Board of Directors
Paul is an attorney 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.”
Jasmine is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Afterschool Professional and a Project Director with the Harris County Department of Education in Houston. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees 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, Chairman, and Head of Energy Investment Banking at Simmons Energy focused exclusively on the energy services and equipment sector. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Andy is Co-President of SCF Partners. He began a more than 25-year career in energy after earning a BSc degree in Civil Engineering from England’s Loughborough University of Technology 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 Family Services Foundation and the Board of Trustees for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Angela Waltman is currently the Regional Vice President of Prospero Health. She is a healthcare leader with 31 years’ experience in business development, communications, operations, and strategic planning and has a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston – Downtown. Angela began serving on the Literacy Now Board of Directors in 2018 and most recently volunteered for the United Way Reading Together program.