Memorial Park Conservancy

Contact Us

Memorial Park Conservancy
7575 North Picnic Lane
Houston, TX 77007
Ph: 713.863.8403

 shellye arnold President & CEO

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Shellye joined the Conservancy in 2013 and has led the creation and adoption of the 2015 Memorial Park Master Plan, launched its associated Capital Campaign, initiated project execution and transitioned the management and operations of the majority of Memorial Park to the Conservancy.  This was done in close partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Houston and Uptown Development Authority as well as the Conservancy board and staff, advisors, and community partners.  She and her team have also delivered multiple Park improvements including the planting of over 90K seedlings, ecological restoration work applied to 600 acres of Park space, amenity upgrades, and enhanced user experience.  Shellye brings a background in executive leadership and change management from her 19 years at Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq Computer Corporation.  Shellye also served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Having studied public policy, Shellye spent the first part of her career with the Texas State Legislature, the Texas Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. She previously worked as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Paraguay and Pero delivering public health programs and speaks Spanish fluently. Shellye holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. As a native Houstonian, Shellye cares deeply about our parks, bayous, green spaces and the wildlife that inhabit them. Shellye served as a volunteer with the Houston Park’s Board on the Bayou Greenways Initiative; is a leader for Girl Scout Troop 21, the nation’s only special needs Girl Scout troop; and volunteers in animal rescue.

 

ASHley brooks Executive Administrative Assistant

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Ashley is a Houston native with a deep respect and appreciation for Memorial Park and what it does for our city. Ashley received her Bachelors in Vocal Performance at the University of Houston. Prior to joining MPC, Ashley worked professionally as a photographer, private voice teacher, and as a performer with professional music ensembles in Houston. In her free time, she volunteers as a photographer for several Houston animal rescue organizations, makes spicy jellies and jams with her husband, and spends time with their 3 dogs. She brings a love of creativity, collaboration, and the outdoors with her and is excited to see Memorial Park through its next development.

 

HOLLI CLEMENTS Development and Marketing Manager

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Holli joined the Conservancy staff in August 2016.  She brings extensive experience in event management, board relations, development writing, and annual fund management to MPC.  She previously oversaw external relations for Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and coordinated development and membership special events for The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Holli is a member of the Houston chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals. She holds Master’s and doctoral degrees in music performance from The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Auburn University.

 

JAY DANIEL Park Director

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In his role as manager of one of the largest urban parks in the nation, Jay Daniel provides unique insight into managing public space, improving the user experience and maximizing greenspace care through emphasizing economy and efficiency of resources.  He is dedicated to ensuring that community needs are well represented in public spaces while balancing these needs against the requirements of highly individualized natural resource management plans. Jay was born and raised in San Antonio and holds a masters degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. He is a passionate outdoorsman with a background that exceeds well beyond the traditional boundaries of parks and recreation.

 

EDWARD DAVIS Grounds Technician

Edward was first introduced to the Conservancy as a contractor and soon became an important part of the north side zone team.  Don’t let his tough sounding nickname of Knuckles give you the wrong idea.  He is dedicated to doing his best to care for the myriad of issues that come up day-to-day in the north side of the park.  From waste management to tree trimming to lawn care, Knuckles is there to get the job done right.  Knuckles previously worked in various fields including hospitality and landscaping prior to joining the Conservancy. When not at the park, Knuckles spends time in the country with his family.

 

REGINALD FERGUSON Grounds Technician

A Houston native, Reggie worked in Memorial Park as a contractor prior to joining MPC as a full-time employee. His breadth of knowledge, including experience working both as a welder and machinist, makes him an excellent addition to the team. Known for being quick on his feet and quick with a joke, Reggie keeps our hardworking grounds staff in good spirits as they service the Park. He is a thoughtful and efficient problem solver who leverages his varied experience for the benefit of Memorial Park. In his free time, he restores old cars and trucks.

