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Museum Staff Directory

Melissa Williams Murphy
Executive Director

Phone: (409) 632-7686

Mary Lou Hollender
Director of Development 

Phone: (409) 220-3223

Favorite artifact: I love the Onderdonk still life painting of the smashed ripe watermelon and bees because it is so real that you can tell how sweet and juicy the fruit is and hear the bees buzzing when you look at it. The light is soft and inviting, the colors vibrant, and the sultry summertime ambiance surrounds the viewer.

Peter Ochoa

Peter Ochoa
Director of Events 

Phone: (409) 220-3021

Favorite artifact: I love the Jeweled Ames Sword presented to Capt. Allen Lowd in 1846. It’s embellished with a Sapphire on the handle and a large Amethyst on the tip of the handle (my birthstone). I also love the 1920’s sombrero with the embroidered Indian profile.

Richard Farnsworth
Senior Events Coordinator

Favorite artifact: I am passionate about The Museum because art changes everything. The 17th Century Mesquite Cross in the Spanish Colonial Gallery is most intriguing.

Dallas Bean
Financial Controller 

Phone: (409) 220-3465

Favorite artifact: The Tom Lea sketch in the Texas Masters Gallery that was used to design the etched bowl displayed with it. The sketch shows an example of the work and planning that goes behind art as we see it in its final form.

Tony Alves

Tony Alves
Director of Marketing and Membership

Phone: (409) 497-4209

Favorite artifact:  Do I have to pick only one?  I’ll narrow it down to two objects.  My first time coming to The Bryan, I was mesmerized by the Battle of San Jacinto diorama.  The amount of detail and intricacy is very impressive.  I could only imagine how long it took to build.  My second favorite has to be the sword that captured Santa Anna.  Sometimes when I’m walking through the galleries I hear a museum visitor gasp for a second not knowing that we have the sword in our collection.

Wardah Ajaz
Marketing Manager 

Phone: (409) 220-3255

Favorite artifact: The Mother-of-Pearl Chest that carried a Spanish Royal Grant for California lands. The history behind the chest is fascinating and the chest is covered with mother-of-pearl and the borders are tortoise shell!

Jessica Shofner
Development Associate & Events Coordinator

Phone: (409) 497-2505

Favorite artifact: Black Pioneers on a Western Landscape (1986) by John Cloeman
There is something about Cloeman’s style and use of color that brings me a sense of comfort and familiarity. It reminds of my childhood, when my family and I would read Tar Beach together.

Rebecca Diaz-Arrastia
Director of Volunteers and Guest Services 

Phone: (409) 220-3218

Favorite artifact: The Escudo de Monja because they are beautiful examples of 18th century Spanish art and are interesting in that they represent women in art and in the church.

Rocky Herrin
Facilities and Asset Protection Director

Phone: (409) 220-3090

Favorite artifact: The three Andy Warhol paintings. My wife and I love his approach to pop culture.

Kate Gray

Phone: (409) 632-7685

Favorite artifact: Mission Bell in the Spanish Colonial Gallery – the beautiful tone creates the hushed atmosphere of the missions. It engages your hearing – one additional sense. And it comes as a bit of a surprise as you walk around.

Evelyn Bueno

Evelyn Bueno
Collections Assistant

Phone: (409) 632-7687

Favorite artifact: The Battle of San Jacinto diorama because it shows one of the most important battles fought by the Mexican Army and American Army. This battle dictated the victory and the independence of Texas.

Jana Garcia
Retail Manager

Phone: (409) 220-3025

Favorite artifact: I think my favorite thing in the museum is the fireplace in the lobby. I love all the craftsmanship and character it displays. Outside I love the beautiful grounds thanks to Mitzy.

Cynthia Wills
Guest Services 

Phone: (409) 632-3020

Favorite artifact: I like Albert Bierstadt’s Last of the Buffalo because it is a very powerful image of the landscape and mystique of the Old West.


Mitzy Barringer

Her passion: My work of creating a beautiful, nurturing, peaceful landscape is my passion for the Museum. I hope that the gardens are a visual invitation to take a tour inside the Museum to which I’m sure the visitors will be amazed.

Kelly Peltier
Museum Store Associate 

Phone: (409) 632-3025

Her passion: The visitors at The Bryan Museum!  We have guests from all over the world appreciating Texas history and art.  The Bryan Museum gives us all inspiration to “aspire to inspire before we expire”.


Deepa Madhavan
Payroll & Human Resources 

Phone: (713) 753-1427

Favorite artifact: Frank Raugh’s “Longhorn Overlooking Canyon.” I love the calming colors, and it was previously in our Torch offices (The Visions of the West Collection) for the employees to enjoy.