University leadership shares secrets to success in SAC’s new Leadership Podcast

Andrea Marks, MBA, CPA, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer, knows what it’s like to start at the bottom and work her way up. Her first job was as a hostess at Bonanza, a well-known San Antonio steakhouse from the past.

Her biggest “cheerleader” was her grandfather, who believed in her since childhood and encouraged her to go to college. He wanted her to be the one in the family who made it.

And now, as a member of UT Health San Antonio’s Executive Committee, she’s offering advice to staff members in how to follow their dreams and take advantage of opportunities to succeed in their careers.

Marks is the first to be interviewed for the Staff Advisory Council’s new Leadership Podcast, being unveiled today. In it, Marks discusses her 20-year career at UT Health San Antonio, background on how the university overcame past financial difficulties and where it stands today, on the verge of opening its own hospital.

The SAC is a 24-member group that advocates for non-faculty employees at UT Health San Antonio. The council has regular meetings with UT Health leadership to bring forward employees’ questions, concerns and suggestions. In addition to facilitating communication between staff members and leadership, the SAC also has subcommittees that focus on Benefits and Staff Development.

SAC Chairperson Rebecca Mendez is looking forward to having one guest interviewed each month for the Leadership Podcast, which is produced in collaboration with the Office of Marketing, Communications & Media.

SAC’s Staff Development Subcommittee Chair Charles Phillips said the group chose to do podcasts over other forms of communication because “We wanted to engage an audience that is busy and wants to listen while they drive, exercise and engage in other activities.”

Ryan Knipfel, clinical research data manager at the Mays Cancer Center and a member of the SAC, is host of the Leadership Podcast, an initiative of the SAC’s Staff Development Subcommittee.

Employees can provide feedback and suggest other leaders to be interviewed at

The SAC will be holding elections for 16 open positions later this month. To learn more about the SAC, visit Visit the SAC’s Facebook page for its latest activities.

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