 

jeff garcia North Zone Supervisor

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Jeff came to the Conservancy after working in construction management for over twenty years including high profile projects such as NRG Stadium and the Galleria.  He is also a seasoned park professional having help prior positions with City of Richmond Parks and Recreation and City of Houston Parks and Recreation.  Jeff can be found most days on the north side of the Park where he oversees maintenance and the myriad of projects that go on day-to-day in an urban park.  When not at the park, Jeff stays busy as a father of five and enjoys building 4x4s and restoring old cars. 

 

kimberly “KC” Iozzio Horticultural Supervisor

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KC serves as head horticulturalist for Memorial Park including caring for diverse plantings, hardscape elements, and public use of the park.  She also oversees seed propagation and the Conservancy greenhouse.  Her keen eye has served the Park well in creating beautiful landscapes and in creating a proactive horticultural management regime.  Prior to joining the Conservancy, KC served in the City of Houston Parks Department as part of their horticulture team. 

 

KEDRIC JAMISON Horticulture Technician

Kedric works with the horticulturist throughout the Park on a daily basis. He helps maintain all of the plantings and landscapes, and performs various other tasks that are involved with caring for the nearly 1,500 acres of Memorial Park. Kedric comes to us a passion for working hard and caring for the Park and especially enjoys his time on the north side working with the colorful plants.  Prior to his work at the Conservancy, Kedric worked in the automotive and healthcare industry.  When not at work, Kedric enjoys throwing the football with his son and watching his daughters practice cheerleading.

 

Suzanne Landau South Zone Supervisor

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Suzanne came to Memorial Park Conservancy after completing her Master’s Degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University. Growing up with a love of parks and everything outdoors, Suzanne began school at Texas A&M University studying Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences as an undergraduate and then continued on to obtain her Master’s Degree, after taking a brief break to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Suzanne’s research focused on citizen participation in master planning for small municipal parks and recreation departments and specific amenities. Since joining the Conservancy, Suzanne has organized thousands of hours of volunteer projects and assisted with public outreach for the Memorial Park Master Plan. Suzanne has recently transitioned to the Operations team and is responsible for the care of the south side of the park, including the beloved natural surface trails. Suzanne enjoys exploring Houston, watching Aggie football, traveling, and spending time with her fiancé and their two dogs.

 

YULIANA LONGORIA Bookkeeper

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Prior to joining MPC, Yuliana attended the University of Houston through continuous employment at Wells Fargo Bank, and received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. She also holds a Corporate Entrepreneurship certificate from the CT Bauer College of Business Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, which was earned in 2014. While at the University of Houston and Wells Fargo Bank, she volunteered to raise money for March of Dimes each year and was an active member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Hispanic Business Student Association. She helped her team prepare for annual audits at Wells Fargo and gained a strong ability to handle a diverse customer base to resolve problems effectively.

 

KELLY MCCANN Program Coordinator

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Prior to joining MPC, Kelly McCann served as a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in Saint Paul, MN. Kelly supported the Centennial Initiative of the National Park Service (NPS) by expanding service-learning and community engagement opportunities in the park, part of a volunteer program now nationally recognized as a NPS Hartzog Award recipient. Kelly holds a BS in Natural Resource Ecology and Management from Oklahoma State University. Her background in ecology includes invasive species management, wildlife surveys, and native prairie restoration. Kelly has always been passionate about getting people outdoors, volunteering with Girl Scouts, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Wildlife Society.

 

RANDY ODINET Project Manager

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Randy joined MPC in January 2016 after working more than fourteen years in Houston as a consulting engineer, including two years with Walter P. Moore, during which time he worked on multiple Memorial Park projects. A passion for working in parks and public spaces led to his current role planning for and managing implementation of the 2015 Master Plan for Memorial Park. Born and raised in south Louisiana, Randy graduated from LSU with a BS in Civil Engineering. Randy enjoys the outdoors and watching LSU football with his wife and two young children. In his spare time, Randy coaches his son's tee ball team and is an avid Crossfitter.

