The Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 4th Annual Professional Women’s Summit presented by Brownwood Municipal Development District on March 24, 2022.

Meet at the Brownwood Lyric Theatre located at 318 Center Ave. Doors open at 8:00 am for a Chick-Fil-A breakfast, networking, and professional headshots provided by Samantha Rodriguez Photography. The program begins at 9 am at the Brownwood Lyric Theatre. Breakout sessions will take place at the Robert & Florence Moore Performing Arts Studio, 10 Mile Productions Tasting Room, Intermission Bookshop, Pioneer Tap House, and the Art Center. Topics include time management, networking, intentional relationships, the business of art, and enhancing communication skills. Lunch will be served at Teddy’s Brewhaus.

Keynote address will be delivered by Shana Merlin. Fresh off her recent TEDx talk, Shana Merlin is touring her fun and interactive presentations nationwide using the tools and techniques from improvisational comedy to teach team building, communication, sales, persuasion, leadership, and creativity.   Some of her clients have included Dell, T-Mobile, Silicon Labs, Methodist Medical Center and Deloitte. Shana is an associate at the Center for Health Communication at the University of Texas, a Professor of Improvisation at St. Edward’s University, and is the Founder of the Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation. To cap of the day, there will be the presentation of the Bettie Girling Distinguished Women Award sponsored by Texas-Clean.

The first 150 attendees will receive a swag bag. Additionally, attendees can win one of over 40 door prizes.  Don’t miss this day of encouragement. Tickets are only $25 for Brownwood Chamber members and $35 for non-members presale. Tickets are $50 at the door. This price includes breakfast, lunch, swag bag, and a chance to learn from inspirational speakers. Golf carts will be provided by Bruner Auto Group for those who need assistance.

Traveling for this event? Book your hotel at the Best Western Riata in Brownwood, TX. They can be reached at (325) 203-5400.

This event is made possible by our generous sponsors including Small Business Development Center at Tarleton State University, Citizens National Bank, Recharge Yoga and Therapeutic Massage, AccelHealth, Brownwood Women’s Clinic, and Howard Payne University.


Shana Merlin


The Leadership  Panel: 

Emily Crawford –  City Manager

Emily Crawford is honored to be the City Manager of Brownwood, which is the hub of the Heart of Texas
Area. Emily has served the City of Brownwood for 10 years. She joined the City in 2011 as the Director of
Economic Development and in 2014, she became the Assistant City Manager. In 2015, Emily became the
first female and the youngest City Manager to be appointed in Brownwood. Prior to finding her “home”
in city management, Emily worked for over 11 years in the non-profit world in Austin and Brownwood.
Emily has a bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness Promotion from Texas State University and a
master’s degree in Organizational Development from Abilene Christian University. Emily serves on the
Board of Directors for the Brownwood Education Foundation and Brownwood Community Church.
Emily and her husband, Scotty, have been married for 25 years. They have an adult son and daughter-in-
law and a teenage son. The Crawfords enjoy traveling, hosting dinner parties, attending concerts, and
relaxing in their backyard.

Alexandra Arrendondo – HR at 3M Brownwood Plant

Alexandra Arredondo was born and raised in West Texas where she began her career in HR. She relocated to Brownwood in April of 2019 when she took on the role of the Human Resource Supervisor at the 3M Brownwood Plant.  Helping people feel connected and driving them toward something great has always been her passion.  What started as being a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister Program of West Texas or teaching bible classes at the local church she attended as a teenager continued to build her passion and eventually lead to over 9 years of experience in Human Resources.

