UIW and an MFA in Creative Writing from UTRGV. She appeared on three seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO. Amalia’s book of poetry, Rant. Chant. Chisme. was selected by NBC Latino as one of “10 Great Latino Books of 2015” and it won the Writers' League of the Texas 2015 Poetry Discovery Prize. She founded the poetry performance troupe Women of Ill Repute: Refute! which raises money and awareness for the Rape Crisis Center. She was chosen to speak at TEDx McAllen in 2015, and has been awarded the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Grant created by Sandra Cisneros and a writing residency at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a Hedgebrook writer-in-residence alumna. Amalia has appeared on the NAACP Image Awards on FOX and starred in the indie film, Speeder Kills.


                  Ashley Perez, Class of 2003

                  Visual Arts Director | Middle School Coordinator

                  Ashley is an alumni of SAY Sí’s visual arts program and graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with her BFA in painting in 2010. As an artist she is primarily a painter but also enjoys drawing and mixed media collage. Perez currently acts as coordinator for the San Antonio Scholastic Art awards.


                    Alex Ramirez

                    Media Arts Studio Teaching Artist

                    Alex Ramirez is a Mexican-American filmmaker based in San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas – Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/TV/Film. A life long lover of film and cinema, he has worked professionally throughout Texas since 2010. He is the head of his own production company, Ruly Crescent Filmworks. His films have screened in both the US and internationally. He has also won several awards in his home state of Texas–most recently, the 2017 Creeper Film Festival Best Director Award and the 2014 WILD Film Festival Best Director Award. He was awarded “Most Awesome Local Filmmaker” by CultureSA in 2018.


                      Guillermina Zabala

                      Media Arts Director

                      Born in Argentina, Guillermina Zabala is a San Antonio media artist, filmmaker and photographer. She graduated from Columbia College-Hollywood with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree in Cinema. Currently, she is the Media Arts Director at San Antonio’s SAY Sí. In October 2008 she received the San Antonio Artist Foundation Award for her documentary project Juanito’s Lab (in post-production) and in November 2006 she was awarded the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant for the same project.

                      From August to October 2015, Guillermina was one of the participating artists at the Printmaking Exhibit “25Veinticinco” at the University of Texas in San Antonio. This exhibit included 25 original prints of prominent Latino artists. In 2014, she had a solo exhibit at the McNay Art Museum in the Octagon Gallery showcasing her single-channel video “I, Me, Light”. In November 2013, she was selected by the City of San Antonio to write and direct the short film “Yanaguana Woman” based on a poem by SA Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla, and in October 2013 she wrote and directed the music video “A Night in December,” a track composed by Joël Dilley. In March 2012, Guillermina had her fist solo exhibition “Juanito” at the Blue Star Contemporary Arts Museum, and that same year her mixed media 10-panel piece La Inmigrante was shown at Centro Cultural Aztlan. Additional exhibits include Waterflow at San Antonio Museum of Art, 50/250 at French & Michigan Gallery, New Media Festival, Los Angeles; Luminaria’s featured artist, Windows into our Community, Mujeres de Vision, and Ars Latina in Havana, Cuba. Her artworks have been shown in numerous galleries in San Antonio, as well as in NY, Los Angeles, Austin, Miami, Spain, Argentina, and Germany.

                      Presently, Guillermina is in post-production of Juanito’s Lab, a documentary that explores the life of blind musician Juanito Castillo, 26, proficient in 14 instruments.


                        Stevan Živadinović

                        New Media Director

                        Živadinović is a Serbian-born artist based in San Antonio. He graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio with a BFA in 2007. When he is not teaching video game design he moonlights as a designer, developer and comic book artist.

                           

                          Board of Directors


                          Mary Ann Beach

                          Executive Consultant

                          Successful executive strategist with a 35-year career working with regional and national financial institutions. A native of San Antonio, Mary Ann returned to the community in 2000 and
                          immediately became involved with non-profit board participation and leadership. Currently, Mary Ann chairs the SAY Sí Board and is an active Board member of the Master Leadership Program.


                          Paula Cantrell

                          AVP Project Manager at Bank of America

                          Paula is a Project and Production Manager responsible for functional and matrix teams developing and delivering projects, contracts, RFPs with industry leaders in the financial and
                          medical vertical markets. She is experienced in managing multiple inputs, risk mitigation & remediation, problem-solving for processing and technology solutions.


