President & CEO
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 1,100 acres of Memorial Park to the Conservancy. Shellye and the Conservancy leadership team grew the organization from 3 employees to over 50 and from a $500K annual budget to over $30M in operating and capital annual spend. In 2018 the Conservancy announced the largest private donation in the history of the Houston parks system which established a $205 million public-private partnership commitment for Memorial Park’s capital campaign and secured maintenance and operations funding for the Park. This forged a project partnership between the Conservancy, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the Kinder Foundation and Uptown Development Authority to accelerate the delivery of a significant portion of the Master Plan by 2028. She and her team have also delivered additional Park improvements including the planting of over 100,000 trees/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 nearly 20 years at Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer Corporation and 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 Peru 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 School of Public and International Affairs. As a native Houstonian, Shellye cares deeply about our parks, bayous, green spaces and the wildlife that inhabit them. Shellye volunteers in animal rescue and served for 8 years as a leader for Girl Scout Troop 21, the nation’s only special needs Girl Scout troop.