MEET THE TEAM
Liz joined Ryson in 2013 after many years in property management in Galveston and New Mexico. Liz is a BOI, growing up on a ranch on the west end of the island on Galveston Bay. She received her real estate license in 2006 and graduated from Galveston Community College in 2010 with an associate degree. Liz is involved in women’s resource and crisis centers and is a member of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce C-Crewe and is a Certified Tourism Ambassador. Liz and her husband have a passion for traveling. One of their favorite recent travels was a three-week road trip through Ireland, England, and Scotland. They also enjoy music and the arts; producing radio shows on local radio stations and frequenting art shows and concerts.
Martha joined Ryson in 2013 after a long career in banking and many years spent living in Costa Rica. Martha and her husband moved to Galveston over 30 years ago with their two sons, eventually adding a BOI daughter to the mix. Martha is a Certified Tourism Ambassador for Galveston. She loves to spend time with her children and grandchildren, going to their various school and sporting events, and hosting everyone at her home. Martha also loves to travel anywhere warm as well as attending concerts and festivals. During the summer you can find her floating her day away under the sun in the pool.
Tausha started with Ryson in January of 2011 as a Reservationist and moved into the Owner Liaison position in March 2018. Prior to working at Ryson, Tausha was a Flight Attendant, did accounting work for a helicopter company and has over 20 years of administrative experience. Although Tausha wasn't actually born on the island, her mom was and raised Tausha here most of her life. She love spending time with her fiancé (Matt), her daughter (Gia), and her mom (Nana), and her little dog (Sugarbaby). She loves to fish and enjoys her free time with her family and friends.
Property Acquisition Manager
Christine joined Ryson Vacation Rentals in February 2013, bringing over 20 years of real estate brokerage and mortgage brokerage experience to Ryson. A graduate of Texas A&M University, licensed real estate broker, and a Certified Tourism Ambassador, Christine appreciates all aspects of the hospitality industry. Christine began in the reservations department, worked as an assistant manager of vacation rentals and now is the property acquisition manager. Helping owners make the best decision for their investment property is her specialty. Christine enjoys eating at Galveston’s unique restaurants, volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America, and shopping local estate sales to uncover some of Galveston’s lost treasures.
Acquisitions Administrative Assistant
Julie joined the Ryson family in January 2020, after recently retiring as a Senior Administrative Secretary with almost 30 years of service at University of Texas Medical Branch. At UTMB Julie was responsible for grant support and ordering supplies for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department. Julie grew up on the East End of the Island and earned her Associate's Degree from Galveston College. She is from a family of nine, which includes a fraternal twin brother. Julie is married, has three children, three grandchildren and a big dog named Leo. Leo is half Rottweiler and half Standard Poodle. Julie loves music, drawing, baseball (die hard Astros fan), walking on the seawall and she loves the island life!
Marketing & Content Manager
Mandy joined the Ryson Vacation Rental team in February 2019, but has been working in the island's vacation rental industry since 2013 and has been in the hospitality industry most of her life, as her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents ran motels, restaurants, bars and a restaurant supply store in Wisconsin. Mandy is a licensed Texas real estate agent, Certified Tourism Ambassador, Certified Tax Preparer, has completed courses in marketing, business, programming, networking, organic SEO, keyword search and received her degree in Interactive Media and Web Design from the Art Institute of Dallas and The Art Institute International of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Mandy is originally from Wisconsin, but she and her husband moved to the island from Dallas, Texas in 2013, where she worked for Hilton Worldwide, American Airlines, AT&T and Google. Mandy has a Rottweiler, German Sheppard, a cat, three grandchildren (Daisy, Clarkson & Garrett) and a daughter (Alexia), who graduated magna cum laude from one of the top Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management programs in the US and one of the oldest HRTM programs in the world, University of Wisconsin Stout, a polytechnic university. Mandy enjoys friends, family, traveling, the beach, music, art, photography, roller skating and trying new vegan foods.
