Chief Financial Officer Katie Grahmann

Katie Grahmann

Chief Financial Officer

Katie Grahmann serves as chief financial officer and is responsible for overseeing all accounting and finance operations of the organization.

In her previous role as senior director of accounting and controller, Grahmann oversaw the Rodeo’s accounting and finance functions, which includes treasury, investments, donations and sponsorships, payables, receivables and fixed assets.

Prior to joining the Rodeo in 2014, Grahmann served as controller at the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, as well as audit manager at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

For over a decade, she has volunteered her professional financial skills, serving many organizations in the Houston community, including the Junior League of Houston, where she currently serves as nominating committee secretary and previously served as financial vice president. She is also a founding board member of Impact100 Houston, a nonprofit organization that includes a diverse local group of women of all ages, stages in life, income levels and backgrounds. Recently, she was honored with the Houston Business Journal’s 2021 “Women Who Mean Business Award,” which recognizes women in leadership roles who have demonstrated excellence in their careers and community.

Grahmann received a bachelor’s degree of business administration in accounting, a master’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas.

She and her husband, Scott, live in Houston. In her spare time, she enjoys bike rides with her dad and cooking.

Director, Accounting/Controller Carolyn Casanova
Director, Financial Reporting Cecilia Buice
Associate, Accounts Receivable Jackie Tassel
Associate, Accounts Receivable Stannicia Reddick
Manager, Accounts Receivable Jerrica Torrence
Senior Accountant Cecilia Arredondo
Senior Accountant Brenda Carreno
Revenue Accountant Evelyn Mata
Senior Associate, Accounts Payable Kayla Montoya
Assistant, Finance Deslyn Lazo
Director, Purchasing & Procurement John Dickey
Manager, Mail Center Jerrad Darty
Associate, Mail Center Kris Milburn

Chief Mission Officer Julie Bass

Julie Bass

Chief Mission Officer

Julie Beken Bass graduated from Texas A&M University in 2003 with a degree in Agricultural Development. She was a member of the equestrian team during her enrollment at A&M, so with her passion for agriculture and the equine industry, Julie gladly accepted a position with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2006 in the Horse Show Department.

Three years later, she moved to a manager's role in the Exhibits and Attractions Department. After three years in this capacity, Julie accepted a position as the Fair Manager of the Montgomery County Fair in Conroe, Texas.

In the fall of 2014, Bass returned to her roots in the fair and festival industry at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where she was named the Executive Director of General Exhibits and Attractions. Six years later, this role ultimately led to her being named the Chief Mission Officer in 2020.

This position includes her overseeing educational and commercial exhibits, agricultural competitions, auctions, and scholarship components of the Rodeo’s 20-day event. This division supports more than 45 committees and is staffed by 24 full time employees.

Amid the pandemic, she was honored with the Houston Business Journal’s 2020 “Women Who Mean Business Award,” which recognizes women in leadership roles who have demonstrated excellence in their careers and community.

Julie and her husband, Alan, live in Magnolia, Texas, with their two young sons, Tate and Brady. She and her husband also manage a small ranching operation on her family's homestead in Weimar, Texas.

Manager, Mission Division Outreach Program Darlene Lively
Auctions & Attractions
Director, Auctions & Attractions Laura Lambert
Manager, Auctions Kim Cornelius
Manager, Attractions & Competitions Angela Gutierrez
Coordinator, Auctions & Donor Management Michael Blandon
Manager, Donor Relations & Fulfillment Taylor Garcia
Coordinator, Auction & Donor Management Taylor Olsovsky
Educational Programs
Senior Manager, Scholarship Programs Jamie Voskamp
Manager, Grant Programs Nellen Hawkins
Manager, Scholarships & Alumni Maggie Grogan
Senior Manager, Exhibits & Events Amanda Schlatre
Coordinator, Exhibits & Events Amanda Cornell
Director, Horse Show Stacy Scott
Director, Livestock Competitions Karl Hengst
Senior Coordinator, Livestock Show Kyle Walker
Coordinator, Livestock Show Ashley Abston
Coordinator, Livestock Show Cheyenne Griffin
Coordinator, Calf Scramble Amanda McGuire
Director, Wine Show Jennifer Lindsay
Coordinator, Wine Show Rachael Fernandez

