For the past 20 years, downtown has experienced an exciting renaissance and a remarkable economic rebound. Today, Houston region residents and visitors are seeing downtown as more than a workplace. It is now a place to live, visit, enjoy the arts, learn, worship and to recreate. The District’s role in this transformation has been significant, thanks to a dedicated and passionate team of professionals that are responsible for managing, promoting and taking care of Downtown 24/7.
For twenty six years Robert M. Eury has served as President of Central Houston, Inc., a private, nonprofit corporation, formed to lead the planning and implementation of the redevelopment of Houston’s central city area, principally downtown. Mr. Eury is also the Executive Director of the Houston Downtown Management District, a special assessment district within downtown Houston.
Mr. Eury was Vice President and Director of Research Development for Rice Center prior to starting Central Houston in 1983. During his nine years with Rice Center, his research focused on land use/transportation joint development, urban services delivery, development regulation, and environmental design. Prior to joining Rice Center in 1974, Mr. Eury served as Director of Community Planning Studies for the Urban Studies Center, University of Louisville, Kentucky.
Jackie Traywick joined the Downtown District in October of 2012 as chief operating officer. Her responsibilities include management of the business operations for the organization focusing in the areas of finance, human resources and strategic planning.
Jackie brings more than 30 years of business experience having previously served as the Houston Astros Baseball Club's senior vice president of finance and administration and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans’ vice president and chief financial officer. In addition, she served for six years on the Downtown District board of directors and since 2009 served as treasurer and member of the executive committee. She currently serves on the board and on the finance committee of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She holds an MBA from Rice University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Denver. She is also a downtown resident.
Algenita is a native Houstonian, lawyer and member of Planning Commission under five Mayors. She received her undergraduate degree from Howard School of Business and JD from Howard’s Law School. Her professional career includes tax attorney with Shell Oil, followed by General Counsel for Port of Houston Authority for 10 years, then Texas Commerce Bank as Senior Vice President and Community Affairs Officer of JPMorgan Chase for 16 years.
Now "retired", Algenita is a Professor at Texas Southern University Schools of Business, Public Administration and Law in addition to her role at Central Houston. Volunteer roles include Founding President of the Houston Downtown Management District, Chair of the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation, Board Chair of Tax Zone 7, Vice Chair of Zone 9, Chair of two boards that constructed garages and dormitories of TSU, Chair of Houston Area Urban League and Past President, National Bar Association and Houston Lawyers Association among others.
Lonnie Hoogeboom joined the Downtown District in March 2010 and serves as Director of Planning & Design. Lonnie is involved in a broad range of urban projects, directly with Downtown’s public space and indirectly with private development sites. Past capital projects under his direction include the renovation of Market Square Park and Dallas Street Improvements. Current capital projects include the Main Street Improvements, Shopping District Streetscape Improvements, Vehicular Wayfinding Signage Refurbishment, and Pedestrian Wayfinding Improvements. Lonnie manages the Downtown Living Initiative, a residential development incentive program, with 3,600 units currently under construction or recently completed and another 1,900 units in development. Recent planning projects include the Mixed-use Retail Core Study, the Downtown / EaDo Livable Centers Study, and the Southern Downtown Public Realm Plan. Current planning projects include ThinkBike (part of the City’s Houston Bike Plan), Warehouse District Public Realm Plan, and the North Houston Highway Improvement Project.
Lonnie graduated from the Rice School of Architecture, receiving Bachelor of Arts (1991), Bachelor of Architecture (1994) and Master of Architecture (1996). He became a registered architect in 2001.
For the past ten years, Angie Bertinot has led the Downtown District’s marketing and retail efforts with an overarching goal to build the size of the audience that interacts with downtown and provide a positive downtown experience. In addition to developing quality materials such as Downtown Magazine, she has also led efforts to revitalize the Historic District including the redesign and ongoing management and programming of Market Square Park. Current projects are focused on building a shopping district at Main and Dallas, rolling out new branding and parking campaigns and launching a major temporary arts program in Main Street Square called Art Blocks.
Prior to the Downtown District, Angie was marketing director for MetroNational, a privately owned real estate development company. During her seven years there, her claim to fame was the $300 million redevelopment of Memorial City Mall, where she gained valuable experience in placemaking and retail development.
Angie holds a BA degree in Marketing from the University of Texas and lives in the Houston Heights neighborhood with her husband Jerry and dog Frisco.
For the past 15 years, Brett DeBord has worked for and with the Downtown District. Brett began his relationship with the District in 2000 through Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam as a Project Engineer assigned to the COH/District’s Cotswold Project which was a major streetscape improvement and utility project in the Historic District of Downtown. In 2008, Brett joined the District full time and continued his management of downtown construction projects such as Market Square Park and Caroline/Dallas/Crawford Streetscape Improvements. In 2011 Brett became the Director of Construction for the District and oversees all construction and beautification projects. Currently, Brett is overseeing the following projects: Shopping District Streetscape Improvements, Main Street Improvements, Allen Parkway Improvements, Vehicular Wayfinding Refurbishment, and Pedestrian Wayfinding.
