Board of Directors
Richard Schmidt is the former President and CEO of Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies headquartered in Houston. He spent his 45-year career in the upstream oil and gas industry, primarily with major OEMs. Richard served as the official “Champion” for Freudenberg’s e² “education and environmental” initiative and worked with 500+ employees in operations in 8 countries identifying and sponsoring projects for the e² program.
Today, Richard continues his long association with the oil and gas industry by providing consulting services through his company, RES Blue Sky Investments, Inc. He also has interests in real estate and has recently acquired a home inspection business serving the greater Houston area.
The true definition of a servant leader, Richard and Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies have made a significant impact on the children and families served by Literacy Now. Through generous donations and dedicated employee involvement during Read Aloud Month, Family Literacy Nights, and renovation projects at our after-school program site, they have truly transformed lives. Richard joined the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2019.
Dr. Jessica Faith Carter is an MBA student at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. She has spent her entire career as an educator and has served as a K-12 teacher, campus leader, and university instructor. Currently, Jessica Faith works as a Field Services Specialist with EdReports and is the Founder and Principal Strategist for J.F. Carter Solutions, an educational consultancy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Rice University and graduate degrees from Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University, Harvard University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Jessica Faith is a member of the Junior League of Houston and has volunteered with multiple community organizations across Texas.
Jasmine is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Afterschool Professional and Manager of Federal Programs and Compliance with the Harris County Department of Education in Houston. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts degree from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, TX. Jasmine has spent over 17 years in youth development and out-of-school time programming. From front-line program work with the YMCA of Greater Houston to program accountability and design at the revered Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, Jasmine has acquired broad-based knowledge of how to make OST programs work. She is a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc and has won various awards nationwide, including the National Afterschool Association’s Emerging Leaders of Color, PVAMU’s 40 Under 40, and the Keeper of Promise Award with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc, to name a few. Jasmine joined the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2020.
Fred serves as Managing Director and Chairman of energy investment banking at Simmons Energy, a division of Piper Sandler. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oxford University, where he was awarded an open scholarship and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. Fred joined the Board of Directors of Literacy Now in 2019.
Giselle is editor-in-chief of the Houston Business Journal (HBJ), where she oversees the newsroom and the strategic direction of the HBJ’s online and print news products. Giselle earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the HBJ, Giselle served as manager of marketing communications at Kingwood-based Insperity. She has been in journalism for 20 years.
Giselle was recognized in 2018 as a Breakthrough Woman of the Year by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. In 2005, she was named Best Reporter by the Austin chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has received numerous accolades from American City Business Journals, the parent company of the HBJ. During Giselle’s tenure at the HBJ, the paper won several awards at the Texas Press Association’s annual awards ceremony, including first place for General Excellence in 2015. Giselle joined the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2020.
John is a West Point graduate where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and then an MBA from University of Chicago. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Community Health Choice, a non-profit, Medicaid centric, health insurance company serving over 500,000 members across twenty counties in east Texas. John has worked in the corporate health insurance space since 2013 serving as VP of Operations to a health plan in Chicago, and more recently as COO of a health plan in Dallas Texas. John was born and raised in Dayton Ohio as the oldest child in a family of five. He has four children and in his spare time John loves to bike. He met his goal of over 1800 miles in 2022. Also, he is a huge consumer of history podcasts and as a result has a bucket list of historical places to visit. He also enjoys hiking, weekend road trips to small town America, and restauranting across all ethnicities, the less common the better! John joined the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2023.
Monsterville is the owner of Monsterville’s Wines and Monsterville’s Catering and Events. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he was introduced to the exciting world of wine. He has been privileged to visit, study and live in every major wine region in the world and has taught wine education and appreciation in both Europe and North America. His career to date has included sommelier, wine consultant, wine educator/lecturer, wine buyer and wine judge. Monsterville has served on the Literacy Now Board of Directors since 2009.
Paul is a Partner with the law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP where he practices real estate law. He graduated from Westside High School in 2003, the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and the University of Houston Law School, magna cum laude, in 2011. Paul has served on the Literacy Now Board of Directors since 2013. In Paul’s words, “As someone who has always enjoyed reading and who understands the incredible power that knowledge holds, I am proud to support an organization like Literacy Now that puts such a strong emphasis on literacy initiatives.”
Dale Lockett is the Director of Local Programming and Community Marketing at KHOU-TV, the TEGNA owned CBS affiliate in Houston, Texas. He is responsible for the production of non-news programs & specials and the station’s community marketing initiatives. In addition, Lockett oversees KHOU’s morning talk show Great Day Houston.
Lockett graduated with honors from the University of Houston’s School of Communication. He is a recipient of the McCormick Tribune Fellowship and attended the Management Development Seminar for Television Executives at Northwestern University in 2006. Lockett is a 2013 graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future-Business/Civic Leadership Forum. He served as the Chairperson for the CBS Promotion Caucus from 2006 to 2013. In 2015, Lockett was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award from the Greater Houston Frontiers Club.
Lockett has been honored with several broadcast industry awards, including eight PromaxBDA Station Summit awards, six Lone Star Emmys and the CBS Eye on Excellence “Best of Show” award. He joined the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2021.
Deepak is a Managing Director at Accenture where he is focused on advising clients on business transformation initiatives with a focus on Technology. Deepak holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science engineering from Bharathiar University (India) where he graduated at the top of his class.
Deepak grew up, and completed his education, in India, before moving to Houston in 2006 where he lives with wife Mekala and their two children. Deepak is very passionate about serving the community and has taken on various volunteering opportunities in the Greater Houston area over the years. He is especially interested in promoting the education and welfare of children.
Deviyani is Vice President at SCF Partners, a Private-Equity firm specializing in Oil Field Service investments. She spent her formative school years in India, Kenya, and Cambodia, before moving to the UK to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. After graduating with First Class Honors, she spent several years at ExxonMobil, in a range of technical and operational roles. She subsequently joined the Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant, working on strategic and operational projects across several different industries. Deviyani then moved to Boston to pursue her MBA from the Harvard Business School, graduating in 2018. Deviyani has loved reading all her life and knows how wonderful books can be to help open minds to different worlds, characters, and possibilities. She joined the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2018.
Lynsey is the global HR leader supporting the Frontline Support organization at Amazon Web Services (AWS). She is responsible for leading the HRBP community in building best in class talent mechanisms, enhancing leader capabilities and improving organizational health for the 7,000+ employees worldwide. Prior to her time at Amazon, she spent 12 years at Halliburton working in both supply chain and HR leadership roles. She earned her BS in Industrial Engineering and MS in Systems & Engineering Management degrees from Texas Tech University. Lynsey loves to read and believes her education was a key enabler for her professional successes. She is passionate about the reading and social skill building programs at Literacy Now and the Houston communities we serve.
Andy is Managing Partner of SCF Partners. He began a more than 35-year career in energy after earning a BSc degree in Civil Engineering from England’s Loughborough University and an MS degree in Environmental Engineering Science from California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He also attended Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA with High Distinction and was elected a Baker Scholar. Andy has served on the Board of Directors for Literacy Now since 2010. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Houston Partnership, where he recently served as Chair of the Public Education Committee, and the Board of Trustees for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Karla is an MBA candidate at Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business and member of the Rice Business Board Fellows program partnering with Literacy Now. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, she has called Houston home since 2000. She holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University where she graduated with Honors and served as President of OXE, the Chemical Engineering Honor Society. Karla is currently the Operations Superintendent, managing the Pasadena Plant and Terminal at Enterprise Products, where she first began her career.
Karla loves volunteering through all of the avenues that Houston offers. She is an active member of the Junior League of Houston, frequently volunteering with Books Between Kids and the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. She also participates in as many Habitat for Humanity builds and Houston Food Bank opportunities as possible.
Jennifer serves as Assistant General Counsel for Archrock, a publicly-traded energy infrastructure company. She attended public schools in Houston, received a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and a JD, cum laude, from South Texas College of Law. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston and is placed on the Literacy Now Board of Directors through the League’s Outside Board Representative Program. She has served in that capacity as a non-voting member of the Literacy Now Board of Directors since 2018.