Revenue Division
Chief Revenue Officer Amber Burda

Amber Burda

Chief Revenue Officer    

Amber Burda is the Chief Revenue Officer for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In this critical leadership role, Burda is responsible for driving the organization’s revenue growth by overseeing ticketing, corporate and business partnerships, and official sponsors. By leading and managing the sponsorship and ticketing departments, she collaborates closely with the marketing, mission, and strategic planning divisions to foster alignment and develop comprehensive plans that ensure the organization's short-term and long-term success.
In January 2017, Burda was named the executive director of sponsorships, business, and corporate development. During this time, Burda led a team who create, design, develop, negotiate, and execute all official Rodeo sponsorships. Burda and team have the privilege of working with local, national, and international organizations to forge lasting partnerships and surpass top objectives. Her exceptional leadership and expertise resulted in a 48% increase from 2017 to 2023.
Prior to joining the Rodeo, Burda served as director of multi-channel sales planning with Houston-based retailer, Mattress Firm, Inc. There, she spent over six years managing and cultivating relationships with more than 300 events nationwide. Under her guidance, Mattress Firm became one of the top supporting sponsors across the event industry.
She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in hospitality administration. Burda and her husband, Greg, live in Santa Fe, Texas, with their 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.

Director, Ticketing Paula Urban
Manager, Ticketing     Dennis Moynihan
Senior Coordinator, Entertainment Suites     Juan Carlos "JC" Longoria
Coordinator, Season Suites     Angel Valdez
Senior Specialist, Ticket Business Operations     Alicia Pierce
Sponsorship, Business & Corporate Development
Manager, Sponsorship Account Executive Jenny Heinz
Manager, Sponsorship Account Executive Cody Rosenbalm
Associate, Partnership Strategies & Fulfillment Kris Rigby
Associate, Partnership Strategies & Fulfillment Madison Brooks

Chief Show Operations Officer Mike DeMarco

Mike DeMarco

Chief Show Operations Officer

Mike DeMarco joined the Rodeo in 1990 as an assistant manager in the Operations Department and was named executive director of operations in 2004. In his role as chief show operations officer, DeMarco manages all aspects of Rodeo operations, event planning, buildings and grounds, and safety and security.

He attended the University at Buffalo and Rice University Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business for administration.

DeMarco is a life member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Montgomery County Fair Association. He is also a lifetime director of the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo and is a member of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, the International Association of Venue Managers and the Main Street Coalition Executive Board.

Director, Operations Kyle Olsen
Director, Show Operations Security & Safety John Presley
Manager, Operations Lindsay Klein
Coordinator, Operations Andrea Perkins
Manager, Operations Dalinda Cauble
Senior Coordinator, Operations & Bar-B-Que Committee Jennifer Clark
Manager, Corral Club Operations Brandie Triola
Coordinator, Corral Club Operations Alexa Moore
Buildings & Grounds
Senior Manager, Buildings & Grounds Bobby Richardson
Manager, Event Services Alex Briano
Manager, Facility Services Brett Haney
Manager, Warehouse Operations Jim Gadd
Manager, Buildings & Grounds Aaron Ortega
Coordinator, Facility & Event Services Stephanie Hendrickson
Coordinator, Buildings & Grounds Amanda Perkins
Coordinator, Buildings & Grounds Angela Hodges
Manager, Warehouse Operations Jason Wilson
Carpenter/Welder/Equipment Operator Peter Shaw
Carpenter/Maintenance Mechanic Glenn Cessna
Carpenter, Maintenance & Equipment Operator Marcus Williams
Carpenter Ricky Franke
Carpenter Iggie Revear
Maintenance Mechanic/Painter II Nelson Moz
Maintenance Mechanic/Painter Larry Bostick
Painter/Drywall Technician Hayward Rice
Welder/Operator Lee Edwards
Event Planning
Director, Event Operations Abbie Goldberg
Manager, Hospitality Matthew DeSantis
Manager, Event Operations Annie Mayer
Coordinator, Event Planning Mackenzie Grocki
Coordinator, Operations & BBQ Contestant Services Kennedy Gross
Assistant, Hospitality Services Carolyn James

Chief Strategic Planning Officer Peter McStravick

Peter McStravick

Chief Strategic Planning Officer

In his role as chief strategic planning officer, Peter McStravick is responsible for the execution of short-term and long-term strategy for the Rodeo. He oversees major capital projects and strategic initiatives across the organization, developing planning processes that incorporate financial analysis while communicating assumptions, risks and key success factors.

