With unanimous support from City Council on March 24, Mayor Sylvester Turner appointed the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) Advisory Board – Rogelio Pombrol, Alicia Jimerson, Edgartt Melton, Craig Williams, Grace Rodriguez, Brandi Harleaux, Suzan Deison, Adriana Gonzalez, Nicholas Morgan, Thom Ronk, Alan Bergeron, Raoul Keddy, Marlon Mitchell, Laura Jaramillo, and Christina Moore.
Comprised of representatives from the business community, the Advisory Board will assist OBO in advancing its mission to cultivate a competitive and diverse economic environment in the City of Houston, with special emphasis on historically underutilized businesses and disenfranchised individuals.
Brandi Harleaux, Chief Operations Officer for Post Oak Recycling Center, will serve as this year’s board chair. She has served on the OBO Advisory Board since 2018. Before becoming successor to her 25-year old metal recycling company, Harleaux worked as a strategic leader and consultative talent management and organization development executive within highly matrixed and complex Fortune 500 companies.
“As a business owner, I realize and see the need and value of the OBO department within the City of Houston,” Harleaux said. “I look forward to getting the ball rolling in collaboration with the rest of the Advisory Board as we focus on short, medium, and long term goals in supporting the Mayor’s Office of Business Opportunity.”
Serving part of her tenure at the onset of the pandemic, Harleaux said the support and access needed by Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises became more apparent, especially given the emerging opportunities that have been birthed in today’s economic and societal climate. She aims to lead the board in assisting OBO to increase its visibility and reach within the small business community, create a space for communication and input from certified firms, and ensure OBO has access to resources needed to offer programs that have maximum impact.
Roger Pombrol, President of Emerald Standard Services – an electrical contracting and engineering firm – will serve as vice-chair. Pombrol also serves on the board of the National Association of Minority Contractors Greater Houston Chapter as Executive Vice Chair and Chair of the Education Committee. He is also a graduate of Accelerate Latinx, an executive education capacity-building program offered by OBO.
“The OBO Advisory Board is comprised of outstanding individuals with the insight, experience and dedication to helping provide equal access and opportunities to Houston’s entrepreneurs and the minority, women and small business community,” said OBO Director Marsha Murray. “On behalf of the entire OBO team, I am grateful for their time and commitment to helping us execute our mission and meet our goals.”