Rais Bhuiyan, (Founder & President) is a peace activist and an IT professional. After graduating from Sylhet Cadet College, a military School in Bangladesh, he joined the Bangladesh Air Force and was commissioned as a pilot officer following two and a half years of vigorous training. He received a BS in Aeronautics from the National University in Dhaka and completed numerous information technology courses in New York and Dallas where he continued his education, taking courses in computer system engineering,
programming, and database administration. In 2001, he was shot in the face by Mark Stroman, a white supremacist seeking vengeance for the 9/11 tragedy.
Bhuiyan responded to this by forgiving his attacker and attempting unsuccessfully to prevent his execution. Bhuiyan currently holds a position with Sabre Holdings, a global technology company, in Southlake, Texas. His time is divided between managing a team of system engineers and data centers in Europe and touring the globe giving talks about the regenerative power of forgiveness.
Chief Public Policy Officer
Senior Vice President – Government & External Affairs
Since 2000, Bruce J. Charendoff has led Sabre’s worldwide public policy and government outreach initiatives. He has chaired Sabre’s foundation and developed Sabre’s Passport to Freedom initiative to combat human trafficking. He was an original founder and board member of the Urban Alliance, a nonprofit that empowers under-resourced youth to aspire, work, and succeed through paid internships, formal training, and mentorship. He is the current chairman of the Travel Technology Association, the trade group representing global distribution systems, online travel companies, and short term rental companies; he serves on the executive committee of the US Travel Association; and he is a board member of the European Travel and Technology Services Association. He is the founder and chairman of Sabre PAC.
In 2010, the American Society of Travel Agents awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award. He was appointed by US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to serve on the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Among his accomplishments are the deregulation of the travel distribution industry in the United States, the creation and reauthorization of Brand USA, and the passage of legislation providing more resources for the fight against human trafficking. He has promoted travel and tourism through public private partnerships, facilitated Sabre’s technology exports, and advocated on behalf of travelers’ rights. He has strong relationships in the Administration and in Congress and throughout the travel and tourism industry. He previously worked in positions of increasing responsibility as an attorney at American Airlines and Shipman & Goodwin, a Hartford, Connecticut law firm. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his wife, Sally Rosenberg, a lawyer and author who serves on several non-profit boards. He has two daughters and two stepsons.
Stephanie Steel (Secretary) specializes in Organizational Development for Dell and has rotated through a variety of roles since she joined in May, 2014. She has experience in strategic planning, training, research, teaching, managing and coaching. Compassion and creativity drive her result-oriented approach to empower and utilizing human capital for organizations and society.
Stephanie is especially interested in educational praxis and how organizations can foster learning most effectively, whether for adolescents or executives. Her experience as an educator convinced her that people are any organization’s greatest asset, worthy of investment and a source of competitive advantage.
Stephanie has a passion for education and ministry. She served as a Director of Youth Ministry for St. Rita Catholic Community and a faculty member for Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She holds a BS in Child Learning and Development & Psychology (BA) from the University of Texas at Dallas, a Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University.
Robert Bell (Treasurer) is an IT consultant for the multinational corporation Hitachi Consulting. Before that he was very active in the DFW film community working on several local productions since 2003.Robert has received two bachelor degrees from the University of North Texas; one in Business Administration Decision Sciences and another in Radio/TV/Film. During his time in the U.S. Army, Robert also received a wide variety of technology and electronics training along with leadership and team management certifications.
After his time in the military Robert decided to become an advocate
for peace. He joined the professional organizations Iraq Veterans against the war and Veterans for Peace. He developed close personal and working relationships with local activist Leslie Harris, and journalist Nathan Diebenow; assisting them in creating video content from numerous protests and speaking events. Along with Nathan, Robert created the underground news channel Standard Rebellion. Highlights of the channel are short documentaries covering the Rally for Bradley Manning, a nuclear awareness piece for the PAX Christi, and covering guest speaker events for Chis Hedges and Col. Anne Wright.
Senior Vice President Commercial Financing & Marketing
Since 2001 Mark has been Vice President of Finance and Marketing for Enterprise America, Inc. a commercial real estate and mortgage brokerage firm headquartered in Dallas, TX. In his role, Mark specializes in commercial financing with a focus on SBA, Conventional, Bridge, Non-Recourse Financing and Business Development. He has vast experience in many industries including hospitality, Auto Repair, gas station and all types of commercial businesses.
During the recession of 2009 to 2014 Mark worked in the IT industry as a Support Team Lead for CompuCom and MEDHOST providing support to corporate end users for their IT needs. During this time Mark continued to work part time at Enterprise America keeping up on the changes of the commercial real estate and finance industry. He re-joined Enterprise full time in 2015.
Mark grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh and he always had a passion for helping others and contributing to the society. He was an active member of the Lions Club International and participated in number of events to benefit the poor and helpless. As an adult and as member of a youth music band, he participated in number of benefit concerts to help the flood victims in Bangladesh which is a natural occurrence there. He has participated in employer sponsored programs for the united way, Red Cross and others. He is also a member of the Amnesty International.
Mark completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dhaka University and also attended University Of Oklahoma to pursue his higher education in Engineering. He also completed number of IT related courses in Big Data, and Database Administration in Dallas.
Stacie J. Watson
Executive Coaching and Leadership Development
Stacie Watson, LMFT, MBA, started her career as a clinician, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice and working primarily with individuals and couples. She also worked in the Employee Assistance Program industry, delivering leadership trainings and supporting individuals and leaders who were addressing issues ranging from conflict in the workplace to substance abuse issues. Over time, she transitioned to the healthcare industry and held various leadership roles for almost two decades, holding progressively higher leadership roles leading to a Senior Director role. She has also held leadership roles within various non-profit organizations, ranging from committee leadership to board membership. Stacie holds an MBA from Yale University as well as a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
Throughout her career, Stacie has led a variety of teams and programs, often overseeing multi-million dollar technological and/or business change programs or initiatives. Her teams were diverse in terms of function, culture and geography. Stacie has a passion for leadership and is focused on assisting individuals and teams improve their abilities to communicate, lead and achieve their objectives effectively. She has a strong intuition and can often quickly assess issues that may be creating conflict or serving as obstacles. Her communication style and skills can bring an efficiency to her work, driving value to individuals and organizations in an efficient manner.