Friday, December 8, 2023

Meet a Roadrunner: A.J. Rodriguez ’98, ’00 is an inspiring business leader

Meet a Roadrunner: A.J. Rodriguez ’98, ’00 is an inspiring business leader

UTSA alumnus A.J. Rodriguez is an advocate for businesses in Texas. (Photo credit: Nick Grancharoff)

(Feb. 28, 2018) -- Meet Arthur James “A.J.” Rodriguez ’98, ’00. This UTSA College of Business alumnus has become a business leader in his hometown of San Antonio.

His family is deeply rooted in San Antonio and has a strong connection to UTSA. Prior to stepping on campus, Rodriguez was familiar with UTSA. His father and grandfather are also alumni.

Rodriguez developed his interest in business as an undergraduate student at UTSA. During his junior year, he recalls being encouraged by his advisor to look at internship opportunities with the City of San Antonio.

“UTSA, specifically, my international business advisor Dr. Rudy Sandoval, helped me land my first internship with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce,” said Rodriguez. “I was able to network, make new contacts and learn about other career opportunities around the city.”

Rodriguez says the connections he forged during his internship opened new doors for him and led him to exciting employment opportunities.

His internship with the Chamber turned into a full-time position and developed into a unique career path. Rodriguez served as the president and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for four years and served as the deputy city manager for the City of San Antonio for nearly four more.

“UTSA provides the foundation that helps establish your career,” said Rodriguez. “I was able to apply many of the business skills I learned in the UTSA B.B.A. and M.B.A. programs out in the workplace.”

In his current role, as Vice President of External Affairs for Zachry Group in San Antonio, Rodriguez uses his analytical and critical thinking skills to develop strategy that drives the company’s community outreach.

Rodriguez is responsible for building relationships throughout the city, state and country to ensure officials and communities are aware of the company’s efforts as a responsible corporate citizen.

As a Roadrunner, Rodriguez has made his mark in the local business community and is making history in the state. Earlier this year, the UTSA alumnus was named the first Hispanic to serve as board chair of the Texas Association of Business (TAB), the largest business advocacy group in Texas. It is considered the state’s chamber of commerce. 

As a native Texan, Rodriguez said it makes him proud to be involved with TAB, which weighs in on legislative and regulatory issues impacting Texas businesses. As a board chair, he hopes to enhance and strengthen the Texas business climate and grow the organization.

In addition to being passionate about business, Rodriguez has a creative side. His paintings have been showcased around San Antonio at various exhibitions.

More than anything, Rodriguez is a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. His oldest daughter, Alexandra, is in her junior year at UTSA and is currently studying abroad in La Rioja, Spain. He’s looking forward to the day she crosses the Commencement stage with her communications degree in 2019.

“Enjoy the moments you have at UTSA, because it’s a time in your life to explore opportunities that can lead to a fulfilling future,” said Rodriguez. “Strive to be a lifelong learner in order to be successful and achieve your goals.”

Kara Soria

Do you know a Roadrunner who is achieving great things? Email us at so that we may consider your suggestion for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.