Board of Trustees


From left to right: Ellen Hughes, Alhaji Suraj Seriki , H. Sola Oyinlola, Joanna Ghodsi,
Dr. Dalhatu Umaru, Oluseyi Afolabi.

Dr. Adekunle Michael Adesina

Dr. Adesina is currently the Director of Neuropathology and Molecular Neurophathology at Texas Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pathology, Immunology and Pediatrics-Hematology/Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. His research interest is in understanding the molecular determinants of neoplastic transformation in general and more specifically in the nature of deregulation of signal transduction in pediatric brain tumors.

He is a board certified physician in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Vermont. His professional activities include associate editor of Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; member editorial board of Journal of Human Pathology; reviewer Journal of Neuro-oncology and Journal of Clinical Pathology; Member of the Awards Committee, American Association of Neuropathologists; Inspector & Team Leader, Anatomic Pathology and Molecular Pathology, College of American Pathologists and membership in many other professional associations.

He has over 100 publications done individually or jointly including: Atlas of Pediatric Brain Tumors. Adesina, AM, Fuller C, Tihan T, Poussaint TY (Editors) and FoxG1 dysregulation is a frequent event in medulloblastoma. Adesina AM et al, J Neuro-Oncol 2007 Nov;85(2):111-2.

Dr. Adesina has had numerous honors and awards including the Visiting Professorship / Endowed Chair in the Neurosciences, University of Ibadan; Arthur Weill Honorable Mention Award for best paper in Experimental Neuro-oncology at the International Congress of Neuropathology, San Diego; and Richard W. Leech Teaching Award presented by the Department of Pathology at OUHSC.

He is one of the founding members and coordinator of the action committee of the Friends of Africa (FOA)-USCAP initiative, which is involved in outreach efforts to sub-Saharan pathologists.

Dr. Adesina graduated from University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria in 1980 with an MBBS and shortly after, did his MSc. in ChemPath/Immunol also at Ibadan. He received his Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal, Canada with his thesis in Molecular Generics/ Neuro-Oncology. He has had various post graduate training programs at University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Vermont, USA; McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA. He has held various academic positions at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City (OUHSC); OK.

Dr. Adesina is a family man, married with children.
Back to Top


Oluseyi Afolabi

Seyi Afolabi is currently the Construction Support Manager for ExxonMobil Development Company, (EMDC) in Houston, Texas.

She received a B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria in 1984. She began her career with Ashland Oil Company in Port-Harcourt in 1985 and joined Mobil Producing Nigeria in 1989. Since then, she has held several various technical, supervisory and managerial assignments in Nigeria, Dallas and Houston. She was appointed General Manager, Plans, Programs and New Business Development in 2003 and later General Manager, Commercial and Nigeria Content to develop this important area of ExxonMobil Upstream companies business focus.

Her next assignment was as the General Manager, Projects Development leading the Upstream Projects Development group in Lagos in Opportunity Development/Maturation and Project Execution Planning for ExxonMobil Upstream subsidiaries in Nigeria. Seyi was transferred to EMDC in November 2009.

In addition to her organizational responsibilities, Sheyi is also a Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers and an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She served as the first female president of the SPE Nigeria Section 061 in 1997/98.

She is happily married and blessed with children.
Back to Top


Dr. Tonye Briggs

Dr. Tonye Briggs is a physician and philanthropist.  He enjoys soccer, tennis, and traveling.
Back to Top


Tony Henshaw, CPM, MCA

Mr. Tony Henshaw is currently the Manager of the Small Business Development Group (SBDG) for the City of Houston, Department of Public Works and Engineering (PWE). In that capacity, he is responsible for the administration and implementation of the Small / Minority / Women Business Enterprises (S/MWBE) Program; and the management of the Pay or Play Program.

He has over 25 years of experience in Accounting, Auditing, Contract Compliance and Business Development in the public and private sector.

Tony is a Certified Public Manager (CPM); also a Certified Compliance Administrator (CCA); holds a Master of Compliance Administrator (MCA); and a graduate of the University of Houston A.A. White Dispute Resolution Institute.

