About I.C.C.S Academy

About Us

Who We Are

The desire of the founding partners of I.C.C.S Academy is to “Impact a million lives”. Mere words without the vision to formulate a plan that includes all Americans in the prosperous activities of this great nation. To include all Americans, the realization that every individual has unique strengths and weaknesses that must also account for the barriers experienced by specific groups in our society. 

Accounting for these barriers goes beyond simple acknowledgement. It is the assessment and mitigation of the identified barriers as related to younger learners and adult learner’s. A consistent systematic monitoring of student progress, coupled with a continued emphasis on building independence, a competent knowledge base, and exposure to career opportunities makes I.C.C.S Academy’s registered apprenticeship for skilled construction workers a movement rather than an organization.

Zach Johnson

Program Director

Zach Johnson is the visionary behind I.C.C.S Academy. After serving seven years in the Army and spending the last 20 years as a construction manager, consultant, trainer, and general contractor, he noticed the lack of access to high-quality construction training for veterans and other disenfranchised communities around the country. While obtaining hands-on training in the construction industry, Mr. Johnson obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters in Training & Development from Dallas Baptist University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education with a concentration in global training and development from Northcentral University. As the Program Director, Mr. Johnson’s primary role is to create sustainable relationships with local communities, subject matter experts, construction industry professionals, fellow entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to start building bridges between those who are seeking employment or need training, and those who need employment. It is the personal mission of Mr. Johnson to remove the negative stigma associated with the construction industry, promote entrepreneurship in the African-American community and serve the global community by advocating for equity and access to everyone
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Carl Burnside

Wraparound Director
As a childhood friend of Zach, Carl Burnside shares the same heart and passion for entrepreneurship, impacting lives and creating tangible opportunities for individuals. For the past 15 years, Mr. Burnside has dedicated his life to studying mental health, helping people heal to become whole, and global business strategies. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Valparaiso University, a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from The University of Arizona. As the Wraparound Director, Mr. Burnside takes a comprehensive holistic approach to assessing the whole-being of each trainee. By having in-depth conversations that not only address their mental and financial needs but, also, their intellectual, spiritual and environmental needs. Mr. Burnside provides them with the resources and tools they need to be successful. It is his desire to help each student and their families be mentally healthy, have financial freedom, and a plan for success. On top of his work with I.C.C.S, Mr. Burnside also owns and operates a mental health agency, Battling Minds LLC, as well as provides consulting through his company Orca Strategies LLC.

Shereena Johnson

Education Director

“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching” is a quote by which Shereena Johnson lives and which also encompasses her passion for education. Mrs. Johnson started in the early childhood industry as a classroom teacher and over a period of fifteen years, she worked her way into various leadership roles. During this time, she gained knowledge on how to be an effective leader and teacher through hands-on training, management, and customer service. She graduated from Huston-Tillotson University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, received a Masters in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, and is currently attending Lamar University for a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Global studies. As the Educational Director, Mrs. Johnson is responsible for researching, creating and implementing a meaningful curriculum that is inclusive and provides equity and access to all students. Her passion for education and dedication to helping people achieve their goals regardless of their age is why she is so grateful for I.C.C.S Academy and its mission.

Derrick Smith

Director of Career Advancement

From playing football on the Fightin' Texas Aggie team, to completing the most difficult degree at Texas A&M University, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Derrick Smith has always been a competitor and someone that did not believe in quitting. Prior to the tragedy of September 11th, he was a successful sales and marketing representative in the hi-tech industry; however, due to the collapse, he had to pivot. This pivot set him on the path of entrepreneurship, creating multiple businesses in the financial, hi-tech and construction industry that have spanned over a period of thirty-five years. As the Director of Career Advancement, Mr. Smith oversees the progression of a students’ career plan; from introducing them to careers they may not know, ensuring their apprenticeship placement is an appropriate match and providing mentorship along the way. The mission of I.C.C.S Academy is to impact a million lives and Mr. Smith believes that he is tailor made to fulfill the mission.