Kelly de Schaun (’91)

GALVESTON, Texas (May 26, 2023) – The CEO of the Galveston Park Board was honored by the Texas Senate last week for her contributions to the state and local tourism industry.

Texas Senator Mayes Middleton of District 11 introduced Senate Resolution 637 to the Senate May 24 commending Kelly de Schaun for her 12 years of service as CEO of the Galveston Park Board of Trustees. The Park Board oversees tourism development and coastal zone management in Galveston while operating several of the island’s beach parks. Under De Schaun’s leadership, the Park Board has tripled Hotel Occupancy Tax collections, exceeded $100 million in coastal restoration projects, and received numerous accolades for special initiatives and operational excellence. Galveston also drew record tourist visitation and spending last year.

Before the Senate, Middleton stated:

“Kelly has done a fantastic job serving the people of Galveston and making sure that everyone, not just from Texas, but from around the world has felt welcome and wanted to come back and has become one of our state’s top tourism spots. I want to wish her nothing but the best as she steps on to her next adventure and thank you for all you’ve done for Galveston and for this great state.”

Earlier this month, De Schaun requested a mutual agreement to end her contract with the Park Board in order to make a career transition. Her last day with the organization will be June 23 and Park Board COO Kimberly Danesi has been named interim CEO.

During her tenure, De Schaun has been named Citizen of the Year and Woman of the Year by the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as Advocate of the Year by the Texas Travel Alliance. Prior to her work with the Galveston Park Board, De Schaun served with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and spent more than two decades working in the Caribbean in positions such as Director of Community and Environmental Affairs for Grupo Punta Cana and Executive Director of the La Romana-Bayahibe Hotel Association.

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