MEET THE TEAM


 

Elizabeth Huff
Director of Economic Development
(281)275-2229
ehuff@sugarlandtx.gov

As the Director of Economic Development, Elizabeth directs the City’s comprehensive and proactive economic development strategy and annual business plan; oversees the Primary Employment, Business and Community Development, Cultural Arts and Visit Sugar Land divisions; and coordinates with various local and regional organizations and partners. Elizabeth has 15 years of direct Economic Development experience including four years with the Greater Houston Partnership and working for the City of Lubbock EDC. She has a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Louisiana State University.

 


 

Melissa Raju
Senior Marketing Manager
(281)615-6388
mraju@sugarlandtx.gov

As Senior Marketing Manager, Melissa is responsible for leading the Economic Development Division’s Leisure Tourism, Sales and Meeting Planners, E-Commerce, and Business Development, Retention and Expansion marketing programs in their respective missions to market and promote the city as a competitive meeting, corporate, and leisure destination, and as a strategic location for business investment and an economic powerhouse. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and is an AMA award-winning marketer with 10 years of experience.

What do you love most about Sugar Land?


I absolutely love the parks that are nestled in Sugar Land. Some of my favorite places to go on a stroll with my husband and dogs are Cullinan Park, Sugar Land Memorial Park, and Oyster Creek. I personally feel they are hidden gems in the city and once you discover them you can’t get enough of them.

What is your favorite thing to do in Sugar Land?


It’s so hard to pick one favorite thing in the city because there’s a handful of things to do. But, I love catching shows at the Smart Financial Centre and practicing pilates at Hip Fitness and practicing yoga at Yes Yoga.

What is a “must-do” while you’re in Sugar Land?


A must while in Sugar Land is to visit the Sugar Land Town Square to catch a live cultural performance and taste different cuisines all within one block.  

What is your favorite event venue to host an event?


Hmm, that’s a good question. I absolutely love the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land and how you can spruce up the space for a special event to a cocktail-style event.

What are your top places to eat in Sugar Land?


Mala Sichuan – I love this place because I love Chinese food, but their Hot Diving fish is just to die for, but I would recommend going with friends because their meals are family-style.

Kura Revolving Sushi – A true Japanese experience. The first time I went here I was surprised with how fast the service was and how tasty their sushi is. My favorite things to have is the tempura shrimp and yellowtail.

Vino and Vinyl – Love going here with my husband and trying their different wine flights. Plus, their mac and cheese with black pepper shrimp and truffle is out-of-this-world.


 

Mary Roduta
Sales & Events Manager
(281) 275-2145
mroduta@sugarlandtx.gov

Mary Roduta is the Sales & Events Manager for Visit Sugar Land Convention & Visitor Services. She oversees all sales activities and initiatives and assists in the marketing of Sugar Land as a competitive event and meeting destination.

Mary Roduta, Sales & Events Manager, oversees the city-wide management of the Special Events permitting process, the operations and implementation of activities at Crown Festival Park and the Plaza adjacent to the Smart Financial Centre, as well as, assists in the marketing of Sugar Land as an event and meeting destination. Mary also assists the Tourism and Visitor Services Manager with Visit Sugar Land’s marketing and visitor services program in its mission to promote the city as a competitive leisure and meeting destination through visitor fulfillment and overseeing the daily operations of the Sugar Land Heritage Museum & Visitor Center.

Mary graduated from the University of Houston – Main Campus with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an Accounting major, a minor in Marketing, and a Certificate in Corporate Entrepreneurship. She continued her education and graduated from the University of Houston – Victoria with a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Accounting and Business/Management. Lastly, she received a Certificate in Event Management and Hospitality Sales from the University of Houston. Mary is a mom of four and she enjoys finding new experiences to try with her family and friends.

What do you love most about Sugar Land?


I love how family-friendly Sugar Land is from its attractions to the friendliness of its citizens. I also love how safe it is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out with my family until almost 10 p.m. in the evening and seeing all the other families enjoying Sugar Land’s amenities.

What is your favorite thing to do in Sugar Land?


I really enjoy the events at Sugar Land Town Square. The live shows are always great and the green turf on the plaza makes it such a fun place for my kids to play around on.

What is a “must-do” while you’re in Sugar Land?


The “must-do” thing while you’re in Sugar Land for me is going to the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center. My kids are very young and they can really let their imaginations soar at the different exhibits, especially Kidtropolis, a city made just for kids!

What is your favorite event venue to host an event?


My favorite event venue would have to be the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land because it provides such a unique atmosphere. The space is versatile and who wouldn’t want to have an event surrounded by history?!

What are your top places to eat in Sugar Land?


Oba Japanese Cuisine – It’s a quaint Japanese restaurant tucked in a shopping center with the absolute best takoyaki (in my opinion) in Sugar Land. It also has an all-day Happy Hour menu so I think that’s definitely a win-win situation.

Vino & Vinyl – Fantastic food and wine combined with awesome music played on vinyl records. I highly recommend checking out their brunch menu and mimosa flights on the weekends, and as an added bonus to families, you get a free kids brunch with every adult meal purchased.

Mon Cheri Macarons – Sweet, delectable, and unique melt-in-your-mouth flavors. I used to buy macarons from the owner of Mon Cheri when she sold them at the local farmers market and I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I was when I found out she was opening her own storefront. Her shop is a must-try when you visit the “Sweetest City in Texas!”


 

Patty Holley
Cultural Arts Coordinator
pholley@sugarlandtx.gov

As Cultural Arts Coordinator, Patty is responsible for implementing the City’s Public Art Plan through project management and coordination for the commission and acquisition of public artworks, providing guidance and support to local developers and community associations undertaking public art projects, and organizing support and maintenance efforts for the City’s current public art collection. Patty holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Auburn University and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston.

What do you love most about Sugar Land?


I only moved to Texas three years ago, and I love that I have felt so welcomed by the people of Sugar Land! It’s so evident that people take pride in being a part of this community, and in my experience, that carries over into the city being very hospitable to newcomers and visitors.

What is your favorite thing to do in Sugar Land?


As someone with an artistic background myself, I always love supporting live theater and young artists. Seeing a play at Inspiration Stage is such a great opportunity to support local students/performers, and their shows are always really fun! On a different note, I also enjoy a peaceful walk in Cullinan Park.

What is a “must-do” while you’re in Sugar Land?


I’m always so impressed by the variety of shows and concerts offered at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. A lot of my favorite artists have toured there, and I’d recommend the experience to anyone!

What is your favorite event venue to host an event?


Definitely the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. I love any event where I’m surrounded by history, so being able to have cocktails or dinner surrounded by geodes and dinosaur fossils sounds pretty close to perfect to me.  

What are your top places to eat in Sugar Land?


Mala Sichuan Bistro – Really affordable and so, so yummy. Their Dan Dan noodles are my absolute favorite.

Naseeb – I’m a sucker for authentic Indian food, and this is definitely the place to get it.


 

You can also reach any member of our team by calling (281) 275-2045 or emailing tourism@sugarlandtx.gov