Board Bios

Joe Daly


Joe Daly

Board Chairman
Location: Washington, D.C.

Joe Daly is a Gallup senior partner and a member of the company’s management committee. Mr. Daly provides advisory services on entrepreneurship to governments and businesses worldwide, supporting them with research and data on the drivers of employment, job creation and business start-ups at the global, national, regional and local levels. He is a member of Gallup’s public release committee, a carefully staffed, historical team devoted to the protection of Gallup’s brand in public facing research. Before joining Gallup, Mr. Daly was a consultant at Accenture. 

With areas of expertise including change management, process improvement, project management and strategy, Mr. Daly joined the Lemonade Day National Board of Directors in 2016 and serves on the launch committee for the My Lemonade Day app. 

Gallup, a longtime partner with Lemonade Day, has studied the talents that distinguish successful entrepreneurs and has built an assessment that identifies individuals, such as high school students, with high entrepreneurial talent and helps leadership direct them to the right development and experiences to develop their talent. Mr. Daly’s knowledge in this area is a tremendous asset in his role on the Lemonade Day national board.

Mr. Daly works with global governments, academic institutions, nonprofits and corporations worldwide to help them solve the world’s most pressing problems using data from Gallup’s World Poll. Since 2005, the Gallup World Poll has collected opinions reflecting people’s well-being in more than 160 countries and regions. Organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations use these data to investigate and report on a range of issues, such as financial inclusion, food insecurity, well-being, human development and migration. 

Mr. Daly received his Master in Business Administration with a focus on international business from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He and his family reside in the Washington, D.C., area.


Renea Burns

Chair of Finance & Audit Committee
Location: Houston, Texas

As a Partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Renea Burns has more than 20 years of public and industry accounting experience serving international and national clients. For the past 13 years, Ms. Burns’ work has focused on the real estate industry. She specializes in audit professional services, and her clients include public and privately owned companies that are real estate investment trusts (REITs) that own, operate, and develop real estate, and/or invest in mortgage or mezzanine loans secured by real estate. She also has experience with multiple segments within the industry including retail centers, office buildings, industrial complexes, multifamily, single-family homes, student housing, and hotels. 

Ms. Burns is the Vice President for the National Association of Real Estate Companies and a speaker at their conferences. She has also presented on real estate trends for the Financial Executives Networking Group, the Houston Business Journal, and has been quoted in real estate articles for BisNow - Houston. Highly connected in her field, Ms. Burns is trusted by many professional firms and companies over the years including Blazek & Vetterling, Camden Property Trust, and Hines, and Weingarten Realty Investors. She was recently named by Deloitte & Touche the Real Estate Eminence Leader in their firm

Ms. Burns’ past volunteerism includes serving on the Board of Directors of New Hope Housing, a Houston non-profit affordable housing developer, where she spent majority of her tenure as Chair of the Finance Committee.

Ms. Burns hold a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. As a native Houstonian, she and her husband raise their two sons in the Spring area fostering their own entrepreneurial spirit and athletic prowess.

Heath Butler

Heath Butler

Chair of Board Development & Governance Committee
Location: Houston, Texas

Heath Butler is venture investor, a serial entrepreneur and seasoned corporate executive with over 20 years of experience as a transformational leader with a proven ability to define a vision, execute strategy and deliver accelerated business impact.  At Mercury Fund, Heath invests in Work-Tech, Fin-Tech and Sports-Tech B2B Software and is also head of the Mercury Method, the firms proprietary platform, which helps portfolio companies achieve sustainable, long-term growth.  

Prior to joining Mercury, Heath co-founded Gestalt Theory Venture Partners, a venture studio for early-stage companies; held leadership roles as a fin-tech division president, and corporate development executive at Insperity (NYSE: NSP); led business development for; co-founded a fin-tech startup; and, developed his foundational management skills at Travelers Group, United Parcel Service and his parents’ chain of retail stores in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Heath received an MBA in Marketing from Texas Southern University’s Jesse H. Jones School of Business and a B.S. in Finance from the University of New Orleans.  

