Texas Downtown Association Board Members

Kyle Kramm, President, Seguin

Kyle has served as the Main Street and CVB Director for the City of Seguin since June 2014.  In this role he actively works to preserve the unique architecture in Seguin while encouraging the continued revitalization of downtown.

Aaron Werner, Vice President, McKinney

Aaron is the Main Street Program Coordinator in Historic Downtown McKinney. He started working for the City of McKinney in 2014 and moved into the Program Coordinator position in 2016. CNN Money declared McKinney as the 3rd fastest growing City in U.S. and our historic downtown is the heart of it all.

Melida Heien, Treasurer, Longview

Melida Heien is currently serves as the Main Street Coordinator for the City of Longview. She began her downtown career as the Executive Director for Pekin Main Street in Pekin, Illinois in 2010 and moved to Texas in 2014 to serve as the Main Street manager for the City of Kilgore. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, visiting roadside oddities and CrossFit.

Melinda Brown

Melinda Brown, Secretary, Plainview

Melinda has served as the city's Main Street Director since January 2015.  She also serves as the Convention and Visitors Bureau Coordinator and has most recently assumed responsibilities of managing the Fair Theater.

Debbie Charbonneau, Immediate Past President, Taylor

Debbie is a certified Main Street Manager who has been active in the tourism and downtown industries for quite a while. She currently serves as the manager of City of Taylor Main Street. Her mother's family was one of the first 300 to come to Texas, so she is truly a Texas "girl".

Beverly Abell, Mesquite

Beverly Abell, Downtown Development Manager for the City of Mesquite, has a 25-plus-year career in downtown revitalization. She has managed five award-winning local programs and served as a program associate for the National Main Street Center. A former TDA president, Abell was recipient of the first Susan Campbell Award for Professional Excellence.

Andrea Barefield, Waco

Andrea is the Executive Director of the Texas Brazos Trail Region - part of the Texas Heritage Trails Program. Before joining the Texas Brazos Trail Region, Andrea was the Main Street Manager for City Center Waco. There, she was able to develop, cultivate, and grow a sense of community in Downtown Waco through historic preservation, economic development, and placemaking. Andrea was also recently elected to serve on the Waco City Council.

Cristina Odenborg Burns, Midland

Cristina is the Downtown Development Coordinator for the City of Midland. She began working for the City of Midland as a city planner in 2014 and has served in her current position since 2016. She holds a Master of Urban Planning and Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University and recently received her American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification.

Alysia Cook

Alysia Cook, Opportunity Strategies, LLC

Alysia owns Opportunity Strategies LLC, a community and economic development consulting firm. She has been helping communities with customized training and strategic planning for over 20 years and is an international public speaker.

Steve Dieterichs, Abilene

Steve has worked at the nexus of downtown/economic development and destination marketing for the last decade and was selected in 2018 to serve as the first executive director of the Abilene Downtown Initiative. Steve is a Certified Tourism Executive, holds a sales license from the Texas Real Estate Commission and holds certification in basic economic development. As a side hustle, he helps developers identify historic buildings outside of Abilene for adaptive reuse projects.

Donna Dow

Donna Dow, Denison

Donna is the Main Street Director and Historic Preservation Officer in Denison. She began this position in October 2010 after serving as Durant Oklahoma's Main Street Director for the program's first 13 1/2 years.

Josie Falletta, San Marcos

Josie is the Main Street Program Coordinator for historic Downtown San Marcos. She is passionate about vibrant downtowns and loves learning best practices from other cities by wandering their streets. When not planning events, promoting downtown or dreaming big for her community, Josie can be found relaxing in the San Marcos River after a long bike ride with friends.

Christine Gossett, Denton

Christine has been promoting Denton since 1995 when she started her professional career.  In 2003 Christine joined the Denton Main Street program and has worked with the downtown merchants and managed the non-profit Denton Main Street Association (DMSA) board and membership ever since. In addition, she also serves the Denton CVB team as Visitor Services Director. 

Sarah O'Brien, Smithville

Since 2003 Sarah has worked in rural communities honing her event planning skills, downtown revitalization know how, media relations savvy, and community development expertise. Sarah has worked served a variety of roles in Cleburne, Nacogdoches, Marshall and Bastrop. She previously served as TDA board president from 2013-2014.

Robert Smith, Garland

Robert is a Garland-based commercial real estate developer and manager specializing in downtown redevelopment and revitalization.  His goal is to create an "authentic sense of place one building at a time".  He received his Masters Degree from SMU in Liberal Arts and his Bachelor's Degree of Business Adminstration Degree in Real Estate and Insurance from Baylor University.  

Debra Drescher

Debra Drescher, Ex Officio, Texas Main Street Program

Debra Drescher has been State Coordinator for the Texas Main Street Program of the Texas Historical Commission for the past 10 years, and serves as team lead for both the state Main Street program and the agency’s Town Square Initiative.

Shelly Hargrove

Shelly Hargrove, Ex Officio, Texas Main Street Program

Shelly is the assistant state coordinator of the Texas Main Street Program and is based out of Austin. She is also founder/co-host of Great Main Street Adventures travel series working to strengthen downtowns from the private sector perspective. Shelly was the Main Street manager in the Great American Main Street Award-winning city of Georgetown, Texas, and previously in Breckenridge and Taylor, Texas. 

Shane Sorenson, Ex Officio, TTIA

Shane is the Membership Manager for the Texas Travel Industry Association based in Austin. His experience and engagement in the industry eventually led him to work for TTIA, where he could spend his energy strengthening the industry by growing TTIA’s reach and supporting its members. He holds his Texas Destination Marketer (TDM) certification from TACVB and is a Certified Tourism Executive (CTE).

 

Catherine Sak, Executive Director

Catherine was hired as executive director in 2007.  She holds a Bachelors from Emory University and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans.  Her experience includes nonprofit management and development, city planning, and project management of historic renovations. Test

Committees and Annual Work Plan

TDA committees are responsible for many programs and services offered to members.  Help us reach more Texas communities and sign up to serve today.

No travel budget required - committees meet via monthly conference calls.  Want to learn more?  Contact the TDA office.

Current committees include:

Anice Read Fund - facilitates awareness and growth of the Anice Read Fund, the grant fund founded by TDA and managed by Communities Foundation of Texas.

Annual Conference - provides a meaningful and affordable annual professional development opportunity for those involved in downtown revitalization in Texas.

President's Awards - provides a program that showcases the best in programs, projects and people in Texas downtowns. Spotlight downtown successes to a larger audience. Presents a program that provides a case study learning experience on which members can model local projects.

Education and Outreach - coordinates the Regional Roundtable and Downtown Assistance programs and identifies educational opportunities for members.

Legislative - ensures that TDA has a coordinated effort to monitor and provide information about legislation impacting downtowns at the state and federal levels to members. Please note that TDA is not a registered lobbyist.

Marketing - coordinates development of marketing materials and programs for TDA.

Membership - ensures that TDA membership continues to grow via recruitment and retention efforts.