Bryan (BBA '82) and Kelly (BA '83) O'Conner

Bryan (BBA ’82) and Kelly (BA ’83) met while attending SHSU. Kelly saw SHSU as the “logical choice” because of the university’s great reputation for educating and preparing teachers. Bryan chose Sam because of its reputation in the business community and proximity to the east Texas lakes he loved. He met the love of his life at Sam, and set to finish his degree so he could move on to the next step in life. Bryan and Kelly share fond memories of their involvement in intramural sports during their college life at Sam. Kelly was a member of Alpha Delta Pi, and Bryan was an Alpha Tau Omega. They both enjoyed the Greek life at Sam.

Following graduation, Kelly accepted a 5th grade teaching position in Crosby ISD for a year, and then spent 14 years with Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as an elementary school teacher. Bryan was hired as a commercial property manager in Houston with Trammell Crow Company. After several years, he moved on to work with a local developer and became more involved in the leasing of office properties and the sale of the buildings. In the early 1990’s Bryan ventured into a new field and became a sales representative in the commercial park recreation business. The opportunity flourished and in 2002, he and Kelly purchased the company - Total Recreation Products, a company that designs, sells and builds play and park spaces. They expanded the company with another acquisition in 2009, and are now the largest commercial play equipment company in Texas.

Kelly and Bryan work together in Cypress, Texas, where Total Recreation Products is located. They have grown their company to cover all of Texas and Louisiana. Their commitment to community, recreation, fitness and children, coupled with years of experience, allows them to create parks and playgrounds that bring communities together, encourage active lifestyles and build community pride. In the past 4 years, the company has doubled in size. Additionally, Bryan and Kelly are the proud parents of two grown children and one granddaughter.

Kelly credits her SHSU experience as playing an influential role in her future. “The College of Education provided an outstanding foundation for my years in the elementary school classroom,” she said. “My time at Sam Houston coupled with years in the classroom have made me uniquely qualified to provide park and playground consultation.” For Bryan, the foundation laid by the school of business at Sam Houston helped him understand the nuances of running a company, working with employees, and customers, and the financial aspect of growing a company.

Through the years, Kelly and Bryan have met many successful SHSU alumni and they want that list to continue to grow. They recognize the importance of donating to their university because they want to support the growth of new programs and improved facilities to help attract high quality faculty, staff and students. They see the growth and positive notoriety of the university as an increased value to their education and degree.