Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design Advisory Council
The Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design Advisory Council (Klesse College Advisory Council) provides support and guidance to support the college’s vision to be an internationally recognized, premier research-intensive engineering college serving as an economic driver and workforce developer for the region, the state, the nation, and the global environment.
This Advisory Council provides guidance and support to the Klesse College to achieve its mission. This goal includes working in interest areas such as: placement of students, educational support, educational content, development, community outreach, and research.
Current Klesse College Advisory Council Members
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AIA SAN ANTONIO
Torrey Stanley Carleton serves as the Executive Director of AIA San Antonio, the fourth largest chapter of The American Institute of Architects in Texas. During Torrey’s 28-year tenure as Executive Director, AIA San Antonio has matured into an influential organization whose programming is designed to provide a wide range of opportunities for its 600-person membership.
Prior to joining AIA San Antonio, Carleton worked as the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the San Antonio Performing Arts Association (SAPAA). During her ten- year tenure at SAPAA, she had the honor of working with international luminaries such as The Joffrey Ballet, violinist Itzhak Perlman, opera singer Kathleen Battle, and the beloved French mime Marcel Marcaeu. A highlight of her career in the performing arts was working with the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Ministry of Culture in Holland to produce the San Antonio Early Music Festival. This world-class event showcased international superstars of early music at 60 free concerts over a six-day period biennially.
Torrey is a recognized national leader. In 2015 she was elected by her AIA peers as President of the Council of Architectural Component Executives (CACE). As CACE President she also represented her colleagues on the inaugural AIA Strategic Council. Beginning in 2016, as the Immediate Past President of CACE, Carleton became the CACE representative on AIA National Board of Directors, a position that she held through 2017.
Torrey was named an honorary member of AIA San Antonio in 2001. In 2002, the Texas Society of Architects added her name to their honorary membership roster and in 2006 Torrey became a national Honorary AIA member. In 2007, her peers in CACE recognized her as the National Chapter Executive Director of the Year.
In addition to her professional duties with AIA, Torrey has always been active in her community. She is serves on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Society of San Antonio, is an active member of the Battle of Flowers Association and a sustaining member of the Junior League of San Antonio. Most recently she has serves as 1st Vice President and Program Chair for SA 100, a group of women in executive leadership. In 2022 she will lead SA 100 as President.
Torrey received a BA in Art History from Smith College in 1981. She is married to James Edward Carleton, AIA. Their latest collaboration focuses on restoring a series of 1830’s heavy timber log cabins and stone buildings into a welcoming country retreat in Poteet, Texas.
One of Torrey’s greatest joys has been working with AIA San Antonio members to build scholarship endowments. To date, AIA San Antonio has five fully endowed scholarships valued at over $250,000. Of the five, two specifically benefit UTSA Architecture students – the AIA San Antonio Endowed Scholarship and the AIA San Antonio / San Antonio River Walk Association Endowed Scholarship for Historic Preservation in Memory of Robert H.H. Hugman, AIA.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES, H-E-B
Cesar Carter, Senior Director of Human Resources at H-E-B, is a dynamic, influential leader and team builder with a strong interest in life-long learning. He has over 10 years of experience in HR, Store Operations, and Manufacturing. He leads an impressive team of HR professionals that focus on Talent Connection and Development. His team offers programs to build a deeper and more meaningful Partner Experience and works to ensure every Partner at H-E-B reaches their full potential.
Cesar received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at UTSA. He currently serves on the Board of City Year San Antonio, Centro San Antonio, and is an Advisory Council Member of the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design at UTSA.
EXECUTIVE VP & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Walt joined SwRI in 1979 as a research engineer. In 1981 he transitioned into program management. He developed and expanded a technical program in aerospace electronics into an engineering department in 1988 and a technical division in 1994 when he was appointed vice president. He has served as Executive Vice President since 1998 and was named Chief Operating Officer in 2016. He is also a member of the SwRI Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Signature Science, LLC (an SwRI wholly owned subsidiary based in Austin, Texas), and the Board of Directors of Southwest Automotive Research Center (an SwRI joint venture in Tianjin, China).
Walt is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (BSEE) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (MBA). He has executive certificates in management and leadership from the University of Texas at Austin and MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a registered professional engineer in the states of Texas and Florida.
