Chief executive officer, Harvest Prep charter school in north Minneapolis.Education: Engineering degree, University of Wisconsin

Age: 51

Born: Philadelphia

Lives: Brooklyn Park

Drives: 2003 BMW X5, with license plates, "PIOUS"

Family: Married to Ella Mahmoud, with four children and nine grandchildren

Notable quote: "All of this work came out of a passion to really make a positive difference, in particular within the African-American community. We've burned all the ships so there will be no retreating. It's not like we're going back somewhere if this doesn't work."

Notable quote about him: "This guy could have chosen to do so many other things, but he planted his flag right here and, for 20 years, he's perfected and engineered his product that's home-grown in the community. People know him and trust him." Louis King, former Minneapolis School Board member.