BPUB Board of Directors

Board of Directors

The leadership of BPUB is delegated to its Board of Directors, which consists of seven members. The City Commission appoints six members, and the Brownsville Mayor serves as the seventh member ex-officio.


Arthur "Art" Rendon

Arthur "Art" Rendon | Chair

Rendon, a retired educator with over 25 years of experience, was appointed to the BPUB board on June 2, 2021, and serves as the Chair. Rendon also serves on BPUB’s Audit, Finance, Regulatory/Policy, and Facilities/Program Committees. Previously, he worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of special education, and director of transportation at Brownsville Independent School District (BISD). Rendon, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is active in the Brownsville community, serving on the boards of West Brownsville Little League, City of Brownsville Housing Authority, and Texas Southmost College. Rendon holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Pan American University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Pan American.


Joseph L. Hollmann, Ph.D.
Vice Chair

Joseph Hollmann, Ph.D | Vice Chair

Hollmann is employed at Draper Laboratories in Cambridge, Mass. Before this, he was an adjunct professor and postdoctoral fellow at Northeastern University in Boston, where he earned his doctorate in electrical engineering. In 2014, Hollmann was awarded a Nest Fellowship to develop techniques for the optical monitoring of cerebral blood flow. By 2017, he began working at Draper Labs, where he later established the Edge Sensors research group. This group focuses on developing innovative sensors by integrating advanced physics, algorithms, and artificial intelligence. On August 4, 2022, Hollmann was appointed to the BPUB board and currently serves as President of the SRWA, as a member of BPUB’s Finance and Compensation Committees, and is a participant in the City of Brownsville/BPUB Joint Subcommittee.


Daisy Zamora, Ph.D. 

Daisy Zamora, Ph.D | Secretary/Treasurer

Zamora is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Her research on the correlation between nutrition and health has been published in medical journals and featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and National Public Radio. Before joining BPUB, Zamora served on the City of Brownsville’s charter review committee and most recently served as the board chair for the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville. Zamora was appointed to the BPUB board on July 2, 2023, and currently sits on BPUB’s Regulatory/Policy Committee.


Alejandro Najera

Alejandro Najera | Member

Najera graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in energy procurement. He founded a company in 2008 dedicated to acquiring energy contracts for clients across Texas. After 17 years, he sold the business and ventured into real estate and construction. Recently, he became part of an eightlocation restaurant holding company. Born and raised in Brownsville, his family has held several companies that have provided employment opportunities for the city’s residents for 90 years. Najera was appointed to the BPUB Board on July 2, 2023, and serves on BPUB’s Audit and Compensation Committees.


Gerardo Martinez

Gerardo Martinez | Member

Martinez brings over two decades of experience in engineering and operation management, having worked with companies on both sides of the Brownsville-Matamoros border. Martinez works in the sustainability sector, focusing on energy resilience, waste reduction, and water/wastewater management. Martinez holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), earned in 1999. He served on the City of Brownsville’s charter review committee, was appointed to the BPUB Board on July 11, 2023, and currently contributes to BPUB’s Compensation, Facilities/Program, and Regulatory/Policy Committees.

sampayo 3

Patricio Sampayo

Patricio Sampayo | Member

Sampayo is the managing director of Centro Medico Internacional, a private healthcare system in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. He graduated cum laude with an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University. Sampayo is passionate about social entrepreneurship and committed to helping colleagues and local organizations pursue innovative solutions to social problems. He was appointed to the BPUB Board on July 2, 2020. Sampayo also chairs the Finance Committee and serves on BPUB’s Audit Committee and the City of Brownsville/BPUB Joint Subcommittee.


John F. Cowen, Jr.
Ex-Officio Member, Elected

John F. Cowen, Jr. | Mayor, Ex-Officio Member

Mayor Cowen is the president of Cowen Group, LTD, overseeing its operations and growth initiatives since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and is a licensed U.S. Customs broker. Cowen serves as the City of Brownsville mayor, focusing on economic development and fiscal stewardship. He is the former Chair of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corp., current Chair of the City of Brownsville Audit & Oversight Committee, a participant of the City of Brownsville/BPUB Joint Subcommittee, and a member of an exofficio Brownsville Public Utilities Board member since May 16, 2023.