Previously, he served as chief development officer at the Houston First Corporation. As a member of the executive leadership team, McStravick was responsible for developing and implementing strategic projects and business opportunities. Under his leadership, his team spearheaded the transformation of the George R. Brown Convention Center and Avenida de las Americas into Avenida Houston. He was also responsible for developing, building and operating the first hotel at the convention center.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and is involved in several volunteer organizations, including the Houston Arts Alliance and Houston Botanic Garden.

Strategic Planning & Execution Analyst Paul Lopez

Chief Technology Officer Wayne Crane

Wayne Crane

Chief Technology Officer

Wayne Crane brings 30-plus years of experience directing business and digital technology transformations to his role as chief technology officer. He oversees the Information Systems and Software Development departments and is responsible for identifying and implementing technology to support the Rodeo’s strategic technology goals. Additionally, Crane provides thought leadership in technology to support all divisions at the Rodeo, its staff and volunteers.

Previously, Crane served as chief information officer for MORSCO/The Reece Group, an $8 billion waterworks, plumbing and heating and cooling equipment (HVAC) manufacturer and distributor. He was responsible for the global strategy, direction and operation of global application portfolio, infrastructure, architecture, information security, IT governance, e-commerce, and project/program management.

He holds a Master of Computer Science and an MBA from Houston Baptist University, as well as top IT operational, security and privacy certifications, including Certified Information Security Manager and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. Crane is a frequent speaker at technology conferences and advisor to digital start-ups. In his spare time, he enjoys long-distance hiking, blacksmithing, working in artificial intelligence and volunteering for the Boy Scouts.

Information Systems
Director, Information Systems Operations Steve Gumerman
Microsoft Server Administrator Steve Clausen
Senior Manager, Network Operations Allen Rountree
Manager, IT Help Desk Randy Moore
Help Desk Technician Joe Thompson
DevOps Engineer Kevin Sherrill
Jr. IT Infrastructure Systems Administrator Edwardo Garcia
IT Administrator Karen Valadez
Software Development
Director, Software Development Reji Rajan
Senior Database Developer Shahzad Naseer
Senior Software Developer Muhammad Saqib
Senior Software Developer Joseph Covington
Database Developer Shoaib Ata
Senior Visual Studio Software Developer Majeed Arshad
Quality Assurance Analyst Julie Hacker
Quality Assurance Analyst Heather Nguyen
UI/UX Developer Ardensa Cartajona

Chief Volunteer & HR Officer Melinda “Mel” Reeves

Melinda “Mel” Reeves

Chief Volunteer & HR Officer

As chief volunteer and HR officer, Melinda Reeves is responsible for maintaining a positive and collaborative environment at the Rodeo. She oversees the Rodeo’s 120-plus staff and 35,000 volunteers, managing the hiring, training, professional development and performance evaluation processes. Reeves also oversees all internal communications across Rodeo staff and volunteers.

Prior to joining the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, she served as an executive vice president at Direct Energy and Centrica. As an EVP she was the Global Head of Organization Effectiveness and led Strategic HR Business Partnering for the Commercial Business Division. Reeves was responsible for leading a global team of HR partners, providing strategic consultation and developing talent capabilities, as well as leading global internal communications and culture transformation.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, has received multiple HR certifications and serves on numerous boards, including LiftFund and the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council.

Human Resources
Director, Human Resources Dana Seymour
Human Resources Generalist Jennifer Alvarado
Internal Communications
Director, Internal Communications Pegi Newhouse
Coordinator, Internal Communications Brooke Meckelborg
Director, Membership Katie Luckett
Coordinator, Membership Sandra Rodriguez
Coordinator, Membership Avery Cooper
Front Desk Associate Unique Andrews