 

keith reagan Park Grounds Supervisor

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In his role as Park Grounds Manager, Keith is responsible for overseeing all aspects of grounds keeping, minor construction and repairs, and maintenance efforts as well as overseeing the year-round care and maintenance of the Park’s landscapes and turf care.   Prior to joining the Conservancy, Keith was a superintendent with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department for nine years, including overseeing the downtown park system and managing all parks irrigation systems.  He has 23 years of experience in grounds maintenance, and is a Texas licensed irrigator with TCEQ.

 

Cara rudelson Chief Operating Officer

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A graduate of the London School of Economics in Economics, Politics and International Relations, Cara leads the fundraising and operational strategies for the Conservancy. Through extensive work on capital campaigns and other fundraising opportunities during her 15-plus year career as a nonprofit consultant, Cara was involved in corporate giving, volunteer management, public-private partnerships, mission awareness, budget development, organizational management, and other fundraising strategies. This included planning, developing, and maintaining collaborative relationships with diverse community groups, municipalities, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Committed to volunteering, Cara has served on many boards and committees and is the past President of Art League Houston. She is a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional and proud to be a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum Class XXXV.

 

rupal shah Director of Finance and Administration

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Prior to joining the Conservancy, Rupal served as a lead accountant at the Lower Colorado River Authority, the largest river authority in Texas. In this role, she led efforts to streamline financial reporting by collaborating with departments across the organization, while identifying and implementing process improvements. Throughout her 13-year accounting career she has been responsible for financial analysis, monitoring internal controls, and ensuring compliance with accounting and industry standards. While in Austin, Rupal also served as a community leader, helping grow Be the Change, an annual day of service to foster civic engagement through volunteerism. She coordinated all aspects of volunteer management and nonprofit outreach; encouraging individuals to give back to their communities to create lasting change. A native Houstonian, Rupal is dedicated to bringing the same passion and leadership to preserve Memorial Park. Rupal holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City.

 

ANNE VANCE Annual Giving Manager

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Anne connects park users and supporters with her favorite Houston park through annual fundraising campaigns and engagement activities. She presents those who care deeply about Memorial Park with opportunities to keep it a flourishing regional greenspace through partnership with the Conservancy. Prior to joining the staff at MPC in 2014, Anne was a historic preservation consultant and had spent more than a decade with the state historic preservation office in Austin, where she helped communities and organizations develop strategic plans and fundraising strategies for their cultural landscapes and resources. Anne graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence with a BA in Anthropology and Film Studies. She is a volunteer at heart, serving on the boards of College Memorial Park Cemetery and Texas Archive of the Moving Image. She can be found on the south side trails. Ask her about the next membership event!

 

CAROLYN WHITE Conservation Manager

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Carolyn joined Memorial Park Conservancy as Conservation Manager after 11 years with the Harris County Flood Control District’s Environmental Services.  She brings more than 20 years of experience delivering environmental and ecological restoration projects as a planner and practitioner. Her work in environmental consulting, local government, and collaboration with multiple non-profit organizations over the years provides her with unique expertise to bring the Memorial Park Master Plan to life. Her approach to conservation spans all aspects of park management from planning and research to development and capital improvement through operations, maintenance, monitoring, and outreach.  She has served on the Memorial Park Conservancy EcoTech panel and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Bayou Preservation Association.  Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology from Carleton College and a Masters of Landscape Architecture degree from University of California – Berkeley. 

 

DARRYL YOUNG Grounds Technician

Darryl worked in Memorial Park for nearly a year as a contractor to the City of Houston before transitioning to the Conservancy as a full time employee.  Darryl cares deeply for the Park and is known for his cheerful demeanor as he cares for the south side Zone.  Affectionately known as “Shorty” by the Conservancy team, he is known for going the extra mile to help others.  Prior to his work at the Conservancy, Shorty worked in various jobs in the landscaping and restaurant industries.  In his spare time, he enjoys good cooking and spending time with friends and family.