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The Professional growth BREAKOUT SESSION

Featuring Peter Beard, Senior Vice President for Regional Workforce Development - Greater Houston Partnership

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Peter Beard is the Senior Vice President for Regional Workforce Development at the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston region's principal business organization. He leads the Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative—a business led effort that engages more than 200 employers, educational institutions, community-based organizations, and the public workforce system. UpSkill Houston works to ensure that the region’s businesses have access to workers that have skills and credentials for advanced and technical careers and occupations that require education beyond a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree.

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  • Opening Remarks: Greater Houston Partnership
  • Agenda Overview: Steph Drake
  • Education Committee Summary Update RE UpSkill and Education Opportunities | Committee overlap
  • Review of core CAX metrics 
  • 2021 Reflection
  • 2022 shared metric agreement (goals to result from Q4 individual member org sessions)


2021 Accomplishments: Member orgs continue to navigate the dynamic COVID-influenced markets and workforce implications on behalf of their veteran and veteran family member clients. Member orgs report continued successes, despite the pandemic, and have been able to share different trends, issues and possible concerns with one another for both validation and best practice/ideas.

2022 Look Ahead: The PGC aspires to continue to impact the most sought after request through CAX -- employment and career search and support -- even in this challenging economic and jobs environment. Collective 2022 goals and opportunities will be developed throughout the rest of 2021. 



committee chair

Professional Growth Collaboration Committee

Steph Drake

Steph Drakes Head ShotSteph Drakes Head Shot

Steph is the Executive Director of NextOp, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Houston, Texas. Steph was named to her current position in August, 2019.
Previous Experience:
Steph (Parker) Drake was born in Sacramento, California and is part of a family with strong military service. Steph is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (2005) where she majored in Oceanography and played Center midfielder for the Navy women's soccer team. In 2005, Steph commissioned as a US Marine Officer, serving 8 years active duty before transitioning to the reserves and moving to Houston. During her time serving our country, Steph held multiple roles at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune, and Marine Barracks Washington, 8th & I. Steph deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2007-2008) as the Executive Officer for Security Company, Combat Logistics Battalion-8 and Officer-In-Charge of Fallujah's first Sisters of Fallujah program. Her other roles included Aerial Port Officer-In-Charge, Company Commander, Logistics Officer, and Regimental Operations Officer. Steph had the honor of being selected to the 8th & I ceremonial drill staff, marching in numerous ceremonies and formal parades in the National Capital Region, honoring distinguished guests and service members and representing the Marine Corps to the general public. While on active duty, Steph earned her MBA from Boston University.
Steph left the active duty Marine Corps in 2013, moving to Houston to start a successful career with Shell Oil Company. Steph's roles at Shell included Contracting & Procurement, Materials Management, and Logistics Operations. Most recently, Steph led the Shell Lubricants Supply Chain logistics operations team for the south & west of North America.
Steph is a Marine Corps reservist and has served as the Houston Marine for Life Representative since February 2018, connecting Marines to local resources for various needs. She is also a Blue and Gold Officer for the US Naval Academy. Steph and her husband Taylor, also a US Marine and Naval Academy graduate, reside in Houston with their three young children.



Virtual Kickoff:

Fri, Oct 8, 09:00am-10:00am CST

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Family/Caregiver Committee Breakout:

Thursday, October 14, 1:00pm-3:00pm CST

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Wellness Committee Breakout:

Friday, October 15, 10:00am-12:00pm CST

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Essential Services Committee Breakout:

Thursday, October 22, 09:00am-11:00am CST

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Education Committee Breakout:

November 18th 10:00am-12:00pm CST

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