As a strong advocate for small, women and minority-owned business, he has implemented strategies that have increased minority participation in all areas of PWE procurement.
Back to Top


Ellen Hughes

Board Treasurer

Ellen Hughes was born in New Orleans, LA and raised in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans. Upon graduation from High School in 1985, she attended Texas A & M University in College Station, TX. Her Speech Communication degree was earned December, 1988, followed by a Masters of Public Administration in May, 1991. Upon graduation she went to work for the City of Sugar Land. Between 1991 and 2005 she worked full-time, part-time and in a consulting capacity for the City. She specialized in work involving Municipal Utility Districts, budgeting, communications, special events, risk management, solid waste, procurement, and policy development. Since 2006 she has been employed as the Bookkeeper for Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Ellen’s civic activities include serving as an elected official on Fort Bend MUD #23 since 1996, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Girl Scout Trainer, and Treasurer of the Teal Run Tidalwaves Swim Team and Co-Director of the Wednesday Night children’s ministry at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Missouri City, TX.
Back to Top

 


Unwana Nkeme

Board Chair

Unwana has over 19 years of experience spanning oil exploration, project management and human resources development. He is currently Manager, Human Resources and Organizational Capability for a corporate function in Chevron Corporation, Houston, Texas. In his role, he acts as principal advisor to the Vice President on human capital issues.

He has worked as a Geologist and Human Resources Business Partner in Chevron Corp. His experience spans the fields of competency development and total remuneration analysis. With a background in earth sciences, he spent the earlier part of his career in oil exploration and project management. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), has also been a Member, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), and he is a Professional Member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) in the United States.

Unwana holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Calabar, Nigeria.
With an avid interest in community development, he is a member of the International Association of Lions Clubs. He has served in many offices of the Board of Directors of his club, including the President, Lagos Achievers Lions Club. Unwana holds the highest honor of the Lions Clubs International – the Melvin Jones fellowship. He has chartered community service organizations in Nigeria and currently volunteers in service projects in the Houston area and beyond.

He also enjoys exercising, strategy development, real estate and traveling. He is married with children.
Back to Top


Dr. Sunny E. Ohia

Dr. Sunny E. Ohia has been the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research at Texas Southern University since 2008. He also holds an academic appointment as Professor of Pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. As provost, Dr. Ohia provides leadership for academic and research programs, enrollment management services, institutional effectiveness and strategic planning activities on campus (current student enrollment is about 9,600). His accomplishments include the establishment of a new Honors College, several new online degree programs, new graduate and undergraduate degree programs, new research partnerships, and an improved student enrollment and retention infrastructure.

Prior to his appointment at Texas Southern University, Dr. Ohia was dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Houston, Houston, TX for six years. During his tenure at the University of Houston, College of Pharmacy, total research expenditures increased by more than 400 percent. Under his leadership, the number of endowed scholarships also increased by more than 120 percent to a total of more than $1.5 million.

Dr. Ohia is the principal investigator on a number of federal research grants and is the author of more than 200 research abstracts and articles in his field. He holds three U.S. patents for his scientific work and has applied for three international patents and six additional U.S. patents.

Dr. Ohia received the Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacology and the Master of Science degree in pharmacology and therapeutics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, United Kingdom. He is also active in the community and currently serves as a patron member of Pearland Theater Guild, Houston Downtown Alliance and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. His hobbies include reading (military history), golfing and hunting.
Back to Top


H. Sola Oyinlola

Sola Oyinlola brings 27 years of operations, finance and management experience in the global oil services industry as Chairman Africa of Schlumberger. He also serves as Global Head of Sustainability in which role he is responsible for directing the company’s CSR programs worldwide.

Joining Schlumberger in California in 1984 as internal consultant, he assumed greater and increasingly diverse management responsibilities within the group. His assignments have included serving as Controller for various businesses, as Area Treasurer, and Group Tax Manager. After this successful career in finance, Sola moved into operational management in 1998 when he served as Managing Director for the Malaysia /Brunei/Philippines business unit.

Sola was appointed Group Managing Director for Schlumberger’s businesses in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, based in Lagos in 2001, the first home country national in that position in 50 years. He was elected Vice President and Treasurer and an Officer of the global corporation in 2007. Once again, Sola was the first African corporate officer of the largest service company in the world.

He earned an MBA from Stanford University in 1984 after graduating with a First Class Honors bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Ghana, Legon in 1979.

Currently, Sola serves as Executive Director and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Schlumberger Foundation.

He is a co-founder and member of the Board of Governors of the Lagos Petroleum Club and a Fellow of the Institute of Petroleum Studies of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement of Nigeria, a member of the Development Board of the Lagos Business School, and member of the board of the UNDP Human Development Fund in Nigeria in 2001.
Back to Top


Alhaji Suraj Seriki

Board Secretary

He was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and attended Yaba College of Technology, the class of 1973.

