Randee Green, who has served as the executive director for the Brownwood Reunion Celebration since it premiered in 2001, has been named “Professional of the Year” at the Texas Festivals and Events Association convention going on this weekend in Corpus Christi.

“This is great, our Reunion Celebration has always done well in the awards category with TFEA, and Randee’s always been back there to see the Reunion got the recognition it deserved,” said Steven McCrane, a former chairman for the Reunion. “But for Randee to get the credit and be honored for what she’s done, is just great.”

McCrane said the honor was to be a “complete and total surprise” for Green, and that as an added surprise, Green’s mother, sister and husband had gone to the ceremony to see Green receive her reward.

The TFEA’s criteria for the “Professional of the Year” is that the recipient must be employed in a festival-related position and have a minimum of five years festival experience. Primarily, however, according to the nomination form, the recipient must have a “commitment to the betterment of Texas festivals and special events, sharing and assisting others in the field when called upon” and also “exemplify high professional standards and demonstrate creativity with progressive and innovative approaches to projects.”

In its hardly humble beginning, the Reunion Celebration started in 2001 as a way to promote the community’s Web site — www.BrownwoodTx.com. In its premiere year, the “feels like home” event involved a three-day festival spread over 23 city blocks and attracted more than 25,000 people in “real” space and time and more than 150,000 “virtual” visitors, or home comers.

This year’s reunion, with its slogan “Lucky #7” will run Sept. 14, 15 and 16.

Green’s award pushes the event’s honors and awards to well over 20 cumulative “bests.”

The “Hands on a House” contest that premiered at the 2004 Brownwood Reunion Celebration was named best new event at the TFEA’s annual conference last summer. The 2004 Brownwood Reunion Celebration also received awards for the best media stunt, best media campaign, best media kit and best sponsor packet.

The competition is stiff, Green has said of each win each year. The Reunion goes up against bigger, longer standing festivals such as the Pasadena Strawberry Festival, Rio Fest, Borderfest and Neiman Marcus Christmas Parade.