Outside of Mercury, Heath is an active angel investor, mentors in innovation communities throughout Middle-America, hosts a quarterly “How to Start a Startup” session at The Ion and blogs @ StartupHeat. He is passionate about educating, empowering, and enabling entrepreneurs, and co-founded two organizations focused on closing the innovation, job, and wealth gaps in urban communities across the country – the Innovation Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (iCUE), a non-profit, designed to on-ramp people of color into the innovation ecosystem and Urban Capital Network (UCN), an investment platform designed to reduce the racial wealth gap. Heath also supports numerous non-profits through board service, including, as a Board Trustee for American Leadership Forum, as a Board Director for Lemonade Day and as a Board Director for DivInc.

Zach Ellis

Zach Ellis

Location: Houston, Texas

Zach Ellis, Jr. is the Founder and Managing Partner of South Loop Ventures, a pre-Seed/Seed stage venture capital fund for founders of color building companies with a nexus to the Greater Houston, Texas region. With more than 20 years of experience in venture acceleration, community building, and client advisory work, Mr. Ellis has specialized in working with partners and community members as the lead advisor for developing opportunities, spinouts, and startups. He has focused on the positive use of technology to transform people’s lives.

Mr. Ellis has held a variety of roles in venture capital, corporate innovation, and technology commercialization across a range of sectors, including biotech, cleantech, agtech and CPG. His previous experiences include Managing Director at Rev1 Ventures, corporate venture capital at PepsiCo; and commercializing university research at The Ohio State University and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Mr. Ellis serves as an Advisory Board member of The BFM Fund, a seed-stage fund investing primarily in U.S. Black-led and innovative ventures. He began his career as an active-duty officer in the US Navy and holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; an MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy. Mr. Ellis lives in Houston, TX with his wife and four children.

Charlie Hamilton

Charlie Hamilton

Chair of Fundraising & Strategic Partnerships Committee
Location: Puerto Rico

Charlie Hamilton has enjoyed success across a diverse array of entrepreneurial endeavors. It has been his management expertise, his marketing ingenuity and his sheer tenacity that have been the common thread to his success. His lifelong passion for youth entrepreneurship led him to join the Lemonade Day National Board of Directors in 2013. He accepted the position of Chairman of the Board in 2016. Mr. Hamilton was born and raised in a farming and ranching family in Lubbock, Texas, and opened his first business, a watermelon stand, when he was 10 years old.

He co-founded Crestmoor Capital Partners and has strategically assembled seasoned experts to provide specialty merchant banking and advisory services to banks. Crestmoor Capital Partners specializes in partnering with banks on problem loans and asset repositioning programs. Mr. Hamilton is also the managing partner of two residential land development companies in Texas. As a developer, he consistently works to develop close-knit neighborhoods built and designed to provide a sense of community and a treasured place to live.

Mr. Hamilton has served on the advisory board for the Rawls College of Business and is the past chairman of the Chief Executive Roundtable for Texas Tech University. In addition, he is a member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization). He currently resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with his wife, Kate, and their two boys, Conrad and Carson.

Charles Harrell

Charles E. Harrell

Location: Houston, Texas

Charles Harrell is a partner with Jackson Walker in Houston, Texas. He is a widely respected corporate attorney with decades of experience in complex transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, cross-border matters, finance and capital markets. His clients range from technology, healthcare and energy start-ups to mid-market businesses and Fortune 100 companies. With an entrepreneurial history and experience as a certified public accountant, Mr. Harrell counsels board committees on matters of corporate governance, strategy, regulatory compliance and finance. He is a member of the Lemonade Day board’s fundraising committee, which focuses its efforts on attracting corporations, foundations and individuals interested in “investing” in today’s youth. Mr. Harrell joined the Lemonade Day National Board of Directors in 2020.

