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Rodeo Time Again For These CRE Pros

It takes more than a village to run the $475M economic engine that is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR). More than 32,000 volunteers fill the 108 committees that handle everything from directing traffic to conducting the llama and alpaca shows (fact: llamas are better livestock guards than any other animal). Here’s a look at some Houston commercial real estate pros who don their western wear to volunteer at the HLSR.

As if merging another firm into Lee & Associates hasn’t kept managing principal Chris Lewis busy enough, he’s in full rodeo swing as a member of the Breeders Greeters Committee. He says the 700-person committee involves 24-hours-a-day logistics coordination across citywide locations. He’s been volunteering for 15 years and loves working with the FFA and 4H kids, and the vast group of new friends (“it’s like a large family”) he’s made is an added bonus. Chris is leading the integration of the 17 brokers from TNRG who joined Lee in December 2015.

JLL VP of office brokerage services Ryan Barbles grew up attending the HLSR and tells us it was only a matter of time before he became a volunteer. He committed to the cause in 2010 and is currently a captain on the Mutton Bustin’ Committee and is on the Grand Entry Committee. His favorite part about rodeo season is volunteering, since there’s a committee for everyone’s interests and Ryan has seen how scholarship recipients are forever changed from their rodeo experience. A true country fan, Ryan says George Strait’s final rodeo performance in 2013 was his favorite by far. Here he is with wife Casey.

Kids (and kids at heart) are what have always drawn NAI account manager for industrial services Alisha Renshaw to the Rodeo. She’s been an HLSR life member since 2003 and was a founding member of the Gatekeepers Committee, where she became a division chairman. She’s been active on the Special Children’s Committee for 10 years, and captain of the Howdy Events/Parade Committee for five years. She tells us she’s always enjoyed volunteering and giving back to her hometown, and that after a tough day, seeing the smiling children of all ages at the HLSR makes it all worthwhile. Here she is with daughter Catherine.

Streetwise Retail Advisors VP Elliott Bridger is in it for the kids too. He’s been volunteering on the Mutton Bustin’ Committee for nine years, and got involved because he had so much fun watching the kids light up when they got to ride the sheep. It’s still his favorite thing about the HLSR. Elliott may even let son William, shown here, ride in a couple of years. Back at his paying gig, Elliott is busy representing AT&T with its retail expansion in Houston and surrounding areas.

Lee & Associates director Jill Nesloney started her volunteer stint in 2012 to expand her network. Since working with the Breeders Greeters Committee, she’s been able to see the impact of the rodeo on Houston, across the state and in surrounding states. The reach is great for Jill, since she's marketing a full floor at the River Oaks Bank Building; she recently wrapped several renewals and expansions at 520 Post Oak and 12603 Southwest Freeway. Back at the rodeo, Jill’s counting down the days until the Miranda Lambert concert.

Chase Cribbs, another Lee & Associates director, is passionate about the livestock portion of the HLSR. He’s been on the Judging Contest Committee for seven years, helping with intercollegiate and 4H/FFA contests. He says he likes that he’s been able to see competitors grow up from year to year. When he’s not judging, his favorite events to watch are mutton bustin’ and bull riding. Chase moved to Lee as part of the TNRG absorption; he’s working on site selection for a new concrete batch plant in northeast Houston.

When people lose items (or kids) at the HLSR, the Directions & Assistance Committee steps in. Satterfield & Pontikes Construction marketing director Alayne Bryant is vice chair of the committee; she’s been a volunteer since 2002. She originally volunteered to meet new people—cute cowboys specifically. She recently judged scholarship applications and met previous scholarship recipients. The connection to kids’ stories and seeing them overcome hardship has since inspired Alayne and her husband to become champion buyers at the Junior Market auctions. Here are Alayne and husband Warren (center) with their poultry buying group.