Samantha Burke

Samantha Burke



Building Brooks: Orchestrating Operations and Vision

Samantha Burke

Chief Operating Officer, Brooks –



As Chief Operating Officer at Brooks, Samantha Burke is a pivotal figure, translating high-level visions into tangible realities that have driven more than $1.3 billion in investments, completely reshaping the former military installation. Her journey began during graduate school at the University of the Incarnate Word, where she met Milo Nitschke, an early mentor who saw her potential and later recruited her to join the Brooks team. Samantha quickly climbed the ranks at Brooks, holding four roles in three years, succeeding Milo as CFO at 29 years old before being elevated to COO three years later.


Samantha attributes her career progression to the mentorship she received, which equipped her with the necessary skills and provided her with challenging opportunities to grow. “Having mentors willing to train me and challenge me has helped to shape my career,” Samantha reflects. One foundational piece of advice she received from Brooks CEO Leo Gomez about the importance of forging connections and engaging in meaningful conversations has become a core element of her leadership style. This focus on communication and relationship building is central to how she operates as COO, ensuring the Brooks team shares a common vision and is inspired to achieve it.


She describes the role of the COO as “the bridge between vision, strategy, and operations.” She is responsible for ensuring the day-to-day activities of the Brooks team align with the organization’s strategic directives. This involves not just understanding but actively interpreting the vision of developing a world-class region encompassing transformative investments into tangible outcomes that directly contribute to the growth and success of Brooks and San Antonio.


Samantha thrives on the diversity of her responsibilities. “I love that I get to touch all areas of the operation – I dabble in everything from facilities and landscape to communications, finance, budget, and engagement with our Board of Directors. I deal with it all, and I enjoy that.” Her role allows her to deeply engage across all aspects of the Brooks development – an opportunity she describes as part of building a “mini-city” – shaping the community’s fabric in real-time. Her ability to balance a diverse range of responsibilities at Brooks mirrors the harmony she strives for in her personal life, where she navigates work demands while prioritizing time with her true sounding board and companion in life, her husband Stoney, and their 18-month-old son.


If she could advise her younger self, her message would be simple: “Don’t stress as much; everything happens for a reason, and things fall where they are supposed to.” This philosophy has helped her to navigate the complexities and challenges associated with redeveloping a shuttered military installation, reinforcing that even amidst uncertainty, perseverance and adaptability can lead to outcomes that are sometimes even better than the original plan. Samantha Burke has become an indispensable leader at Brooks through her strategic acumen and collaborative spirit, masterfully converting ambitious plans into impactful, community-transforming achievements.




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