About the Author
Ms. Pat Houston
In addition to serving as the CEO of the Teen Summit Academy and author of A Better You, Pat Houston is a well regarded promotions, marketing, and management professional and an award winning humanitarian.
Mrs. Houston attended Gardner Webb University on an Athletic and Liberal Arts scholarships, before being recruited to study at the Paris Institute in France. While matriculating in Paris, she became a successful model, working for designer greats Givenchy and Michel Klein, and appearing in numerous ads campaigns for major catalog companies and for brands such as Maybelline Shades for You, Essence, Black Elegance Magazine and Newport Cigarette Campaigns.
She went on to become a successful talent manager who executed partnerships and deals in many aspects of the TV and Film Industry. In the 1980s, Mrs. Houston was a designated agent for the Screen Actor’s Guild, and served as director and recruiter for L’ Mage Model Management, a role through which she negotiated contracts with major ad agencies and TV and movie production companies for her clients.
In 2001, she spearheaded with her Management Team negotiations for a $100 million contract for her client Whitney Houston – the highest paid record deal in music history, and today she serves as President & CEO of WhitNip Inc., and Executor to the Whitney Houston Estate. She is also the author of the Whitney Houston “Tribute To An Icon.”
Between Mrs. Houston’s commitment to family and her exciting career endeavors, in 2007 she managed to establish a nonprofit organization called Teen Summit, to help rebuild, repair and restore the lives of teens and young adults facing challenges and obstacles. The organization’s mission is to provide youths with encouragement from inspirational mentors, practical life skills, and other tangible support to help them succeed. Each fall she hosts a Teen Summit Academy in her native Shelby, N.C., and brings local and internationally-renowned celebrities to the event to pour into hundreds of youths, young adults, and community leaders.
To facilitate her Teen Summit endeavors, Mrs. Houston operates the Celebrity Consignment Boutique in Shelby (just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina). The boutique is a unique and exciting retail property through which her celebrity friends and acquaintances donate clothing and other items that are sold to the general public at discounted prices. Supporters thus far have included Diane Sawyer, Dionne Warwick, Alicia Keys, CeCe Winans, the late Whitney Houston, Cissy Houston, Queen Latifah, Katie Couric, Estelle, The Kardashians, Celebrity stylist Tim Snell and Oprah Winfrey.
Mrs. Houston also is the CEO of a personal candle line, MARION P. Candles, which was inspired by Whitney Houston. Partial proceeds from this company benefit the Teen Summit program as well.
Her civic and mentoring endeavors have earned her numerous accolades, including two U.S. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards (2016); and the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award Medal (2016), the Etta B. Leach Humanitarian Award, recognition as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Divine Sisterhood of Jerusalem, two Greater Life Network “Unsung Heroine Awards,” a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the 18th District of Texas, and a Beacon of Hope “Excellent Civic Engagement Award” from The National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Lettie Purcell Shields Distinguished Service Award, Minnie’s Food Pantry Community Advocate Award, and Gardner Webb University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Married since 1994, Mrs. Houston and her husband, Gary, a former NCAA basketball champion at DePaul University and formerly of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, are the proud parents of one daughter, Rayah – a student at Georgia State University majoring in Exercise Science (Pre-Med). The family resides in Alpharetta, GA.