Our Mission

ProUnitas' mission is to ensure every child has access to the right resources at the right time in order to succeed in school and beyond.

Our Core Values

Relentless pursuit of quality 

Communicate and follow up

Just say it!

We check our biases at the door, are morally courageous, and bring our whole self to work

Don't get lost in the thick of thin things 

Not in our feelings, focus on the essentials, listen to understand and be perceptive

Grow or die

Willing to give and accept feedback, constantly growing, willing to listen and change

Let go of the vine! 

Status does not count, empower people, delegate and elevate, collaborative, act as a team

Meet Our Team

ADEEB BARQAWI - President & CEO

Adeeb is a former physics teacher through Teach for America and received numerous awards during his tenure, including the Kinder Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the State of Texas ACP Beginner Teacher of the Year Award. Prior to Teach for America, Adeeb worked for the pharmaceutical industry. 

Adeeb holds a Master’s degree in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University as well as a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Adeeb is an alumnus of the Center for Houston’s Future Fall 2015 Business/Civic Executive Leadership Forum, and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum Class XXXVII.

Adeeb’s conviction toward educational equity lead him to be recognized as one of five people who are most likely to shape Houston’s future by the Houston Chronicle. In 2017, Adeeb was appointed by the Texas State Board of Education to serve on the new Texas Long Range Plan for Public Education steering committee where he worked alongside exceptional leaders to set a new vision for public education for the State of Texas. Adeeb is currently an Executive Board member of Good Reason Houston and Healthy Living Matters.

ALBERT WEI - Chief Strategy & Growth Officer

Albert started his work in education as an undergraduate student at Rice University, and has taught in some of Houston’s most disadvantaged schools. Albert is a recipient of the Salman Khan Commencement Award for Educational Entrepreneurship at Rice University for his work in education domestically and abroad.

After receiving a B.A. in Political Science, he continued teaching through Teach for America. Albert earned the Beginning Teacher of the Year distinction for the Houston Independent School District, became social studies department chair, and served as the Director of the College and Career Center at Sharpstown High School.

Albert spent a year in Asia on a Fulbright Fellowship to work with local teachers to deliver robust English curricula and study the ways the East incorporates social-emotional learning in school culture and instruction.

EDITH RAHIMIAN - Chief Program Officer

Edith has served in the field of education for more than thirteen years and has always believed in the power and the impact of partnerships. Prior to her current role, she was the Director for the Center for Parenting and Family Well-Being at Children at Risk. Previously, she served as a Dean of Instruction, Director of Parent and Student Initiatives, a Grade Level Chair and teacher at YES Prep Public Schools. As a classroom teacher, Edith was honored with the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award. Before joining YES Prep, she was a teacher in HISD in a high-needs community as a Teach For America Corps Member. Edith’s drive for ensuring educational equity for all students, despite family background and zip code, stems from her own personal journey.  She is the daughter of Iranian immigrants and the first one in her family to graduate from college. 

Edith holds a B.S. in Business Administration, a B.A in Political Science from the University of Arizona and a Masters in Non-Profit Administration from the University of Houston-Downtown. Edith Edith’s dedication goes beyond her current role as she is involved in her community as a member of the HISD Resource Allocation Advisory Committee, a member of the Tenant’s Rights Advisory Board and a founding board member of Bloom Academy.  She is committed to ensuring that all students from all communities across Texas have access to great schools and educational programs.

MICHAEL FRALEY - Director - Service Providers

Michael, originally from Michigan, received his B.A. in Communications from Grand Valley State University and a M.A. in Student Affairs Administration from Ball State University. He began his career working on college campuses to assist in college student development within residence life. He soon began his career in non-profits.

For the past ten years, Michael has worked in various non profits within the poverty and housing sector to build systems to better address homelessness within our communities. Before ProUnitas, Michael was at the Coalition for the Homeless working with homeless youth providers to find housing solutions for the homeless youth population in Harris County.

Michael also owned and operated his own jam and marmalade business for six years. He has won three Good Food Awards for his creations. Michael's favorite flavor is black currant jam and, while retired from the business, can often be found still making jam. Michael is very excited to come back to work in the education field to assist in building systems that aids in student success.

DHRUV KHATTAR - Director - Product

Dhruv graduated with an MBA/MS in Information Management from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2014 and has been working with the nonprofit sector ever since. Prior to graduating from W. P. Carey School of Business, Dhruv worked at Microsoft and Amazon. He has built a career around bringing cutting-edge operations and technology to mission-driven organizations.

Dhruv is a compulsive problem solver with deep interest in design thinking, analytics and customer experience. In his spare time, Dhruv enjoys cooking and dance fitness.