Danielle Howard – Mental Health Therapist Brownwood Independent School District

Krista Baty – Cheif Administrative Officer and Chief Nursing Officer for Hendrick Medical Center







Hayley Fowler –  Cox –  Winemaker/ Owner of 10 Mile Productions Tasting Room


Breakout Session Speakers

Dr. Leslie Y. Rodriguez, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Mass Media at Angelo State University, received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi where she specialized in both Organizational Communication and Intercultural Communication.  She obtained her M.A. in Communication and B.A. in Communication/Secondary Education from Angelo State University.  In 2019, Dr. Rodriguez was the recipient of the Texas Speech Communication Association’s Educator of the Year – College/University Level award. Her scholarship is centered on Communication Problems in Organizations and Hispanic Students in Higher Learning, among others.  She has presented her research at over 20 professional conferences and conventions nationwide.  Dr. Rodriguez is a member of and active in the Texas Speech Communication Association and Southern States Communication Association.

Melinda has been married to Dr. Cory Hines for nearly 25 years and they have two amazing kids. They make their home in Brownwood, TX, where Cory serves as President of Howard Payne University and she serves as First Lady. Melinda loves serving alongside her husband and especially enjoys mentoring and ministering to the female students in various ways including Women to Women, a group that connects college girls with grown girls. With the help of the Women’s Club and Howard Payne family, she has also created a Jacket Closet which provides free professional attire for all HPU students. Melinda also serves as Vice President of Programs at the HPU Women’s Club. Melinda has spoken to women’s groups at conferences and retreats, for writing and speaking conferences including the CLASS Christian Writer’s Conference, Texas WMU Awakening Conference, and teacher trainings.

She is the author of Operation Mom, Winning the Mommy Wars (Extreme Diva Media, 2008) and co-author of Laundry Tales to Lighten the Load (Evergreen Publishing, 2007). She is the founder of the mom’s group at The Avenue Church, a CLASS-trained speaker and has won awards as a writer and teacher. She has contributed to Focus on the Family Focus on Your Child, InTouch Magazine,,, LifeLine Journal,,, MomSense Magazine, and the URBANwell where she also served on the Editorial Committee. Melinda has written hundreds of freelance features for several regional publications.

She is an accomplished writer, speaker, and teacher with 14 years’ experience in public schools as a Family and Consumer Science teacher and a former Communications professor at DBU. Melinda is dedicated to and passionate about equipping, encouraging and enriching your everyday life.


Lacey Tezino, Founder of Passport Journeys, is an experienced technology leader with a passion for promoting healthier mother-daughter relationships. Lacey believes that technology can be used intentionally to enhance our lives and make mental health care services more accessible and convenient. Lacey’s most rewarding position was Director of IT for the Menninger Clinic, one of the top 10 psychiatric hospitals in the country. Lacey’s most exciting accomplishment came by spending three years in the Middle East, digitizing clinical documentation for the entire nation of Qatar, 8 hospitals and 23 clinics. Lacey uses her Master of Healthcare Administration and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification to navigate each career move. When she is not working on her new therapy app or networking with Houston’s booming tech ecosystem, Lacey can be found painting, riding bikes, and setting up science experiments with her husband and three children.

Katherine “Kathy” Keane of San Angelo is a Non-Profit Consultant and Former Executive Director of Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN), a nonprofit organization of 51 member cities focused on promoting a regional approach to economic and community growth for rural communities in Texas. Prior to this, she served as the Economic Development Manager/Coordinator for the cities of San Angelo and Eden where she acted as the liaison and consultant to new and existing business ventures and directed the design, marketing, coordination, and evaluation of economic development programs and projects. Kathy is currently a member of the Governor’s Nonprofit Council, a member of the Texas Rural Practitioners Executive Committee, a member of the Digital Texas Coalition Executive Committee with Texas 2036, and Secretary for the Fort Concho National Historic Landmark Board of Directors. Kathy attended Angelo State University and received a Public Manager Certification from Texas Tech University Center for Public Service. She has received certifications in the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Texas Travel & Tourism Association, and the National Development Council. She was also recognized as Leadership San Angelo Alumni of the Year in 2006 and received the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award in 2009 for her work in attracting a Portuguese manufacturer to San Angelo.