Illustrations by Lower Elementary Students
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I was introduced to Pines through a friend and ex-banker, Richard Hendee. The previous Board Chair, also a banker, was stepping down and left a space on the board for a member that is attuned to the current local and broader economic status of finance and banking.
I moved to Kingwood in 2016 after accepting a position with First Financial Bank (previously Commercial State Bank). During my time here I have helped numerous small businesses grow through financing and I take pride in being a resource for the community.
My experience in finance and banking allows me to key in on the financial aspect of running Pines. I will continue to use my experience and market knowledge to contribute to the long-term financial stability of the school. My way of thinking is data driven and I believe I can support the mission and vision of Pines by ensuring the right financial plans are in place to meet our goals.
It is my hope that my time with Pines will leave the school closer to its long-term goals than when I began. One of the school’s goals is the expansion of the elementary classrooms and I would love to see this goal complete before my time on the board is up.
I am looking forward to the growth of Pines and the positive impact it will have on Kingwood. Through Montessori teachings, this school is nurturing future leaders who will grow up and understand the importance of giving back to the community.
My experience with Pines Montessori School goes back several years. Our Head of School Patty Sobelman and I have collaborated in a variety of ways the past 20 years. I had the honor of serving on the Pines’ Board of Directors as Vice Chair 2010 to 2013 and am excited to join the team again. My 6-year-old granddaughter, Anna Laura, has attended Pines since she was three months old and was placed on the waiting list when she was first conceived because it is the only place even considered for her educational needs.
I’ve worked in the field of education for nearly 30 years in the private, public, and higher ed sectors and as a credential Montessori teacher trainer, I enjoy traveling across the US and internationally to provide a variety of trainings. Currently, I am a faculty member providing teacher education with the Associate of Arts in Teaching Program and also teach students in the lifePATH® Program both at Lone Star College-Tomball in Texas.
My hope is to help Pines’ leadership and faculty meet their goals to best aid the children’s, employees, and community’s needs. I love seeing the sparkle in the eyes of children when a new concept is understood so simply finding ways to help make Pines sustainable for future generations will be very fulfilling. I was raised in and currently live in Spring, TX. I look forward to meeting you and your children!
I moved to the Houston area in 2020 and then to Kingwood in 2021 with my wife after taking a job as a commercial lender for First Financial Bank. At First Financial, I became coworkers and good friends with Kris Colangelo, who is an active Board member of Pines. Kris knew I was trying to plant my roots in Kingwood as well as serve the community I live in, so he introduced me to Patty and the rest is history.
I moved here from Waco where I grew up and started my banking career after graduating from Baylor University. The reason for the move was to explore life outside of Waco but to also find community. Being able to see Pines grow in the short time I have been on the board and to see the community Pines has built makes me thrilled to be a part of Pines.
My experience in banking and finance has given me the chance to work with several small business around the area. My goal is to take those same things I have learned over the years in banking to help Pines continue the success and financial stability that has been established. I hope with my help along with the other board members, we continue to establish a base and goals that keeps Pines successful for many years to come.
I am excited for the opportunity to be apart of a growing organization with goals to contribute to a better world through the children enrolled at Pines. Furthermore, I am excited to learn from Patty and the other Board members and to serve the community I am already proud to apart of.
I lived in the Atascocita side of Kingwood for over a decade, I was surprised to discover this quiet gem by meeting Ms. Patty as part of our business development ongoing education through Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business training. My daughter is a product of Montessori and as a result of our experience, I've been an advocate for the benefits of a Montessori education even since. Patty and I were in the same cohort where together we learned quite a bit about growing our businesses. I moved around a bit in the last few years, returning to Texas in the Meyerland area in 2018. I joined one of the GS Round Table support groups and was delighted to reconnect with Ms. Patty and Pines.
Along the years I've bootstrapped several small businesses, helped grow other people's businesses and managed large pathology laboratories for multi-facility medical centers in places like Seattle, WA, San Francisco CA and around Texas including Houston and Galveston. My best skills lie in listening deeply to uncover the underlying- and often undiscerned - core of a problem, working in teams to achieve impossible goals, and generally inserting fun in all aspects of my work (how very Montessori!!)
I joined the board last year and the process has been a learning experience. Originally I thought this was an advisory board but it's more of a working opportunity with projects and goals much like the companies I've supported in the past. I look forward to investing my energies in any way that will make a difference in the sustainability and growth of this remarkable school. I know what my family has gained by educating my now-adult daughter during her formative years in Montessori: supporting this education for the hundreds of children enrolled at Pines is an easy choice.
My children, Grace and David, attended Pines from age 3 through 3rd grade. It was a transformative experience for them and us as a family and we all gained a passion for Montessori and for Pines in particular. I wanted to give back after getting so much from our relationship with the Pines family.
I moved to Kingwood in 2002 and have worked in Humble ISD in Special Education, met my husband and raised a family here. We love Kingwood.
I have almost 20 years experience in education and am a leader in my own small corner of Humble ISD. My knowledge and passion for education in general, and my passion for Montessori education in particular helps me to share and work toward the vision of the future of Pines. I believe my purpose on the board is to help the amazing staff of Pines to fulfill their mission and vision.
I am nearing the end of my three-year term with Pines and have loved working and serving on this board. Great things happen every single day at Pines and I hope I have made an impact on the future vision and helping it come to fruition.
