Our Board Members

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Crystal Smith-Jones

Crystal graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University and in 2015 with a Master of Business Administration from Texas Southern University. 


During her college career she worked as a financial planner, financial analyst and a loan officer. After college, she mostly worked in her career as a senior accountant, however she has relocated multiple times within the gulf coast region to work at a few different fabrication and petrochemical plants as a cost analyst.


  Currently, Crystal is a senior project accountant at Powell Industries Inc. Powell Industries is a provider of packaged solutions for the control, monitoring, and distribution of electrical power and other critical processes with headquarters in Houston, Texas.  

In her free time she enjoys traveling, working out, outdoor activities with her daughter Chandler and spending time with her family.

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Allen Rhodes

Allen Rhodes is an oil industry engineer that has held a variety of roles in his 25+ years of experience.  He has worked for Texaco , Shell Oil, and other mid-stream oil companies.  During his tenure, he has held individual contributor as well as management positions in manufacturing, commercial, engineering, and project management.  Allen is currently an engineering director that manages a department responsible for the execution of $80 MM annually of capital improvement projects.


Allen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin along with multiple American Petroleum Institute Inspector certifications.


 Allen and his wife Shannon have three daughters and he currently reside in Tomball, TX.


Candauce Neal 

Candauce is originally from Los Angeles, California where she worked as an accounting and payroll specialist for Chief Auto Parts (now Auto Zone) and The Los Angeles Urban League. Upon relocating to Houston, Texas 24 years ago, she became employed as a payroll and general ledger specialist for Gulf Coast Community Services. She also worked as an Accountant for both BTI America & ADAC Healthcare.


In 2003, she became the proud owner of ABC Professional Tax & Financial Services, L.L.C. ABC Professional Tax is a tax preparation and bookkeeping firm, where she performs tax preparation at local, state and federal levels, while also providing assistance to small businesses to include initiation, payroll and financial reports.

Candauce is a mother of two beautiful girls and in her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, movies, and serving in any capacity.


Maria Montes

Maria Montes is a Native Houstonian. She was appointed as Director of Boards and Commissions by Mayor Sylvester Turner in July of 2018. The director of Boards and Commissions oversees the process of receiving nominations for individuals to serve on boards and enhances the panels’ collaboration with city departments.

Before joining the Mayor’s team, Montes worked with Transwestern as an administrative associate and property manager. Through her position, she oversaw meetings, special events and lease administration, along with fostering positive relationships between management teams, tenants and owners of the property. Montes has also worked in administration with the Ayrshire Corporation and former State Senator Rodney Ellis, now a Harris County commissioner. 

Montes graduated from Hollins University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Downtown.