Be A Champion, Inc.

Who We Are

Who We Are Icon

BE A CHAMPION, INC. was founded in 2001 (formerly as All-N-One) as a way of reaching out to under-privileged youth in the Houston area through sports, education, and nutrition programs. BE A CHAMPION, INC. was started by two former offensive linemen for the University of Houston, Jaron K. Barganier and James Hong. Barganier and Hong both felt that athletes should be positive role models for young people and wanted to provide a program to help facilitate a way for athletes to give back.

Our Mission

The mission of BE A CHAMPION, INC. is to use sports, education, and community service to enhance the development of our youth regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or creed. We hope that by doing so, our program will improve society as a whole, giving young people a chance at a better future.

Our Values

At Be A Champion, Inc., we believe our employees should be CHAMPS and consistently demonstrate our values.

History

  • 2001

    Be A Champion, Inc. was founded in 2001(formerly as All-N-One) as a youth organization providing summer youth and sports camps.

  • 2002

    The first sports camp was held in summer of 2002 in West Houston with 6 kids. That year, the Little Coogs Program was born as an outreach program providing under-privileged youth an opportunity to gain some exposure to a university campus and gameday experience with 60 kids attending each UH home football game.

  • 2003

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. had expanded to over 6 locations around the Houston area with over 3,300 youth participating in Summer camps and over 100 kids attending each UH home football game. The program was awarded the National Youth Sports Program Grant to operate a summer sports camp at the University of Houston Wellness Center.

  • 2004

    In October of 2004, BE A CHAMPION, INC. was incorporated in the State of Texas as a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization.

  • 2005

    Established the By-Laws and organizational documents for BE A CHAMPION, INC. Began to raise money for programming through sponsorships and program funding. Established the CATS (Career, Arts, Technology and Sports) model for enrichment programs.

  • 2006

    In Fall of 2006, BE A CHAMPION, INC. began offering after-school enrichment programs to 11 locations around the Houston area. Obtained its first grant for after-school programming. Little Coogs sponsorships more than tripled since 2003.

  • 2007

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expanded to 25 locations expanding during school tutorials and after-school enrichment programs. The first year to offer the AVID Tutorial programs. Hires first employees for the organization.

  • 2008

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expanded to 11 summer locations and 26 after-school locations around the Houston area. Reached 120 sponsors for Little Coogs and grew sponsorship support over 650% since 2003 with over 900 kids attending each UH home football game.

  • 2009

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expanded to 30 after-school enrichment programs and over 160 sponsors for Little Coogs.

  • 2010

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. received its first federal/state grant award through the Texas Department of Education for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant. Expands employee base to 25. BE A CHAMPION, INC. moved into its first office.

  • 2011

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. reached an all-time record for sponsorships and Little Coogs attendance (an average of 1,800 per game).

  • 2012

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expands to co-pay during and after-school programs.

  • 2013

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. introduces Champion Fuel Food Program to program partners. At one point, serves over 40,000 snacks/suppers per day.

  • 2014

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. is awarded a direct contract as a Sponsor/Contracting Entity with the Texas Department of Education providing the CACFP and SFSP food programs under the USDA Child and Nutrition Programs. 1st annual Cougar 100 awards recipient (#59 ranking) for “Fastest Cougar (UH)-owned or managed Business” with an 18% growth from the prior year.

  • 2015

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. reached a milestone of over 250 employees and expanded programs to the Rio Grande Valley area. 2nd annual Cougar 100 awards recipient (#21 ranking) for “Fastest Cougar (UH)-owned or managed Business” with a 37% growth from the prior year.

  • 2016

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expands to a 2nd Houston office location and adds a San Antonio office with the expansion of programs. 3rd annual Cougar 100 awards recipient (#52 ranking) for “Fastest Cougar (UH)-owned or managed Business” with a 14% growth from the prior year. On October 11, The City of Houston declares “BE A CHAMPION DAY” with a proclamation by Mayor Sylvester Turner. On December 1, U.S. House of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee presents a Proclamation for “BAC Holiday Celebration”.

  • 2017

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expands the Champion Fuel Food Program and enrichment programs in the Dallas and Rio Grande Valley areas and adds satellite offices there. 4th annual Cougar 100 awards recipient (#11 ranking) for “Fastest Cougar (UH)-owned or managed Business” with a 62% growth from the prior year.

  • 2018

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. continues to expand programs and moves the corporate office to a larger building, consolidating both Houston office locations. In addition, the San Antonio office moves to a larger building to accommodate growth and expansion. 5th annual Cougar 100 awards recipient (#6 ranking) for “Fastest Cougar (UH)-owned or managed Business” with a 64% growth from the prior year.

  • 2019

    BE A CHAMPION, INC. expands to over 500 employees to serve programs in the Houston, DFW, San Antonio, East Texas, and RGV regions. Additions of key senior management help with restructuring efforts to build long-term growth strategies. 6th annual Cougar 100 awards recipient (#24 ranking) for “Fastest Cougar (UH)-owned or managed Business” with an 25% growth from the prior year.

