Lagniappe Summer 2020

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Summer 2020 LAGNIAPPE STAFF Editor: Kristin W. Durand Assistant Editor: Sonia Godfrey Photography Editor: Taylor Pospisil

On The Cover

Assistant Photography Editor: Ann Conger

LEFT, CELL PHONE Top:Gretchen Fischer, Tina Harsanyi Bottom:Ty Salvant, Kiki Barnes

Writers: Laura Carroll, Eileen Chao, Kari Djuve, Mary Liza Hartong, Shanelle Joseph, Stephanie Rogers, Lacy McManus, Cree Merriman-Jourdain

MIDDLE, COMPUTER Top: Michelle Craig, Ashley Lusk, Taylor Pospisil Bottom: Kristin Durand, Cree Jones, Kayuyum Koban BOTTOM COMPUTER Top: Tomoro Wilson, Ginger LaCour, Shannon Brice, Christine Vinson Middle: Sibby Charbonnet, Susana Ruddock, Katie Crosby, Evie Sanders Bottom: Kristin Moore, Sarah Chase, Jamiee Boyd, Katie Baxter

Writing Contributors: Dr. Suneeta Walia Photographers: Jessica Bachmann, Kristen Leonard, Michelle Payne Photo Contributors: Amistad Research Center, Robin Davis Beducian, Eileen Chao, Jeanne Charlebois, Ann Conger, Emily Dike, Kristin Durand, Ann Herren, Kaya Koban, Ashley Millet, Cree Jones, Sarah Nieuwenhuisen, Ochsner Health System, Cherie Teamer

JLNO BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Christine Vinson President-Elect: Kristin Van Hook Moore Secretary: Sarah Chase Treasurer: Jennifer “Jen” Bernard Allen Assistant Treasurer: Jaime Landry Boyd Business Council Director: Evelyn "Evie" Poitevent Sanders Communications Council Director: Susana Bobadilla Ruddock Community Council Director: Virginia "Ginger" Spencer LaCour

In this issue: 10 Sustainer of the Year: Wendy Beron 16 The Magic of Saying Yes 18 Great Expectations: Parenting Children with Disabilities 4 Letter from the Incoming President 5 Letter from the Outgoing President 6 Letter from the Incoming Editor 7 Letter from the Outgoing Editor 8 Inclusion Statement 10 JLNO Bulletin Board 12 Community Assistance Fund and JLNO Scholarships 14 Women in STEM

Membership Council Director: Tomoro Wilson Planning and Development Council Director: Kathryn "Katie" Hiatt Baxter Ways and Means Councils Director: Shannon Brice Nominating Committee Chair: Yvonne "Sibby" Gwin Charbonnet Sustaining Advisor to the Board: Katherine "Katie" Andry Crosby

PUBLISHER STAFF Editor: Topher Balfer Art Director: Molly Tullier Patty Account Executive: Becca Farnell 504-830-7219 | Traffic Coordinator: Jeremiah Michel Production Manager: Emily Andras Production Designers: Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney Chief Executive Officer: Todd Matherne Executive Vice President/ Editor in Chief: Errol Laborde President: Alan Campell

16 Trading Up With Swap Boutique 18 Women’s Leadership Summit Advances 20 Running for JLNO: Run, Walk, Give 21 League Day at the Capitol 22 Women Leading: Law

Published by Renaissance Publishing LLC 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 •

24 ABCs of SPF 26 2020-2021 Board of Directors 40 2018-2019 Year in Review 48 Thank You to Our Sponsors and Donors 50 League Faces 52 Héritage 2

Lagniappe | Summer 2020

Copyright 2020 Junior League of New Orleans and Renaissance Publishing LLC. Postage Paid at New Orleans and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Junior League of New Orleans 4319 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70115. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine’s managers, owners or publisher. Lagniappe Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.