Brett is a 1999 graduate of Lamar University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering and resides in The Woodlands, Texas with his wife Heather and daughters Madisyn and Presleigh.
Robert, Director of Economic Development for Central Houston Inc. is responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of strategies for business attraction, business retention and expansion programs for Downtown Houston. His day to day operational responsibilities including business planning, strategy, budgeting, business development functions, coordination and collaboration with community economic development partners to continue to advance Houston’s iconic Downtown as the premier global city and headquarters destination in the State of Texas.
Robert joined Central Houston Inc., after his tenure as the Assistant Director of Economic Development for the City of Sugar Land. With over 9 years of experience, he has served as Deputy Director of Economic Development for Merced County, California, Economic Development Specialist for the City of North Richland Hills, Texas, and Director of Economic Development for the Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce in Reedley, California. Throughout his career he has been fortunate to work with companies such as Schlumberger, Fluor Enterprises Inc., Minute Maid, Noble Drilling Services among others.
Robert holds a Master of Public Administration & Policy from California Lutheran University, earned his Bachelor of Science in Sociology with Criminal Justice Emphasis on Law from Abilene Christian University, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. Robert and his wife Andrea live in Houston and are the proud parents of their son Lucca.
Marie has 30 years of specialized experience managing and designing projects for public sector higher education, performing arts and civic clients. Her commitment to seeking and achieving highly satisfying outcomes on projects is born out of her desire to get the most out of the project delivery process and is motivated by her passion for design. She has worked on projects on both the owner side and in private practice. More recently with her own practice, Team Hoke, she worked on the George R Brown Renovation Projects, Avenida Houston and the selection and installation of several key public art projects for Houston First Corporation and Sam Houston State University.
Marie graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a Bachelors of Archictecture degree. She serves on the boards of AIA Houston, Rice Design Alliance and Institute for Leadership in Capital Planning.
For the past 23 years, Scott Finke has worked in Operations for the Houston Downtown Management District. He started as a quality control manager reporting issues that negatively affect the downtown experience of employees and visitors of downtown. Currently he manages day to day operations including the Street Team Program, the District’s Curbside Trash Program. and assists will the formulation of the Operations budget. Scott also interfaces with the City of Houston 311 System and the Metropolitan Transit Authority to continue to improve conditions of the streets and sidewalks within the District.
Scott holds a BBA in Management from Texas A&M University and resides in Spring with his two children, Adam and Meredith.
For the past two years, James Kennedy has worked as the Operations Manager for the Houston Downtown Management District. James oversees operation of the Houston Downtown Public Safety Guide Program, along with Emergency Coordinator that works with partnering agencies to support emergency planning for Downtown. Additionally, James works with homeless service providers to provide outreach to those individuals in need of social services. Prior to joining the Downtown District James worked as an assistant manager for The Parking Spot, and co-manager for Wal-mart for seven years.
James holds a B.B.A. in Management from Texas Southern University, and a Master’s in General Business from the University of Phoenix.
Starting January of 2016, Keith joined the Houston Downtown Management District in the new position of Quality Control Manager. He is responsible for reviewing the work of contractors that provide service for litter removal, fountain maintenance, irrigation maintenance and landscaping.
Previously, Keith was Project Manager for ABM, who managed the Street Team that is responsible for cleaning the sidewalks and curbsides of Downtown Houston.
Keith holds a bachelors degree from the University of Houston in Business Management and resides in Houston with his wife Sara and three boys Cameron, Wyatt, and Sean.
Joe works with the Construction and Capital Projects team. He oversees large and small construction projects, and supports the Houston Downtown Management District and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.
Prior to the Downtown District, Joe has held various construction-related positions in business development, project management and engineering design for KBR, AMCOL, USA Slide and Walter P Moore.
Joe holds a bachelors and masters degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech and resides in the Memorial Heights neighborhood.
For the past three years, Jacqueline has embraced The District’s visionary goals to create a more vibrant and comprehensive downtown. She has played a key role in various neighborhood planning efforts and realized several Downtown Capital Improvement projects in her time at The District. She continues to maintain a strong collaborative effort with partnering organizations and consultants.
In May of 2013 Jacqueline graduated from Texas Tech University with a Master of Architecture degree, and a Graduate Certificate in Urban and Community Design Studies. After graduation she joined The Downtown District where she has become a critical component to the Planning Department.
With more than 15 years leadership in marketing, administration and programming, Laurette Cañizares is an accomplished project management executive with extensive experience in event production and operations. She has generated an impressive portfolio of unique and sustainable concepts in tourism, advocacy and non profit.
