Texas Downtown Association Board Members

Cristina Odenborg Burns, President, Midland

Cristina is the Planning Division Manager for the City of Midland. She began working for the City of Midland as a city planner in 2014, served as the Downtown Development Coordinator from 2016 to 2018, and has been in her current role since 2018 in which she is still very dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Midland. She holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A&M University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Katelyn Brown, Vice President, Bryan

Katelyn is the Community Engagement Manager for Destination Bryan. She began working for Downtown Bryan in 2017, shortly after moving from California to Texas. Katelyn has served as a conference committee member for TDA for the past two years and is extremely passionate about supporting continual growth of Downtown Bryan.

Jorge Quirino, Treasurer, Lubbock

Jorge Quirino is the Director of Downtown & Special Projects for the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance. In his role with LEDA, Jorge assists with project management, administrative and technical duties in the areas of business recruitment, business retention, workforce development, marketing and downtown revitalization. Jorge has over 28 years of business experience with previous positions at Essential Home Health in Lubbock along with positions at the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce and Sam’s Club Corporate. Jorge graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing.

Josie Falletta, Secretary, 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.

Aaron Werner, Immediate Past President, Denison

Aaron is the Managing Director of Communications and Engagement for the City of Denison. His public service career started with the City of McKinney in 2014, where he was introduced to the world of downtown development. He has a passion for placemaking, destination marketing, community, and business development. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Southwestern Assemblies of God University and is completing his Master of Public Administration degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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.

Rebecca Barton, Celina

Rebecca has served as the Downtown Manager for the City of Celina since 2017. Her goal is to support Celina’s Historic Downtown growth and revitalization while fostering and its small town charm. She has a Masters of Public Service and Administration from The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University and has served as co-chair of the TDA awards committee.

Donna Culpepper, Nocona

Donna is the executive director of the Nocona Economic Development Corporation.

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. 

Taylor Hoffpauir, Brady

Taylor serves as the President/CEO of the Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center. He first began his journey with the Chamber in 2012 serving on the Board of Directors until becoming a staff in 2016, where he has served as the Membership and Communications Director, VP of Operations, and most recently assuming the role of President/CEO. When not promoting members, tourism, or events; he can be found hanging out with his close friends, enjoying time outdoors, or working on his next painting at home.

Amy Miller, Elgin

Amy is the Community Services Director for the City of Elgin.   She is passionate about downtowns and using historic preservation to support excellent business and community development.   During her twenty-seven  years of service with municipalities, Amy has worked for the Cities of Dallas, Colleyville, and Fort Worth in Mayor’s office, city administration, economic development, human resources, parks & recreation, historic preservation, downtown development, and community development.  Amy graduated from the University of North Texas with a Master’s Degree of Public Administration and in 2019 was recognized with the Susan B. Campbell Award for Professional Excellence. 

Sarah O'Brien, Smithville

Sarah is an award-winning passionate public servant & community champion with over 15 years’ local government and community development experience. She is focused on cultivating cross-sector collaboration and applying collective impact principles to all aspects of city-building and downtown development through her firm, Collaborative Development Collective, LLC. She has previously served various downtown, tourism, economic, and community development roles in Nacogdoches, Cleburne, Marshall and Bastrop.

Kristi Robich, Hutto

Kristi is the Conventions and Tourism Manager for the City of Hutto. She has always had an interest for the historic fabric of communities and the stories that surrounded them, but didn’t realize the passion and thought put into each component until her transition from the military lead her into the world of professional Downtowners. Her involvement includes creating and maintaining relationships with business and property owners, as well as working closely with other City departments to strategically maintain the characteristics that are unique to Downtown Hutto while also creating a district that is vibrant, desirable, sustainable, and poised for success.

Debra Drescher

Debra Drescher, Ex Officio, Texas Main Street Program

Debra Drescher has been State Coordinator and team lead of the Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) of the Texas Historical Commission for the past 15 years. In that capacity, she serves as lead for the 9-member TMSP team and manages the state’s network of 88 designated Main Street communities. Debra has a Masters in Public Administration and certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED).

Cara Lowrimore, Ex Offico, Texas Main Street Program

Cara joined the Texas Main Street staff as Assistant State Coordinator in June 2020. She has worn a lot of hats - from working as a city planner in Charleston, SC, to writing about small businesses for a local newspaper, and most recently, managing customer experience and communications for a manufacturing startup. She’s excited to weave all of these experiences together as she helps communities in their revitalization efforts.

Shane Sorenson, Ex Officio, Texas Travel Alliance

Shane is the Membership Manager for the Texas Travel Alliance based in Austin. His experience and engagement in the industry eventually led him to work for TTA, where he could spend his energy strengthening the industry by growing TTA’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.

Stephanie Donahue, Marketing & Membership Coordinator

Stephanie is a Marketing  and Communications professional that has worked with a roster of clients that include: Esther's Follies, Threadgill's, Pecan Street Festival, Vote4Her, and Six Square, Austin's Black Cultural District, among others. She is passionate about telling her client's stories and highlighting their strengths, in the best way possible. She is thrilled to be working with the Texas Downtown Association.

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 Zoom sessions.  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.
Co-Chairs: Beverly Abell, Mesquite & Donna Culpepper, Nocona

Annual Conference - provides a meaningful and affordable annual professional development opportunity for those involved in downtown revitalization in Texas.
Co-Chairs: Katelyn Brown, Bryan & Josie Falletta, San Marcos

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.
Co-Chairs: Rebecca Barton, Celina & Heather Juarez, Cleburne

Education and Outreach - coordinates the Regional Roundtable and Downtown Assistance programs and identifies educational opportunities for members.
Co-Chairs: Melida Heien, Longview & Jorge Quirino, Lubbock

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.
Co-Chairs: Amy Miller, Elgin & Sarah O'Brien, Smithville

Membership - ensures that TDA membership continues to grow via recruitment and retention efforts.
Co-Chairs: Taylor Hoffpauir, Brady & Kristi Robich, Hutto