Walt is a life senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and serves in a variety of roles including President of the Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society, Vice Chair of the Lone Star Section, and ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission Electrical Engineering Program Evaluator. He is also a member of the IEEE Eta Kappa Nu honor society. He actively engages electrical and computer engineering students in IEEE student branch activities.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SA DIGITAL CONNECTS
Marina Alderete Gavito is the Executive Director of SA Digital Connects, a non-profit focused on addressing the digital divide in San Antonio and Bexar County. In this capacity, Marina advocates and drives the public sector, private sector and over 175+ Community organizations to activate on the issue.
Prior to SA Digital Connects, Marina’s career focused on tech and innovation for Fortune 500 corporations. At Rackspace and USAA she led cross-departmental teams solving complex problems while driving successful business outcomes.
Marina’s servant leadership and value of investing in relationships while effectively communicating has seen much success. As the founding Executive Director of Tech Bloc, Marina ignited San Antonio’s tech industry to successfully advocate for rideshare while growing the community to over 5,000+ members. She was appointed by Judge Nelson Wolff to serve as Vice Chair of the VIA Board of Trustees and oversaw a $250 million dollar budget to connect San Antonio’s residents to jobs, schools, medical appointments safely. She served as the Chair of the VIA Finance and Oversight Committee, Co-chaired the Innovative Services Committee, and was on the Steering Committee which lead the successful $39 million city-wide ‘Vote-Yes-To-Transit’ campaign in November 2020.
Marina is constantly challenging herself and others to think of creative solutions to solve long-standing opportunities. She is a San Antonio native and uses her influence to innovate, change, and drive results to continue to help improve her community.
Marina has a B.A. in Management Information Systems and Corporate Financial Management from St. Mary’s University and an MBA from DePaul Kellstadt School of Business in Chicago, IL
VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT STANDARD AERO
In this role, Dan is responsible for coordinating Air Force customer relations, civic and Congressional communications, and growth strategy development.
BS: UTSA Mechanical Engineering Masters: UTSA MGT of Technology
Joined StandardAero in 1999, and has held positions in Engineering Services, Government Relations, and Business Development. Prior to joining StandardAero, he also worked at Kelly AFB for 12 years as an Engineering Branch Chief in the Engine Propulsion Division.
In 2021, Gonzales became the Alamo Academies Chairman of the Board, and also sits on the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is a member of the University of Texas at San Antonio Engineering Advisory Council, San Antonio Works Board of Directors, and is an Advisory Member for the Dee Howard Foundation. Is a past Chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Aerospace Committee.
VICE PRESIDENT/REGIONAL MANAGER, TERRACON CONSULTANTS, INC.
Mr. Gregory is the office manager in Terracon’s San Antonio, Texas, office. His technical background includes over 39 years of construction materials engineering and testing, geotechnical engineering and forensics. He also has a limited amount of environmental consulting experience. Mr. Gregory’s expertise in construction materials engineering and testing includes concrete technology, testing and mix design; precast concrete technology and testing; non-destructive testing of concrete; post-tensioning; fireproofing; masonry; bolted/welded steel connections; floor flatness; and roofing technology. Mr. Gregory’s geotechnical engineering experience includes deep and shallow foundations, heave and settlement analysis, subsurface drain design, pavement condition surveys, pavement design/rehabilitation, and pavement structural analysis. Mr. Gregory performs forensic investigations and provides expert witness testimony regarding paving failures, concrete problems/ variability, evaluation of floor slab distress, monitoring deflection of elevated concrete slabs, assessment of fire damage to concrete and infrared surveys.
Mr. Gregory holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M University (Class of 1981) and has been a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas since 1987. Chuck has a long history of service and involvement in professional organizations. He is a current member of the Bexar Chapter of TSPE, served as Treasurer for Professional Engineers in Private Practice Bexar Chapter and is actively involved in the legislative process through TSPE’s PE Day at the Capitol. He is a graduate of the PE Leadership Institute (Class 3) and a regular participant in many of the activities of Engineer’s Week. He is a former Board Member and current committee Chair for the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA). He was awarded 2015 TSPE Bexar Chapter Engineer of the Year for his outstanding achievements and dedicated services to the engineering profession. Additionally, he received the Lifetime Service Award from the San Antonio Chapter of the American Concrete Institute in 2013. Chuck is also a Board Member for the South Texas Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors.
