Lead founder | ceo
Stephanie Hall Powell
Lead Founder and Executive Director Stephanie Hall Powell served 9 years in the United States Air Force. Four years were spent as a Military Training Instructor (MTI). She started a preschool, kindergarten preparation school and business in Hawaii. She taught 6th – 10th grade Science at IDEA Public Schools and also served as Assistant Principal. She was selected for the nationally recognized Building Excellent Schools (BES) Fellowship, a year-long school design and leadership program that trains founders on the management, design, operations, governance, and accountability of public charter schools. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College and MEd in Instructional Leadership from Concordia University Texas. She is a divorced single mom of three amazing boys.
Board Member Dejah Behnke is the Vice President of Advancement at Great Hearts Academies. Dejah brings extensive experience in fund development, maintaining relationships with philanthropic communities, project management, and Board Governance.
Board Member Akeem Brown is Blue Duck’s Chief of Staff. He is responsible for developing the enterprise’s organizational structure including everything from human resources to customer service to quality control. Akeem has a master’s degree in public policy from New York University and most recently was interim CEO of San Antonio Growth on the Eastside (SAGE). He received his undergraduate degree in political science from South Carolina State University. Akeem has spent much of his career working on public policy, community outreach and organizational operations. He is a member of the VIA Metropolitan Transit Board, San Antonio Book Festival Advisory Board, board secretary of the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival, Steering Committee Chair of My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio, steering committee of the San Antonio Area African American Community Fund, and a graduate of Leadership San Antonio Class 43, also known as LSA300.
Dr. Milton Harris
Board Member, Dr. Milton Harris, is the Executive Director of 100 Black Men of San Antonio, Inc. He serves as the Chairman of the Van Courtlandt Foundation and is a small business owner. He has over four years of experience as a professor of finance and business. Dr. Harris served 20 years in the USAF and is a Real Estate Broker, serving as owner MB Harris Properties, LLC., a real estate investment company. He received the San Antonio Black Achievement Award for Business in 2007 and was recognized for community leadership and entrepreneurship by Top Ladies of Distinction in 2017. He was awarded mentor of the year by 100 Black Men of San Antonio, Inc. in 2017. Dr. Harris earned a Doctor of Business Administration in Finance from Walden University, a MBA from Webster University, and a BS in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University.
Board Member Michelle Taylor is the senior-level sales professional and Regional Sales Trainer with GI Supply Medical Devices. She brings experience in marketing strategies, sales, networking, and guiding organizations to sustainable success.
Board Member Xavier Toson is the Stash Media Group Founder and CEO as well as a member of the Rotary International District 5840. Xavier brings marketing and board governance experience from the African American Chamber of Commerce and Breaking Down Walls.
Board Member Stephen Villela is the Creative Producer & CFO at CineVeliz Media Group, LLC. Stephen brings educational experience as a former high school teacher, production experience in featured films, TV, and commercials, and entrepreneurial experience running his business High Key Media Group.
Board Member, Rhapsody Vogt, is a hardworking, trustworthy, passionate and energetic Senior Realtor at Vivid Realty. Rhapsody is the Local San Antonio Secretary of Women's Council of Realtors. Rhapsody is proud of her diverse work experience, starting with eight years at Hartford Insurance sales and ten years in public education (6 yrs teaching and 4 yrs administration). She also currently works with the Outreach and Recruitment Office at San Antonio College to help all students meet their college potential. Rhapsody holds multiple degrees, including a Bachelors of Arts in Biology, a MBA in Organizational Management, a Master of Education in School Leadership, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Transformational Leadership. Rhapsody is a native to San Antonio and knows the demands of growth and the need for high quality education for all.
Board Member, Earl Blanche, is the Founder, CEO, and managing member of Blanche, LLC. Earl is one of two black Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in San Antonio, retired from the Internal Revenue Service and brings extensive financial expertise in tax preparation, tax controversy, and board governance.