The San Antonio Chamber and the business community are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Joci Straus, a San Antonio icon whose contributions to the City and our community are numerous, significant, and impactful.  

With a passion for healthcare, education, women in business, and arts, Joci helped build and develop many organizations that are key to San Antonio’s success. She served as the first Chair of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, a position she held for 17 years, and recruited and built the Center’s donor base and increased research spending to $124 million. In addition, she served on the board of the United Way, leading its annual campaign in 2004, and creating and serving as Founding Chair of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. Perhaps best known for her dedication and contribution to the arts, Joci formed the Foundation for Cultural Arts to raise money to restore and preserve the Majestic and Empire Theaters and created a non-profit, the Las Casas Foundation to provide scholarships for talented students pursuing higher education degrees in the performing arts.

Her volunteerism and community engagement have made San Antonio a better place, and we are thankful for the legacy she has left for us and for future generations. She will indeed be missed by many of us who called her a friend!   

Richard Perez
President and CEO
San Antonio Chamber of Commerce