UST Announces Founding Members of McNair Center’s New Advisory Board
UST’s McNair Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship launches its new McNair Advisory Board with the announcement of the first two founding directors — both extraordinary entrepreneurs. George Joseph is CEO of Common Bond Bistro & Bakery and Positive Recovery Centers. And Zawadi Bryant is President of Acute Care Pediatrics at Mednax. Each has life goals that align with those of the McNair Center.
About George Joseph
George Joseph is a people person who has an eye for spotting business opportunities.
Recovering from addiction issues and ready for a fresh start, Joseph came to Houston from Louisiana in 1983 to work as a licensed chemical dependency counselor for a recovery center. Long story short, he wound up buying his financially distressed employer, the Right Step, in 1994. Joseph’s business savvy put things right, and he sold that operation in 2012. A few years later, he founded Positive Recovery Centers, an addiction treatment facility with locations across Texas.
In 2015, Joseph had a chance to bring his ideas and energy to Common Bond Café as a silent partner. By 2019, he became the owner and CEO with seven locations and plans to add more.
About joining the McNair Center Advisory Board, the double CEO said, “I’ve been blessed in my life. Paying it forward is a calling for me to make a difference in the world. I learned about the McNair Center helping women and minorities, and I want to support that. Entrepreneurs tend to want to improve things.”
Acknowledging the help from mentors in his own life, Joseph aims to share his knowledge and experience. He believes the McNair Center can help Houston’s community in multiple ways.
“I think we can support entrepreneurs to be even more successful and learn lessons without the pain of some predictable problems,” he said. “Also, the Center can help to cultivate ideas that become reality. UST can be the beacon. I consider myself a builder. It’s especially fun to build things and grow them with the right people in the right places.”
About Zawadi Bryant
Zawadi Bryant found her way to starting and leading a network of pediatric urgent care centers after working seemingly unrelated jobs. She began her career as a manufacturing engineer at Hewlett Packard, responsible for the delivery of servers to global markets. After succeeding at that assignment, she worked elsewhere as a software engineer and in procurement outsourcing. Then, Bryant turned her abundance of deep project management experience to healthcare entrepreneurship. With passionate energy, excellent communication ability and leadership skills, she engineered her entrepreneurial success.
Bryant co-founded and led Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care starting in 2007. Under her leadership, the company expanded to eight clinics and added telehealth services. Recently acquired by Mednax National Medical Group, Bryant is President of the new Acute Care Pediatrics at Mednax.
“Early in my career, a mentor encouraged me to see every position through an entrepreneur’s eyes,” she said, “to see problems as opportunities, build alliances and collaborate to build something special, and always think about what's next.”
For Bryant, a directorship on the McNair Center Advisory Board is a good match.
“One of my life goals is to help close the wealth gap for people of color, and I believe that entrepreneurship is going to be one of the main drivers to do that. Happily, entrepreneurship for women and people of color is a focus of the board.”
Bryant looks forward to helping shape the program’s direction and making life-changing opportunities available. Entrepreneurship, she affirms, is good for the community.
She observed, “During the pandemic, people turned to entrepreneurship when their jobs were eliminated. I believe entrepreneurship will continue to grow as people find ways to monetize their talents. Our economy thrives when people learn multiple ways to generate income.”
For more information on the McNair Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, go here.