Phyllis Snodgrass has been a leader in community engagement for more than two decades and has been firmly committed to positive change for families and communities in Austin and throughout Texas. In addition, she has supported the state’s thriving business culture in leadership roles at multiple Chambers of Commerce.
In her final role with the Chamber of Commerce, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Austin Chamber of Commerce. At the Austin Chamber, Phyllis oversaw multiple departments and a large team; created innovative membership development models that powered membership growth and increased the Chamber’s public profile and volunteer involvement; and created internal and external messaging for the organization.
Before joining the Austin Chamber, she was the President/CEO of Chambers of Commerce in San Marcos, Victoria, and Athens, TX. In addition, she served in a leadership role for the Texas Association of Businesses. Phyllis has extensive experience in finance and accounting, having worked as an accountant and financial controller for several businesses before joining the nonprofit world. She also ran her own accounting business, showing an entrepreneurial aptitude that has served her well as a leader.
For 7 years, Phyllis served as Chief Executive Officer for Austin Habitat for Humanity, turning her talents to one of the most critical issues facing the Austin area: affordable housing. Phyllis became CEO of Austin Habitat in 2015 and has led the organization to ongoing growth, allowing Austin Habitat to continue supporting more families in need despite challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and spiraling homebuilding costs. Under her leadership, Austin Habitat has expanded into a five-county area. It has increased the provision of high-quality, affordable new homes, critical home repairs for seniors and other homeowners struggling to remain independent, and HUD-certified housing counseling that empowers community members to become successful homeowners and reach other life goals.
Phyllis’s leadership has increased the community awareness and positive perception of the already-strong Habitat for Humanity brand in Central Texas when Habitat’s mission to produce affordable homes and raise hope in the community is more needed than ever. During Phyllis’s tenure as CEO, Austin Habitat has faced enormous pressures in an increasingly cost-burdened market. As a result, Phyllis and her leadership team focused on ensuring sustainable, diversified funding streams to support Austin Habitat’s growth in Austin and expansion throughout the region.
Phyllis worked with organizational leadership and outside partners to develop denser housing models for the Habitat program, including row homes, townhomes, and condominiums. She also oversaw the expansion of the organization’s HomeBase subsidiary, working with private developers who wish to provide affordable housing but do not have the infrastructure to recruit and qualify low- and moderate-income families. In addition, she expanded its relationships with local homebuilders to support additional housing growth in the area.
Phyllis and her team at Austin Habitat have long recognized that soaring land and construction costs and stagnant local land-use policies inhibit the ability for any developer, nonprofit or private, to produce affordable homes in this area. The affiliate’s focus on policy-level work was critical to creating systems change to create a positive impact beyond the Habitat partner families. Austin Habitat significantly advanced its community advocacy during Phyllis’s time as CEO, working to ensure better housing policies to provide more high-quality homes for all community members. In addition, Austin Habitat has supported increased public funding support for affordable development and advocated strongly for land-use reforms to remove outdated barriers to affordable housing creation.
Phyllis was the face of the organization’s advocacy, appearing in numerous local media outlets, testifying at various levels of government to advocate for better policy, and working with internal and external stakeholders to emphasize the importance of systematic change around affordable housing in Central Texas. During Phyllis’s tenure, Austin Habitat also advanced solutions like deed restrictions that ensured long-term affordability on all homes sold through the Habitat program.
Her leadership has helped Austin Habitat significantly expand its ReStore program to support affiliate growth by providing unrestricted funding and benefiting the community and the environment. Austin Habitat operates three ReStores in Central Texas, including the flagship store at Ben White and South 1st, the #1 U.S. ReStore for gross receipts since 2018. The team also introduced a contactless e-commerce store during the pandemic that continues to generate substantial revenues. Finally, Phyllis and her team have recently secured a site for a 4th ReStore location in Pflugerville as part of a planned expansion to five stores.
In addition to her work with Austin Habitat, Phyllis is a Certified Chamber of Commerce Executive and graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management. In addition, she is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization.
Phyllis Snodgrass has won several awards for her leadership and innovation. She has received numerous awards from her decades of leadership at the helm of local chambers of commerce across Texas which includes receiving the Executive Leadership Award from the Greater Austin Chamber in 2018. The Austin Business Journal named her a 2018 Profiles in Power Central Texas Women of Influence and in 2019 CEO of the Year. In 2022 she was honored by ULI Austin with their Vision Award. Phyllis was awarded The Austin Black Business Journal & Community News Magazine’s Top 10 Diversity Champions of 2022. In addition, Phyllis is an honoree in the Inaugural Austin Women Leading Real Estate Event in fall of 2022. Lastly, Mayor Steve Adler awarded Phyllis Snodgrass with a Key to the City of Austin in September of 2022 for her hard work and dedication in helping pave the way to provide more affordable housing and creating lasting change in central Texas.
Phyllis and her husband Tim reside in Wimberley, Texas where they attend the Austin Ridge Church’s Dripping Springs campus. Together they have 4 adult children, Aaron, Amanda, Ben and Mallary as well as their son-in-law, Will and grandkids, Foster and Felicity.
"*" indicates required fields