Matthew A. Polanco, a veteran of nearly three decades of experience at all levels of government affairs, has been named director of government relations for Visit San Antonio.
Polanco, a California native, will serve as the organization’s lead advocacy representative for all matters relating to federal, state, county and city policy, legislation and community affairs.
“We’re pleased to have someone with Matthew’s extensive experience and relationships in government relations and public affairs as part of our team,” says Casandra Matej, president & CEO of Visit San Antonio. “From public policy strategies to establishing strong defenses against legislative challenges to our industry, Matthew will be a tremendous asset for us.”
Polanco, a resident of San Antonio since 1995, has run his own company, Matthew A. Polanco Consulting, for the past four years. He has also worked for HNTB Corporation, the City of San Antonio and the Texas Department of Insurance. He served as manager for San Antonio’s intergovernmental relations department from 2000-2010, developing and implementing the community’s state and federal legislative programs, providing direct support to city council, the city manager’s office and departmental leadership.
“I am excited to join Visit San Antonio and support its mission of showcasing San Antonio as a premier destination for leisure and work,” says Polanco, a graduate of California State University, Fresno. “As I work with our partners in all levels of government, I will tell them what we all know—our people are the best part of San Antonio, so come visit us and stay for a while.”
Early in his career, Polanco worked for U.S. Rep. Frank M. Tejada, in both Washington, D.C., and San Antonio, as director of special projects and South Texas liaison. Polanco replaces Ashley Harris, now the director of government relations for USAA.
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes approximately 39 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy annually and employing 140,000. More info, visit www.visitsanantonio.com.