Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

We are pleased to announce that Annie Lord has joined the Dallas Advisory Board of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program!

“Annie brings a wealth of community development experience to PEP,” says Bert Smith, CEO of PEP. “She has a great passion for our mission and I am confident that her insights will particularly strengthen our efforts to launch, grow, and sustain businesses owned by our graduates.”

Annie serves as a Vice President – Community Development Officer at Citi. In this capacity, she stewards the community development efforts.

After attending her first meeting of Dallas Advisory Board, Annie remarked that: “PEP is an ideal partner to help cities. The organization has a proven track record of dramatically reducing recidivism and its associated costs to the public. PEP graduates become successful business owners, employees, and contributors to our society, and I am proud to support this transformation.”

Annie also organizes volunteer opportunities for company employees … and we are very proud to say that, even when 4-5 months pregnant, she was not afraid to volunteer in prison with PEP at Class 20’s Pitch Day!

Annie Lord - Citi

Citi’s Annie Lord volunteering at the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

Prior to joining Citi, Annie served as the Executive Director for the South Florida Community Development Coalition, a 57-member organization dedicated to improving the performance of the community development sector in Miami, Florida. Annie also previously served in a leadership role at the Latino Economic Development Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that equips Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities.

Annie earned her MPP (Master in Public Policy, Economic Development) from Harvard – Kennedy School. She previously earned a BA in Latin American History and Literature from Harvard University.

Please join us in welcoming Annie to PEP!

nancy white at the PEP business plan competition

Nancy White attending a PEP Business Plan Competition!

As we mentioned last week, we are pleased to announce that Nancy White has joined our Houston Advisory Board!

Nancy is a native Texan who was raised in Fort Worth and Houston. She attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion design and a minor in marketing.

She started her professional career as a buyer with Foleys Department Store in Houston and then entered the public sector with the Houston Civil Service Commission where she developed and wrote promotional exams for the police and fire departments.  She then joined Timex Corporation in 1980 and enjoyed 24 years as Sales Manager covering a nine state area before retiring in 2004. Nancy was responsible for all sales and advertising for the major retailers and distributors with primary focus on the sports industry and sporting events.  During this time, she also served as a volunteer on the Special Children’s Committee with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for 25 years.

Since retirement, Nancy has been a mentor with Spring Branch ISD working with a young girl at Spring Woods High School for the past 4 years.  She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research and have chaired their annual fundraising gala in 2004 and 2011 netting over $1million collectively.  She enjoys playing on two competitive tennis leagues and a golf league.

Nancy is married to Tim White, with whom she raised two daughters. This adventuresome grandmother has not not only been to prison, but she has made a solo flight in a single-engine airplane! She is a member of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church and the Grace Fellowship Sunday School class, which is where she met Monte and Linda Pendleton 8 years ago.

The Pendeltons invited Nancy to attend PEP in 2012 ……and she has been returning to prison ever since! 

Welcome to the HAB, Nancy!

We are pleased to welcome the following new volunteers to our Advisory Boards:

  • Keith Bird, Vice President Global Engineering & Manufacturing Strategy for Alcon (Dallas Advisory Board)
  • John Harrell, Retired Partner-Deloitte LLP (Houston Advisory Board)
  • Mabrie Jackson, President and CEO of the North Texas Commission (Dallas Advisory Board)
  • Nancy White, Retired – Timex Corporation (Houston Advisory Board)

To see the full list of our Dallas, Houston, Austin and National Advisory Boards, click here.

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is able to operate with a lean staff thanks to the tremendous efforts of more than 650 annual volunteers. This includes hundreds of executives, entrepreneurs, bankers, MBA students and business leaders who join us throughout the year for our monthly in-prison events or who serve as remote Business Plan Advisors (editing business plans and conducting market research for our participants). Many others serve in roles such as mentors, teachers at our Tuesday evening “eSchool” program offered in both Dallas and Houston as well as hosts for our monthly family dinners at each of our three transition homes.

We are deeply grateful for all of their contributions.

However, the contributions of our advisory board members exceed those of all others. Almost all of them serve in multiple volunteer roles within our organization. But more critically, they provide tremendous support to our staff and our 7-member governing board. Through their contributions of time, talent and treasure, these advisors are tremendous resources for PEP.

Houston Chronicle PEP

Photo by Brett Coomer (Houston Chronicle)

The Houston Chronicle ran a FRONT PAGE story on the Prison Entrepreneurship Program today. Please take a moment to check it out!

If you are a subscriber, you can also read the story here.

Put some PEP in your step

Put some PEP in your step — join us in prison!

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is about to launch its 18th class this month! Check out our full schedule below, and RSVP at

Class 18 Public Events

  • Kickoff . . . Friday, July 20 | 11:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Venture Capital Panel . . . Friday, August 17 | 11:30am – 5:00 pm
  • Concept Day . . . Saturday, August 18 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Excellence in Etiquette . . . Friday, September 21 | 11:30am – 5:00 pm
  • Selling with Purpose . . . Friday, October 19 |  11:30am – 5:00 pm
  • Business Plan Workshop . . . Saturday, October 20 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Pitch Day . . . Friday, November 16 | 11:30am – 5:00 pm
You can RSVP to any of these events at

Class 18 Private Events (by invite only)
The following events are by invitation only; see your invite for RSVP information.

  • Class 18 Employment Workshop (Th, Nov 29 1:00pm-5:00pm)
  • Class 18 Business Plan Competition
    • Day One (Th, Dec 6 9:00a-5:00p)
    • Day Two (Fri, Dec 7 9:00a-2:00p)
  • Class 18 Graduation (Fri, Dec 7 2:00p-5:00p)

Ongoing Events

PEP also invites male volunteers (sorry, ladies!) to attend our Men’s Life programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:30 p.m.. Learn more here.

Sign up now to be part of the upcoming Class 16 Venture Capital Panel event.  The event will take place this Friday, August 26th from 12pm to 5pm in the Cleveland Correctional Facility.  

Venture Capital Panel combines the excitement of a developing business strategy with your years of expertise.  Participants will pitch their business plans to a panel of Executives, who will help determine feasibility, marketability, and the overall strength of the scheme.  Prepared to be impressed by the creativity and ingenuity of our Class 16 participants.  This will be the most exciting Venture Capital Panel yet!  Email David Joekel (  for more information, or click here to sign up! (We will have a bus leaving from Dallas on Friday morning for anyone who would like a ride to Cleveland.)  Visit to find out more about all of our in-prison events!

We are thrilled to introduce the new PEP blog, which will host all the most current information about PEP, our programs, participants, and proud moments.  We hope you’ll sign up for an RSS feed (in the top right corner of this page) or fill in your email at the bottom left of this page to be alerted when we post a new entry to this site.  As you know, one of our Ten Driving Values is Excellence, and we are committed to bringing you high-quality video, stories, and other content to make this blog a frequent destination choice for you.  We hope you’ll share this site with your friends and help us introduce new folks into the PEP Family!

Happy Reading!

Erin (aka “Bruiser”)

Communications Specialist, PEP Dallas