When Laurette was part of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau’s award-winning marketing team, she successfully directed events that positioned Houston as a leisure destination. Managing the Houston Museum District gave Laurette the opportunity to create and produce programming that promoted the year-round resources available to visitors and residents.
She practices her passion by collaborating with local arts groups to curate programming that specializes in experiential learning and conceptual art.
Laurette graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Boston University class of 2002.
For the past two years, Nicole Marin has proudly served as the Marketing Coordinator for the Downtown District. While she wears many hats including website management, the production of 2 weekly e-newsletters, assisting in the development and implementation of new branding and parking campaigns, as well as many other assignments, her strength lies in social media management and other digital marketing efforts. During her time at the Downtown District, Nicole has increased the number of Facebook likes by over 60%, Twitter followers by over 230% and Instagram followers by over 245%, while simultaneously increasing the level of engagement with each of the three audiences.
Prior to working for the Downtown District, Nicole spent time as a Marketing Representative for TIRR Memorial Hermann, a Marketing Specialist for Bullpen Marketing, and a Marketing Assistant at the downtown mixed-use property, Houston Pavilions, now known as GreenStreet.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of Incarnate Word Academy in Downtown Houston.
With a background in multicultural marketing, Stefanie is an experienced advertising professional whose experience spans building brands and delivering results across Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) businesses for the general and U.S. Hispanic markets. Prior to joining the Downtown District, Stefanie led shopper marketing efforts for Unilever brands including Breyers, Knorr, Dove, Country Crock, Hellman’s, and Lipton, in New York.
Stefanie is passionate about brand development and storytelling and in her role as Marketing Coordinator, she manages the website, provides creative content writing, manages social media strategy for Historic Market Square and supports events. As a native Houstonian, she hopes to effect positive change in perceptions of Downtown Houston through effective storytelling and communication.
Stefanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and Spanish Language Teaching from the University of Texas at Austin.
Will S. Matthews combines his insights and knowledge gleaned from over 10 years working with some of Houston’s most important social, corporate, and non-profit institutions. In 2006, he began with the Houston Real Estate Association, where he managed more than 300 financial members. Will quickly established himself as a leader in non-profit management through his work at Neighborhood Centers, where he led efforts to bring together corporate entities to solve pressing social problems.
In his current role with Central Houston, Inc., Will is helping companies large and small build a stronger Houston presence. He is a passionate community advocate and spends his time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Leadership Houston, and a host of other civic and social service clubs. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. Will is an author, with his most recent books focusing on personal finance and event strategy.
An economist with varied experience in market research and international development in Pacific island countries, the US, Nigeria and India, Uchenna joined Central Houston in May 2016 in the new position of Research Manager. In this role, she will help promote economic development in downtown through research and analysis of economic and social drivers of a thriving downtown, as well as measurement and reporting on up-to- date socio-economic indicators of downtown.
Prior to joining Central Houston, Uchenna spent the last two years as an economist with an international development organization based in Fiji Islands, where she advised ministers, policymakers and the private sector in Pacific island countries on energy and transport issues. She has also served as a graduate consultant for UNICEF, and a market research analyst at an e-commerce firm in New York. She has written several reports that have driven policy change at national and international levels, including co-authoring a World Bank report on maritime transport and a UNICEF consultancy report that was referenced in the UN Secretary General’s International Solidarity Report.
Uchenna holds a Master’s degree in Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Smith College.
Since April of 2015, Katrina has served as Transportation Planning Manager for Central Houston, Inc., seeking to ease congestion by increasing multi-modal access for those who live, work, and play downtown. In addition to organizing METRO's New Bus Network outreach at downtown employment centers, coordinating with TxDOT, the City of Houston, and other stakeholders on the proposed North Houston Highway Improvement Project, she remains focused on providing the public with accessible information about the many transportation options available downtown.
Katrina Bayer spent seven years immersed in air quality and transportation planning at the Houston-Galveston Area Council where she facilitated the inception of six suburban park and ride services, a car share service, and the acquisition of three heavy-duty buses. Katrina also established the regional Transit Fleet Expansion Program governing the dispersal of $18 million in funding for Transit Vehicle Procurement.
Katrina holds a BA in Economics with a focus on Public Policy from Trinity University, where she had the privilege of studying with Dr. Richard Butler who ignited her passion for behavioral economics.
Before joining the Central Houston and Downtown District teams, Aide gained valuable government experience interning on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at the district office of a Texas state representative through the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy.
A native Houstonian, she graduated from the University of Houston in 2013 with a BA in political science and minors in Mexican American studies and global & international studies. While there, she was involved in several organizations including the National Political Science Honor Society, the Terry Foundation Student Organization and the H.O.P.E. Collaborative where she served as Scholarship Coordinator and Communications Chair.