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Meet the Founder:

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Jonathan Tavarez is an El Paso native and founded Borderland Big Ideas (BBI) in 2021 with the intent of spurring progress in the hometown that he loves. He strives to build BBI into a safe platform where difficult conversations can be held, ideas can be shared, and growth can be experienced.

The sister cities of El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, and Las Cruces that make up the borderland are rich in culture and dynamic thinking.  This community is resilient in the face of adversity and hungry for innovation.  With a long history of cutting-edge engineering developments, economic impact, and influential political thought, accessibility to big ideas for all is critical for progress.

Participating in Progress321's El Paso Everywhere program strengthened his connection with the city and other expats that are working to progress the region forward.


Jonathan is a licensed professional engineer and is a Structural Steel Specialist with the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). He currently lives in New York City and consults with architects, engineers, and developers to explore sustainable low-embodied carbon design solutions with structural steel.


He has experience with high-rise building design, design for safety-related components in nuclear power plants, and oversees the development of ANSI-accredited standards that are critical to the structural steel industry.


Jonathan obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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