Letter from the Incoming President


elcome to the 2020-2021 League Year! I am honored to step into the role of Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) President, following in the footsteps of Christine Vinson and the extraordinary women who have served the League in this capacity over the past 96 years. As we move into a new League year, we owe a huge thank you to the 2019-2020 Board of Directors for their dedication, service and leadership over the past year, as well as to all of our members for giving your time and talents to make the year a success. The pages of the Summer issue of Lagniappe are a testament to the resilience and fortitude of the remarkable women who make up JLNO. Despite the uncertainties and obstacles that arose in the last quarter of the year, League members met their goal of distributing 1,000,000 diapers to families in need in the Greater New Orleans area, awarded funding to women and nonprofit organizations in need through our Scholarship and Community Assistance Fund programs, and adapted to virtual fundraising with Run, Walk, Give. As I look ahead to the upcoming year and the challenges we will face, I would like to share one of my favorite adages: “Many hands make light work.� There is tremendous power in the size of our membership and the many talents our members bring to this organization. Through our collective action, I am confident we can fulfill our mission and truly be women leading for a greater New Orleans. I hope you will take some time to read and learn more about the amazing women that comprise the 2020-2021 Board of Directors. I am thrilled to be working with such an exceptional group of leaders in the months ahead. Thank you for allowing me to serve alongside you this year. I truly appreciate your support and encourage you to share any feedback and ideas you may have as we work together in the upcoming year. Gratefully, Kristin Van Hook Moore 2020-2021 President


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Photo by: Jessica Bachmann

Letter from the Outgoing President


hroughout the year, I have heard many Past-Presidents say, “Your year of presidency will be unforgettable.” Although I knew this would be true, I do not know if I could have fully grasped what they meant until this moment. My late father is the reason I joined the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). I was interested but uncertain if I could make the time commitments. Those were the days of thrift shop and headquarter shifts, after all. Nevertheless, my dad convinced me this may be an amazing opportunity to give back to the community. I don’t think either of us realized the impact the League would eventually make in my life. So joining the League it would be. I did have many acquaintances who were members, but none of my close friends were involved. I jumped in, completed my provisional year, went on to be pre-placed for Kitchen Tour … and forgot to go through placement for my second active year. So with placement week having passed (and these were the days of manual placement — where a committee went through everyone’s placement preferences and manually placed members one-by-one) and with few placements being left, I was put on the Thrift Shop Committee. I was not stoked. But I attended the committee meetings, met the Chairwomen and slowly made some great friends, including a woman who is now one of my best friends. From Thrift Shop to Diaper Bank to Bridal Boutique, I kept learning more about the League, making many new friends and understanding the community impact of JLNO. I was excited to become Vice Chair and then Chair of Touch a Truck. I knew the financial prospects this fundraiser could provide. I was having fun and planned to just keep trucking along — I was clueless the Board of Directors would ever be something in my future. Both invitations for Board positions made me question my ability to commit the time needed for those roles — and both times I thought of my father. He was right. I was making a difference, working with inspiring, like-minded women and making friends. Therefore, both times I responded, “Yes.” All the women I sat next to at the Board table have become my best friends. Consistent wisdom, patience and an unwavering dedication to the League's mission and focus areas have been their hallmark. Through the years, these ladies have been phenomenal. The training throughout my active tenure prepared me for the most intimidating decision I have had to make yet — selling my business which my grandfather started over 50 years ago. I can say with complete certainty I would not have been able to sell the business, or even consider it, without the years of developing my own potential through my League experience. My final and biggest thank you goes to the Junior League of New Orleans. The League has provided me with best friends, training and confidence through its ability to grow individuals beyond their own expectations. Thank you to the hard work of so many ladies now and over the past 96 years who made the League what it is. Thank you for allowing me to benefit from it so greatly. Thank you, JLNO.

