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Leadership Team

Get to know the people behind
Promise Village Academy.
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Gerald Merfish holds a BBA & MBA from the University of Texas-Austin. He led his family’s business, Merfish Pipe & Supply, for over 40 years selling the business in October 2021 to Reliance Metals & Aluminum and he retired at that time.   Upon retirement Gerald formed Merfish Advisors that specializes in helping small businesses achieve success.  

 

Besides leading the family business, Gerald has extensive non-profit experience. He has received numerous awards for his non-profit work in the Jewish community, greater Houston community, and the pipe distribution industry. These include the David H. White Award, the Ron Herring Award, the Knowles-Rubinstein Award, the Max H. Nathan Human Relations Award, and an induction into the National Multiple Sclerosis Volunteer Hall of Fame. Gerald is hopeful that his two daughters, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and 4 grandchildren will carry-on he and his wife’s legacy of philanthropy.

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Dr. Donna Gunn has served more than 50 years in education where she worked as a teacher and manager of private schools. In 2000, Dr. Gunn established her firm, Learning, Evaluation, and Resources Network where she served as a lead evaluator on federal projects until her retirement in 2020. She now serves as a consultant on educational projects in third world countries including Tanzania, Nicaragua, Uganda, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.

 

In 2010, Dr. Gunn visited Tanzania with three other educators and noticed a lack of education and resources for the Maasai tribe and their children. As a lifelong educator herself, she came back to the US with a determination to help educate the children of northern Tanzania. Her mission statement, Education, Clean Water, and Improved Health Care can clearly be seen in the work taking place at Promise Village Academy.

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Ravi Reddy holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas, a master’s degree in civil engineering from New York University, and a certification in construction management from NYU. Ravi founded Citistructure, a construction and real estate development firm in New York City in March of 2001 and has since completed over $250,000,000 of construction throughout New York and New Jersey.

 

In addition to running Citistructure, Ravi is heavily involved in many non-profit organizations and philanthropic endeavors. He is a managing director of Privilege2Serve, which builds schools in 4th world nations, a board member of McCloud Cares, which serves underprivileged children in the NY/NJ area, an ambassador for the Miracle Foundation, which operates orphanages in India, and a trustee for the board of the Haverford School, a prep school for boys in the suburbs of Philadelphia, from which he graduated. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and two children.

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Richard “Fuzzy” Jackson, was born in New Orleans and moved to Houston with his family in 1949 where his father set up his medical practice in internal medicine and pulmonary disease. Richard followed in his dad’s footsteps, becoming a doctor after getting his bachelor’s at Washington University, master’s in biochemistry at Baylor Medical School, and his MD degree at UT Southwestern Medical School. He served as a major in the US Air Force and then entered practice with his father in 1976.

 

Richard’s history of volunteer work has been honored by the American College of Physicians and he is listed in “Best Doctors in America” and other publications. His work also includes serving as a member of the board of trustees of his congregation, organizing city wide health fairs for the homeless, and serving on the board of Emergency Aid Coalition for twenty-one years, eight as president. He started his own foundation, Mali Nieta Foundation, which sends medical supplies to areas of Peru and Africa and he helped design and build a library for Promise Village Academy which is solar powered with internet services to help educate the children in school.

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