Over the years, Mr. Harrell has guided his clients through all phases of the corporate cycle, including advising on angel and venture capital funding, identifying opportunities for growth and sustainability, defining formation structures and maximizing value propositions. Whether leading the legal team for multinational conglomerates or working one-on-one with small companies to become first-movers in emerging markets, he develops creative solutions to help each client achieve their objectives.

Mr. Harrell has served as counsel to both buyers and sellers in multibillion-dollar M&A transactions in the energy, telecommunications, healthcare and technology sectors. He also serves as company and lender counsel in restructurings, recapitalizations and leveraged recapitalizations. Additionally, he advises public companies on matters involving stock options, insider trading and compensation, and on compliance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. 

Mr. Harrell has received the following: The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2021; Lawyer of the Year – Houston, Corporate Compliance Law, 2015, 2017; Top 100 Lawyer – Corporate Law, Top 100 Registry Inc., 2018; and Texas Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2003-2019. His other roles and endeavors as a board member and community involvement include the Souper Bowl of Caring Board of Directors and Treasurer; Target Hunger Board of Directors and Nominating Committee, 1999-2019; and Corporate Partners of the Museum of Fine Arts Advisory Director, 1996-2005. 

Mr. Harrell achieved a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin and received his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Lisa Holthouse

Lisa Holthouse

Director Emeritus

Lemonade Day Co-Founder
Location: Houston, Texas

Lisa Holthouse, a lifelong Houstonian, is the Executive Publisher of Houston CityBook, as well as an author, an artist and a noted philanthropist. Along with her husband, Michael, she helps lead her family’s Holthouse Foundation for Kids, a platform to serve at-risk youth by supporting programs designed to help them achieve success in their lives through life skills, character education and experiential entrepreneurism. 

Mrs. Holthouse has served on a variety of boards, including IDEA Public Schools, Healthcorps, Sonima Foundation, AIDS Foundation Houston, National Charity League Houston, After-School All-Stars and Lemonade Day. She has chaired fundraisers for a wide array of deserving nonprofits, including Children’s Museum Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, AIDS Foundation, Lemonade Day, The Giving Back Fund, Hermann Park Conservancy and more. During Super Bowl 2017, Mr. and Mrs. Holthouse chaired a celebrity fundraiser that raised more than $1 million for charity in a single night.

She has been honored by organizations for her community service, such as Houston Achievement Place, KIPP Academy, H Magazine as one of “25 Beautiful Houstonians,” Houston Social Book as a “Sweetheart,” and Crohn’s and Colitis as one of their “Women of Distinction.” She is also a Hall of Fame three-time honoree by March of Dimes as one of Houston’s “Best Dressed.”

Mrs. Holthouse holds a bachelor’s degree in English with continued studies at the University of Houston and other art institutions in foreign languages and visual arts. Sales of her 2013 children’s book It All Started With a Turtle, which chronicles the real-life teaching moments of how Lemonade Day began, were raised to benefit the organization and its growth.

Michael Holthouse

Michael Holthouse

Lemonade Day Co-Founder
Location: Houston, Texas

Michael is best known in the business world as Founder and President of Paranet, Inc., a computer network services company. As an Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year and a two-time “Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company” winner, Michael grew Paranet in six years to 27 offices with 1,600 employees and revenues in excess of $120 million and ultimately sold the company to Sprint in 1997. 

Since then, he has focused on investments, philanthropy and a variety of business interests. His investment company, Holthouse Interests, manages a variety of investments, including those in early-stage technology companies, with the intent to maximize growth and return on invested capital. His family foundation, The Holthouse Foundation for Kids, focuses proactively on the needs of Houston’s most at-risk youth. 

Community involvement is an enormous part of Michael’s life, and he has served on a variety of boards, including TXRX Labs, Junior Achievement, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children’s Museum Houston and Boy Scouts of America. Other organizations with which he has involved himself include YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), Leadership Houston, American Leadership Forum and the Center for Houston’s Future. 