Photo by: Jessica Bachmann

Christine M. Vinson 2019-2020 President


Letter from the Incoming Editor


t is hard to believe this is my eighth issue with Lagniappe. Three years ago, during my provisional year, I would have never imagined being a regular contributor to the magazine, let alone the Editor. Back then, I considered writing a personal area of weakness. Instead of resigning myself to a future devoid of literary cultivation, though, I decided to seize every chance to learn and grow as a writer. Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) gave me one of my first and best opportunities to do so. This is what I love most about being a member of JLNO; it offers a myriad of ways to challenge yourself. As an organization, the League is never satisfied with simply maintaining the status quo. This year’s final installment of the three-part series on the Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Project (page 16) shows how JLNO is honoring the hard work of sustainers while simultaneously adapting to the shifting priorities of its members. For me, it is an example of how we can all build on our past successes while pushing ourselves to new heights. With every issue of Lagniappe, I learn about more female luminaries in the League. As a non-traditional, post-baccalaureate student pursuing a career in medicine, I was especially inspired by the “Hope STEMs Eternal” article (page 14), featured as this issue’s cover story. Editing the article about League Day at the Capitol (page 21) introduced me to JLNO members’ laudable efforts to amplify our voices at the state legislature, advocating for equal pay, safe housing and basic dignity for all women. Learning about these impressive and impactful efforts of these women can be intimidating, but I choose to let their stories motivate me. I hope you will, too. I want every woman in the Greater New Orleans area to know there is a place for you at JLNO to develop as a volunteer, civic-minded citizen and effective leader. Even if you have not yet attained your ultimate goals, the League provides avenues for growth and the ability to make your mark along the way. I found a home in Lagniappe simply by showing up and consistently demonstrating my enthusiasm for crafting a narrative that articulates all that JLNO has to offer our members and our community. Each article I have the pleasure to write or edit reminds me that this organization is an incredible resource for the women and children of New Orleans and has ever-increasing potential to make our city even stronger. I am honored to be your incoming Editor and look forward to telling the stories — your stories — that will help us exceed our expectations as individuals and as an organization. These masks may cover our mouths, but they will not stifle our voices.

Sonia Godfrey 2020-2021 Lagniappe Editor


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Photo by: Jessica Bachmann

Letter from the Outgoing Editor


o much has changed. Saying this right now seems superfluous. We have all been going through a surreal experience over the past few months. A sudden shift from the way things had been for so long. A jolt into a strange new way of life without a clue how to navigate it. A period of forced reassessment to figure out what the path ahead will look like. Truthfully, I’ve been living in that strange new world for nearly a year. Last June, I began my journey as Editor for the Junior League of New Orleans’ (JLNO) Lagniappe magazine. After years as a writer on the Lagniappe Committee, I was honored to have my achievements acknowledged by being offered the position of Assistant Editor. I dutifully took in every bit of information I could whilst under the tutelage of my Editor, but before I knew it, I was firmly ensconced at the helm of the ship. A deluge of questions washed over me. What do I do now? How could I possibly improve upon what’s been done before? Who is going to listen to … me? Where do I go when I have questions; I’m supposed to have all the answers! I was adrift. Although I was confident I could find a way through the challenge ahead of me, I was afraid how it could negatively affect those around me if I got it wrong. And if I did get it wrong, not only would it reflect badly on me but it would potentially impact the image of the organization. On the other hand, I also knew this was an opportunity to flex my leadership muscles, hone my delegation skills and use my creative talents to shine a light on those topics I felt would have the greatest impact. My insecurities had met my strengths head on, and it was going to be a battle royale. I had to get this right. As it turns out, my fears were baseless. I found myself surrounded by a team of brilliant women who each brought their own unique strengths and insights to the publication. We found original and exciting topics to cover, addressing the latest endeavors the League was embarking upon. Almost unknowingly, I began to transition from the role of mentee to mentor. And I was never at a loss for resources, no matter how long my innumerable questions continued to percolate. I will recall the body of work produced this past year with a great sense of pride. In my first issue, we emphasized the important strides being made by the emerging Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and we covered the public policy initiatives attempting to reform Louisiana's domestic violence laws. In the next issue, we tackled the ABOLISH Committee's mission to advocate for an end to the abhorrent practice of human trafficking and child sex slavery. Following that, we shared the experience of JLNO members parenting children with disabilities, the daily hurdles they face and the support groups they lean on. And in this issue, we shine a light on the growing number of women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields while acknowledging there is still room for improvement. Each of these stories resonated with me in a powerful way, leaving me with a renewed outlook and an informed perspective. That is the purpose I set out to achieve as Editor: to present content that would educate and inform our readers. Knowledge is the catalyst for timely conversation that begets meaningful change. At its core, the Junior League is a training organization that extracts the untapped potential of each member to the benefit of the families, businesses and communities they serve. It is a collection of women dedicated to service, voluntarism and compassionate stewardship. As I reflect on this past year and the years I have spent in the League, I am humbled to count myself among such a selfless group of women dedicated to improving their lives and the lives of those around them. So much has changed, but change is positive. Change means growth. Change means understanding. Change means we can continue to improve upon ourselves, our lives and our community. We have changed. I have changed, and I have JLNO to thank for that.

Photo by: Jessica Bachmann

Stay safe, be kind and do good.

