PHOTO: Keep Victoria Beautiful board chair Shannon Longoria stands May 22 outside the headquarters of the City’s Keep Victoria Beautiful program at the historic Hiller House, 3003 N. Vine St.
The City of Victoria Environmental Services revived its Keep Victoria Beautiful efforts and has selected its board chair from several members of the community who want to help spur the effort on.
At the May 21 Keep Victoria Beautiful board meeting, the City’s Environmental Services Director Darryl Lesak appointed Shannon Longoria, a Texas General Land Office community outreach coordinator, as the board chair.
“I believe Shannon will be a great asset to our team,” Lesak said. “I’ve had the privilege to work with her in the past, and I’m impressed by her leadership and her passion for the city and the people who live here.”
In her role with the Texas General Land Office, Longoria promotes economic development and community resilience in an 11-county region by raising awareness of funding programs and connecting residents with resources. Prior to that, she was a community development specialist with the City of Victoria, working in neighborhood revitalization and helping to secure Community Development Block Grant funding. As the Keep Victoria Beautiful board chair, she will help oversee and direct the board’s beautification efforts, which will include education and building community pride.
Longoria said she understands the importance of bringing people together to build a community that’s attractive to current and prospective residents as well as businesses.
“When people are deciding whether to move to a city for work, they look at whether it’s a place they and their families want to live,” Longoria said. “It’s important for us to show people what Victoria has to offer. I’m excited to be a part of a group that will help to build up Victoria in so many ways.”
Also at the meeting, Meredith Byrd, director of community engagement for the Food Bank of Golden Crescent, was appointed the board’s vice chair, and Kim McGill, site manager with Garden-Ville, was appointed secretary.
Keep Victoria Beautiful’s board members include Clint Ives, Victoria County commissioner; Rick Madrid, City of Victoria assistant director of Development; Shanna Lopez, municipal solutions manager at Waste Management; Dennis Delesandri, division manager at Republic Services; Hunter Follett, CEO, Tejas Production; Jordan Schott, science teacher at St. Joseph High School; Beth Koonce, financial planner for Keller CPA; Rosalind V.O. Perez, associate attorney at MDP law; and BJ Nelson, co-owner of White Trash Services.
The board will look at ways to create sustainable programs that will enhance aesthetics, educate the public and promote care of common areas. With its officers in place, the City’s Keep Victoria Beautiful program soon will begin providing volunteer opportunities that will allow residents to get involved and build a culture of taking pride in their city. Once the program is ready to begin soliciting volunteers, signup information will be posted at www.victoriatx.gov.
Assistant City Manager Mike Etienne thanked Keep Victoria Beautiful’s City staff during the May 21 meeting for leading the effort and its volunteer board members for their efforts to boost economic opportunity, one of the focus areas outlined in the City’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
“The steps we’re taking to improve quality of life for our residents give Victoria a competitive advantage economically,” Etienne said. “The work being done by Keep Victoria Beautiful and other City programs will help us to recruit businesses and promote our city.”
To learn more about Keep Victoria Beautiful or to get involved, contact Environmental Services at 361-485-3230 or visit www.victoriatx.gov.