Meet The Winners of the 2018 Black Gold Election
Lloyd Ford - Business Development
A devoted Houston native received a B.B.A in management information systems at Prairie View A&M University. Currently working as an IT Manager, he assures customer satisfaction and is passionate about community and economic growth of others.
Lloyd is a technically skilled, educated professional that brings progressive and practical knowledge in Information Technology. As a proactive team player with proven leadership skills, Lloyd has the ability to develop and inspire others through his leadership and dedication.
In his spare time, serving the community by feeding the homeless, and have volunteered for programs such as Meals on Wheels. Through his countless efforts and persistent drive, Lloyd believes in promoting positive community and economic growth in the Houston community for all.
“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.”
Robert Harding - City Planning & Business Integration
• Physics & Aquatic Science Teacher
• CEO, RST Bioscience, LLC & Aquaponics4Life
• Served on the Board of Directors for the private school attended by my children. I also served on the Board for a non-profit community garden program called "Seventh Harvest Research Institute".
• Robert was the principle investigator on a research grant to develop a diagnostic test for the space program (NASA).
• Robert has just been selected to be the first teacher in the state of Texas to teach a course in an emerging agricultural technology known as "Aquaponics".
Education & Awards
• MA, BA, University of California
• Award Winning NASA Contract Researcher, Inventor & Educator
• Teacher of Record for the first TEA sanctioned Aquaponics course offered in the state of Texas
• Space Act & Tech Brief Award for the development of a significant or technical contribution entitled “Rapid Detection Of the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV in Saliva Samples MSC-24451-1 that was determined to be of value in the conduct of an aeronautical or space activity of NASA
Iam Bennu - Domestic Policy & Sustainability
Iam bennu is a self-taught writer, artist, and futurist from New Orleans. I have seen this day coming for 20 years and have been researching and designing should I be needed. Fifteen years ago, I decided to deconstruct my life to find out how to live holistically and as selfsustainably as possible. I sold every electrical device I own, and my car, cut all utilities but water and began to learn how to live off the land and teach myself what life beyond the current paradigm, beyond what we have been taught, and made to believe. I lived five straight years off grid and growing my own food until Hurricane Katrina changed that and we had to leave the city. I was, ultimately prepared for the storm and survival. It only made it more real that we would all need to know how to live a new way. I used the destruction of my home to rebuild in more sustainably and add some holistic tech such as solar panels and water reclamation.
I have researched and lived sustainability and holistic life and technology, in hope that when the time came we would know how to let go and get back to our natural state in balance with nature. A simple but full life.
Jamaymon Bandele - Education
On March 4, 1983, Jaytoshia James gave birth to a baby boy in Houston, Texas. She named him JaMaymon after her grandfather. JaMaymon has been facing down challenges since birth.
At an early age he had to take speech therapy to correct the consequences of his poor hearing. His family lived in several small towns in Texas following work until settling down on the northside of Houston around 1988 the year JaMaymon began attending preschool. He was always a good student. In high school he scored within the top 5 percentile of African American students who took the PSAT and he would receive a full scholarship to Texas Southern University. He graduated from TSU with honors with a BA in history.
During his years as an undergrad JaMaymon was not only busy on campus but off campus as well. His love and concern for his people pushed him to start the student organization Afrikans Committed to Liberation (ACL) whose purpose was to advocate for community development, self sufficiency and black liberation. Under the auspices of ACL JaMaymon started a Saturday school focused on cultural enrichment, organized the Young Maroons a youth scouting organization, organized an annual Marcus Garvey parade and birthday celebration, founded Perfect Black Uhuru Academy an Afrikan centered school, helped with the foundation and operation of Siafu Village and Gods in the Tre, two other Afrikan centered schools as well as hosted and facilitated various other culturally appropriate events. As the director of Perfect Black Uhuru Academy JaMaymon taught his students using an Afrikan centered curriculum and materials he created himself. During this time too JaMaymon got married and had three children. While the marriage didn’t survive, JaMaymon's dedication to the uplifment of Black people everywhere never wavered.
He continues to teach children and adults Afrikan history, culture and Swahili. He currently teaches at Lone Star and San Jacinto colleges where he teaches English as a foreign language. He also does cultural enrichment at a couple of area schools (Gods in the Tre and Yellowstone Academy). He is fluent in Spanish being that he taught at La Unversidad Tecmilenio while living in Mexico for 1 ½ years, has a basic grasp of Swahili and is teaching himself Portuguese. JaMaymon's greatest ambition in life is to do his part to help Afrika win.
