Meet The Team
Ryan Dennard brings combined business management, legal, and local government expertise to his role at Criss Cross Commercial Group. With more than 15 years experience in the commercial real estate industry, Ryan leads the company’s strategic direction and overall management.
Ryan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Washington & Lee University, and with honors from the University of Texas School of Law. At UT Law, he was a Townes Rice Scholar and a member of the Texas Law Review.
Ryan began his professional career at the national law firm now known as Locke Lord, LLP, where he practiced commercial litigation. His practice included real estate development and land use disputes, construction litigation, and lender liability matters.
After joining Criss Cross in 2003, Ryan managed the company’s expansion into real estate development, gaining hands-on project management experience. He then helped grow the company’s portfolio steadily through multiple business cycles.
Ryan is also involved in the community. From 2012 through 2016, Ryan served as the elected Galveston County Commissioner, Precinct 1, where he played an active role in number of large public works projects, including transportation, regional drainage, and public facilities.
Ryan is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Clear Lake Regional Medical Center and Mainland Medical Center, and is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is a former appointee to the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council, and a former member of the Galveston County Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the City of Friendswood Community Appearance Board.
Ryan and his wife, Melissa, reside in League City with their four children.
Director of Operations
Melissa Dennard’s small retail business experience informs her operational role at Criss Cross Commercial Group. Melissa joined the company in 2010. Today she manages the operational and administrative aspects of the company.
Melissa graduated from Houston’s Memorial High School, and obtained a bachelor’s of science degree from Washington & Lee University in 1997.
After an early career in teaching, in 2001 Melissa opened and operated a nationally branded home furnishings store in Houston. She developed knowledge and experience in retail sales, product sourcing and distribution, marketing, and tenant commercial real estate issues.
After selling the business and joining Criss Cross, Melissa applied her background in retail to support the company’s focus on shopping center development and management. In her operations management role, Melissa helps build tenant relationships. She also directs the company’s operational financial activity.
Melissa is active in the community, and as a former educator, she is passionate about children’s services. She volunteers for Clear Creek Independent School District and Anchor Point pregnancy and parenting center.
Melissa and her husband, Ryan, reside in League City with their four children.
Director of Leasing and Development
Peter Strauss has a comprehensive background in commercial real estate. After more than a decade with Criss Cross Commercial Group, Peter directs the company’s leasing and real estate development activity.
Peter graduated from Houston’s Cypress Creek High School, and obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in economics with a minor in business from The University of Texas in 2004. Peter also maintains a Texas real estate license.
After holding an information management position at a Houston-area law firm, Peter joined Criss Cross in 2006. Beginning in an administrative and support role, Peter gained hands-on, working knowledge of most aspects of the commercial real estate industry. Peter later served the company as a commercial property manager for several years, learning the interrelationship between project development, leasing and property management.
Since 2010, Peter has directed the company’s in house leasing activities, developing an expertise in dealing with both local business owners and national retailers. He also directs the company’s routine construction activity, and has managed dozens of tenant improvement projects.
In recent years, Peter also has had primary responsibility for shepherding ground up real estate development projects, including management of engineering, architecture and construction.
Peter is active in the commercial real estate business community, participating in ICSC and other real estate industry organizations.
Peter and his wife, Cynthia, reside in Spring with their two young children. They volunteer with the Spring Independent School District and Spring First Church.
Director of Finance
April Eldridge brings a diverse financial and management background to her role at Criss Cross Commercial Group, where she is responsible for the company’s financial budgeting and reporting and assists with the company’s strategic planning.
Before joining Criss Cross, April provided multi-entity finance and accounting leadership in both the construction industry and with a large commercial real estate firm, where she held an accounting management position. In those roles, April oversaw budgets, forecasting, and planning, as well as managing technical performance of accounting functions for offices throughout Texas.
April also has a strong management background, both corporately and specific to commercial real estate. She previously served in multiple commercial property management roles, becoming familiar with the operational details of commercial real estate assets. She also has served in a general management capacity for multiple construction related businesses.
April joined Criss Cross in 2018 to support the company’s continued growth and development.
April is an optimistic, forward-looking executive. Focusing on processes to advance the company’s short and long-term needs, she provides financial leadership that is key to asset management and long-range planning.
April resides in the Clear Lake area, where she enjoys spending time with her children.
Investment Sales Manager
Maxine Parappilly has a deep background in retail real estate, from both a landlord and tenant perspective. Maxine manages Criss Cross Commercial Group’s investment sales, while supporting its leasing activity.
Maxine graduated from Houston’s Hastings High School, and obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Real Estate Finance from The University of Texas. Maxine is a licensed Texas real estate broker, a Certified Commercial Investment Manager (CCIM), and a Certified Property Manager (CPM).
Maxine was formerly a retail site manager for Starbucks Corporation. She later managed retail site selection and leasing for a large (100 unit+) wireless cellular service store operator.
After a previous stint as a commercial property manager for Criss Cross, today Maxine directs transactional brokerage and third-party leasing activity.
Maxine is active in the commercial real estate business community.
Maxine and her husband, Joben, reside in west Houston.
Debra Ray handles the day to day workings of the company’s real estate assets. As property manager for a range of multi- and single-tenant properties, Debra’s dedicated service and commitment to business relationships helps ensure company success.
Debra has a background in corporate legal administrative matters, as well as operational management of corporate records departments. Her early experience as a legal assistant and corporate administrator give her familiarity with the legal issues that pervade commercial real estate and the documentation systems that support asset management.
After gaining experience as an assistant property manager, Debra now serves as the front-line property and asset manager for the company.
Debra has an associates degree from San Jacinto Junior College and training through commercial real estate professional organizations.
Debra has been active in the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo and sings in her church choir. Debra and her husband, Joe, are equine enthusiasts. A former equestrian trainer, Debra now boards and manages horses in her free time. She and Joe live in the southeast Houston area.