2nd Annual 25 Most Influential Women in Houston part 2

paula harris –
a big small world

Manager of Community Affairs, Schlumberger Limited

the help of over 60,000 employees in 100 countries, Schlumberger
Limited remains the world’s leading supplier of technology, project
management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry. The
company has been at the forefront of the industry for over 75 years.

The manager of community affairs, Paula Harris plays an integral role
in the company’s success. She helps determine how dollars for social
responsibilities should be spent. Harris keeps corporate diversity at
the top of her to-do list.

“I’m always looking for ways to bring more African Americans into the
oil industry — and at the same time more African American vendors and
business partners,” says Harris. “[I want to make] sure that our
community gains from Schlumberger being a good partner.” –jason thompson

rhonda nwosu –
recipe for success

VP of Marketing, Ral’s Fine Catering & Café Bistro

When the people of Houston want a quality meal at an affordable price,
Ral’s Fine Catering & Café Bistro is the best ticket in town. Named
last year by the Port of Houston as the caterer of the year, Ral’s has
expanded their business since its inception in 1994. As vice president
of marketing, Rhonda Nwosu has watched the company grow into a
multifaceted venture with an excellent product.

“We always want to make sure that we operate with excellence, and with integrity and pride in what we’re doing,” says Nwosu.
jason thompson

vanessa t. reed –
building a better tomorrow

Houston Community Re-Investment Act Manager, Comerica Bank

A true partner and financial leader for the Houston area, Vanessa Reed
and Comerica Bank work rigorously to meet the needs of customers,
making investments to ensure that they’re actively participating in
being corporate citizens within the communities they serve.

As the company’s CRE (Community Re-Investment Act) manager, Reed
focuses on identifying investment opportunities and providing financial
literacy to empower the youth and adults in the greater Houston region.

“All of our initiatives are geared toward making sure that we’re
actively participating in providing services and investments in all the
communities we serve, specifically the low- to moderate-income
communities,” explains Reed. –jason thompson

pastor juanita rasmus –
a divine touch

Co-Pastor, St. John’s United Methodist Church

Nearly 16 years ago, St. John’s United Methodist Church was known more
for its desolate location than its seven devout members. But shortly
after becoming co-pastor, Juanita Rasmus decided to transform the
church into a safe haven for many of Houston’s forgotten citizens.

“When I first got [to St. John’s], I noticed that there were a lot of
homeless women and men living around the church,” Rasmus recalls. “But
we didn’t turn our backs. We began to serve meals to the homeless and
also offered Bible study and 12-step meetings.”

The church now has 9,000 members, including singer Beyoncé Knowles.
amir shaw

lakeeta garfield –
keeping education first

Director of Student Services, Texas School of Business

Texas School of Business seeks to train individuals who are looking to
increase their skill level without having to attend a traditional
college or university. As the director of student services, LaKeeta
Garfield advises students from their first day as freshmen, until the
moment they graduate.

“My job is to keep students in our
school. I help students troubleshoot the problems that will keep them
from graduating,” she says. “I encourage them to make changes in their
lifestyle and to modify their behavior. You can’t let anything keep you
from your goals. You have to be flexible and stay focused.” –amir shaw

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