Casey Jordan joined TDHP as our executive director in February 2020. Casey graduated from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture with a Master of Science in Historic Preservation in 2009. She has worked on preservation projects that include President Lincoln’s Cottage, historic Texas cemeteries, the Texas Governor’s Mansion, and the Alamo, as well as several projects for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Before her career in preservation, she worked in non-profit art centers as an education director. Raised in an Air Force family, Casey has lived all over the country but counts Texas as her home. When she’s not out discovering dance halls, she spends time with her husband, three daughters, and two step-kids.
Deb Fleming served as the president of the Board of Directors for Texas Dance Hall Preservation from 2014–2017 and became TDHP’s first executive director in June 2017. Deb is the current business/tour manager for five-time Grammy Nominee and 10-time Blues Music Award winner Marcia Ball and her international tour band, based in Austin, Texas. Deb migrated into the music business after a 20+-year tenure as a healthcare executive running large risk-management companies in Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia. In 2005, she bought and managed a 1200-person-capacity live music venue just east of Austin, before being recruited by Ball. A fifth-generation Texan and San Antonio native, Deb discovered her long Texas lineage on a dance hall visit to Panna Maria, and thus began her love and interest in the historic halls.
TDHP Board and Advisory Board Members, 2017
(front row, L to R): Sam Seifert (for Ray Benson), Charles John, Steve Ray; (back row, L to R): Cynthia Inman, Jo Nell Haas, Deb Fleming, Linda Henderson, Steph McDougal, Kelley Russell.
Board of Directors
Kelley Russell (President)
Growing up in Houston, this almost- native Texan didn’t discover her love of dancing and dance halls until she moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where she studied archeology and anthropology. After graduation, Kelley worked as an archeologist, with projects that took her all over the state, exposing her to Texas’ unique cultural history. Through her travels, Kelley’s interest began to shift “above ground.” Her love of Texas history and architecture eventually led her back to UT, where she received her MS in Historic Preservation. Kelley is currently an architectural historian and historian for an engineering firm in Austin. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, Franklin; listening to live music; road trips, dancing, and continuing the search to find the perfect pair of boots.
Texas Music Office Program Specialist Steve Ray administers the TMO License Plate Grant program, the TMO internship program, and the day-to-day office operations. Additionally Steve heads up the TMO’s music history program, including developing a Texas Music Trails program that promotes music history tourism around the state. He is co-owner of both a 1953 Art Deco movie theater and a 1960s era drive-in restaurant in north Texas.
Josh Conrad is a historic preservation consultant with HHM & Associates in Austin and has worked as a preservationist in Texas since 2010. He specializes in developing new preservation data management and analysis systems. He is currently a doctoral student in the University of Texas School of Architecture.
Marie Oehlerking-Read is a historic preservation specialist and architectural designer for Komatsu Architecture in Fort Worth, where she helps Texas counties their historic courthouses. Marie’s love for Texas history and its music started from a young age due in large part to her dad who always had country music on the radio and made sure she saw every major historic site in the state. Marie holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the UT Arlington and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from UT. Previously, Marie worked for Texas Main Street, a program of the Texas Historical Commission in Austin. At Main Street, Marie traveled the state to assist historic building and small business owners in the rehabilitation of their unique places.
Steph McDougal is the founder of McDoux Preservation, a data-driven, community-driven historic preservation consulting practice in Houston, Texas. She holds a Master’s degree in Technical and Scientific Communication from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Texas at Austin, where her thesis explored the construction technology of Texas’ “round” dance halls. Steph is currently pursuing a PhD in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the author of Lighthouses of Texas (Arcadia Publishing, 2014) and was a very minor contributor to The Buildings of Texas, Volume One (Society of Architectural Historians, 2013). A swing dancer since the 1990s, Steph loves lindy hop, jump blues, and urban ballrooms of the big-band era.
Clellan Hyatt brings a unique amalgamation of skill sets, blending the worlds of finance and music. As a Private Wealth Advisor with e3 Wealth, he currently holds his Series 7, 63, & 65 Securities Licenses and various State Life and Health Insurance Licenses. Clellan is also the co-owner of Lauritzen & Hyatt Business Management LLC, an Austin based music business management firm servicing national and global musical artists. Musically, he is a professional drummer that plays with Emily Wolfe, Otis the Destroyer and endorses Q Drum Co., Dream Cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks. A native Texan, Clellan currently resides in Austin with his wife Kelley and their Siamese cat, Nefertiti.
With more than 40 years of experience as an architect, Charles John, AIA, has been involved with an array of building types with a specialization in the restoration and renovation of historic properties. His historic preservation projects make bold statements about the history of a significant place, and his adaptive reuse projects have led to the transformation of urban spaces by renewing their economic vitality, restoring their architectural character, and re-establishing their place in the historic context of the urban fabric of a city. He has received several awards for his preservation projects. Charles has spent time with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was on the Boards of the San Antonio Conservation Society and Mission Heritage Partners, served for 12 years on the Bexar County Historical Commission, and currently serves on the Board of Preservation Texas, and the Power of Preservation Foundation.
For over a decade, owner Natalie Roberts has been helping residential home builders, and community and civic organizations build social strategies that engage and deepen relationships with their brand. She brings a wealth of knowledge beneficial to both private, public and non-profit organizations of any size.
Her unique expertise spans community and civic relationship building, large- and -small scale branding, unique project selling proposition, social media, product design and selection, concept planning, sales staffing and more.
With more than 20 years of marketing experience in the real estate industry, Tracy Rohrbacher transitioned to tourism in 2013 and currently holds a marketing position with a Houston-area convention and visitors bureau. She creates and curates content for marketing channels geared toward leisure travel, in addition to event planning. Rohrbacher earned the Certified Tourism Executive (CTE) designation by Texas Travel Industry Association and the Texas Destination Marketer (TDM) certification by the Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2017. A native Houstonian, Rohrbacher is also an active volunteer with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
At a towering 6’7”, Philadelphia-born Ray Benson is considered a giant in the industry, but his contributions to music history, not his height, have made him a dominant figure on the music scene since 1970. As the frontman and founder of the world-renowned Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel, Ray has overseen the release of more than 25 albums, toured more than 150 dates each year, and won 10 GRAMMY™ Awards. He has been honored as the official Texas State Musician (2004) and Texan of the Year (2011) and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association; the NAMM Foundation’s Les Paul Award for Technical Excellence & Creativity (2008); and the Texas Medal of the Arts Award for Multimedia (2011). As a producer, Ray has worked with such artists as Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, Aaron Neville, Aaron Watson, and Suzy Bogguss, to name a few. Benson is an active advocate and founding board member for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) and also serves on the St. David’s Foundation Board. He is the author of the 2015 memoir, Comin’ Right at Ya: How a Jewish Yankee Hippie Went Country, or, the Often Outrageous History of Asleep at the Wheel. Currently, Ray hosts “Austin Outer Limits,” a bi-weekly segment on Sirius XM’s “Willie’s Roadhouse,” featuring hand-picked songs from all kinds of genres from his personal collection.
Jason Mellard is the Director of the Center for Texas Music History and Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Texas State University in San Marcos. He is the co-editor of The Journal of Texas Music History, general editor of the John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music History with Texas A & M University Press, and author of Progressive Country: How the 1970s Transformed the Texan in Popular Culture.
Your kind and generous help makes it possible for us to work directly with dance hall owners to provide technical assistance, workshops, grants for building repairs, and other resources. Please become a TDHP Member and make a donation today.