Black History Month, celebrated every February, is an annual observance to remember important people and events in African American history. It is also a time to highlight current leaders and innovators in the Black community. The people highlighted in this blog have contributed to Temple’s flourishing businesses and paved a path for success.


man smiling with a suit and red bowtie on

Michael Rousell

Michael Rousell works at Brockway Gersbach Franklin & Niemeier, P.C. (BGFN, P.C.) as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with years of valuable experience. He provides tax and accounting services to businesses and individuals and is driven to help his clients succeed. BGFN, P.C. is a perfect fit for Rousell given they are committed to maintaining a professional environment that is rooted in family values. 

Though Rousell has many hobbies, his most passionate hobby is fatherhood. Above all that he does, family comes first for Rousell. His values of community and guidance can also be seen in his volunteer work. Rousell volunteers at the Rotary Club of Temple South, the 411 House, and Ralph Wilson Youth Club. His efforts are motivated by his ability to support youth in a way that he wishes he had growing up. He sees a version of himself in the kids he coaches and guides them to be their best selves.

Rousell loves the small-town feel of Temple, but also recognizes how it has evolved. He says that Temple is a growing community that is, “gearing up to be a one-stop-shop for all stages of your life.” It’s the city he calls home because he’s able to do the work he loves, and take care of his family.


woman smiling in front of a red brick wall. She is wearing a bright pink top.

Bre’Layisha Alexander

Bre’Layisha Alexander is a licensed athletic trainer as well as a Basic Life Support (BLS) and Heartsaver instructor. She works at SportsCare USA as a contract employer for Baylor Scott & White. SportsCare USA prevents and treats injuries in athletes through medical coverage and education. 

Living in Temple, Alexander gets to work with athletes at all levels and ages. With a second-to-none school district, accomplished city leaders, and excellent law enforcement, she recognizes the bountiful opportunities that Temple provides. She notes that Temple’s proximity to major cities like Austin and Dallas make it perfect for those who want a big city feel with a more quiet place to call home.

Work opportunities are not the only reason Alexander chose to live in Temple. Temple is where her family lives and where she stays involved with the community. In her spare time, she contributes to several organizations including, the Temple Chamber of Commerce, Wildcat Mentor Program, Temple Education Foundation, and the Un-Included Club. When she’s not improving athletes’ physical health or volunteering for the community, Alexander loves to travel with her family and friends.


man smiling for a headshot. He is wearing a light purple suit with a blue tie and pocket square.

Bryant Ward

Having lived in Central Texas for over 30 years, Bryant Ward is an expert at helping new friends find the home of their dreams. Whether it’s a  residential home, commercial property, or farm and ranch land, he is passionate about serving his community through real estate. He seeks a humble approach to life and centers everything he does around serving others. In his realty business, Ward caters to clients’ needs while building a relationship for the greater good of his business. By constantly offering a helping hand, Ward believes we can be better prepared and supported when life takes an unexpected turn.

In his free time, Ward stays active in the community by volunteering and participating in the following organizations:


When he’s not making a difference through volunteering, Ward is spending quality time with his son and close friends. He enjoys spending time at local eateries in Temple and throughout Central Texas. He is grateful for the business opportunities that Temple presents: from the constant growth and beautification of the city to the diverse community.


woman smiling in front of a piano holding a microphone

Takenya Battle

During her 14 year career as a public school music teacher, Takenya Battle ran the entire music program by herself, including 800 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. Through this experience, she was able to learn valuable skills in understanding and teaching children of every musical and educational background. 

While she was teaching, she also joined the Army Reserve, working in medical supply logistics. After taking a break to become a stay-at-home mom, she started teaching piano and singing lessons from home. Like many families in Temple, Battle and her family moved to the Fort Hood area for military placement. She soon became very active in the Temple community by joining the chamber of commerce and providing free teaching for home-schooled students. Throughout the process, she has embraced these experiences as a  way to grow within herself and her passion for musical education. 

She is now chief treble maker at Kenya’s Keys Voice & Piano Studio. She teaches piano lessons and vocal lessons to help musicians unleash their inner superstar, personal to their musical identity. When she’s not at Kenya’s Keys, Battle stays involved as a guest presenter at private music studios, a vocalist and pianist at local festivals, and enjoys watching movies with her family.

Each of these black leaders in Temple have benefitted their community in a big way. They’ve made a huge impact, whether it be from helping businesses with taxes, helping families find their dream home, or caring for athletes and musicians in the city. No matter what their journey looked like, they made the effort to do what they love, all while helping others. Living in Temple means living in a close knit community with big city opportunities. Learn more about the culture of caring in Temple to see how you can make a change of your own.