About Our Chapter
Houston+Acumen is a volunteer-led chapter supporting Acumen’s mission to create a world beyond poverty by investing patient capital in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. As one of 23+ global +Acumen chapters, we support this mission by building a local community of socially-oriented leaders and cultivating an understanding of Acumen’s values.
Our 2014 team is comprised of four committees:
+1. Education & Outreach. Create discourse in Houston and both gain and share knowledge on topics such as social entrepreneurship, economic development, and impact investing
+2. Events / Party Planning. Throw Houston+Acumen’s parties and other events to raise awareness and funds critical to maintaining investor partner status
+3. Communications / Marketing. Raise awareness about Acumen and Houston+Acumen’s mission and events through targeted communication and marketing
+4. Community Engagement. Partner with like-minded organizations to raise awareness about Acumen and Houston+Acumen, and support the initiatives of others
Meet the team
Lisa Houlton is passionate about using entrepreneurial skill and sound business strategy to promote positive global impact. +Acumen empowers individuals in emerging economies to build powerful, sustainable solutions for their communities. Lisa wants to commits her efforts toward raising awareness about +Acumen and promoting impact investment as well as social entrepreneurship.
Lisa is a Senior Consultant in IBM’s Strategy & Analytics practice. She helps clients build innovative strategies to compete in the marketplace. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in International Business from Texas A&M and loves travel, international politics, and beach volleyball.
Kyle Hagerty graduated from Texas A&M in Economics, where he led an organization that mentored international students while they studied in the United States. After graduating, Kyle moved to Houston where he works as a private tutor while he pursues his PhD in Economics. Kyle began serving his community through scouting at a young age, eventually attaining the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
In addition to his work with +Acumen, Kyle is an active member of Amnesty International, founding clubs in both high school and college to promote Amnesty’s campaign for human rights. Kyle wants to positively impact the world through Economics. +Acumen is the perfect fit, combining his knowledge of economics, passion for cooperative development and desire to serve the global community.
Neil Abdalla received his B.S. in Geoscience at the Pennsylvania State University and M.S. in Petroleum Geology at the University of Houston. Currently, he works as a Senior Consultant at Gaffney, Cline & Associates in Houston, a global consultancy specializing in A&D in the energy industry.
Neil was drawn to Acumen by its entrepreneurial and strategic approach to tackle poverty via patient capital and micro-financing in emerging economies around the world. He strongly believes in +Acumen’s supporting efforts to develop a network of diverse individuals to help raise awareness about global poverty and the unique way in which Acumen approaches it. In his free time, Neil loves to golf, run and do yoga.
Gail Gariepy is excited to be a part of the +Acumen community because the organization combines her desire to help others with her interest in investing and business. She believes that empowering others to improve their communities through innovative business solutions is one of the best ways to eradicate poverty and is a necessity for continued global growth.
Gail graduated with a BBA in Accounting and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University. She is also a licensed CPA and member of the AICPA and TSCPA. She is currently a Senior Accountant at NET Midstream, a natural gas pipeline and gas marketing company, and previously worked at PwC with a variety of global clients in the oil & gas industry. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her dog, Blue, and running.
A native Houstonian, Ruth Gotschall is finishing up her economics degree and math minor at the University of Houston. She is thrilled to find that Acumen combines a business savvy and sound economic principles to make a tangible impact on the seemingly large problem of combatting poverty issues. She is very excited to begin her newfound role as a local leader of this promising foundation. She brings an analytical background and quantitative skills and an enthusiasm for economics. Previously, she attended Birmingham Southern College where she was in the Leadership Studies Program, Quest II Student Programming Committee, and had experience on her sorority-Alabama Alpha Pi Beta Phi’s Philanthropy committee. She has tutored and TAed in economics. She anticipates an exciting year for the Houston+Acumen Chapter full of growth and development.