Chuck served on the UTSA College of Engineering Advisory Council for 5 years and was Vice Chair for the last 3 years. He enjoys interacting with students through classroom presentations and helping to support Sr Projects. Aside from safety gear, the only “orange” in this Aggie’s wardrobe is “UTSA orange” which he wears proudly.
CEO, NVISION BIOMEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
FOUNDING PARTNER, FOUNTAINHEAD INVESTMENT PARTNERS
Brian Kieser, CPA is the Founding Partner of Fountainhead Investment Partners. In this role, he serves as the senior portfolio manager of the firm’s private fund investment strategy. Kieser founded Fountainhead originally as an angel fund in 2014, transitioning to a venture capital firm in September 2015. Fountainhead added a private equity arm in 2020.
Under Kieser’s leadership, Fountainhead has invested in numerous companies centered around biomedical innovation. Fountainhead also directly operates four wholly owned subsidiaries that have received 17 issued patents with over 30 patent applications pending and have obtained 28 510(k)s.
With more than two decades of experience working in the healthcare industry as a CFO and successful entrepreneur, Kieser provides Fountainhead portfolio companies with the guidance they need to develop ideas into viable products in the marketplace. Kieser is also the founder and CEO of Nvision Biomedical Technologies, a medical device developer and manufacturer based in San Antonio. Prior to his healthcare career, Kieser served as the CFO for manufacturing and wholesale distribution companies and was a senior auditor at KPMG.
FORMER CEO & CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, VALERO
Mr. Klesse is the former Chief Executive Officer and former Chairman of the Board of Valero Energy Corporation (Valero), an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. He joined the Valero board as Vice Chairman in 2005 and served as Chairman of the Board from 2007 until his retirement in December 2014. From 2006 to May 2014, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Valero and served as President from 2008 to 2013. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Klesse was Valero’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of Refining and Commercial Operations following Valero’s 2001 acquisition of Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation, where he had been Executive Vice President of the company’s refining operations. Mr. Klesse began his 40-plus year career in the energy industry at Diamond Shamrock Corporation, which merged with Ultramar Corporation in 1996. Mr. Klesse is a trustee of the University of Dayton, Texas Biomedical Research Institute and United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and serves on the Advisory Board of the San Antonio Food Bank. He also serves on the boards of The Briscoe Western Art Museum, Christus Santa Rosa Foundation and on the board of a private company. Mr. Klesse holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from West Texas A&M University.
VICE PRESIDENT OF ENGINEERING, NUSTAR ENERGY L.P.
Since joining NuStar in 2014, John has managed NuStar’s regional engineering groups and has overseen the company’s annual capital project portfolio and engineering technical services, including strategic growth projects and maintenance and reliability CAPEX and OPEX efforts. Under his leadership, the engineering groups have executed numerous projects while maintaining a stellar safety record and greatly improving the company’s project execution process.
Previously, John served as NuStar’s Director of Regional Engineering and Senior Manager of Operations and Energy Optimization. Prior to that, John served in various roles while working for Furmanite America, Jacobs Engineering, Core Engineering and City Public Service.
A graduate of Texas A&M University in 1999, John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Professional Engineering License in Texas. Organizations and volunteer causes include:
- Haven for Hope
- Briscoe Society – United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County
- San Antonio Pipeliners Association Board of Directors
- John (‘99) & Wendy Koenig Lifetime Endowment Century Club, Texas A&M Association of Former Students
In 2019, I sponsored a UTSA Mechanical Engineering Senior Design project group through NuStar. I also held a position on the San Jacinto College industry advisory council for their design graphics and industrial design program.
PRESIDENT, ZACHRY SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS LLC
Michael (Mike) Kotara is president of Zachry Sustainability Solutions LLC which is part of Zachry Group. In this role, Mike is focused on decarbonization and energy transition in the U.S. industrial sector with primary emphasis on technologies related to hydrogen, carbon capture, renewable fuels and chemicals, and nuclear energy. Zachry Sustainability Solutions pursues projects from early stage development with preliminary engineering and front end engineering design (FEED) studies, through detailed engineering design, procurement and construction (EPC) project execution.
Mike’s previous roles at Zachry Group include president of Zachry Engineering Corporation (2018-2021), and vice president and power market executive (2012-2018).