I am so excited about the growth in Pines Montessori, a school that is one of the oldest employers in Kingwood. I feel lucky to have been a part of looking forward to fifty years in business! I love the idea of new buildings, updated playgrounds, and materials to make Montessori in Kingwood the best in the world. But the thing the excites me the most about the future is the children who exit Pines and go on to become global citizens and bring peace, and change to our world, thanks to the education they receive here.
Richard has worked for large national financial institutions as well as regional and local community banks. He has held positions as Regional President, Senior Vice-President, Department and Group Manager, and National Marketing and Sales Director, and Branch Manager. Financial services groups reporting to Richard have included small business banking, international and domestic private banking, executive and professional banking, consumer banking, indirect auto, student lending, central credit, mortgage lending, workout solutions, and community development.
As Director, President, or Officer with over 30 different organizations, Richard has a long history of serving in leadership capacities in the non-profit and community service sectors. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Silver Fox Advisors and President of the Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund. He was the first non-attorney to Chair a State Bar of Texas Committee and a local Houston State Bar Grievance Committee. He is also a life member of two public service entities. He has received numerous awards including the Independent Bankers Association of Texas’ President’s Award.
David has held positions as the CFO, Controller, Treasurer, and Director of Internal Audit for multi-national corporations. These companies have been industry leaders in a wide variety of industries including oil service, chemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. He has successfully increased the efficiencies of the various financial teams he has managed and led implementations of numerous financial software systems. Recently he played an important role in the creation of a global shared services operation, which handles payables, receivables, and accounting, allowing a domestic company to reduce its financial staff in half with savings of $1.5 million.
David is actively involved in non-profit organizations including participation and leadership on the boards of private schools, civic organization, his congregation and country club.
After 30 years of working in line and staff positions in multi-national corporations, Mary Kole started a consulting practice focused on assisting leaders of public and private companies with the development and implementation of strategies to achieve company or organization objectives. Her recent clients have included integrated energy, engineering services, power generation, business consulting, software development and service companies as well as non-profit organizations. Mary is a professional Business Leadership Mentor and former Chairman, President and Vice President of the Silver Fox Advisors.
With multi-national energy companies, she held various positions of increasing responsibility including General Manager, Global Operations where she led a global organization responsible for transportation of refined products via ships, barges, pipelines, and railcars, for inventory levels throughout the supply chain, for a recycled-oil processing plant and for ship bunkering operations in the Panama Canal. As Manager of Retail Marketing, she managed an organization with profit & loss responsibility for supplying a network of 2000 retail service stations including service station acquisitions and divestitures, real estate sales, credit exposure, brand presentation, advertising, and retail imaging.
As President of Industry Model Enterprise LLC, an organization she created, she led 140 employees from 14 oil companies to develop a breakthrough vision for streamlining the industry’s mid- and back-office processes through a standardized, web-enabled solution.
Mary also managed a commercial trading business, directing a team of refined products and feedstocks traders engaged in short-term and long-term trading, purchase and sale agreements. She held the position of Accounting and Finance Manager where she supervised a team that provided financial analysis, accounting, and back-office support for crude and refined products physical, futures, and options trading.
Earlier in her career, Mary served as a Market Research Analyst with a major Japanese motor company, designing and conducting market research studies for current and future car models.
Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, both from the University of Southern California. Having lived in Mexico City as a child, she is fluent in Spanish.
Rainee is a seasoned leader and entrepreneur who has spent her career working with businesses and organizations of various sizes—and across many industries—to achieve and sustain operational excellence. She brings unique, innovative solutions to her clients while leveraging her expertise in business management, operations, systems, and people strategy. She also leverages a powerful, yet simple, business management system called EOS which builds a solid foundation necessary to grow a successful business. Her expertise combined with EOS is a game-changer for her fast-growing clients.
Prior to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Rainee held successive leadership positions in the software, consulting, healthcare, banking, transportation, energy, and manufacturing industries. Her experience ranges from sparking operational excellence within a large, $13-billion turnaround initiative to small, innovative start-ups. She started her career as a software engineer and quickly moved into leading teams of people and improving business efficiency through process reengineering, software, and systems.
Her passion for leadership and the opportunity to develop great employees has always been her guiding principle. As an operational excellence practitioner, she consistently emphasizes that a business is only as good as its people. Her leadership skills have proved invaluable while working with companies to create human capital practices and people strategy plans. Throughout her career, Rainee has affirmed her belief that the best and most successful companies have people-focused leaders as well as engaged, passionate employees from top to bottom.
After several years of focusing on people strategy and execution, Rainee realized that many businesses were missing the key elements necessary to support the people-related programs and practices she developed for them. They were lacking a clear vision and the execution skills necessary to achieve operational efficiency through discipline, accountability, and metrics—all critical elements to operating any successful business. Her experience and expertise, combined with the power of EOS, have enabled her to earn many “raving fan” clients.
Rainee is extremely passionate about working with privately held, small to medium-sized, fast-growing businesses that are ready to take it to the next level and achieve true, sustainable operational excellence. She is blessed to get the chance to change people’s lives while doing what she loves. Rainee’s focus and belief is that when you transform businesses, you are really changing the lives of owners, leaders, and employees, empowering them to directly enhance their families, relationships, and the communities in which they live.
Our fundamental premise is that we have selected a Board of:
talented, competent, kind, motivated, flexible, fun and responsible adults
and that they, in turn, have chosen Pines Montessori School as the place that they
want to serve.
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