Management

OUR FOUNDERS

Jaron K Barganier

Jaron serves as the Founder & CEO and Chairman of the Board of BE A CHAMPION, INC. since 2001. He is responsible for all program oversight and management. Jaron earned his Bachelors in Science at the University of Houston in May 2004 and a Masters in Public Administration at Texas Southern University in May 2006.

James Hong

James serves as the Co-Founder & COO and Vice-Chairman of the Board of BE A CHAMPION, INC. since 2001. He is responsible for all business operations and management. James earned his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Houston (Bauer College of Business) in December 2005.

Board of Directors

Jaron K. Barganier

Founder & CEO / Chairman of the Board

I was born and raised by my parents in Houston, Texas and have spent the last 20 years serving the Houston community. I was taught the importance of perseverance and service. These fundamental values are why I strive to give my very best to the next generation, creating a better place for those to follow.

I received my undergraduate degree in Consumer Science and Merchandising from the University of Houston. At the University of Houston, I played offensive line for the Cougars football. I then completed a Master’s in Public Administration from Texas Southern University.  I enjoy traveling, fishing, and relaxing as hobbies. I am a father of two wonderful children and a husband to a nurturing wife. I truly believe that this foundation is what gives me the desire and passion to continue to push forward and serve this great mission.

James Hong

Co-Founder, COO & Vice-Chairman of the Board

I am involved in the Houston community, which centers around my belief in giving back. That was the basis on which BE A CHAMPION, INC. was founded on in 2001. The work we do is important to the future youth and communities we serve each and every day. I did not have an affluent upbringing, so I know first-hand what a difference programs like BAC makes to give youth better opportunities.

I am a native Houstonian and graduated from University of Houston with a BBA in Finance & Management (2001-2005). I am a former member of the Houston Cougar Football team (OL). Other involvement includes: University of Houston Alumni Association Foundation (Life Member) and Chairman of Investment Committee, Bauer Alumni Association (Past President), Houston Cougar Foundation (Secretary), Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (Life Member), H-Association (Past President). I enjoy active activities (working out, running, biking, playing golf) and traveling.

Art Barganier

Board Member

I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. I have served on the BAC board since 2009. Some of my most important historical memories are seeing Dr. King march and preach, meeting some former presidents, and working for our U.S. government for over 30 years.

I attended University of Alabama for my undergraduate program. I then went on to finish Law school at Woodrow Wilson College of Law. I take pride in watching my grandchildren grow up as well as fishing and traveling. I have played senior softball for over 20 years, traveling the world competing. I have seen Be A Champion, Inc. develop every step of the way, and I am honored to call myself a Board Member.

Kevin Nelson

Board Member

I joined the board in 2010 after Be a Champion officially started its board of directors. James and I have been longtime friends, and I’m glad to put my skills to work on BE A CHAMPION, INC. (BAC) board of directors. I truly have enjoyed seeing the growth of BAC and its maturity over the years. We have all learned a lot together. The thing I like most is seeing the work and good we do in our communities that need it. I always have been a big proponent of helping today’s youth as they will be tomorrow’s leaders.

I am a native Houstonian, an avid Houston Astros fan, and currently live in the historic Westbury community of southwest Houston with my wife, Georgia, and two daughters, Abigail and Elizabeth. Our home has been in the Nelson family for more than 60 years.

Matt Schirmer

Board Member, Director of Sales at MedInc of Texas / Arthrex

While at the University of Houston, I witnessed the beginning of BE A CHAMPION, INC. I not only was impressed with the mission of the organization but ultimately what it was offering to the youth in Houston. I not only have the privilege of being on the board since 2012 but also to be a part of a program that truly gives opportunities and motivation to those who may not have them.

After growing up in a small town in Kansas, a football scholarship to the University of Houston brought me to our great city. While at the University of Houston, I focused my studies within the Bauer College of Business and double majored in Business Management and Marketing. Choosing to stay in Houston, I took those skills and landed a career with MedInc of Texas, a distributor for Arthrex, a global orthopedic sales company. While growing my family, I continued developing the business and now stand as the Director of Sales for the Southern Gulf Coast.

Ronnie Reitz

Board Member, Fiscal & Compliance Manager

As a member of BE A CHAMPION, INC. board since 2010, I want to ensure that all funds are used in the absolute best way and only on items that are reasonable and necessary. I grew up in a single-family home until the age of 5 and know what it is like to be on the verge of poverty, which is why this work is so important to me.

I enjoy supporting all my University of Houston athletes no matter the sport. In my downtime, I really enjoy working in my yard and on my 36 Ford pickup truck.

Ryan King

Board Member, Sr. Vice President, Moody Rambin, Inc.

It’s important to me that children get a good education. BE A CHAMPION, INC. (BAC) is a part of that process by providing children with access to quality mentoring and nutrition programs. I was fortunate to attend some of the best schools in our community and deeply understand how important it is for all kids to enjoy their experience learning. BAC programs enhance the school experience and give kids that extra boost of enthusiasm for learning. I am proud to be a board member since 2009.