Kristin W. Durand 2019-2020 Editor


For further details on our immediate plan of action, visit


Lagniappe | Summer 2020



July 3rd - 4th of July

For the latest information, dates and details for these events, click the links below.

September 7th – Labor Day

Women’s Leadership Summit Touch a Truck Get on Board


SHARING SMILES WITH AMAZON To date, AmazonSmile has donated a total of

Please consider making a contribution to the annual fund by visiting and clicking Donate. In addition to monetary donations, JLNO accepts diapers, period supplies and adult diapers. You can also shop from our Amazon wish list or through OS app.


to Junior League of New Orleans, Inc.

GIVENOLA DAY Total Funds Raised


During the ongoing crisis, the current and immediate past board launched a fund to assist those who wished to remain enthusiastic members but were unable to pay their dues because of financial hardsh ips. Over a dozen League me mbers took advantage of this pro gram.


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SAFE SITTER® RETURNS Single day SAFE SITTER® classes will be available on weekends throughout the summer starting Saturday, July 11th until Sunday, August 2nd. Classes may shift to a digital format pending orders from public health officials. For information on dates and registration, visit

The deadline for the 202 0 Women's Entrepreneur (WE) Fellowship has been set for August. For exact dates, det ails and updated information, clic k here.

ABOLISH FEEDBACK REQUEST Our friends at Truckers Against Trafficking would like to know if anyone took their Anti Trafficking In Person verbiage to their company and if has it been implemented. Email the ABOLISH Committee at with any feedback. That information can be read below.

VOLUNTEERING DURING COVID-19 Here are a few ways you can help our community and get a jump start on your obligations for the 2020-2021 League Year. Members can sign up here for: • Phone-a-Senior • Second Harvest Food Bank • Diaper Bank • NOLA Couture Mask Sewing • Donate Blood

HEADQUARTERS REOPENING GUIDELINES HQ is now open! Following the City of New Orleans guidelines, meeting areas will be limited in capacity and all visitors must adhere to safety precautions. Click here for the full list of JLNO reopening procedures.

Figure 1 Stand up against trafficking! Make sure your company has an anti-trafficking policy in place. Contact the Abolish Committee for a sample policy to give to your HR department and continue to fight for human rights.


JLNO Awards Funding Through the Community Assistance Fund and JLNO Scholarships by Stephanie Rogers | Photos provided by Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans

Second Harvest Food Bank volunteers are preparing lunches that will be distributed to the local community.


unior League of New Orleans (JLNO) is proud to announce the recipients of their 2020 academic scholarships and Community Assistance Fund (CAF) grants. The academic scholarships are awarded to non-traditional, female students for undergraduate education. The mission of the Community Assistance Fund is to provide financial resources to local nonprofit organizations that effectively demonstrate a need for funding. It seeks to advance the wellbeing of women through the use of trained volunteers that provide direct service, educate the community and advocate for issues that impact the lives of women. During the selection process, each nonprofit submits an application with a request for funding to CAF in late December. The committee meets in early January to review the applications and determine which organizations are most aligned with the League's mission. After a preliminary round of voting in February and March, the committee then schedules site visits with organizations still being considered for funding. In March, the committee votes on the final 12

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organizations to receive funding. Each committee member presents her organization, and the organizations that received the most votes are recommended for funding. CAF presents its recommendations to the Community Council, and these recommendations are sent to the Board for final approval. JLNO is pleased to partner with Bridge House/Grace House, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Hotel Hope, providing them with funds to continue their missions in the face of the current coronavirus outbreak. CAF Committee Co-Chair Amenah Abdelfattah describes her experience saying, "Being a part of the CAF Commitee has been such a rewarding experience, especially during this time of crises." Nicole Deshotels, fellow CAF Committee CoChair, echos that sentiment, adding, "It's been extremely fulfilling to see the direct impact Junior League has in our community." The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vital immediate access to food and shelter are to the Greater New Orleans community, and JLNO is proud to be a part of the solution.

