Barbara Harris Curtis – Founder and President
Barbara Harris Curtis is passionately committed to equipping and empowering people to experience victory in every area of their lives. This commitment and the belief that we are “blessed to be a blessing” are the impetus behind her mission to serve. Her diverse gifts and roles include minister, motivational speaker, life coach, entrepreneur, and author. She is a sought after speaker for women’s groups, corporate and non-profit organizations, television and radio talk shows, and general audiences throughout the country. In addition to speaking and writing, Barbara’s vast professional and ministry experience includes over 25 years in leadership development, team building, and public relations. She currently serves in full-time ministry at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Her passion is to see people reach their full potential and live out God’s perfect will and plan for their lives.
Myrtle Taylor Williams – Vice President
Myrtle Taylor Williams serves as Vice President and Chairperson of the Program Committee for RARE Pearls. In her role as Program Committee Chairperson, she leads a dedicated team of volunteers in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs for RARE Pearls including curriculum development for the Empowerment Sessions. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and a master’s degree in maternal and child health nursing from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, Myrtle feels working with teen girls to help them reach their full potential is a natural fit. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and also serves as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer who advocates for abused and neglected children in Fort Bend County, Texas. Myrtle is a retired healthcare executive with over forty years in the healthcare field.
Paula Harris – Treasurer
Paula’s initial introduction to RARE Pearls, Inc. was as a guest during the 2018 “Pumps and Pearls” Scholarship and Awards Luncheon. Seeing donors’ dollars directly translate to scholarship awards and other much-needed assistance was a personal call to action, resulting in her transition from spectator to Board Member and Treasurer. Paula’s firm belief in the infamous quote “Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.” directly aligns with RARE Pearls’ unwavering commitment to help young women reach their full potential. Paula graduated from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a degree in Accounting. She is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and currently works for a fortune 200 multinational corporation in the oilfield services sector. She and her husband are the proud parents of three children.
Janelle M. Jones – Secretary
Janelle Jones serves as the Chair of Governance for RARE Pearls, Inc. Her non-profit experience also includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Texas Society of CPAs and the Houston Society of CPAs. Through these organizations, she speaks to high school and college students about accounting and law in an effort to inspire them to explore these career fields. Janelle graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in Accounting, The George Washington University with a Master of Taxation, and Howard University School of Law. She currently works in the Corporate Tax Department of a fortune 200 company in the oilfield services sector in Houston, where she resides with her husband and two children.
Annetra Piper is the Development Chair for RARE Pearls, Inc. She has been involved with RARE Pearls since its inception, serving as a volunteer after being honored as a Woman of Excellence. Her daily mantra is “to make the lives of people better.” Annetra Piper retired from the Houston ISD as the Grants Department Manager, where she helped raise more than 750 million dollars. In her restructured state, she helps nonprofits and school districts raise millions of dollars to make a difference. Dr. Piper received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, her master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University, and her doctoral degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. Annetra volunteers with several organizations. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of three incredible children, and Nana to three adorable grandchildren.
Dianne Ross is a woman of compassion who has a desire and willingness to help others. She has witnessed how people’s lives can be positively changed simply by caring individuals sharing their time, talents, and resources. Professionally, Dianne has worked over twenty years in private and public sectors of the accounting and finance fields. As a long-term, Licensed Real Estate Agent, Dianne brings her passion for helping others realize their dreams into all aspects of her life. She recently served as Manager of a community based non-profit organization. Through RARE Pearls, she desires to contribute to the mentoring and training of young women who are well prepared for the challenges ahead, enthused about the possibilities, and dedicated to “paying it forward”. When Dianne is not working with RARE Pearls, you can find her volunteering at her church or one or more of her favorite community service organizations.
Monika Harris is dedicated to helping young women reach their full potential. She is committed to the belief that we can be excellent in all areas of our lives, and has had a number of non-profit and board experiences. Monika currently attends Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Professionally, Monika is the General Manager for Finance major projects at Houston ISD. Before serving our nation’s seventh largest school district, she practiced corporate law advising publicly and privately held businesses. She also spent over five years as a business management and information technology consultant, advising Fortune 500 clients in the energy and telecommunications sectors. Monika earned a BS in chemical engineering from Prairie View A&M University, a Master of Engineering in manufacturing from the University of Michigan and a JD from the University of Wisconsin.
Robin Chandler is the Program Committee Chair for RARE Pearls Inc. She is an experienced ministry professional with a demonstrated history of overseeing volunteers, leadership development, training, relationship management, content development, sales/marketing, and project management. Robin served as the Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator for RARE Pearls Inc. She also serves as a Coach/Mentor for the Lakewood Leadership Program, coaching and developing leaders in business and ministry. She is passionate about supporting families in the spiritual development of their children. Robin earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in Finance from The University of Oklahoma and was formerly an I/T professional specializing in sales, marketing, and client relationship management. Robin enjoys volunteering with Houston Welcomes Refugees, reading, travel, fitness, sports, and theater. She and her husband are the proud parents of two young-adult sons.