Videographer & Content Creator
Thomas joined the Ryson team in February 2020 after moving to Galveston in the summer of 2019. He has over 5 years of experience in video production ranging from YouTube comedy sketches to writer and producer of a student television show. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Howard Payne University in 2017 and graduated with a Masters degree in Media Studies from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 2019. He met his wife Amy in grade school in their hometown of Early, Texas and they married in the summer of 2017. Thomas enjoys watching movies, playing video games, making music, and hanging out with his wife and their little dogs, Zorro and Davis.
Haley began her journey with Ryson in 2020 after graduating from Texas Tech University, December 2019. She earned her Bachelors in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management and specialized in lodging management. Currently, she is working on her master's degree in hospitality administration at the University of North Texas. Haley comes from a background of upscale resorts but has had the opportunity to cross train in many areas of the hospitality industry including culinary arts and bar management. Through Texas Tech, she had the chance to work at Walt Disney World Resort, Marriott International, and work alongside Food Network Star, Chef Daramis Phillips - creating a 5 course wine pairing benefit dinner. Haley is originally from Springtown, TX, a small town west of Fort Worth. She is a proud Alumna of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and in her free time enjoys volunteering at the local Ronald McDonald House, playing guitar, traveling, and spending time with her Yorkie, Bear, and her Siamese cat, Ellie.
Guest Services Manager
April F. joined Ryson two days before Hurricane Harvey after transferring with her husband from Austin, TX. April is an IBC, Islander by Choice, and loves waking every morning to see the beautiful sunrises coming over the Gulf. April volunteers for organizations such as Alzheimer's Association and DBSA. In October of 2018 April became a Certified Tourism Ambassador for Galveston Island and utilizes this when checking in our wonderful guests. April also enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 dogs walking on the beach, reading, and watching historical dramas.
Maria joined the Ryson team in May of 2018. Maria invested many years in the Hospitality Industry as a Supervisor but put a pause on her career to be a full time mom. After dedicating her time to her children, she decided to get back into the swing of things and has been a part of the team ever since. Maria loves to spend most of her time outdoors with her husband and boys, dinner dates with her girlfriends, and crafting.
CJai joined Ryson Vacation Rentals in May of 2020 as a Guest Service Agent, bringing over 20 years of Customer Service to Ryson. CJai is a BOI and has 3 beautiful children that she is raising here on the Island. She enjoys eating out at Galveston’s local restaurants and shops. Her favorite spot on the Island is Shrimp N Stuff and every time she goes she gets the fried bread pudding. In her free time, she loves to cook with her kids or cuddle up with a nice good book.
Alejandra joined the Ryson team in May of 2020 as Guest Service Agent. Alejandra has 17 years of customer service experience. She has been married for 16 years with two handsome boys and a beautiful girl and has a dog named Buck and a cat named Darth. Alejandra has lived on the island for 27 years and enjoys fishing with her family. Her favorite local place to eat is “The Spot” on the Seawall and she loves going on the Galveston duck tour to explore the island. When guests come in from out of town, she takes them to the beach and out to eat at Bennos for some delicious seafood. She believes Galveston’s best kept secret is the Historical Homes located in downtown Galveston.
Reservation Sales Manager
Ellen began her Ryson career in February of 2013 after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Maritime Studies and minor in Anthropology from Texas A&M in 2012. (Whoop!) Ellen is a member of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce "C-Crewe" and is a Certified Tourism Ambassador. She is a Daughter of the Republic of Texas and enjoys volunteering with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Some of Ellen's favorite activities include spending time with family and friends including her 4-legged best friend (a Labrador named Bell), enjoying nightlife and tourism attractions on Galveston Island, 2-Stepping the night away, road trips, fishing, "whooping" for her Aggies, and "rooting" for the Astros. Ellen has currently re-discovered her life and is enjoying every minute of it!
