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Meet HLSR's first female chairman of the board

Pat Mann Phillips first started volunteering at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in 2001.

HOUSTON — The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo made history in its offseason. For the first time, a woman was elected chairman of its board. 

"Pretty amazing and (I) never would have dreamed it," Pat Man Phillips said. 

This dream-come-true really began to form during Phillips' Texas childhood.

"My roots are in agriculture. I grew up in a farming and ranching family," she explained.

So when she moved to the fourth-largest city in the country, it only made sense to connect with those roots through the rodeo.

"This was home to me," said Phillips.

In 2001, Phillips started volunteering by giving school kids tours through AgVenture, eventually helping Tours become its own committee. Then she added more committees to her slate. Joining leadership was the natural step a decade into her rodeo service.

"You see things that need to be done or that you would like to see done and that there's every opportunity to make those things happen out there if it supports the mission of the show," Phillips said. 

Now after 11 years on the board, three years as a vice president and six years on the executive committee, Phillips is taking the reins of the rodeo’s board of directors.

"It was quite a surprise, but a pleasant surprise," she said. "I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here in this role as chairman of the board."

She may be the first woman in the role, but knowing just how many HLSR volunteers are women, Phillips said she's certain she won’t be the last.

"We're seeing all this talent," she said. "It’s very inspiring to me and encouraging to me to see this. It’s great to watch."

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