Genesys Works Houston Appoints Two New Members to its Board of Directors

October 15, 2019





Houston, TX (Oct. 15, 2019) – Genesys Works Houston (GWH) welcomed Erskine Black Jr. of Transwestern Commercial Services and Susanna Sabbagh of Halliburton to its board of directors, increasing the size of the GWH board to 19 individuals, representing the energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, consulting and real estate industries. Erskine and Susanna bring diverse experience and accomplishments to the board and share GWH’s value of investing in the next generation of talent to build a stronger, more diverse workforce in Houston.  

Erskine Black Jr. is Vice President in the Occupier Solutions group at Transwestern Commercial Services in Houston, representing tenants in their real estate decisions and specializing in the evaluation of office and industrial facilities. He is responsible for providing strategic commercial real estate services to local and national companies, including clients from the oil and gas, finance, legal, and medical industries. As a former mentee of the Center for Leadership Development and mentor with 100 Black Men of America, Erskine understands the power of mentorship, making him a natural fit for the GWH board. Most recently, he volunteered at GWH’s Mock Interviews, where he shared his tips and tricks for making a great impression as a job candidate. A portion of his comments were captured in a Houston Matters interview, which aired in July.

Susanna Sabbagh is an account vice president at Halliburton. She joined Halliburton in 1997 as a manager of Landmark’s Advanced Data Services in the United Kingdom and has since held various leadership roles in business development and operations in Europe, Canada and the United States. While Susanna is a new member of the board, Halliburton has been a longtime supporter of GWH’s mission, hosting an impressive 100 interns since 2010. This year, 18 interns work across the finance, IT and supply chain departments at Halliburton, gaining real-world experience and a head-start on their career goals. Susanna was nominated to serve on the board by Myrtle Jones, senior vice president of Tax at Halliburton, who just completed her Genesys Works second board term. Myrtle recently authored a piece in the Houston Business Journal on why hiring high school interns is good for business.

“Erskine and Susanna have already made a big impact on Genesys Works and our community,” said Katherine Taylor, Executive Director of Genesys Works Houston. “From Erskine’s deep engagement in mentorship, to Susanna’s expertise in sales and operations, they bring valuable experience and perspectives to the table that will strengthen the board’s skillset.”

The GWH board is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for carrying out the organization’s mission of creating pathways to college and careers success for high school students in underserved communities.


About Genesys Works

Genesys Works provides pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Our program consists of 8 weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Our goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve more than 4,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more, visit, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


2019 Genesys Works Houston Board of Directors (as of Oct. 2019)

Raymond (Ray) Messer – Chairman Emeritus, Walter P Moore (Chair)

Adam Barth – Partner, McKinsey & Company

Erskine Black – VP, Occupier Solutions, Transwestern Commercial Services

Jesse Carrillo – Senior VP & Chief Information Officer, Hines

Linda Castaneda – Southwest Region Advisory Managing Partner, EY

Marian Davenport – Former Executive Director, Genesys Works Houston

Shawn Duffy – President and Chief Executive Officer, VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc.

Robert Flexon – Former President & CEO, Dynegy Inc.

Mary Beth Gracy – Managing Director, Accenture

Matt Heath – Chief Operating Officer, Genesys Works

Richard Husseini – Partner & Department Chair – Tax, Baker Botts LLP

Gene Janiszewski – CEO, Paradigm Group, Inc.

Evan Kirchen – VP of E&C Atlantic-Gulf, Williams Companies 

Jerry Lasco – Founder, President and CEO, Lasco Enterprises, LLC

Elisabeth Nash – Senior Vice President, Operations Services, SCI

Susanna Sabbagh – VP, BP Account, Halliburton

Scott Silvas – Texas Market President, Fifth Third Bank

Elizabeth (Liz) Sweigart – Partner, PwC

Katherine Taylor – Executive Director, Genesys Works Houston


Media Contact:

Suzie Flores, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications


Latest Posts