                          Agosto Cuellar

                          Training & Customer Experience Manager at Goodwill of San Antonio

                          Agosto Cuellar is a sustainable designer and activist with upcycling and re-purposed aesthetics based in San Antonio, Texas. With over 20 years in fashion, Agosto was awarded the San Antonio Fashion Awards Cultural Pioneer Award in 2018.


                          Marcella Dalmau

                          Marketing Project Lead at River City Federal Credit Union

                          Marcella is a marketing professional with over 11 years of experience in the field. She grew up in El Salvador where she studied Strategic Design with the goal to build consumer-centric
                          campaigns for social-focused products/services. She shares a passion for art and hopes to one day master the skill of ceramic wheel-throwing.


                          Mae Escobar

                          CEO at aMAEzing Marketing Group

                          Mae Escobar is the CEO of aMAEzing Marketing Group, a national award-winning agency in the areas of graphic design and multi-cultural campaigns. She is a native of San Antonio and lives, works, and plays in downtown San Antonio.


                          Paola Fernandez

                          Urban Planner and Community Engagement Specialist at Able City

                          LorPaola Sofia Fernandez graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2014 receiving a Bachelors’s degree in Architecture. Her education and experience in Architecture sparked her passion for urbanism, mobility, data, and creating the best quality of life for all communities. Paola currently works at Able City as an Urban Planner and Community Engagement Specialist, where she works to create opportunities for public participation and community engagement, motivated by a desire to create inclusive and equitable cities through the built environment.
                          Paola is an active member of the community. In addition to Director of Outreach and advocacy for NOMA, she serves on the HDRC board as the Mayoral Commissioner, board member at the
                          VIA Transit Community Council, ActiveSA board member, and SAY Sí board member.


                          Andres Gonzalez

                          Principal at Cokinos | Young

                          Andres loves climbing mountains, camping, playing tennis, and running, but has little “free” time to do any of those! He loves art and grew up going to art classes at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. As for his day job, Andres enjoys jury trials since they require creativity and thought.


                          Claudia Guerra

                          Cultural Historian at City of San Antonio

                          Claudia Guerra is San Antonio’s first Cultural Historian, a position in the Office of Historic Preservation created in 2014. As Cultural Historian, Guerra engages the San Antonio community in identifying places of cultural significance, working with a multi-cultural and multi-generational citizenry, fostering the next generation of heritage stewards, as well as including voices who may feel disenfranchised from historic preservation.


                          Eve Hernandez

                          VP of Marketing at Generations Federal Credit Union

                          San Antonio native Eve Hernandez is a marketer with an interest in creating strategic communications to address the stories in the data. Eve holds a BS in RTF from UT Austin and is completing the UT San Antonio MPA program. Eve is excited to support SAY Sí because it provides a home for young creative thinkers, giving support and power to their voices.


                          Sobia Khan

                          Dean for Academic Success at San Antonio College

                          Dr. Sobia Khan is Dean for Academic Success at San Antonio College, where she oversees multiple academic departments. Khan’s book, Beyond Equity at Community Colleges: Bringing Theory into Practice for Justice and Liberation is forthcoming by Routledge in 2022. She has published numerous creative and academic works. Currently, she is on the board of SA2020, an organization focused on a community vision for the city of San Antonio, SAY Sí, a creative youth development educational
                          organization for San Antonio’s youth, and The Karachi Collective, a cultural and creative organization to preserve, engage, and uplift the cultural and creative landscape of Karachi and South Asia. Khan’s educational and career choices are driven by service to the community and to be an advocate for under-resourced and minoritized students.


                          Kelly Kljajic-Powers

                          Managing Partner at Powers Professional Partners

                          Kelly is a local business owner specializing in C-Suite and senior accounting placement. She is a proud mom of five boys and is passionate about the arts in all forms. “I believe every child has the potential to be EXCEPTIONAL!”


                          Billy Lambert

                          Director at French & Michigan

                          William Lambert is the Director of French & Michigan in San Antonio, Texas. Lambert received his Bachelors and Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas at San Antonio. From 2001-2008, Lambert taught in the architecture department of the university. Lambert previously worked at various architecture firms throughout San Antonio including Curtis Wunderlich, Sprinkle Robey, Dixie Watkins III + Associates, Poteet Architects, and Candid Rogers. In 2005, Lambert began his own professional
                          work and studio, which eventually became known as French & Michigan in 2013. Projects include residential and commercial remodels and new buildings. Lambert expanded the studio to include a gallery and later a fabrication workshop. Lambert is a board member for the Friends of Government Canyon and SAY Sí.