Before joining Zachry Group, Mike retired from CPS Energy as senior vice president of power generation. Mike held various leadership positions in his 27 years at CPS Energy, including areas of gas business management, wholesale energy markets and energy development. He progressed to the power generation group where he managed a 4,800-MW portfolio of power plants, including gas-fired and coal-fired generation. Mike also served as a senior member of CPS Energy’s Strategy Development Team and as a member of the investment committee which managed more than $1.5 billion in assets for the utility’s employee pension and health benefit funds.
Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and he is a registered mechanical engineer in Texas. Mike also earned an MBA from University of Texas at San Antonio. Mike and his wife, Doris, have three grown children. In addition to spending time with his family, Mike also enjoys outdoor activities such as golf, hunting, fishing, hiking and ranching.
I am excited to join the CEID and to work with other members of our community to support the faculty, staff and students of UTSA’s engineering, architectural and construction planning programs. UTSA is a tremendous asset for the San Antonio community, and I want to help UTSA and CEID continue to grow and develop and offer opportunities for students to pursue technical careers which are critical to improving our quality of life.
PRESIDENT & CEO, PORT SAN ANTONIO
Perschbach joined the Port in 2014—leading a team that provides strategic support to grow advanced industries on the 1,900-acre technology innovation campus, including aerospace, cybersecurity, defense, manufacturing and global trade. The Port is one of South Texas’ fastest-growing economic engines—home to over 80 tenant customers and their more than 14,000 employees, which generate a regional economic impact of over $5.6 billion annually.
Previously, he worked as an attorney in private practice with one of the nation’s largest law firms, where he counseled clients in sectors that include aerospace and advanced manufacturing.
In addition to his work at the Port, Perschbach serves his community in other leadership roles. He is a past chair of both the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Aerospace Committee and Alamo Colleges’ Scobee Education Center / Challenger Learning Center. Currently, he serves on the boards of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and Our Lady of the Lake University.
In 2018 he was appointed Honorary Commander of the 502nd Airbase Wing / Joint Base San Antonio. He has also been named by the Business Journals as one of the country’s top 100 executives to watch in 2019.
Perschbach holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from The George Washington University and earned his law degree from The University of Houston Law Center.
VICE PRESIDENT, JACOBS
With 32 years of experience, Frank is a Vice President and the Global Design Leader for Jacobs. He leads a diverse range of projects, including for higher education, science and technology, corporate & office, community, infrastructure, and Federal projects. Frank is am member of the Development Committee at UT San Antonio and the chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning where he also serves as a visiting design critic and lecturer. He recently spent three years on the Speakers Bureau for the Texas Society of Architects. Frank has been honored to receive several awards throughout his career, including the 2007 DBIA National Outstanding Design Award; 2005 American School and University Design Award; and 2002 DBIA Marvin Black Award.
Frank received his Bachelors of Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin in 1988. He received his Masters of Architecture from Yale University in 1995.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, GENSLER
Michael brings invaluable experience and local perspective to the firm’s leadership team at Gensler. A San Antonio native, Michael has over 20 years of architecture and project management experience. He has worked on a variety of building types, spanning civic, government, commercial, educational, hospitality, multifamily and urban design, which includes projects such as the UTSA National Security Collaboration Center and School of Data Science, ProjectMEND headquarters, an organization that supports veterans, the Alameda Theater, a historic Mexican-American venue, the San Antonio Zoo animal hospital, and ChildSafe facility, which serves children who are survivors of abuse. He is passionate about how design can provide avenues for all voices through the process to deliver each project’s full potential.
Michael’s previous roles include Senior Principal and Vice President of Operations at Overland Partners, Lead Architect for Jacobs San Antonio, as well as launching his own firm in 2011. He has taught at UTSA’s School of Architecture and currently serves as Chair of their Advocacy and Advisory Council. He is also passionate about educating and inspiring children and is an active supporter of organizations like the Scouts of America, KIPP, San Antonio Sports Foundation – Health Kids, and Snack Pak 4 Kids SA.
SR. VICE PRESIDENT, PAPE-DAWSON ENGINEERS, INC.
1999-Present Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc.
