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Museum Staff Directory

Melissa Williams Murphy
Executive Director

Phone: (409) 220-3218

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.

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.

Susannah Brown
Education Specialist

Phone: 409-220-3316

Favorite artifact: I’m most drawn to the small untitled Julian Onderdonk picture of the blooming prickly pear cactus in the Texas Masters gallery. It really showcases two quintessential Texas qualities: ruggedness and beauty.

Eric Broussard

Phone: (409) 220-3209

Favorite artifact: Rocky Mountain Landscape by Mark Robert Harrison which hangs in our lobby. Aside from being a breath-taking piece of art, it invokes the harsh, yet beautiful, landscape of the frontier; reminding us that nature was, in its own right, a major character in the settlement of the American West.


Meg Tucker
Education & Project Manager

Phone: (409) 632-7687

Favorite artifact: The whimsical feel of Otis Dozer’s “Open Range” landscape caught me off guard when I first saw it at the top of the stairs. This airy and contemplative Texas landscape with its pastel vistas and tiny silhouette of a lone cowboy is a refreshing take on the western narrative.

Richard Farnsworth
Senior Events Coordinator

Phone: 409-220-3022

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.

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!

Amelia White
Museum Services Manager

Phone: (409) 632-7688

Favorite art: “The Watermelon Race, San Antonio (Feast Day of John the Baptist.)” 1848 oil painting by Jean Louis Theodore Gentilz
Gentilz’s street scenes of San Antonio perfectly capture a time and place and make you feel as if you were there.

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
Executive Assistant to the Director

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.


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.

Jan Kittler
Guest Services

Favorite artifact: I love so many things in the collection, but my favorite is probably the beautiful little gold saddle wedding ring that Charles Russell made for his wife.

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.

Stephanie Stafford
Guest Services 

Phone: (409) 632-3020

Favorite artifact: Silver Service set presented to Ann Chase, British wife of U. S. Consul General to Tampico, Mexico, for her clandestine service to the United States Army during the US Mexican War. On one occasion an infuriated mob attempted to pull down the US flag that floated over her residence; but, with revolver in hand, she defied the crowd, and declared that no one should touch the flag except over her dead body.

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.