DONUA MCDANIEL - Manager - District Success

Donua McDaniel has been with ProUnitas since its inception. Prior to her current role, she served as a Wraparound Resource Specialist at Kashmere High School and Key Middle School. She took on roles of leadership through mentoring other Specialists and leading district-wide trainings. Her passion for systemic change for communities of color began with her exposure to grassroots capacity building as a two term AmeriCorps member, serving at HCDE Case for Kids and LISC Houston in civic engagement. She also served on the Houston Area Action Team in the Kashmere/Trinity Gardens community for the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and continues to support communities of color through volunteering.

Her drive and focus derive from her 4-year service in the United States Army. She is a Houston native and brings high levels of energy, humility, and passion to the work of serving kids.

JOSE SILVA - Manager - District Success

Jose Silva hails from North Carolina and brings with him extensive experience working with our student population. His energy, optimism, and passion for educational equity makes him a strong Impact Manager, supporting care coordinators in connecting students to holistic supports.

CELINA DIAZ - Manager - District Success

Celina is a ten-year veteran elementary teacher who began teaching in Fort Bend ISD. She went on to teach in some of Dickinson ISD’s most disadvantaged schools where she was named “Teacher of the Year” at Hughes Road Elementary for the 2011-2012 scholastic year. Celina also served as Academic Director at Mission Squash where she pursued her passion of wanting to close the opportunity gap for all students. She then took her leadership back into the classroom to continue inspiring young minds at Houston ISD and served a two-year term as grade level chair at Briargrove Elementary. Celina remains dedicated to putting an end to educational inequity and believes all students should have the opportunity to thrive in the classroom and beyond. 

Celina graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Early Childhood Education, at Texas A&M University and holds a Master of Arts in Sociology and Education with Education Policy Concentration from Teachers College at Columbia University.

JAIME HERRERO - Senior Manager - District Success

Soon after graduating from law school, Jaime started his career as an attorney at the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit legal office in the Bronx transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system. Jaime then founded Xmental, a community-based arts organization in Brooklyn, NY. He served as the Director of NeON Arts, a city-wide, community-based grant making program designed to provide young New Yorkers with access to high-quality arts programming and worked as the Chief of Staff at Phipps Neighborhoods, a Bronx-based social service organization and the largest provider of low-income housing in New York City. 

He served on the board of Critical Practices, 21st Projects, and currently serves on the board of Latino Texas PAC. 

Jaime has a BA from Case Western University in Ohio and has a JD from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law School.

Currently, Jaime is working on a book chronicling the role of philanthropy in the growth of the city of Houston from the Hogg Family to J.J.Watt. 

JOHN B. REYNA - General Counsel

John is ProUnitas’ legal counsel through Metcalf Adair Law Firm, PLLC which is a full-service firm that provides practical legal solutions for individuals and businesses in any industry, including the non-profit industry. John provides legal counsel to ProUnitas in the practice areas of business transactions and contracts, policy creation, and general business advice. His practice for other Metcalf Adair clients includes mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, and commercial litigation.

John graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a focus in Comparative Cultural Studies at The Ohio State University. He received his Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law and his Masters of Laws in Taxation from SMU’s Dedman School of Law.

ROBIN POWELL, CPA- Accountant

Robin Powell earned her undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Houston where she met her husband of 33 years and where two of her children have also graduated.

Robin has had a nonprofit accounting practice since 1997 and works with many nonprofit organizations in the Houston area along with volunteer work in her community and at her church. After 20 years in corporate and tax accounting, Robin felt that working with nonprofits was the best way to use her skills to give back to the community which has been her home for over 40 years.

Board of Directors 2019

    George Earle

    Board Chair
    Director, Global Commercial Office
    Thought Works, Inc.

    Adeeb Barqawi

    President
    Chief Executive Officer
    ProUnitas Inc.

    Amy Hinojosa

    Director
    Process Engineer
    Chevron

    Craig Wessels

    Director
    Executive Vice President
    Amegy Bank

    Darlene Wheatley

    Director
    Financial manager
    Houston ISD

    Kurt Schneiber

    Director
    President & CEO
    Clear Horizon Leadership

    Advisory Board 2019

    Champ Warren

    Managing Director
    Private Wealth Advisor at
    Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

    Chase Untermeyer

    International Business Consultant
    Former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar

    Christina Triantaphyllis

    Director of Government Partnerships at Texas Policy Lab
    Rice University

    Denny Lehman

    Co-founder
    Prodigal Sun

    Joseph G. Greenberg

    Chief Executive Officer
    ALTA Resources

    Karthik Rajan

    Product Marketing &Growth
    Just Energy

    Leah Barton

    Vice President & General Manager
    Direct Energy

    Mark E. Gregg

    President & CEO
    KiwiGroup, LLC, General Partner