renee watson ADVOCATE FOR BUSINESS PHOTOGRAPHY BY LARRY CRAWFORD
an Antonio has been home for Renee Watson for the last eighteen years. She can identify parts of town as quickly as we cash checks with our cell phones. Renee is Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Department in Bexar County. She serves as the program manager authorized by the Bexar County Commissioners Court to coordinate, facilitate, implement, and monitor the county’s Small, Minority & Women TĤë´®ĔĉÔë´ĉĉ"ëď´ąĂąÔĉ´ȘiK"șë® Ôĉ®ģëďÅ´®ĔĉÔë´ĉĉ"ëď´ąĂąÔĉ´Ș"ș program policy. Renee acts as the liaison ĤÔďÒòĴ¨´ĉë®®´Ăąďê´ëďĉďò´ëĉĔą´ that SMWBEs have access to county procurement, contracting, and professional services opportunities. We see her as a woman of power on account of her “desire to serve the public in order to provide access to opportunities for a better quality of life for all sectors of the community.” Renee began working for Bexar County in the year 2000. Her education included Sam Houston High School, UTSA Ș¨Ò´äòąòÄĔĉÔë´ĉĉ®êÔëÔĉďąďÔòëșȅ Baruch College in New York, New York ȘKĉď´ąòÄbĔ§äÔ¨®êÔëÔĉďąďÔòëșȅë® Kĉď´ą´ąďÔķ´®òêĂäÔë¨´®êÔëÔĉďąďòąȘKș´ąďÔķ¨ďÔòëÄąòêKòąÅë University in 2013. According to her biography, “She reviews current practices to assess and recommend improvements to increase participation. Renee works in cooperation with the Purchasing Agent, òĴ¨´ĉȅë®®´Ăąďê´ëďĉďò´ĩĂäòą´ďÒ´ĉ´ concepts and analyze the advantages and disadvantages to modifying current practices. In addition, she works directly
with community organizations, other public entities, and vendors to promote participation and access in local, state, and federal and private sector procurement opportunities. She is a member of the County Manager’s Executive Leadership Team.” She tells us one of her secrets to success is strong political acumen, which she describes as “understanding political power in an organization, being able to Äąê´ë®ĉ´ääÔ®´ĉȅÔëĸĔ´ë¨´òďÒ´ąĉȅ negotiate, maintain ethics and integrity, persuade, build networks, initiate and manage change, and effectively manage organizational crises.” She received recognition this year with the “Reverend Dr. R.A. Callies, Sr. Courage” Award, San Antonio Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, and the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce “Community Spirit” Award. Renee has also worked as the Chief of Staff for State Senator Rodney Ellis. When we asked her who her mentor was, she
40 | APRIL / MAY 2017 | ÔëĸĔ´ë¨´ĉȊ¨òê
replied with Ellis, an American politician. He represented Texas’ 13th State Senate District in the Texas Senate from 1990 to 2017. Renee’s prominent voyage in San Antonio has also included service to others. When asked about accomplishments, she responds with, “Serving as a Big Brother/ Big Sister for the past thirty years, ÔëĸĔ´ë¨ÔëÅĪòĔëÅĂ´òĂä´ďò®ò§´ďď´ąë® want better for their community.” Makes sense since her next career mission is to earn a Ph.D. with a focus on leadership ÔëĸĔ´ë¨ÔëÅďÒ´Ĕą§ëĂąòÄ´ĉĉÔòëäȅďò develop a leadership program for a university, and to serve as a professor and business consultant. Renee has enjoyed arts and crafts and doll making since 1995. When we met, we could sense her work ethic, her importance to society, and her leadership in any situation. “By the way, Renee,” we asked. “What’s on your nightstand?” Renee responds with more than one book: “BËâÄéâéáË¨ĀŃně³ÛĚ³6ââéĚĆËĚ³ċüü³â¨Ë³ĀÃéünüâĀÃéüáËâÄéċü ċĀËâ³ĀĀâDËÃ³6âĀùËü³§ġüŉKüĆËâ DċĆÉ³üBËâÄAüŉ, by Rodney Sampson; nÉ³e³Ûċ¨ĆâĆ"âĆü³ùü³â³ċüŃnċüâËâÄ ü³áĀËâĆébüéĮĆĀ, by Michael Masterson; Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend, by Ron J. Jackson, Jr. and Lee Spencer White with Foreword by Phil Collins; and nÉâØĀĆébüËĀéâ, by Marc Bazaldua.” Renee makes an impact on San Antonio and on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Department in Bexar County.
April/ May 2017