DALLAS — Houston-area businessman Larry Donnell Leonard II, the CEO of Teshuater who is believed to be the first black owner of an all-natural alkaline water company, is about to give back in a big way.
HARVEST SEASON UNFOLDING
On August 19, Leonard we will be traveling to Flint, Michigan, where he and his staff will donate over 13,000 gallons of alkaline water to those affected by the Flint water crisis that transpired in 2014.
Three years ago, the drinking water source for the city of Flint was changed to the Flint River and, as a result of the insufficient water treatment, more than 100,000 residents were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water.
Consequently, after a pair of scientific studies proved lead contamination was present in the water supply, a federal state of emergency was declared in January 2016, thus giving way to Flint residents being instructed to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.
As of early 2017, the water quality had returned to acceptable levels. However, residents were instructed to continue to use bottled or filtered water until all the lead pipes have been replaced, a development that is expected to be completed no sooner than 2020, according to a June 2017 report at CNN.com.
Since word spread of the Flint water crisis, Leonard told Making Headline News during a weekend interview that it has been “in my heart” to help implement change on behalf of residents of that city. “I launched this business on May 6 (2017),” Leonard said. “God has blessed us to be in a position to make it happen.”
Since delving off into entrepreneurship, Leonard, a Houston-based Pastor and the First Presiding Bishop at New Covenant Churches International, Incorporated (where his father is the Presiding Bishop), has made continuous strides, in large because of the lifelong lessons and principles instilled in him by a host of key individuals.
“There are three people that have made a major impact on my life,” said Leonard, who’s steadily enjoying success since the inception of his alkaline water business just two months ago.
Amongst his grandest supporters are his parents, Bishop Larry Donnell Leonard Sr. and Elder Dorothy Ellis-Leonard and Shuwana Leonard, his wife of 19 years.
“(My parents) have raised me to be a very caring, respectful and honest man. I pride myself in being able to be trusted regarding business. They have supported all my business ventures in the past and they have encouraged me along the way. They have placed favor at my feet and I have been wise enough to walk in that favor.” — Houston Businessman Larry Donnell Leonard II
As for his featured business partner who also happens to his lifelong companion, Leonard said, Shuwana is the little girl in my eye. I tell people that she’s so close to me that she can even see her reflection in my eyes. She has been my business partner since day one in 2001 when we decided to be our own bosses, and she has held it together along with myself ever since. Anything that I need done, she’s been there and she’s very efficient at getting the job done.”
“There would be no Bishop Larry Donnell Leonard II if it wasn’t for a Shuwana Shuntale White…point, blank, period.”
The constant success, coupled with the tireless support Leonard has fielded over the years, have greatly inspired him to give back — and to give back in a big way.
Aside from traveling to Flint, Leonard will be hosting a Teshuater Business Expo on October 13-14 in Houston, an event that will allow him to sponsor 60 Historically Black College and University (or HBCU) students during which they will also be a part of the Inaugural Teshuater HBCU Pitch Competition on the event’s final day. Registration for the event is $89 for the Expo and $20 for the Teshuater Pitch Competition.
Those planning to attend can register and purchase tickets at www.teshuater.com. Leonard is a product of Grambling State University.
GOD’S LEADING LADY
As for the continuous success of his booming business, Leonard deemed it essential to pay homage to another special individual.
“(Growing up), I wanted to be as successful as my uncle, Wilbert Ellis,” Leonard said. “Man, this dude is 80 years old…smooth, get things done, and everyone loves him. When it comes to business, I truly look up to him.”
Talk about an overall solid supporting cast for a Texas-based businessman whose best and brightest days are still well ahead of him.
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