Bert Smith and Empowering Innovation
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“Empowering Innovation. Releasing Potential.
Bert Smith will discuss the model of moving inmates from being tax consumers to taxpayers, from gang leaders to servant leaders and from felons to real fathers and even philanthropists.
The Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), is on a mission to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring. Their groundbreaking results include a return-to-prison rate of less than 5%, employment rate of 100% within 90 days and over 100 businesses launched.
Bert Smith - Chief Executive Officer
Bert Smith officially joined PEP as CEO in May 2010 and has been actively involved with PEP since 2005. He has served in a number of volunteer roles, including executive judge, Business Plan Advisor, teacher, mentor, donor and Chairman of the Houston Advisory Board.
In the 1980s, Bert served as Director, General Counsel, and Head of Corporate Development for a family owned engineering company that built and operated independent power plants. After the sale of that company, Bert founded and led a group that developed proprietary alternative fuel and energy generation technologies. Prior to joining PEP as CEO, Bert was an early stage investor and CEO for a DVD kiosk rental business.
Bert serves on the Board of Directors for a family foundation, is a past President of the Executives Association of Houston, is a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and has served as an active board member and volunteer with a number of other nonprofit organizations. He holds an AB in Economics from Princeton University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He is married and has three adult children.