San Antonio Innovation


The Team

The Office of Innovation team is made up of experienced professionals with diverse backgrounds and training in process improvement and/or project management methodologies.

Brian Dillard photo

Brian Dillard • Chief Innovation Officer

Brian Dillard is a third-generation Eastside San Antonio native. Born and raised in the former Wheatley Courts area, Brian attended Wheatley Middle School and graduated from Sam Houston High School in 2001. Mr. Dillard holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he served ten years Active Duty. Brian currently works in the City of San Antonio Office of Innovation as the Smart City Administrator. 

Brian is the former President of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association and has served as a Board Member for VIA, the Ella Austin Community Center, and the San Antonio Centro Partnership. Brian is an alumnus of Leadership San Antonio (LSA43), Leadership SAISD, and San Antonio New Leaders Council.

Smart City Team

Emily Royall Photo

Emily RoyallSmart City Coordinator

Emily Royall is a data professional and urban planner working towards equity in smart cities. Formerly, Emily worked in Singapore at the smart cities think tank, City Form Labs, and the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology (MassIT). She has several years of public sector experience in digital services, community engagement, and smart city strategy.

In San Antonio, Emily was previously Data Director at the Rivard Report. She also serves on the Steering Committee of San Antonio’s Digital Inclusion Alliance (DIASA), that strives to deliver equitable internet access to all San Antonio residents. She recently completed a Masters in City Design & Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin.

Candelaria Mendoza

Candelaria Mendoza • Smart City Coordinator

Candelaria Mendoza was born and raised in Eastern Washington State as the youngest of 9. She received her bachelor’s at Washington State University and her Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Candelaria began her professional career as a librarian in Eastern Washington, but she arrived to San Antonio as soon as she could when she accepted the Library Services Administrator position from the San Antonio Public Library in the summer of 2014.

She has led many successful initiatives throughout her career that include: technology strategy, outreach to diverse populations, collection development, budgeting, capital projects, early literacy, strategic planning, digital inclusion, and community engagement.

Thomas C. Guerra

Thomas C. Guerra • Smart City Specialist

Thomas C. Guerra is a San Antonio native and a product of Southwest ISD and San Antonio ISD. Growing up in underserved communities and on government assistance programs inspired him to a life of public service.

Thomas's professional career spans community and economic development, education, and policy advising for LMI, minority, and LBGTQ+ communities at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the City of Los Angeles, and Bexar County. He has a near-decade of leadership integrating new technologies, building cross-sector partnerships, and managing organizational strategic planning using an equity lens. Thomas is a systems level thinker and brings adapted best practices to his work on the Smart City Team in the City of San Antonio's Office of Innovation.

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT and Master of Public Administration in Urban and Social Policy from Columbia University in the City of New York's School of International and Public Affairs.

Research & Development

Kate Kinnison

Kate Kinnison • R&D Administrator

Since joining the Office of Innovation in 2012, Kate has designed and led several transformative initiatives including CivTechSA, SASpeakUp and the City’s restaurant inspection letter-grading system. As the City’s first Research & Development Administrator, Kate will continue to help the City of San Antonio think outside the box and take risks through cutting-edge pilot projects. Prior to the Innovation Office, Kate worked in various roles at the Texas Legislature, New York City politics, corporate law and as a community organizer across the United States. She attended Trinity University (Connecticut) and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She’s certified in Lean Six Sigma, Dispute Resolution and as a Yoga teacher.

Raised in Texas, her family’s deep roots are in upstate New York. Her 7th generation Texan husband, Chance, and their two children, Miles and Stevie, help solidify her Texas status.

Process Improvement

Matthew Reat

Matthew Reat • Senior Innovation Specialist

Matt joined the Office of Innovation team in December of 2016. He brings over 20 years of management, executive leadership, and consulting experience to the group.

He received his undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Texas Tech University. His bachelor’s degree is in International Economics, and his Master’s is in Business Administration, with a certification in Health Organization Management. Matt also possesses a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, and has a strong background in Lean process improvement, as well as traditional and Agile project management.

Eddie Johnson III

Eddie Johnson III • Innovation Specialist

Eddie joined the Office of Innovation in November 2018. He is a professional with business analysis and operational change management experience within the public and private sector. Previously, he worked in the Information Services & Technology Department (ITSD)’s Project Management Office serving as a Lead Business Analyst. Eddie has served as a Board Member for the Ella Austin Community Center, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc., and in a number of other capacities as a mentor and community engagement advocate.

Eddie obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2011, and his Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Public Administration from Strayer University in 2018.





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