1996-1999 CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PROGRAM MANAGER
1996 Colorado State University M.A. Civil/Environmental Engineering
1992 University of Texas at Austin B.A. Biology/Biological Sciences
2000 Professional Engineer, Texas No. 89491
2009 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, No. 10280430
1996 OSHA HAZWOPER, Texas No. 792393
Ms. Tackett is a Senior Vice President at Pape-Dawson Engineers and serves on the company’s Executive Team and Board of Directors that oversees the firm’s performance of over 740 employees in offices statewide. Since 2018 she has led their Water Resources department – which she has substantially grown in personnel, revenue, and camaraderie. Ms. Tackett’s experience includes over 25 years of progressive civil and environmental engineering in the execution of land development, public works, and infrastructure projects. Her technical skills have contributed to the success of projects such as the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort Hotel and Spa, TPC San Antonio golf courses, Cibolo Canyons master-planned community, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Hardberger Park, and the University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus, the Vista Ridge Regional Water Supply Project and the Riverbend Water Resources District water supply program.
Cara earned an undergraduate degree in biology from UT Austin and master’s in civil/environmental engineering from Colorado State University. In 1996 she joined the City of San Antonio’s new environmental department. This experience led her to a position at Pape-Dawson in 1999 where she has progressed in her career, and in 2014 became the first female Senior Vice President in the company’s history. Cara has a reputation for being results-focused, with a relentless attention to client needs.
Cara has held leadership positions in numerous local and state professional and civic organizations. She is past president of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio and Professional Engineers in Private Practice. She currently serves as the Texas Association of Builder’s State Water Task Force Chair and is a current member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, American Council of Engineering Companies and Public Policy Council, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and several charitable non-profit organizations. She is passionate about family, doting on her dog, Reese, and traveling (having visited 47 states, 30 countries and counting).
PRESIDENT, VICKREY & ASSOCIATES, LLC
Brenda Vickrey Johnson has over 30 years of experience with Vickrey & Associates, Inc. (VICKREY) and has been President and CEO since 1993. Vickrey was founded in San Antonio, Tx. with branch offices in Austin & McAllen. Vickrey was recently acquired by ESP Associates, Inc. and is now part of a top ENR 500 engineering firm with over 400 employees in 11 states. Vickrey provides land planning, civil engineering, environmental, surveying and geospatial services within the commercial, industrial, residential, multi-family, retail transportation, and public works markets.
Brenda Vickrey Johnson is from San Antonio and graduated from the University of Texas with a BBA in Business Administration. As President and CEO of Vickrey & Associates her background includes experience in Corporate Management in the Civil Engineering Consulting field where she has worked extensively on public works and land development projects, providing overall project management, master planning, and public involvement.
She has expertise in the application of time and fiscal management skills to successfully achieve project and corporate objectives and is responsible for the overall financial, administrative, and technical operations of the firm.
Ms. Johnson is a former Chairman of the Board of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the UTSA Development Board, the Dallas Federal Reserve Community Advisory Board, the San Antonio Medical Foundation Board and the SAMCO Board.
She is an advocate for raising scholarship dollars for women and engineering students and is the founder of the Ford Motor Co. Foundation Scholarship Fund and the UTSA Susan Landreth Endowment Fund.
CFO, REINHHILL STAFFING OF TEXAS, SAN ANTONIO, TX
VICE PRESIDENT, WAVETECH, LOS ANGELES AREA, CA
Chad Webster is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He has worked for several telecommunications companies throughout 30 year career. He is currently the CFO at Renhill Staffing in San Antonio and the a Vice President at Wavetech in California.
Mr. Webster has served and continues to serve on many boards over the past 30 years. Some of his current appointments include Revenue Drivers, LLC, Def-Logics, Finke Cup and Fiberlink Telecom, Inc.
GENERAL MANAGER, TURNER CONSTRUCTION
Kyle Weller is the General Manager of Turner’s San Antonio office. His responsibilities include direct oversight of all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, financial and operational performance, preconstruction, procurement, human resources, and strategic planning.
Kyle graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Construction Engineering. For the last 13 years, Kyle has held multiple positions at Turner, from Superintendent to Engineer. Throughout the course of his career he has worked in markets such as Kansas City, St. Louis, Denver, Austin and San Antonio.
Within the industry he is involved in various organizations including Urban Land Institute, ACE Mentoring, Texas BioMed Founder’s Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, San Antonio Food Bank, Greater SATX (formerly SAEDF) and multiple Small Business Mentor/Protégé groups.