The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) has recruited two new executive committee members, John Dickson and Jeff Ruiz, expanding its governing body from 13 to 15 members.
John Dickson, a principal at Denim Group, and Jeff Ruiz, the general manager and senior business director for diabetes services and solutions at Medtronic, were appointed by SAEDF to serve this volunteer position.
The SAEDF Executive Committee meets once a month to discuss San Antonio’s business and industry sector. As principal of Denim Group, a software development and security company, Dickson will bring his knowledge of information technology (IT) and cybersecurity to the committee.
Dickson has nearly 20 years of experience in his field and he serves as the chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Cyber Security Committee, which discusses the economic development, workforce and advocacy issues that surround San Antonio’s cybersecurity field.
“I really believe that up to this point EDF has lacked any expertise around Cybersecurity,” Dickson said, adding that he hopes to provide development strategy for both attracting and retaining IT and cybersecurity companies in San Antonio.
“Denim Group is a company that grew up organically in San Antonio,” he said. “I want more companies like ours in our backyard.”
Ruiz was instrumental in moving Medtronic, a company that develops and sells diabetes-related equipment, from Los Angeles, Calif., to San Antonio.
“Medtronic is one of the largest employers to relocate to San Antonio,” Ruiz said, adding that the move brought more than 1,000 jobs to the city.
“I can give companies a behind the scenes look (on moving to San Antonio),” Ruiz said.
Ruiz and his business partners chose San Antonio because of its emerging bioscience sector and reasonable cost of living and doing business.
Medtronic moved to San Antonio six years ago and Ruiz plans to bring “experience and expertise” to San Antonio’s healthcare sector by recruiting companies to San Antonio and building the existing healthcare and bioscience community.
“San Antonio really does have a tremendous amount of bioscience assets that is a bit of a hidden treasure, and to the extent that we can demonstrate this to the rest of the world really does mean tremendous opportunity for San Antonio,” he said.
Established in 1975, SAEDF has recruited more than 400 companies to San Antonio, boasts officials.
“As the economic development landscape in San Antonio broadens, so does our scope of work to develop programs in the IT/IS and healthcare/bioscience sectors,” said SAEDF President Mario Hernandez. “Strengthening our leadership team is a critical step toward continued success.”
*Top image: The San Antonio skyline. Photo by Alyssa Walker.