His philanthropic venture is called Prepared 4 Life, which prepares middle school youth for life through fun, proactive and experiential programs infused with life skills, character education and entrepreneurship. Its flagship program is Lemonade Day.   

The most treasured part of Michael’s life is spending time with his wife, Lisa, and their children.


Amanda Kathryn Pascale

Location: Lake Nona, Florida

Amanda guides small business owners seeking to create more meaning and profit. She equips leaders with new perspectives on areas to improve, designs innovative strategies, and implements growth tactics that activate a culture to reinvent, elevate, and grow people, performance, and profit. As a serial social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, growth executive, consultant, and trainer for three decades and counting, Amanda scales disruptive models as a provocative change agent. She served as the lead strategy and innovation executive for a dozen organizations, accompanying them throughout all business phases: start-up, growth, repositioning, and expansion. Having worked on Main Street, K Street, and Wall Street, Amanda has designed strategies for dozens of private and public sector teams; coached hundreds of executives across the country; trained thousands of leaders through small group events; and built ten mastermind communities with decades of growth.

Amanda is the co-founder of three regenerative organizations designed to create space for changemakers to have courageous conversations and take bold action in collectively driving systemic shifts in civil society through Living Room Conversations, in the public sector through the Bridge Alliance, and the private sector through the Institute for Corporate Transformation. 

Currently, Amanda is the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Principal Executive Education Director for the global Economics of Mutuality program and a catalyst for a growing global network of world-class consultants working together to accelerate the transition to stakeholder-centric business models as co-creator and co-facilitator of the consultant certification program for Conscious Capitalism, Inc. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Lemonade Day, a national nonprofit teaching kids the power of entrepreneurship; as an Association Leader for Leadership Orlando supporting the growth of Florida businesses and the state’s economic development; and as an advisory board member of Conscious Nona, a collective activating conscious self-awareness to intentionally create a sustainable, high-frequency community in her neighborhood of Lake Nona, Florida.

Jessie Jones

Jessie Jones

Location: Hunting Valley, Ohio

Jessie Jones has been empowering youth through entrepreneurship for the past decade as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI) at University School, a national organization with a goal for every child to understand and experience entrepreneurship. YEI provides consulting, professional development and access to content for K-12 educators and administrators in and beyond the classroom. In her role, Ms. Jones develops and curates entrepreneurship education content; leads workshops for students and educators; and cultivates and nurtures collaborative relationships with organizations – such as Lemonade Day - and individuals serving youth across the nation. 

Ms. Jones served as the regional director of Lemonade Day Northeast Ohio from 2014 through 2020. She received the Lemonade Day National President’s Award in 2019. Ms. Jones’ curriculum development credits include a lemonade-stand based activity guide for Macmillan publishing; the YEI Pitch Challenge Toolkit; an alternative pathway to graduation via entrepreneurship; and a range of interactive workshops for educators on teaching youth entrepreneurship. She speaks and teaches nationally about the importance of K-12 youth entrepreneurship education and volunteers as well.

Ms. Jones earned a B.A. in English from Guilford College and a M.S. in Geodetic Engineering from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining YEI, she worked as a senior technical analyst for public and private sectors. She is a master gardener whose entrepreneurial journey began in middle school and carriers through today with family businesses.

Keith Kreuer

Keith Kreuer

Chair of Programming Committee
Location: Houston, Texas

As a member of the Lemonade Day National Board of Directors, Keith Kreuer provides over 30 years of experience in starting and building innovative, customer-oriented information technology companies. As Principal with RedHouse Associates, Keith specializes in helping early-stage companies create their business plans, define product roadmaps, build processes that scale and secure angel investments. In his role as a co-founder and investor, Keith has assisted start-up teams in achieving a dozen positive exits, with returns of over $1.2 billion in value to their founders and investors. 

