Perez is the Area Project Manager at Raba Kistner Inc., an engineering consulting firm with an office here in New Braunfels. But aside from laying out individual building foundations, he’s also been instrumental in creating initiatives that encourage growth in the city.
Perez moved to New Braunfels with his wife in 2012. He said that at first, getting involved in the community was something his job encouraged. “Being in the community and living here, at first it was a career thing, but after that it was fun," Perez said. "My wife and I are able to help shape how we want the community to be for our kids." Since he’s moved to New Braunfels, Perez has done a lot to help shape the area. Almost right away, he became involved in Chamber of Commerce activities. He joined the Transportation committee soon after, and now he’s the Chairman, after serving as Vice Chair from 2015 to 2016. "It was a good way to know a lot of the projects that are coming in and get to know the people involved in those projects," Perez said. "You see the people that you want to emulate in those positions, you want to do that."
He is also a Leadership New Braunfels graduate of 2013. “I actually got into the class before I moved here and I think that was one of the most important things I could have done moving to this community," Perez said. He joined the Watershed Advisory Committee in 2014, serving until April 2016. And he joined Rotary Club and the city of New Braunfels’ Downtown Board soon after moving. Perez said that getting involved in New Braunfels is very easy. “I feel at home here because I went to A&M, and when I was in school, there were 350 student organizations that you could be part of," Perez said. “If you liked to do something, there was a place for you. And I feel like New Braunfels is kind of the same way, where there’s so many different ways to get involved and so many organizations."
Perez said that when he enters a leadership role, he tries to create structure and organization. He said that he prefers to lay out a clear system for future leaders to come into a position and demonstrate productivity right away. “It sets the groundwork so people can just step up and do the work and not get caught up in the weeds," Perez said. That’s something he tried to do when he was the Chair of the Downtown Board from 2014 to 2017. He’d only been on the Board for a few months when he was nominated for the position. “That’s been a lot of fun, hearing about the different developments that are coming downtown," Perez said. “This is the heart of our city. People look to this area for entertainment, for the central focus of activity."
While he was chair, Perez got to see the beginnings of construction for the downtown sidewalks project. He said that while much of the behind-the-scenes work on initiating the project happened before he became chair, it was still rewarding to see the construction kick off. The project was a development he was able to see from two angles. The New Braunfels Rotary Club, which Perez is also an active member of, had a role in launching construction on the downtown sidewalks. Perez said that along with his involvement in the Chamber of Commerce and Leadership New Braunfels, Rotary Club has been one of the most important organizations that he joined since moving to the city. “It’s amazing to be a group of folks that are business leaders in our community," Perez said. “We’ve got people from all different walks of life who are on board. Everyone in that room has something they’re passionate about."
Perez is chair of Rotary’s Wurstfest Booth, was Co-Chair in 2013, President from 2016 to 2017, President-Elect from 2015 to 2016, Sergeant-at-Arms from 2014 to 2016 and a Paul Harris Fellow. Perez said he’s also passionate about the scholarship program that Rotary offers. This was something he’s focused on during his membership with the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). Perez became involved with the TSPE in 2005 and served in various leadership roles over seven years, including as President from 2015 to 2016. In 2013, he was honored as Young Engineer of the Year.
And service to the community isn’t something that Perez neglects in his career either.
He noted that Raba Kistner encouraged employees to volunteer with the New Braunfels Food Bank after Hurricane Harvey. “That’s the benefit of my company," Perez said. “I like Raba Kistner because employees are encouraged to get involved. We’re lucky that we have a company that fosters and appreciates when we give back to our community too." Perez was a Rising Star at the first New Braunfels “40 Under 40" banquet in December. He said that he felt lucky to be around so many people who were already giving back to the community. “We all want a better place for the next generation," Perez said. “A lot of it is contagious. When you surround yourself with people who are that way, it makes you want to give back." Perez has two children, a three-year-old daughter, Leila, and a two-year-old son, Nicholas. He said that his wife, Jocelyn, has been a big inspiration as they’ve settled into the New Braunfels community. “I have the complete support of my loving wife," Perez said. “She’s been an amazing influence on everything that I’ve done here."
Perez said that he hopes to continue building on his contributions towards making New Braunfels a better place, one that he will be proud for his children to grow up in.
Credit: New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung: http://bit.ly/IanPerez