JaMaymon Bandele, from Pre-K to College, has always been a good student. In high school he scored within the top 5 percentile of African American students who took the PSAT and he would receive a full scholarship to Texas Southern University. He graduated from TSU with honors with a BA in history. Jamaymon’s love and concern for Black people pushed him to start the student organization “Afrikans Committed to Liberation” (ACL) whose purpose was to advocate for community development, self-sufficiency and black liberation. Under the auspices of ACL, JaMaymon started a Saturday school focused on cultural enrichment, organized the “Young Maroons”, a youth scouting organization, organized an annual Marcus Garvey parade and birthday celebration, founded “Perfect Black Uhuru Academy”, an Afrikan centered school, helped with the foundation and operation of “Siafu Village and Gods in the Tre”, two other Afrikan centered schools as well as hosted and facilitated various other culturally appropriate events. As the director of “Perfect Black Uhuru Academy”, JaMaymon taught his students using an Afrikan-centered curriculum and materials he created himself. Jamaymon continues to teach children and adults Afrikan history, culture and Swahili. He currently teaches at Lone Star and San Jacinto colleges where he teaches English as a foreign language. He also does cultural enrichment at a couple of area schools (Gods in the Tre and Yellowstone Academy). He is fluent in Spanish being that he taught at La Unversidad Tecmilenio while living in Mexico for 1 ½ years, has a basic grasp of Swahili and is teaching himself Portuguese. JaMaymon's greatest ambition in life is to do his part to help Afrika win.
Master Sgt. Craig Williams (Ret.) - Foreign Policy
Master Sergeant (retired) Craig E. Williams was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He is a native of Houston, Texas. His career spans over 21 years. He entered the Regular Army April 1989. He completed Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and completed his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Highlights of Master Sergeant Williams’ career include: Unit Level Communications Maintainer, 1/27th Infantry Battalion, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Senior Level Communications Maintainer, Charlie Battery 2/3 Air Defense Artillery, Fort Riley, Kansas; Battalion Communications Chief, 2/3 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, Fort Riley Kansas; Detailed Recruiter, Houston Recruiting Battalion, Houston, Texas; Brigade Communications Chief, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Battalion Communications Chief, 1-508thInfantry Battalion, Vicenza, Italy; 173rd Brigade Communications Chief , Vicenza, Italy, Group Communications Chief, 507th Corps Support Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
MSG Williams deployed to Kosovo in April 2001, July 2001, November 2001, and June 2002 in support of Operation Rapid Guardian. He also deployed to Iraqi in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I from March 2003 - September 2003, OIF 05-06 from October 2004 – September 2005, and OIF 07-09 from May 2007 – August 2008.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal(4th OLC), the Army Commendation Medal (4th OLC); the Army Achievement Medal (3rd (OLC); the Army Good Conduct Medal (5th Award); the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal; the National Defense Medal with star; the Kosovo Campaign Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal with Arrowhead Device; the NCO Professional Development Medal; the Army Service Ribbon; the Overseas Ribbon; and the NATO Medal (Kosovo 2nd Bronze Star). He is certified in Communication Security, Security +, Industrial Security Systems, and Electronic Warfare.
Craig E. Williams civilian career after the Army was a two-year stint with Radio Reconnaissance Technologies where he worked as an Electronic Security Representative for the Southern part of Afghanistan based out of Kandahar. Later he worked for Security Solutions and Management as an electronic Security maintenance technician support the US Army Special Operations community, Detachment A. He went on to 0pen his own electronic security company for 2 years. Presently he is the United States Army Reserve Command. software license manager for the entire USARC supporting over 250,000 Army Reserve Soldiers.
Craig E. Williams is married to the former Catherine Kavata Mutea. They have two children, Kennedy Williams age (16) and his stepson, Alpha Martin age (7). He and his family presently reside in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His hobbies include to name a few, exercising, learning historical facts, study of world culture, and listening to music.
Veronica Walton - Health & Nutrition
Veronica Walton began her career as a certified nursing assistant in 1989. She continued her education and became a Private Nurse Practitioner and stayed in that field until she retired in 2016. She returned to college and got a Degree in Personal and Family Development. While gaining unparalleled experience in the health and nutrition area she has helped countless people achieve their weight loss goals, also establishing herself as a respected life and health coach. She is currently living the Wakanda lifestyle where she is the figure head of a collective of brothers and sisters working together in unity. She travels the nation and is never reluctant to meet new people. Veronica is a California native but calls Las Vegas home.
