Austin Chamber announces new board chair, chair-elect, and members

Posted on 11/16/2022

AUSTIN, Texas — The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has announced that Ali Khataw, President and CEO of EncoTech Engineering Consultants, will be the Chair of the Board of Directors for 2023.

Khataw founded Encotech Engineering Consultants in 1990 and has built it into a world-class operation that specializes in refining building system performance, providing impeccable client service, demonstrating proficiency in technicalities and implementing efficient design. He has served on the Chamber’s board since 2016 and is a member of multiple other boards of directors, including Leadership Austin, KUT, E3 Alliance, and the Austin Area Research Organization.

“I am incredibly proud to be the incoming chair of the Austin Chamber to work alongside regional leaders to carefully craft the future of Central Texas,” said Khataw. “I look forward to addressing this region's critical issues, including workforce development, mobility, affordability, and infrastructure. I am committed to working alongside the Chamber's partner, Opportunity Austin, to continue their great efforts in driving economic development for our region. Through thoughtful collaboration, I am committed to the super-regional aspirations that were kickstarted by the outgoing Chamber chair, Fred Heldenfels. All the while, I want to ensure we continue to bring incredible value to our members by being the premier advocate and resource for businesses throughout Central Texas.”

In addition, the Chamber has announced that its Chair-Elect for 2024 will be Rudy Garza, President of Garza EMC. Prior to establishing Garza EMC, Garza spent 23 years in the public sector, where he served as Assistant City Manager for the City of Austin. In this role, his areas of responsibility included management and oversight of the operations and capital projects for the Austin Water and Wastewater Utility, Public Works and Transportation, Real Estate Services and acquisition, Contract Management, as well as the Department of Small and Minority Businesses. Garza also served as Budget Officer in Austin and Corpus Christi.

“I am very honored and grateful for the opportunity the Board has provided me to be the Chair in 2024,” said Garza. “The Greater Austin Chamber has been and continues to be a leader in creating job opportunities for all, has been very focused on working with the schools to partner in providing support to students for financial aid, college preparation as well as job training, a strong advocate for addressing transportation needs in our region, and advocating for our members and the community at the Local, State and Federal levels for policies that are fair and positively impact access to education, infrastructure, workforce development, housing, healthcare, and the economy. I look forward to working with my fellow board members, chamber membership, staff, our community partners, and elected officials to continue the tremendous work the Chamber has completed over the past several decades.“

The Chamber board will also welcome the following new board members serving terms that begin on January 1, 2023, and expire on December 31, 2025.

  • Dave Anderson - Director of Land Use and Entitlements, Drenner Group
  • Michele Glaze - Director of Communications & Community Affairs, Samsung Austin Semiconductor
  • Rex Gore - CEO, Clean Scapes
  • JJ Gottsch - Austin Gamblers, President and CEO
  • Ruth Hughs- Partner, Kelly Hart & Hallman
  • Rashed Islam- Senior Vice President, HDR
  • Karen Kennard - Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Chuck Lipscomb - Senior Vice President, JE Dunn Construction
  • Nikelle Meade - Partner, Husch Blackwell, LLP
  • Terry Mitchell - President, Momark Development
  • Andi Scull - Founder and Creative Director, Hope Outdoor Gallery/ Hope Events
  • Duff Stewart - President and CEO, GSD&M

To view the current board of the Austin Chamber, you can visit our website.