Assistant Reservation Sales Manager
Christi started with Ryson Vacation Rentals in February of 2019. Previously she worked with investors; handling complete renovations, wholesales, short-term and long-term rentals since 2015, and she is also a Certified Tourism Ambassador. Christi's family came to Galveston in the early 1900's, and she has lived in Galveston County her entire life. Christi has three daughters and a dog named Tootie, and in her free time she likes to cook and spend time with her girls being adventurous or just being "beach bums" in the summer.
Chris started with Ryson in early 2018 after moving with his wife from Fort Worth in 2017. Chris is originally from Temple, Texas and grew up in New Mexico. He attended New Mexico Military Institute and the University of Texas at Austin. Chris is involved in environmental protection and animal welfare groups, and is a Certified Tourism Ambassador. Chris and his wife enjoy quiet nights watching the sunset over West Galveston Bay with their cat, Chairman Meow.
Mary Jo joined the Ryson Vacation Rental team in February 2019, and most of her earlier career involved radio, newspaper and magazine advertising sales. As a CTA, Mary Jo enjoys finding the perfect property for our guests, helping them create the perfect vacation for their family and assisting them in all the choices of Ryson's in-house concierge service, Gulf Coast Concierge, has to offer. This Minnesota native recently moved to Galveston in 2016 and is enjoying the beaches and much warmer weather our island has to offer, but Mary Jo says she's still trying to adapt to saltwater fishing.
Angela joined the Ryson Vacation Rental team in February 2019. She has over 16 years experience in the hospitality industry and has worked at many restaurants and hotels on the island. Angela is a Galveston native. She graduated from Ball High School and Galveston College. She loves learning about the history of our unique island and officially became a CTA in 2019. Angela is a proud wife and football mom. She's her oldest son, Bryce's #1 fan in all the sports he participates in, including playing for the back to back Superbowl Championship team, Texas City Stings, where he received Defensive MVP (2018-2019). In 2018 Angela became the mother to another adorable baby boy, Sonny. She spends most of her free time with her two sons and husband, their family, attending concerts with her three lifelong best friends and traveling as much as possible.
Gulf Coast Concierge Director
Shawna has worked with Ryson Vacation Rentals for three years. She has six years experience in hotels, time shares and vacation rentals and has a lot of previous experience in the food and beverage industry. In addition to running Ryson's in-house Gulf Coast Concierge, you'll often find Shawna managing interior design and staging projects. Shawna currently lives on the island, but is originally from Mont Belieu, Texas. She has a daughter and is engaged to be married, and in her free time Shawna loves to spend time at the beach and boating with her family.
Operations - Dispatch Manager
Linette was born and raised in Galveston. She has 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. She has worked with Ryson for 4 years as front desk, and most recently, dispatch. She loves to cook and bake, read and spend time with family and friends.
Operations - Maintenance Manager
Bryan has been in the real estate industry for over 18 years as a Realtor, Property Management Company owner, builder and real estate developer. He sold his company in 2010 and moved to Galveston to take a position as Director of Business Development for NRG's Home Services division in Houston for 4 years. Always loving the hospitality side of the business, he experienced a steep learning curve running a Bed & Breakfast in Virginia Beach. (If you ever wanted to own a B&B, ask him first) He then had the fantastic opportunity to become an Operations Manager with Ryson Vacation Rentals right after hurricane Harvey. He lives in Jamaica Beach with his beautiful wife and new dog BoBo. For fun he likes to cook, fish, and drive his wife crazy.
Maintenance Assistant Manager
Josh previously joined Ryson in November 2017, then in December 2018, he left Ryson to start up his own handyman business, and once Covid-19 impacted the nation in March 2020, his work slowed down so he accepted the maintenance manager position with Ryson in June 2020. Josh has been happily married to his best friend, Andrea, for going on 9 years now. He has 2 beautiful daughters, Emmalee and Sophia. He has 2 older female dogs, Charlie a German shepherd, and Cricket, a little Chiweenie. Josh’s favorite attraction on the island is the beach of course. He drove over 700 miles with his family away from the desert, red dirt and mesquite bushes to enjoy the magnificent view of the Gulf of Mexico. If you are looking for a peaceful quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of town, Josh recommends staying somewhere on the west end of Galveston, where you will find quiet little neighborhoods, really nice people and plenty of open beach to enjoy. In his spare time, he enjoys doing woodwork, flying stunt kites, spending the day on the beach and spending time with his dad, who just recently moved to Galveston.