2019 JUNIOR LEAGUE COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE FUND RECIPIENTS Bridge House/Grace House: $5,000 Bridge House/Grace House has served its mission to provide substance-use disorder treatment services to those who need it since 1960. It offers a place to recover safely and the opportunity to build a new life. Their clinical and vocationbased programs help individuals build responsibility in a life of recovery. These two housing facilities treat over 800 homeless men and women each year. Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans: $10,000 Second Harvest alleviates hunger in Southern Louisiana by offering food access, advocacy, education and disaster response. As a food bank, it allocates food to over 700 community partners and programs across 23 parishes. They promote an outlet from poverty, leveraging their food distribution programs, kitchen meal services, nutrition training and public benefits assistance. Hotel Hope: $5,000. The goal of Hotel Hope is to provide women and children with a safe and loving environment and arm them with the confidence to ultimately become selfsufficient. It offers short-term emergency housing and helps structure a plan for long term residential housing. This arrangement allows the core family structure to remain in place, while offering a solution to individual families' crises. They assist these families by transitioning them to economic self-sufficiency, partnering with organizations to offer supportive services such as literacy, job training, healthcare and counseling.

2019 JUNIOR LEAGUE SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS In addition to the Community Assistance Fund grants, JLNO awards scholarships to women in the community who have succeeded in the face of adversity. This year’s scholarships recipients are Sydney Bowers and Keacha Drake. JLNO members, Shavon Magee and Heather Ray, co-chaired the selection process.


Children enjoying breakfast provided by Second Harvest Food Bank. Second Harvest Food Bank provides healthy meals to local school communities. Yolande A. Bernard Scholar: Sydney Bowers Huete Scholar: Keacha Drake

Yolande A. Bernard Scholarship: Sydney Bowers - $5,500 Sydney Bowers is currently enrolled at Delgado Community College pursuing an Associates degree in accounting. Upon completion of her studies at Delgado, she plans to transfer to the University of New Orleans to complete her bachelor’s degree. In addition to school, Sydney works two jobs to help fund her education. On her own since she was 17, she has endured foster care, homelessness and parents who struggled with substance abuse. Through all of this, Sydney has managed to go to school, find a job and purchase a home. This scholarship will allow her to graduate Delgado and work towards becoming an accountant. Sydney graciously accepted the scholarship from the Junior League, expressing her appreciation for the encouragement, support and opportunity this award has provided. Sydney is grateful for how much closer these funds will bring her to obtaining her professional goals and dreams. She goes on to say, "The scholarship from JLNO is a true inspiration, and I hope that as I achieve my personal goals I can pay it forward and assist others with achieving their own aspirations." Huete Scholar: Keacha Drake - $5,500 Keacha Drake currently works part-time for the 24th District Public Defenders' Office while pursuing a Criminal Justice degree from Dillard University. Keacha has overcome an abusive husband and the untimely death of her father in a motorcycle accident. She credits her perseverance to the support of the university. Her father inspired her interest in law and the judicial system. She aspires to one day become a judge and uplift her family legacy. This scholarship will help Keacha come closer to her dreams as she finishes her time at Dillard University. Keacha thanks the Junior League of New Orleans for this opportunity to bring her goals to fruition. When asked how she achieves all her accomplishments in the face of adversity, she responded, "My secret is simple: I pray." •


Hope STEMs Eternal by Laura Carroll

TOP LEFT Robin Beducian, Associate Program Director of the Ochsner Neurology Residency Program. Photo by: Ochsner Health System. BOTTOM LEFT

Kristen Rivero, chief chemist at the Jefferson Parish Water Quality Laboratory. MIDDLE Christine Briede, JLNO Sustainer, encourages her daughter, Halle, in her pursuit of a degree in Construction Management. RIGHT Jayda Malveaux, Industruial Engineer at the United States Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center.


he impact of the recent COVID-19 global pandemic has given us all a renewed appreciation for those working in the science and technology fields. It’s their discoveries that will one day lead to a vaccine and continue to help us navigate the new daily routine we’ve found ourselves in these past few months. Whether it be the tech needed to operate your workfrom-home conference call, the code required to ring up your online grocery order or the algorithm used to expertly curate the list of shows you should binge watch, we’ve all benefited from the efforts of these genius creators. But how many of those brilliant minds belong to women? In an era when women are increasingly prominent in the legal and business workforce, there continues to be a lack of gender diversity in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. It should come as no surprise, however, that the women of the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) are doing their part to bridge the STEM gender gap here in the Crescent City.