                          Greta McFarling

                          Attorney at Chasnoff, Mungia, Valkenaar, Pepping & Stribling, LLP

                          Greta is an attorney practicing commercial litigation at Chasnoff, Mungia, Valkenaar, Pepping & Stribling, LLP. She previously spent over ten years working as a staff attorney at the Fourth Court of Appeals for the State of Texas. She studied art history in college and worked at the Kimbell Art Museum after graduation. Her favorite artwork was created by her children, ages 10 and 13.


                          Melanie Mendez-Gonzalez

                          Founder at MMG Media, LLC

                          Call her a multi-passion chaser. Melanie creates content and shares stories about her passions: education, entertainment, culture, and family on her award-winning blog Qué Means What. As the founder of MMG Media, LLC, she is a digital media entrepreneur. Melanie is a wife, a mom of boys, and a fiercely proud Tejana.


                          Jim Mendiola

                          Independent filmmaker, curator, and writer

                          Jim Mendiola is an independent filmmaker, curator, and writer based in Texas. His films have screened in numerous film festivals, museums, and colleges in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, public television, and cable TV. He recently completed an artist-in-residence program at the The University of Texas at Austin.


                          Barry Middleman

                          Architect Emeritus at Luna Middleman Architects

                          Barry Middleman, a native San Antonian, graduated from Jefferson High School and The University of Texas at Austin. After graduation, Barry took a position with the nationally acclaimed architectural firm of Welton Becket & Associates. After working for Becket, he became intrigued at the prospect of the 1968 Hemisfair (World’s Fair) coming to San Antonio and decided to return to work for an architectural firm in the planning of the 1968 World’s Fair. Barry was offered a position with Roberts
                          Allen,& Helmke Architects, and had a hand in the design of several trade and national pavilions, including the U.S. Pavilion. Barry worked with the in-house architectural staff of Roy L. Martin &
                          Associates, a retail development company, from 1967 to 1970, and in 1970 assumed the position of Architectural Department Head until March of 1973. At which time, he founded Barry P. Middleman
                          & Associates, and has since specialized in retail development encompassing everything from store planning to specialty centers, neighborhood community centers, power centers, and mall design on a national level.


                          Jason Moran

                          Architectural Designer / Owner

                          Jason Moran is an architectural designer whose passion is collaborating with like-minded people and businesses on new challenges and ventures. He is a father of 3 amazing children. He loves to eat, bike ride, and walk through downtown admiring the amazing architecture that has created the urban fabric
                          of the city of San Antonio.


                          Clarissa Ramon

                          Marketing Manager at Google Fiber

                          Clarissa Ramon is a San Antonio native who recently relocated to Seattle, Washington with her spouse and their two dogs. She is a marketing manager for Google Fiber focused on inclusive and multicultural marketing. Ramon joined the board of SAY Sí to more formally support the San Antonio arts community.


                          Ricardo Romo

                          Retired

                          Ricardo is a retired University President, educator, and administrator with 40 years of teaching experience. He currently serves on five non-profit boards including World Affairs, La Prensa Texas, and Southwest Research Institute. He is also the author, historian, and editor of Latinos in America Newsletter.


                          Ricardo Salazar

                          Group Supervisor at State of Texas

                          Ricardo is a public servant. Graduating from SouthWest Texas State University, he has proudly worked for the State of Texas for 31 years as an accountant/CPA. Ricardo is the husband of a beautiful and loving wife of 30 years. He has two adult daughters and one son that bring him joy every day due to their brilliance, empathy, and acceptance of all people. Ricardo believes in serving and giving to the community because it is our example and the love that we give to those in need that has the most
                          impact on society.


                          Michael Schroeder

                          Partner at INSITE Architects, Inc.

                          Michael Schroeder is a founding partner of INSITE Architects, an interior design and architectural studio in San Antonio, Texas. INSITE Architects was founded in 1988. He is also a founder of SAY Si and has remained active on the Board of Directors. “It has been a real pleasure to see SAY Si grow and flourish as an exemplary youth development arts program throughout the community and the United States.”

                          Leadership Council

                          • Lainey Berkus
                          • Stephen Cavender
                          • Liz Chiego
                          • Teresa Corbin
                          • Doug Cross
                          • Dr. Mike Flores
                          • Susan Toomey Frost
                          • Brenda Gilpin
                          • Gisela Girard
                          • Maureen Gonima
                          • Debra Guerrero
                          • Kaye Lenox
                          • Dennis Martinez
                          • Michael Mazzei
                          • Marcia McKinley
                          • Dan Naranjo
                          • Margaret Schellenberg
                          • Diana Schumacher
                          • Cheri Seabers
                          • Lisa Wong