Tech Bloc, a tech industry advocacy organization, was given $300,000 last year to create the position of chief technology and recruitment officer. This person would recruit in-demand technology workers, connect locals with technology jobs and maintain a database of open positions in the city.
Tech Bloc announced Wednesday it hired Dax Moreno for the position.
Moreno worked for seven years at Rackspace before moving on full-time at Geekdom for a year and then on to startup Readitfor.me. He replaces Tec Bloc’s first CTRO Jeannine Wild, who took an indefinite medical leave of absence at the end of July, after less than three months in the position.
While in his role at Geekdom, Moreno helped the city form CivTechSA, a program to partner startups and students with city departments to solve problems throughout the city. He says that effort gave him a taste of what this job will be like.
"The city and county level, I got to work with both economic development groups,” he said. “Not just on CivTechSA, but in my time at Geekdom, it really helped me see the larger picture of what we're doing from a lot of different viewpoints."
The position was marketed as a way to ease the laborious and pricey role of job recruitment for small- and mid-sized technology companies. He said that is still the focus, but he also wants to ensure that local talent has a chance to thrive.
“We have an amazing strength in the talent of our people in San Antonio,” Moreno said. “I think there’s no greater advertisement in developing a really strong core of our internal talent.”
Tech Bloc has funding for the position for two years. CEO David Heard said it has to show local businesses that it works in order to fund it privately in the future.
“Talent is the number one key driver of building a healthy tech scene and ecosystem,” Heard said.
Moreno was considered for the original CTRO position, but was unavailable, having recently taken a job at Readitfor.me. Despite these early bumps, Heard is optimistic that Moreno can deliver on the goals despite an abbreviated timeline
“Sometimes timing is everything,” Heard said. “The more we talked to him, the more he got excited. The more he talked to us, the more we got excited.”
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org or on Twitter @paulflahive