Mr. Kreuer has mentored executives and entrepreneurs throughout the years and shares his valuable advice with the organization as well as its fledgling entrepreneurs. He joined the board in 2020 and is a member of its My Lemonade Day App Technology Committee; he provides valuable insights on information technology and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Kreuer is an active angel investor in the Houston and Austin start-up ecosystems and has participated in over 90 private investments. He is a mentor and advisor to the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Capital Factory and Station Houston, as well as the Rice University OwlSpark and University of Houston Red Labs Accelerator programs.

He was an early investor in Idera and served on the board of directors until it was acquired by TA Associates in 2014. Keith co-founded PentaSafe in 1997 and served as its Director of World-Wide Services & Support until its acquisition by NetIQ in 2002. Prior to that, Keith was Co-Founder and President of Penta, Inc., a Houston-based software consulting firm that was acquired by VeriCenter in February 2000. 

Earlier in his career, Mr. Kreuer served in various positions, such as Director of Operations for Generator Systems, Consulting Manager for Ernst & Young and Software Development Project Manager for Exxon, U.S.A. 

Mr. Kreuer’s volunteerism and community involvement also includes current service on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries Houston and past involvement on the Target Hunger Board of Directors.

Mr. Kreuer is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in computer science.

On any given weekend, you can find Keith either wakeboarding and surfing on Lake Conroe near Houston, or sailing along the Gulf Coast on his family’s coastal cruiser.


Jacobo Ortiz Blanes

Location: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Jacobo Ortiz Blanes is the President and Co-Founder of Las Brisas Property Management, the largest service-oriented property management firm in Puerto Rico. Founded in 2008, Mr. Blanes and his team offer accounting and cost savings strategies, facilities management, marketing and branding services, construction management and other consulting services. He is Vice Chairman of the Salvation Army PR and joined the Lemonade Day National Board of Directors in 2020, where he assists his fellow members of the fundraising committee in securing donations to help the organization with its expansion goals and ongoing technology app development.

He leads his team with the guiding principles of service, integrity, attention to detail and fact-based decision making, which are similar philosophies that are taught to youth entrepreneurs who participate in the Lemonade Day program.

Mr. Blanes previously worked for more than 14 years with SC Johnson in a variety of sales and marketing positions in North America and Brazil. He was responsible for the development of new products and businesses.

Mr. Blanes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Haverford College. He achieved a master’s degree in food marketing from Cornell University’s Agricultural Economics Department.

Nicole Cassier-Mason

Nicole Cassier-Mason

CEO, Lemonade Day National
Location: Houston, Texas

Nicole Cassier-Mason has nearly 20 years of non-profit organization experience providing leadership in operations, fundraising, capital campaigns, marketing and community relations, cultivating and stewarding business partnerships, and implementing strategic initiatives.

Ms. Cassier-Mason most recently served as Vice President, Fund Development/Communications of New Hope Housing, Inc. She was an officer of the company and a key member of the Executive Management Team, which included cultivating a dynamic relationship with the Board of Directors. New Hope Housing provides life-stabilizing, affordable, permanent housing with support services for Houston’s most vulnerable citizens who live on very limited incomes. Cassier-Mason previously worked as the Development Director at The Heritage Society in Houston, and as an Event Coordinator at the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Special Events.

She graduated with Honors in May 2003 from the Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee with a double major in History and Religious Studies and a double minor in Political Science and Marketing. As a competitive athlete, she also played soccer and ran track. She is a Business/Civic Leadership Forum graduate from the Center for Houston’s Future 2019 class. She also is a 2020 Executive Seminar Graduate from The Buckley School of Public Speaking. She has held a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification since 2014.

Ms. Cassier-Mason is a native Houstonian. She and her husband are parents to one rescued fur-baby, Ferris. They love spending time outdoors and traveling, camping, hiking, bike-riding, going to the beach and snow skiing.