Tommy Gonzalez was appointed as City Manager of El Paso, Texas, in June 2014. As City Manager, Mr. Gonzalez leads the 20th largest city in the United States, which is part of the international metropolitan area of El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces, with over 2.7 million people.
Mr. Gonzalez is a results-oriented, strategic leader with approximately three decades of management experience in the public sector; with some experience in the private sector as well. Currently, he oversees a budget of nearly $1 billion and leads more than 6,000 employees. He has extensive experience in quality and performance excellence initiatives and serves as an expert resource on transformational change within organizations.
In 2019, Mr. Gonzalez led his team in making history, as the City of El Paso became the largest municipality to win the Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the Texas Quality Foundation. Under Mr. Gonzalez’s leadership, the City of El Paso has been able to achieve $50 million in cost-savings. He has also revamped the city’s budgeting process by reducing cycle time from 4 months, to three weeks, to one day. Mr. Gonzalez has steered El Paso toward financial stability by eliminating a $7.8 million deficit and securing $9 million in year-end savings. Additionally, under Mr. Gonzalez’s tenure, the City has maintained its double AA financial rating by improving accuracy in revenue and expenditure estimates, providing year-end reporting to the City Council, and four consecutive years of General Fund surplus; increasing the City’s reserves by $13 million.
Mr. Gonzalez received national recognition when awarded the 2019 Baldrige Foundation Leadership Excellence Award in the Government sector by the Malcom Baldrige Foundation in Washington DC. The award recognizes role-model leaders in their field.
As City Manager, Mr. Gonzalez has helped to improve job growth and business development through the creation and use of a number of economic development tools, surpassing the last eight years combined. In 2017, the State of Texas data ranked El Paso second in employment growth in Texas at 3.3 percent. With this type of employment growth, the City is observing healthy wage increases.
Mr. Gonzalez is also working with community partners by sharing best practices, the Baldrige-based framework, and communication strategies through the Communities of Excellence framework. The Communities of Excellence program will serve multiple organizations at the same time by improving El Paso’s quality of life, healthcare, and education.
Mr. Gonzalez has worked diligently to help the City reach its vision of becoming a safer city, a more vibrant regional economy, and providing exceptional offerings. By leading a strong and dedicated team, Mr. Gonzalez leads the City in obtaining numerous national recognitions. Examples of these recognitions include the following: In April 2018, Forbes ranked El Paso as #1 Lowest Cost of Living. In July 2017, WalletHub named El Paso as the #1 Best Run City in Texas; while Area Vibes named El Paso the Best Place to Live for the third year in a row in 2018. The National Civic League also named the City of El Paso an All-America City in June 2018 and in 2019 the City was named an All-America City finalist. In 2018, the Meetingsource.com named El Paso a Top Convention City in the USA for 2018; while leading the state in hotel occupancy. The El Paso International Airport won the 2018 Best Airport by Size and Category (2-5 million passengers in North America) by Airport Council International’s (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Customer Experience Awards. More importantly, the airport increased direct flights by 19 in the last 4 years.
In March 2019, Mr. Gonzalez was asked to serve a second term as chair of the Quality Texas Foundation Board of Directors. In April 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed Mr. Gonzalez to the Risk Management Board for a term set to expire in February 2023. He is also a member of the Governing Texas Advisory Board, the U.S. Global Leadership Texas Advisory Board, the Association of the United States Army, and the 2026 Communities of Excellence.
Prior to working in El Paso, Mr. Gonzalez served as the City Manager for the City of Irving, Texas. Under his leadership, the City of Irving won the Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the Texas Quality Foundation and the City of Irving also won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Mr. Gonzalez retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico. He received the Eastern New Mexico University's Outstanding Alumni Award and the Texas Tech Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the University of Texas at Austin.