Board of Directors
Dr. Ahmed Ansari is a native Houstonian of Indian descent. Ahmed started working with PEH as an undergraduate student at the University of Houston and has been involved with PEH for more than a decade. Ahmed holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Houston and a Doctorate in Medicine from Texas Tech University. He is currently an Internal Medicine Resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and will soon be a Cardiology Fellow.
Ms. Angeli Arjunani is the owner of AH CPA’s PLLS and a member of its Executive Committee. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Houston CPA Society, and Houston Business and Estate Planning Council. She specializes in analyzing, designing, and implementing effective tax solutions for high net worth and highly compensated individuals including medical professionals, business owners, executives, ranchers and farmers, and software consultants. Ms. Arjunani is involved in a number of charitable, civic, and religious organizations including being the Board Member, President, and Treasurer of Edu4All Inc. She graduated from Rice University with an MBA in finance and worked at KPMG before starting her own practice. She currently resides in Houston with her husband and son.
Mr. Asif Dakri is the Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Wallis State Bank. Mr. Dakri is also active within the Houston business community, giving various speeches on financing challenges faced by small businesses. Additionally, he serves as a speaker and panel member for the University of Houston’s SURE program and also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the business school at North American University. Mr. Dakri is an active member of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and the South Asian Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Dakri is also a member of FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking.
Mr. Zahid Gaj is the Head of HealthCare Marketing for Altus Health Care Systems, where he leads both sales and marketing teams. Mr. Gaj is one of the founders of the company and has been with Altus since 2002. He attended Rhodes University in South Africa and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a Post Graduate in Enterprise Management from the same school.
Ms. Shaila Hossain has almost 30 years of experience in the energy industry. Currently, she provides advisory services to energy companies and mostly recently she was Head of Business Development at BioUrja Trading LLC. Prior to that role she was partner at Captra Capital LLC, an energy infrastructure fund. In her roles at Willow Bend Capital Management and IS Jacana, Hossain provided strategic energy advisory services to hedge funds, private equity funds, energy companies, development companies and other investors on energy assets ranging in values from $20 million to more than $2 billion. At Panda Energy, she focused on power and gas reliability strategies to support Panda’s North American gas-fired power generation development projects. Hossain began her career at Panhandle Eastern Corp. and affiliates as a marketing analyst, and served as a chemicals business analyst and senior transportation representative at FINA, Inc. Hossain holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Basheer Khumawala is currently the John & Rebecca Moores Professor of Supply Chain Management at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Previously he has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rice University, and other national & international universities. He and his wife, Dr. Saleha, founded Pennies for Education & Health in 2003. Basheer also serves on the Coalition of Mutual Respect Board of ADL, the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston and others. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Administration from Purdue University, was a Senior Fullbright Faculty Specialist, and is widely traveled.
Dr. Saleha Khumawala is the Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting and the Founding Director of the SURE™ (Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship) Program at Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. As the director of SURE™, she works with Houston’s under-resourced communities and Veterans by providing financial and business education, management and skills training, and access to capital. Her passion for education led her to establish a nonprofit entity Pennies of Education and Health (PEH) in 2003 that has a sponsorship program to fund the educational needs of underserved children in the developing world, regardless of their faith, gender, or ethnicity. She is also involved in Interfaith activities and is continually involved in relief work for refugees and evacuees. She is married and has two wonderful children.
Dr. Richard Scamell is the Professor of Decision and Information Sciences and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. His teaching areas include Database Management Systems, Decision Support Systems, and MIS Research methods. Spanning decades of experience in working with students, Scamell has served at many different levels, including service on several Ph.D. student committees, as both a committee member and chairperson, and received numerous awards for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Houston and Bauer College. Scamell also serves as the University of Houston NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. He joined the Faculty in 1972.
Mr. Irfan Uddin has been in the technology industry since 1991. He worked for GE in Houston for 5 years and then moved to Dallas for the next 23 years to work for Texas Instruments in the wireless, industrial, and automotive product areas. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UH in 1987 and 1991 before eventually completing an MBA from SMU in 2010. For the first 20 years, he resided in Plano with his wife, Shaila Hossain. Outside of work he completed 6 years of service in the Plano Mosque as a Board member, 4 years of volunteer service as a member of the City of Plano Multicultural Outreach Roundtable and 2 years of service as an active member of Rotary International and served as the chair of the Rotary Foundation for the 2016-17 E-Club of North Texas which was focused on deploying funded projects in developing countries.
Ms. Tasnim Vadva has lived in Texas for the last 28 years and has devoted a significant amount of time participating in community service and charitable organizations. Tasnim joined the PEH Board of Directors in 2018 and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston. Before her current roles, she was the first Muslim President of the India Association of Southeast Texas for several years and participated in other non-profit work with Relay for Life and March of Dimes, whose efforts she continues to advance. Ms. Vadva has also served on the board of the Garth House in Beaumont, a child advocacy center that provides a safe environment for abused women and children and has chaired numerous events for the American Heart Association including the “Go Red For Women” campaign of the local chapter. She has tirelessly worked to spread awareness and promote involvement in her social and cultural causes and hopes to remain committed to them in the years to come.
Mr. H. Richard Walton (Chairman) serves as Chief Financial Officer Emeritus of Flotek Industries Inc., a public technology-driven company that develops and supplies energy chemistries and oilfield products, services and equipment. Prior to joining Flotek, Mr. Walton spent his entire 30-year career in public accounting, including 20 years as an audit partner at KPMG LLP. His experience includes financial statement audits and registration of securities with the SEC. Mr. Walton is a certified public accountant and has served as an officer in the United States Army. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Economics and Business Admiration. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of DePelchin Children’s Center, and as a member of the board of trustees of the Retina Research Foundation. He also serves on the Audit and Finance Committee of Houston Hospice.
Mr. Bilal Zakaria is a native Houstonian with roots in Gujarat, India. Since 2005, Bilal has been involved with PEH in several capacities. He has seen and experienced the positive impacts that PEH has made to its beneficiaries. Bilal holds a BBA in Accounting and a BS in Economics from the University of Houston. Bilal is a Vice President at Goldman Sachs and currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife.