Board of Directors
Eric Edward Schell
President & Founder
I created Pride Portraits in June of 2016, shortly after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I strategically created a board of directors that reflected the gender and sexuality diversity I hoped the campaign would attract. As a trans, non binary individual who also identifies as gay and is a person of color, I know from personal experience how I have always longed for a platform that celebrates and affirms every aspect of my identities. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to create that space. The campaign started off in a way that can only be described as grassroots. Outside on a street corner in front of a paint wall in Houston, Texas. I created an event on Facebook titled, Pride Portraits, where I offered to take peoples photographs. Over the past 4 years our team has cultivated the trust of our nations top political leaders, celebrities and known activists, as well as 6,000 people living within in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and numerous allies, creating a national movement.
Treasurer / Director of Operations / Backdrop Artist
Hugo Perez is a contemporary artist living and creating in
Houston, Texas. His artwork focuses on conveying the human experience through emotion captured in abstract portraiture. In 2016 he was accepted into the John Palmer Escapist program. He believes in giving back to the LGBTQIA community and donates his art to various non-profit organizations. He attributes his success to being true to oneself and building a strong network of friends and allies in the community.
Rick Schell is a senior lecturer in management at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, where he teaches Leadership Communication and Consultative Selling. He is also director of the Undergraduate Business Minor program, where he teaches Business Communications. Prior to joining the Jones School, he spent 30 years in the Information Technology industry, working in sales, marketing, and education for IBM, the Amdahl Corporation, and Fujitsu Ltd. His business career included executive assignments in field sales, strategic and industry marketing, media and analyst relations, sales education, and global business development. He also served as chief of staff to his company’s president and CEO, where he developed and delivered strategic communications to all internal and external audiences. His interests and competencies include cross-cultural communication, crisis communication and gender communication.
MLK said, “the arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” We will know that America has met the promise of justice for all when we celebrate difference rather than merely tolerate it; when we fight bigotry rather than merely condemn it; and when we offer no safe haven for haters and their supporters.