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Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Barb Machado elected as NIOSA 2014 Chairman

Conservation Society Elects Barb Machado as Chairman of NIOSA®

Barb Machado has been elected by the San Antonio Conservation Society as its Fourth Vice President, with the primary responsibility of chairing the 66th presentation of the Conservation Society’s “A Night In Old San Antonio®” (NIOSA®), April 22-25, 2014. 

NIOSA—one of the nation’s largest historic preservation festivals—benefits the Conservation Society, which in turn benefits local and central Texas communities by celebrating and preserving the buildings, customs and culture unique to its region through the preservation, education and research programs of the Society. 

The NIOSA chairman volunteers her time all year to plan and coordinate the four-night event, assisted by four NIOSA vice chairmen, Melissa Fertitta, Loraine Zaiontz, Cindy Smith and Rose Moran, and treasurer, Jackie Fellers (all of whom are volunteers and assist Barb in leading the team of 16,000 volunteers that work at the event).  Barb also is chairman of NIOSITAs®—mini-NIOSAs that are presented throughout the year for any private groups, including conventions and wedding receptions as another fundraiser for the Conservation Society.

Barb joined the Society in the early 1980s and served as Chair of the NIOSA Finance committee for four years; Treasurer of NIOSA from 1990-91; and on the Society’s Board of Directors for six years during this period.  She was responsible for establishing the first computer system for the Society, which included special program designs and staff training; she also served as a tour guide for the Society’s Heritage tours for school children in the 1980s and 1990s.  Barb has served on numerous committees including membership, historian, newsletter, Steves Homestead and yearbook.  She stepped away for 20 years to serve as Executive Director of the San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association, but returned to the Board in 2009 and served as chair of long range planning and hospitality.  She became the NIOSA Assistant Treasurer in 2012-13 and was elected in June 2013 as NIOSA Chair for its 2014 presentation.

Barb’s son Barry Sanders, and wife Crickett, have been actively involved in NIOSA and NIOSITAS for the past two years.  In 2013, Barry ran the NIOSA kitchen crew and supervised the making of approximately 5,000 Bongo-K-Bob (skewers of meat, onion and peppers)—one of NIOSA’s most popular food items booth. 

Barb lives in the Lavaca Historic District neighborhood on the southern edge of downtown San Antonio--a six block trip from her front door to the Gresser House (NIOSA headquarters).

“My utmost goal as NIOSA chairman is to increase profits to better assist the Conservation Society’s mission to preserve and protect the uniqueness of our city,” says Machado. “Secondly, I want everyone to understand the enormous impact staging our four-day event has on the public and private sectors of our business community.”

Annually attracting 80,000 visitors, NIOSA is presented by the Conservation Society and runs Tuesday through Friday evenings of the city-wide Fiesta San Antonio celebration held each April.  A Night in Old San Antonio is held at La Villita, which is divided into 15 different cultural areas for the presentation of ethnic costumes, food, music and fun. Representing truly "old" San Antonio, NIOSA includes many of the sights, sounds and tastes brought to the city by its earliest settlers.

            Out of the roughly $1 million netted at NIOSA each year, the Society spends nearly $350,000 annually supporting restoration and preservation of historic properties and parks throughout the city and neighboring counties, plus more than $400,000 annually supporting education and advocacy programs and projects such as the Heritage Education tours, seminars, community tours, scholarships, the resource library and the house museums.  Additionally, the Society has allocated more than one million dollars since 2000 to historic restoration projects in La Villita, HemisFair and historic neighborhoods throughout the city through special funds set up with the City of San Antonio.

For more information on NIOSA or NIOSITAs, visit www.niosa.org or contact (210) 226-5188 or niosa@niosa.org.  For more information on the San Antonio Conservation Society, please contact the Society headquarters at (210) 224-6163 or visit www.saconservation.org.  

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