Executive Director

2022 Board of Directors

2022 Advisory Committee

2022 Center for Creative Reuse Committee

2022 Development Committee

  • Mary Elizabeth Cantú
  • Carla Ortiz

About our Leaders

Mary Elizabeth Cantú, Executive Director. As a child, Mary Elizabeth Cantú dreamt of being Indiana Jones. Cantú (MA, Art Education) is a native San Antonian and has worked in the fields of arts, education and culture in San Antonio for over 15 years. In 2013 she became a national Reuse Institute Master Reuser—the first and only in San Antonio. The St. Mary’s University (San Antonio, TX) Art of Peace Award was presented to Cantú in 2016. Community engagement, art, education and green living have always been important to Cantú. In 2021 she transformed Spare Parts from a volunteer effort to a full-time organization.

Jennifer Herrera, President, is a native San Antonian and has worked in the non-profit field for nearly ten years, where she has specialized in public relations, social media and community engagement efforts. She earned bachelor degrees in Communication Arts (with a focus in journalism) and English from Our Lady of the Lake University. She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.  Jennifer was a National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) 2017 Fellow. She enjoys tackling various DIY projects (she and her husband founded Make San Antonio, a creative hub for makers of all ages), writing and volunteering. Naturally, Jennifer holds a passion for bringing communities together in interesting ways. This explains her interest in supporting Spare Parts. Through art and environmental accountability, Spare Parts is creating something unseen in San Antonio. Spare Parts is helping guide the young and the young at heart to turning everyday objects into art.

Michelle Garza Treviño, Vice President, was born and raised in San Antonio. Treviño has been interested in art since she was a child growing up on the south side of town.  Upon graduating high school she married and started a family. Her husband was active duty military and through their travels she was fortunate enough to visit many museums and galleries across the United States.  When her husband was given an honorable discharge from active duty they returned to San Antonio, with their two sons, where she began studying art full time. She studied fine arts at the University of Texas at San Antonio and graduated in 2013 with a teacher certification and summa cum laude honors.  She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.  Since graduating from OLLU, she has been working in the Education Department at the San Antonio Museum of Art.  Michelle values reuse education through art because not only is she an advocate for underprivileged children but also for the environment.  Treviño attributes her success and happiness to the unwavering support she has received from her husband, two sons and close family.  

Laura Carter, Treasurer, is a Communications Professional retired after 25 years of engagement in the nonprofit world. Laura is well versed in all areas of communications, marketing, and public relations. In addition, volunteering at various nonprofits led to assisting with fundraising campaigns, alumni relations, and participation on nonprofit boards. She also blogs on personal and paid platforms.I believe  Spare Parts is one of the most unique nonprofits around. Thru engaging activities, their programs exemplify a perfect combination of creativity, education and environmental messaging.  

Jessica G. Rivera, Secretary, is the Elementary Art Teacher for Un Mundo Primary, which is part of KIPP Texas Public Schools. Her primary areas of focus are
educating, inspiring and connecting with her students to insure growth, foundational art skills and social emotional learning.
Currently she is an active member of the National Art Education Association, Texas Art Education Association, and the San Antonio Art Education Association. After her first year of teaching she was awarded the KIPP Carabineer Award, which is the highest award an educator can receive at KIPP. Other professional experiences include: working as a Claims Manager, Supervisor, Trainer, Quality Analyst and Language Interpreter for the National Wide Insurance.
Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts & a minor is Art Criticism for the University of Texas in San Antonio. She is passionate about advocating for the Arts and Diversity & Inclusion and is a graduate of the Diversity First, Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner certification program.

Eric Cavazos is an art educator at Nimitz Middle School, NEISD. He promotes reuse and sustainability in his art room.  Eric presents art workshops that are inspired by Spare Parts to teachers at the school, district, and state level.  He is often a guest presenter at The McNay Art Museum where his art workshops are focused on reuse.  Eric is also a musician in the band Pink Leche and creates electronic music that he performs live around San Antonio. He attended The University of Texas at San Antonio and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and minor in Art History.  He creates art on his spare time focusing on embroidery and watercolor.

Christina Cortez was born in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Christina attended various high schools as
she lived in foster care.  She landed at one of the best placements ever, South Texas Children’s
Home in Pettus, Texas.  She graduated high school with the help of her amazing foster parents
(Pat and Sonya Thompson) and wonderful CPS caseworker (Josie Martinez).  Christina is a
graduate from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology
and a Master’s degree in Counseling.  Neither of these degrees would be possible without the
support of her husband Jerome Cortez.  Christina has been married for twenty years and is
blessed with three wonderful children (Christian, Marissa, and Anessa).  Christina has worked
for St. Philip’s College for eleven years and has served many roles to assist students to achieve
their academic goals.  She had the pleasure of serving as the Foster Care Liaison in her role of
Director of Advising and was able to assist students through the various obstacles of obtaining a college education after being a ward of the State of Texas.  Currently, Christina serves as the
Dean for Student Success at St. Philip’s College assisting students through the enrollment
process and to graduation.  Christina is actively involved in extracurricular activities with her
children and church. These extracurricular activities include various fine arts adventures to
include: marching band, band ensembles, orchestra, and various art festivities.  Music and art
are a huge aspect of the Cortez home.

Anna Garcia was raised in South Texas and as a young girl dedicated herself to schoolwork. Her hard work and dedication resulted in her graduating as Valedictorian with an Associates degree in Business Administration from Achieve Early College High School. She was also a strong member of her community and joined Girl Scouts as a young girl. She excelled in this area as well. Not only was she honored with lifetime membership she was also one of the first members in her area elected to the youth council. Garcia is now an Accounting student at the University of Texas in San Antonio. She is known for her cheerful demeanor and active dedication to her volunteer work and its projects. She aspires to spread the Spare Parts Mission and she shares the goal of wanting to make art a more accessible hobby while also helping the planet. 

Carla Ortiz is a first generation Salvadoran-American. Her resourceful immigrant
family taught her about creative reuse. She was born in San Antonio but grew up in
Canada where she learned in elementary school to reduce and reuse as a form of
civic engagement. She has 15+ years of nonprofit experience and is an education
and mental health advocate with a BA in Communication Arts and MA in
International Conflict Resolution from St. Mary’s University. She’s a performing artist
—violinist and dancer who believes the arts bring joy and healing into people’s lives.
Carla’s a wife and mother of two children who color her world. The one-of-a-kind
mission of Friends of Spare Parts captured my ‘heART’. Access to arts education
that fosters a culture of environmental sustainability is what the world needs.

B. Kay Richter is a native of San Antonio. I feel strongly in the need for more programs which push for reuse and recycling. Spare Parts actively engages these themes and pushes the boundaries for creative play. B. Kay attended Texas State University-San Marcos where she studied journalism and history. She has been a reporter for several community newspapers in south and central Texas. Her work has been published in the Rivard Report, Out in SA magazine, the San Antonio Current (Euclid Media), Texas MD Magazine, La Prensa, Sobre Sound, CultureMap San Antonio, NOWCAST SA, the San Antonio Express-News (Hearst Media) and the San Antonio Heron.