Dr. Asheli S. Atkins (pronounced Ashley)
Asheli S. Atkins received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University where she studied race & ethnic relations and organizational theory. Her research centers around strategy construction processes for marginalized entrepreneurs, with specific attention on Black entrepreneurs. Additionally, she analyzes the freelancing industry as a racialized and gendered organization.
Dr. Atkins serves as a Managing Partner for the Texas Culinary Center and Attucks England Consulting, LLC. Her entrepreneurial endeavors, though fulfilling, do not compare to the gratification she gains through teaching undergraduate students as a Sociology Lecturer at Prairie View A&M University.
Dr. Atkins received her BA in Communications from Prairie View A&M University, an MBA from Texas Women’s University, and her PhD from Texas A&M University.
Jonathan Howard is a native of Houston, Texas. He grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and attended Houston ISD public schools. Jonathan obtained a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in management from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently a franchisee and owner/operator with Smoothie King Franchises Inc. He is also a fundraiser and external relations professional by trade.
Jonathan previously served as a Sr. Relationship Manager for the United Way of Greater Houston where he managed a portfolio of corporations, foundations, and individuals including responsibilities for the organization’s relationships with it’s highest-giving constituency. He also previously served as an Associate Director and Major Gift Officer in the Office of Philanthropy at Texas Children’s Hospital where he played major roles in two $500 million capital campaigns. He has conducted external relations, strategic partnership, events, and marketing activities in each role.
Outside of work, Jonathan has enjoyed a lifetime in a myriad of service and leadership roles that reflect his passions and commitment to the community. He is a mayoral and city council appointee to the board of directors of the Houston Foundation- Board of Public Trust, Houston’s Southeast Management District board of directors, and an appointed commissioner on the Houston Clean City Commission. Jonathan has also served on the boards of the NBA Retired Players Association, Wheeler Avenue Inner City Visions, Tierwester Civic Association, City of Houston District D Next Generation Advisory Council, the HISD Chamber of Commerce, Young Life (South Central), and Central Houston’s Living Central Steering Committee.
Jonathan is an Eagle Scout, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, and he takes great pride in his lifetime of service at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.sity.