SAWS Bids Farewell to Longtime Board Members

Outgoing Board MembersSan Antonio Water System has said goodbye to three of its current Board of Trustees. The utility honored Chairman Heriberto “Berto” Guerra Jr., Vice Chairwoman Pat Jasso and Assistant Secretary Pat Merritt at the August board meeting. Guerra has served as chairman since 2011; Jasso and Merritt joined the board in 2013.

“We’re thankful to all of them for the time and service they’ve dedicated to SAWS and the community,” said SAWS President/CEO Robert R. Puente. “Many of SAWS’ accomplishments over the last several years are a reflection of their planning and leadership.”

Guerra is chairman and chief executive officer of Avanzar Interior Technologies GP, LLC, which manufactures interior parts for trucks at the Toyota truck plant in San Antonio, and owns Toyota dealerships in both Boerne and New Braunfels. He also serves on the development board for The University of Texas at San Antonio and as vice chairman of San Antonio National Bank.

Since retiring from AT&T after 35 years of service, Pat Jasso has devoted her time to community and nonprofit organizations. She currently serves on the board of St. Luke’s Lutheran Health Ministries and the International Committee of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, and is a Life Member of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition.

Pat Merritt is a retired educator who has devoted much of her time advocating for educational programs. She serves on the San Antonio Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board at its East Side location and formerly served as a Girl Scout troop leader. She is also a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Alliance of Black School Educators and Who’s Who Among American Teachers.

In 2017, SAWS further increased its water portfolio to include the H2Oaks Center, where water is produced from three different sources including a brackish desalination plant that pumps slightly salty groundwater and filters it to drinking quality, supplying water to 53,000 households daily.During their time on the Board of Trustees, SAWS completed work on Vista Ridge, a 142-mile pipeline that imports 45 millions of gallons a day from Burleson County to San Antonio. The pipeline will deliver the largest non-Edwards Aquifer water supply, and provide up to 20 percent of the city’s water supply, securing the city’s water future for generations.

In recent years, the utility achieved the highest bond rating in SAWS history, saving ratepayers millions of dollars annually in interest.

“Chairman Guerra and Trustees Jasso and Merritt have done an impeccable job representing SAWS in our community,” Puente added. “We’re appreciative of the legacy they’ve established here.”