FEBs talk back to Washington: San Antonio

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San Francisco

Ellen Nelson,
San Antonio FEB Director

What’s the best part of working in your FEB area?

What’s not to love about San Antonio?! San Antonio is also called “Military City USA” due to the large military population. The citizens of San Antonio are very supportive of our military and likewise the military is a great contributor to the community. It truly is a wonderful place to live and work.


What is the biggest drawback of working in your FEB area?

I had to think about this because there really are no drawbacks. A significant line of business of the FEB is emergency preparedness, employee safety and security. Given that, San Antonio floods when it rains and we’re the main shelter area for hurricane evacuees. We have a great partnership with the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management and together we have great training programs for the citizens and federal employees of San Antonio to be ready for any emergency event. The city, county and federal agency emergency managers meet every Monday morning and this provides outstanding collaboration and partnerships.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give a fed moving to your area?

First, sell your winter coat. Second, contact your FEB and find out about other federal agencies and how valuable participation, collaboration and partnerships are in bringing “goodness” to the community of San Antonio. Our FEB runs a seven-month “Leadership FEB” program where class members from numerous federal agencies come together one day a month to examine the nature and inner workings of San Antonio and its relationship with the federal and private communities.

In a word, describe feds in your area.

How about two? Committed and caring.

How are feds perceived in your area and how does that affect morale?

Our largest federal population is DoD, military and civilian, the VA and the DoD federal retirees. San Antonio is extremely supportive and has many initiatives/programs that help our military, especially with our Wounded Warriors. The Center for the Intrepid, Brooks Army Medical Center and the Burn Center are all located in San Antonio, so our community sees first-hand our heroes and are huge supporters for all these programs.

What’s the average commute for feds in your FEB area, or your personal commute?

I’m five miles or nine minutes to work and home. Commuting is really not a San Antonio issue.

Is the distance from D.C. a blessing or a curse?

With today’s technology, the distance is insignificant.

What’s your area’s can’t miss attraction?

The Alamo and the Riverwalk!

Check out more from the series “Talk Back to Washington.”