Don Johnson - Information Technology
Don Johnson is a Software Developer, Sr. Manager and Project Management Professional. Don's bailiwick has been the creation of software infrastructure and applications for mission critical enterprise operations. Don most recently completed a project to develop software systems to import, track, report and transmit ACA (Affordable Care Act) compliance data to the IRS for municipalities and other private sector organizations. Don was a member of the Open Travel Association (OTA) Air Working Group technical committee. He managed creation of OTA based infrastructure to foster direct business-to-business commerce. Don was also a member of the Air Transportation Association (ATA) technical committee, sponsored to develop technical standards for secure business-to-business employee verification supporting offline jumpseating; suspended by the TSA after the World Trade Center disaster. As part of that effort, Don designed the Cockpit Access Security System (CASS) XML interface and helped develop, test and demonstrate the communication infrastructure. This resulted in approval by the TSA, FAA, ATA and member companies to resume offline jumpseating. He’s managed IT field service delivery for all of United’s South Pacific airports and most recently has been a Software Consultant in the Energy sector. Don has bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics and has been awarded four patents for electromagnetic oil well logging tool system designs.
Richard Heileman - Infrastructure & Construction
Richard Heileman is the President & CEO of Heileman Construction (HC). Richard has over thirty five (35) years of experience in the Construction and Home Remodeling industry. Mr. Heileman has served in every capacity of a construction firm from a general contractor to a super sub-contractor to a specialized sub-contractor. No project has proven to date to be too large or small for him and his company to handle.
HC prides itself on core customer service principles that include meeting w/potential clients to discuss their specific construction requirements and needs. This process can be expedited by learning a little more about the project and the general needs of the project owner(s).
HC’s Areas of Expertise Include Custom Home Construction, New Home Construction (Spec.), Remodels (All Phases), Add-Ons/Modifications, Renovations & Make Overs, Upgrades, Garage Conversions and Underground Construction Projects.
Aswad Walker - Media, Marketing & Public Relations
Aswad Walker, is a lecturer in the University of Houston’s African American Studies Program, Associate Director of the Texas Southern University Urban Research and Resource Center, writer/photographer for the Defender Media Group, co-pastor of the Shrine Christian Center of Houston, and author of three books:
The 100th Monkey: Three Tales of Spiritual Revolution (January 2013)
Princes Shall Come Out of Egypt: A Comparative Study of the Theological and Ecclesiological Views of Marcus Garvey and Albert B. Cleage Jr. (August 2012)
Weapons of Mass Distraction: A Other Sermons for a New World Order (September 2004)
Aswad’s writings have also appeared in Dr. Jawanza Clark’s book Albert Cleage Jr. and the Black Madonna and Child, Palgrave Macmillan (2016); the Journal of Black Studies, volume 39, number 2, November 2008; the Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia, “Harper’s Ferry,” Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, December 2009; UJIMA Magazine, “Making History Today,” University of Houston, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ African American Studies Program, Summer 2003; and the Defender Newspaper, www.defendernetwork.com, 2006 – Present.
Aswad earned his Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, where as a Heman Sweatt Service Award-winning student leader, he co-edited the Black student newspaper, The Griot.
Dr. Akua Gray - Spiritual Healing & Well-Being
Dr. Akua, naturopath, spiritualist and master teacher, is the International Operations Director for A Life of Peace Education Wellness Institute, Inc., an international holistic health education and wellness non-profit organization. She is the author of numerous books including, The Natural Health and Wellness Manual, Naturopathic Reiki Volumes I, II and III, Detox Therapy, Naturopathic Herbology, Veggie Delights: Recipes for Holistic Health, Eating Live for Maximum Nutrition and Wellness, Akwaaba! : Dr. Akua's Ghanaian Vegan Cuisine, Today: Wellness Manifestations and Holistic Sexuality: The Practical Guide to Sexual Healing.
Dr. Akua has shared the gifts of her works with the international communities of the USA, Canada, The Caribbean, Isreal, The Phillipines, England, Qatar, Germany, Japan and Ghana. An outstanding educator for 20+ years, Dr. Akua holds degrees and certifications in Naturopathy, Education, Telecommunications, Metaphysics, Hypnotherapy, Iridology, Reiki, Pranic Healing, Shiatsu, Colon Hydrotherapy, Midwifery and African Nutritional Science. At A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute Dr. Akua currently teaches classes in Naturopathy, Sacred Goddess Temple Rites of Passage, Nutrition, Holistic Health Business, Vegan Foods Preparation, Reiki, Holistic Doula Training, and many areas of alternative health options.
Dedicated to issues of Pan African empowerment and health - Dr. Akua has worked on family empowerment and healing as a Spiritual Counselor, Holistic Health Consultant and Holistic Birth Coach. She continues to enhance her spirit through many avenues of consciousness elevation. Akua currently lives bi-continental between Texas and Ghana. The nurturer of three SUNS who are the mirror of the life she has lived. She shares these accomplishments with her divine reflection of 30 years Dr. Chenu.