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OUR BOARD
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Gerald Merfish holds bachelor’s and master’s in business administration from the University of Texas. He worked at his family’s business, now called United Pipe and Steel, as lead executive from 1978 to 2019. It is now a 104-year-old business and the USA’s largest master distributor of steel, plastic, and copper tubular products for the construction industry.
 
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. He hopes his wife since 1973, Sherry, his two daughters, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and 3 grandchildren will carry on the family legacy of philanthropy.

Gerald Merfish, President
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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. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate degree. Additionally, 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.
 
Dr. Gunn co-founded Promise Village Academy with three other educators after a visit to Tanzania in 2010. What she found there was 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.

Donna Gunn, Co-Vice president
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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 Long Island City, NY with his wife and two children.

Ravi Reddy, Co-Vice president
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Richard Jackson, “Fuzzy,” was born in New Orleans and moved to Houston with his family in 1949 where his father set up his 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, and an 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 for 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.

Richard Jackson, Treasurer
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