Operations - Property Care Manager
Donzell joined Ryson in January of 2018 with 5 years of previous hospitality experience with hotels and vacation rentals. He graduated from Ball High in 2011, graduated from College of the Mainland, became a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) in 2013, earned his associate's degree in Marketing and a certificate of Revenue Management from eCornell in 2014. He was born on the island (BOI) and has three boys, a beautiful wife and two dogs, named Sadie and Spot. Donzell’s family enjoys visiting the Houston Zoo, going to Astros games, Moody Gardens, taking family trips to San Antonio, Dallas and Beaumont to visit family. Donzell also enjoys cooking, fishing and has been a volunteer football little league coach.
Property Care Administrative Assistant
Sheryl joined Ryson in June 2020 as the Property Care Admin, bringing 40 years of technical writing from the oil & gas industry. She likes to fish, her husband of 25 years Ray took her on a fishing trip for their first date. She has a son named Jay and while Jay was in school (all 12 years) she was always on the PTA board. A couple of positions Sheryl held were President and Treasurer. After Jay graduated, people worried about her having something to fill her time because she did it for so long. Sheryl’s favorite event in Galveston is Mardi Gras. She started attending Mardi Gras the first year Galveston had it and loved it. The last few years her and her husband had the opportunity to ride on the Ryson float during the parade and participated in throwing beads. Sheryl also enjoys the Galveston Duck Tour. She does the Duck Tour in every city she visits if they offer the attraction.
Denisa joined Ryson in Febuary 2018 and already had over ten years of vacation rental industry experience. Prior to vacation rentals, Denisa worked in the restaurant business for 25 years as an area General Manager. Denisa moved from Asheville, North Carolina to Galveston in 2009, but also lived on the island back in the 70's and attended Ball High. Denisa has three kids, five grand-kids and two cats. She loves art, painting, poetry, and and cooking.
Laura joined the Ryson team in January 2014. Before moving to the island after becoming a single parent, Laura lived and worked in Fort Worth, Texas. She worked with a property manager there for 10 years as a Leasing Agent and eventually the District Director. While raising her daughter, she received her nursing license and specialized in IV therapy and and extensive wound care. After almost 20 years, Laura decided to change career and started with Ryson in the Reservations Department, and eventually she decided to move to the Operations Department. Since working at Ryson Laura has received her real estate license, is a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) and plans to get her home inspector license next. Laura is blessed with her daughter, who is a teacher at Santa Fe High School, and two beautiful grandchildren. Laura loves challenges, fishing, playing Texas hold 'em, and spending time with her daughter and grand-kids.
Helen joined the Ryson team in March 2018. Helen is a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) and brought with her over 20 years in guest service, switchboard and housekeeping experience. Helen has lived on the island over 30 years and considers it to be home. She has three sons: James, Jason and Justin, eleven grand-kids and a little dog, Safari, and most of her free time is dedicated to her grand-kids and Safari.
Kassie joined Ryson Vacation Rentals team in 2018 after she moved to the island in 2017 from Dickinson, Texas, where she grew up. Kassie's favorite place to be, is on the beach, enjoying the Texas heat, with her two kids, Ava and Jr. Kassie says, "Galveston has attached itself to my heart and became home to my kids and I, all while Ryson has become my family!"
Ryson Housekeeping Director
Jacqueline joined the Ryson team in the summer of 2017. Jacqueline loves working with all the different departments within the office. She works one on one with homeowners to improve and maintain Ryson’s properties year-round. In addition, she tries her best to ensure the overall quality of the guest experience. When Jacqueline is not working, she enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children and husband. She has a huge heart and is very close to her family. Jacqueline loves the outdoors, her hobbies include jet skiing, fishing, concerts, roller skating and her favorite is going to the beach.