What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? As a young child in elementary school Ekiria had big dreams of becoming a pediatric doctor. She envisioned opening a community clinic for young underserved women and children in her community. This dream took her on the road less traveled. Ekiria attended Baylor University where she initially majored in pre-med, then nursing before she came to the realization that she wanted to prevent disease rather then put a Band-Aid on diseases that could be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. During her collegiate internships, Ekiria watched physicians and nurses rush minority patients through their visits while pushing medication over information. These patterns disturbed her spirit and ignited her passion to serve her community through a career in public health. Early in Ekiria’s career she was known as a public health pioneer by being among the first to graduate from both of Baylor University's Community and Public Health programs. She then led the City of Houston in passing a historical smoke-free ordinance through management of a multimillion-dollar Department of State Health Services funded grant in collaboration with key businesses, schools, churches, and stakeholders. Being a tenacious and zealous employee, Ekiria completed the five-year grant two years early. She thought she would be appreciated rather she was laid off. Her spirit was crushed, but she didn’t give up. She left the non-profit world to revisit her elementary dream of working with pediatric patients.
Ekiria further advanced her career by developing evidence-based guidelines utilizing an interdisciplinary team approach as Texas Children's Hospital's first Asthma Educator. She was then recruited to develop the first Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Education Discharge Program in the United States. This program transitioned fragile newborns from hospital to home and received international recognition. She also was instrumental in opening the first multi-services subsidized clinic for women and children in the United States. Ekiria enjoyed leading collaborative grants for Children with Special Needs and implementing Project SEARCH at Texas Children's Hospital with Houston Independent Schools District students. Serving the indigenous is a priority for Ekiria. She is a published author with the AHRQ and her career publications can be found in peer reviewed journals.
Ekiria enjoyed climbing the corporate ladder. Even at the stake of losing two marriages and missing key family events, she dedicated her life to improving the life of the indigent and underserved. In 2016, Ekiria’s employer the third largest pediatric hospital in the United States asked her to either accept a demotion due to re-organization or resign. She watched others get promoted that she once managed and didn’t understand her leadership’s decision to demote her. She was faithful, loyal, and dedicated, working 12-16 hours per day. She brought in millions of dollars in grants for the organization. After months of praying, Holy Spirit instructed Ekiria that you have worked for the world, now it’s time to work for me. She decided to take the leap of faith into full time entrepreneurship. She left her comfortable six figure income and entered the world of ministry and entrepreneurship. She was hesitant, scared, and confused. But her obedience to Holy Spirit’s still small voice led her to global success.
Ekiria is now a global leader with over 20 years of successful business management in both public and non-profit sectors. She leads seven businesses including Amazing Paws LLC comprised of Yorkies of Houston, Amazing Paws Pet Store, Amazing Paws Boutique, Awesome Paws 501C3, Cane Corsos of Houston; Let’s Leap Consulting, and Virtual Business Builder.
Ekiria’s businesses were birthed from her innate philanthropic nature of loving animals and serving people. She is a serial entrepreneur that began her journey in 2007 as a small in-home, part-time Yorkshire Terrier breeder that now leads globally scalable pet businesses with partners throughout the United States. She is now best known as a business strategist and CEO. Ekiria is passionate about developing and mentoring entrepreneurs by teaching empowerment, advocacy, and wealth creation. Ekiria's leadership philosophy is to daily influence her environment by modeling positive behavior and stewardship.
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