After a brief working stint at R.T Briscoe in Apapa and Brussels, Belgium, he proceeded to the United States of America in 1979 for his University education. He completed both his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Masters Degree in Clinical Sociology at Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas. Upon graduation, he worked briefly as an Accountant at Educational Institutions before finally establishing his own Accounting and Mortgage business in 1999. He is the President and CEO of Midland Mortgage & Financial Services in Houston, Texas. He is a father and grandfather; happily married with seven children and five grandchildren.

He loves to relax to music and participate in sporting, political and cultural activities at both local, national and international levels. He is also civic minded and always try to give back to all his communities both in religious and cultural arenas.
Back to Top


Rev. Martin L. Stringer, M.Th.

Rev. Martin Stringer has varied experience in education, government, baseball and ministry for over 38 years. He assisted school administrators at Jack Yates High School and HISD as a Substance Abuse Monitor. Rev. Stringer is an expert on gang behavior and culture. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to work with the U.S. Department of Justice in the mediation of several gang disputes throughout the country. He lectured on gangs at the University of Missouri, Kansas State University, and Sam Houston University. In addition, he taught police academy officers and recruits at the Houston Policy Academy on gang mediation techniques and the gang culture. He worked in the City of Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office under the Honorable Bob Lanier in eradicating gang activity throughout the Greater Houston area.

Rev. Martin Stringer’s undertakings also include experience as a player, coach, scout, and professional program developer. Rev. Stringer scouted for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Tampa Bay Rays from 2001-2004. He was the Director of Coaching for the City of Houston’s RBI program. In this role he helped to develop and establish the RBI program in Houston. The RBI program not only addressed baseball skills, but he and his team incorporated opportunities for the players to achieve academic excellence through tutoring on SAT, ACT and other course work. Under his management the City of Houston RBI teams went undefeated in six regional championships, and competed in six MLB RBI World Series in Orlando, Florida.

Rev. Martin Stringer has coached over 20 Houston-area players who have been drafted by various MLB teams. The most notable players still in the game include: Carl Crawford – 2009 All Star Game MVP, Los Angeles Dodgers, James Loney – Tampa Bay Rays, Michael Bourne – Cleveland Indians, Chris Young – New York Mets, Jason Bourgeois – San Diego Padres, Taylor Featherston – Colorado Rockies, Kyle McCullough – Cincinnati Reds, Barrett Barnes – Pittsburg Pirates, and Philip Stringer, Houston Astros and now in Baseball Operations with the Kansas City Royals. In addition to assisting MLB in drafting players in his program, he aided 145 players to obtain college baseball scholarships.

Rev. Martin Stringer is the former Pastor of the college campus ministry, Ambassadors for Christ Church in Madison, WI. His ministry has produced pastors and associate pastors throughout the country including Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Rhode Island. He holds a Masters in Theology and is an expert on Early Church History. He is often sought after to preach and teach due to his vibrant oratory style, in depth knowledge, and thorough lessons on the richness of God’s word.

Back to Top


Dr. Dalhatu Umaru

Dr. Dalhatu Umaru was born in Mubi, Adamawa State of Nigeria.

His Primary and Secondary School education was in Mubi, then went to Federal School of Arts and Science, Mubi, After graduating, he attended University of District of Columbia, then transferred to Memphis State University where he received both B.Sc. and M.Sc. in both Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering. After graduating, he worked with DOT, FDA, Pfizer while pursuing his PhD in Structural Engineering at the University of Arizona in collaboration with Rice University. Currently, he is a consulting engineer working for different companies.

He is a member of Zumunta Association USA, Nigerian Professionals, Black Engineers, Nigerian Foundation, NNID, Coalition of Nigerian Org. and many more professional organizations. He is married and blessed with three children.
Back to Top


Meredith J. Duncan

Professor Meredith J. Duncan is the George Butler Research Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center.  She joined the faculty at UHLC in 1998. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University and earned her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1993. Upon graduation from the Law Center, she clerked for the Honorable Edith H. Jones, Judge for the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. She was an associate at Vinson & Elkins LLP prior to returning to clerk for Judge Jones for a few years, after which time she joined the faculty at UHLC.

Professor Duncan is one of only 26 law professors studied in the recent Harvard University Press book What the Best Law Teachers Do, a study of the “methods, strategies, and personal traits of professors whose students achieve exceptional learning.” Professor Duncan’s areas of expertise include legal ethics, criminal law, and torts.

Back to Top

NAMC’s goal is to serve as a cultural bridge between the cultures of Nigeria and the United States of America.