The San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council was established in 1996 as a non-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening and promoting the cultural and historical ties shared by the citizens of San Antonio and Mexico. The council hosts charitable, cultural, educational and literary events. The Grossman-Sada Endowment Fund was established to benefit the San Antonio-Mexico Foundation for Education and is administered by the San Antonio Area Foundation. The San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council’s (SAMFCO) history dates back to 1995 when the Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio saw the need to renew the official “Grito” ceremony on the 15th of September, a tradition that had been discontinued over the years.  To accomplish this, the Consul General sought the support of local civic and cultural leaders.  Together they revived the tradition of the “Grito” ceremony on September 15, 1996.



The San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council (SAMFCO) has its historical roots in the 1960’s when Henry Guerra, WOAI radio personality and historian, recognized the need to preserve San Antonio’s history and ties with Mexico. He initiated a committee called the “Mexican American Friendship Committee” that would solicit donations and arranged with the Mexican Consulate to have the official “Grito” Ceremony on the 15th of September every year at the Mexican Consulate. Over time the Friendship Committee became inactive. In 1995, the new Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio, Carlos Sada, saw the need to reactivate this celebration. He sought the assistance of Veronica Salazar Escobedo, and together they obtained the necessary donations and commemorated the “Grito” Ceremony on September 15, 1996 at Municipal Auditorium. It became apparent to both of them that they needed a formal organization. The San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council (SAMFCO) was formed as a 50l(c)(3) non-profit corporation on October 31, 1996.




 SAMFCO’s board is comprised of San Antonio civic, governmental, cultural, educational and business leaders from both the United States and Mexico.  The Consul General of Mexico serves as the Honorary Chairman of SAMFCO during his/her tenure in San Antonio. Since its inception, SAMFCO has been very fortunate to have the leadership of the following Mexican government officials. SAMFCO’s Board of Directors is composed of representatives from the San Antonio community, the Consul General of Mexico, the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara and the Director of the North American Development Bank. The Board funds and participates in the civic ceremonies and educational activities that recognize the important events in Mexican history.








Reyna Torres Mendivil

Honorary Chairman

Frances Ortiz Schultschik


Juan Antonio Flores

Vice President

 Eduardo Berain


Alejandra Bueno


Cecilia Elizondo Herrera

Past President

Shahrzad (Sherry) Dowlatshahi

Immediate Past Vice President

Veronica Salazar Escobedo

President Emerita



Board of Directors

Cristina Bazaldúa

Community Affairs Director

Univision Communications, Inc.


Samuel Cantu

Director of Sales USA, Interjet


Mike Casey

Historic Preservationist


Ramiro Cavazos

President  & CEO

San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


Pete Cortez


Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia


Roberto Espinosa

Chairman of AEM San Antonio

Financial Advisor / Field Director

Assistant:  Anne Marie Gruebe Perkins


Juan Antonio Flores

Executive VP, Government Affairs

Port San Antonio


Carol Fimmen

Director of International Programs

Alamo Colleges


Marcos Fragoso

Vice President for International Affairs

University of the Incarnate Word


Yvannia Garcia

Director of Creative Content & TV Personality


Richardson (Dick) Gill

Businessman, Archaeologist


Leo Gomez

President & CEO

Brooks City Base


Sonia Veliz

Executive Assistant


Ricardo Guzman Hefferan



Luis F. Hernandez

General Manager

Azteca America San Antonio





Board of Directors


Alex Hinojosa

Deputy Managing Director

North American Development Bank


Jennifer L. Jenks

Market Manager



Martha Martinez-Flores

Community Leader


Katsuo Nishikawa

Director of Center for International Engagement

Trinity University


Amparo Ortiz

Community Leader


Frances Ortiz Schultschik


Schultschik Marketing Group


Leslie Palmer

Executive Director


Ana Celia Partida

Community Leader


Ezequiel Peña

Assistant Vice President for

Academic Affairs–Global & Strategic Initiatives

Our Lady of the Lake University


Raul Rodriguez-Barocio

Benson Chair in Banking & Finance

University of the Incarnate Word


Sylvia S. Romo, CPA

Certified Public Accountant & Business Advisor


Robert  Shemwell


Overland Partners Architects


Craig Stokes

Attorney at Law


Rene Zenteno

Vice Provost for Intrnational Initiatives

and Senior International Officer,

UTSA 501 W. One UTSA Circle


Advisory Board


Robert M. Barnett



Eduardo Bravo


Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos-US


José Antonio Larios

Deputy Consul General

Consulate General of Mexico


Nuria Olascoaga

Public Affairs & Economic Attaché

Consulate General of Mexico


Estela Gutierrez

Community Affairs Department

Consulate General of Mexico


Mónica Del Arenal

Cultural Attaché

Mexican Cultural Institute



  • Executive Committee
  • Gala Committee
  • Nominations Committee
  • Scholarship Committee
  • UTSA Mexico Center Speaker Series Committee
  • Website Committee





© Copyright 2017 SAMFCO