I have a 6-year-old boy who I spend most of my time playing, soccer, baseball, golf, and other sports and activities.  I attended the University of Houston and Northwood University and graduated with a BBA Business Management from NU.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Kevin Klotz

Compliance Officer

I have called Houston home for 9 years. Prior to assuming the role of Compliance Officer at Be A Champion, Inc., I spent 15 years working for various NCAA Division I athletic departments across the country, most recently at The University of Houston. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Communications where I was also a member of the Swimming and Diving Team. I went on to earn my J.D. from the University of Akron.

I am an avid auto racing fan and continue to be an avid cyclist, runner, and swimmer. My wife Margarita and I enjoy spending our free time traveling and trying new restaurants with family and friends. We also have a black Labrador named Zorro and our tuxedo cat named Tiberius.

Dr. Precious Barganier

Director of Educational Development

It has been an absolute blessing to serve the families of our communities for 15 years with Be A Champion, Inc.  In my current role as Director of Educational Development, I am responsible for overseeing the strategic operations and resource management for the Educational Services provided by BAC.  I’ve worn many hats during my tenure with BAC and enjoy the relationships built among my colleagues and our clients.  The services we offer are a value-added component to our communities and our parents remind us of such with their continued support.

I am an Air Force Veteran, educator, researcher, and grant writer, but my most important duties are those of a wife, mother, and daughter.  I enjoy the opportunity to be of service to others and pride myself on being one of God’s humble servants.

My hobbies include traveling, reading, visiting wineries, and spending time with my family.  I volunteer with many community organizations within various roles and enjoy the connections and mentorship opportunities with the youth of this generation.

George Moon

Director of Finance

I have called Houston home for the past 22 years after graduating from college in Florida and eventually receiving my MBA from the University of Houston.  I had a 20-year career in the oil and gas industry that included various financial and leadership positions throughout the U.S. and Latin America. I had always had a desire to work with and assist children, so eventually, I became an elementary school teacher.  I saw firsthand the devastating effects on children that could not afford their meals, or the school lunch was the only meal of that child’s day.  For those reasons, Be A Champion, Inc. is an excellent solution to this problem that not only includes meals, but also tutoring and after-school program services.

My hobbies include spending quality time with my two grown children, fishing, traveling, jiujitsu, and occasionally volunteering with the ARC of Katy.

Sabrina Telez

Director of Training & Development

I am proud to provide memorable learning and engagement opportunities for the employees at Be A Champion, Inc. I am honored to bring my 15+ years of learning and development experience to an organization that provides nutritious meals and affordable educational services to students. I am also excited to use my degree in Communications to ensure consistent communication across the organization.

As a single mom to triplets, I understand how expensive childcare can be and how challenging it can be for families to provide three nutritious meals a day to their children. I believe BAC does an amazing job at addressing those needs.

Chandra T. Woods

Educational Services Manager

I am a native of Rosenberg, TX where I was raised by my mother. My mother was a public-school educator for over 35 years. She instilled in our family a love for learning and serving others. Her passion for ensuring that every one of the students she served excelled, lit a fire in my heart to do the same. I have served in the field of education over the past twenty-seven years.

I received my undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston in 1993 and began my career as an educator in Alief ISD. Teaching that first group of fourth – grade students challenged and stretched me tremendously. Despite the challenges, the impact and growth of students that I observed over the course of that first year let me know this was my call and purpose in life. Serving in the classroom for five years gave me an intense desire to have a greater impact on student learning and success which pushed me to pursue an administrative role. After earning my master’s degree from Prairie View A & M University in May of 1998, I served in various administrative roles for over twenty years.

Currently, I serve as the Educational Services Manager for Be A Champion, Inc. Serving in this role for the past two and a half years has afforded me the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion of enabling struggling students to reach their full potential.

Laila Kahkeshani

Human Resources Manager

I am a native Texan, growing up living in Houston and overseas.  I graduated from the University of Houston, Downtown with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Learning from The George Washington University. My passion has always been around helping people.  After fifteen years of working in the corporate world, I decided to pursue my passion of helping people more intentionally by seeking out an organization to work for whose purpose aligns closely with my personal values – serving others.

Outside of work, I am a parent and a volunteer serving my community. I enjoy outdoor activities and high-intensity workouts.

Richard Brown

Sr. Budget Analyst

I have had the esteemed honor of serving the Texas public via my work at Be A Champion, Inc. for the past eleven years.

I was born and raised in a single-parent household to a teenage mom in Kingston, Jamaica. I learned of poverty at an early age, that education is key, and also that athletics/extracurricular activities are vital to social mobility. I migrated to Houston, Texas where I attended Texas Southern University and completed a BBA Accounting degree.

I am a proud father of three, doting husband to an amazing wife and loyal son and brother. I enjoy playing soccer, reading, and in general, expanding my knowledge base.