passion for medicine stems back to her childhood. Her father is a physician and used to take her along for rounds in the hospital. “The rapport he had with his patients inspired me to become a physician at a very young age.” For Robin, no two days are alike. She could work from eight to five seeing patients at a regular clinic, or she could be on call and taking care of patients who are hospitalized. Her role as an epileptologist requires her to read EEGs (a test monitoring electrical activity in the brain) in order to plan and guide surgeries that will prevent epileptic seizures in her patients. Robin recently became the Associate Program Director of the Ochsner Neurology Residency Program and is now directly responsible for guiding and teaching physician trainees as well. Robin believes gender-specific definitions of success account for the lack of women in STEM. She confesses that working as a physician while trying to be the ideal wife and mother is daunting. Nevertheless, Robin encourages young girls to enter the field by inviting them to shadow her in the hospital.

Robin Beducian JLNO Active member Robin Beducian graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience. She attended Louisiana State University Medical School and completed her Neurology Residency and Epilepsy Fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Robin embarked on her neuroscience career path after participating in a course on brain and behavior during a high school summer enrichment program. “I ended up falling in love with both the university and neuroscience,” she says. She was inspired by the works of V.S. Ramachandran and Oliver Sacks, but her

Jayda Malveaux Choosing a career in STEM has proven to be a lucrative path for Provisional JLNO member Jayda Malveaux, having already resulted in high-level projects and career advancement. She graduated from Louisiana State University in industrial engineering, yet despite her degree, she still feels pressure to prove she is capable of excelling at the same difficult tasks as her male counterparts. Jayda had never met a female engineer before college, an experience she hopes to eliminate for the next generation of young girls in New Orleans. Jayda points out, “Whether it be through mentoring, tutoring or simple


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presentations, I love the idea of simply letting girls know that you too can be an engineer, scientist or mathematician.” On a typical day, Jayda checks and analyzes service scores to locate possible failures. She then coordinates with plant employees to improve processes and avoid future mistakes, sharing her findings with other plants if necessary. Professionally, Jayda is most proud of her recent installation of robotic systems for the United States Postal Service Processing & Distribution Center that lift and sort materials so the employees can spend their time more efficiently. Kristen A. Rivero An Active member of the JLNO, Kristen A. Rivero is the first female chief chemist at the Jefferson Parish Water Quality Laboratory. Kristen graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and the University of Florida with a Master’s degree in drug chemistry. Her high school chemistry teacher inspired her by introducing the properties of different elements used to make fireworks. “I had never considered that chemistry was responsible for the stunning colors and patterns we see in the sky,” she says. Then, in college, she and other students synthesized acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin, for a lab project. “It was an eye-opening experiment that demonstrated how much chemistry impacts our daily lives.” But it was her internship with the New Orleans Police Department crime lab that really ignited a flame inside her. It was the first time she had considered the application of chemistry in a career path outside a clinical or medical setting. Kristen often finds herself as the only woman participating in technical meetings or planning sessions at work. Like her peers, Kristen had not met female scientists before college. She wants to serve as an example to inspire and support future female leaders, demonstrating this profession is both accepted and accessible for women.

During tours of her plant, Kristen encourages questions and explains the education necessary to run the facility. She finds that assisting girls with science projects in her lab, “inspires confident and independent thinking. Big ideas need to be cultivated for them to grow into great accomplishments.” Each day, Kristen monitors all of the water treatment plants, running necessary reports and reviewing data before troubleshooting other issues that arise, from a malfunctioning instrument to a customer’s water quality issue. Most recently, Kristen has been working with a group of engineers to design a new laboratory, consolidating operations into one state of the art facility. “Jefferson Parish is ready to usher in a new era of scientific advancement in the field of water analysis, and I am extremely proud to be a part of that vision,” she says. Halle Briede, Daughter of Christine Briede Sustainer Christine Briede has been a member of JLNO since 1999 and is the proud mother of a young woman in STEM. Her daughter, Halle, is currently enrolled in the Construction Management program at Louisiana State University where women make up less than one fifth of the class. “The construction industry is heavily dominated by men,” Christine says, “and [Halle] is afraid of not being taken seriously.” Halle has found that while LSU faculty and staff are extremely supportive, her male classmates and colleagues are not as receptive. However, attending an all-girls Catholic high school provided Halle with many female mentors and teachers. “At St. Mary’s Dominican High School, the young women are highly encouraged to pursue a career in the STEM field,” she says. Christine insists that innovation in STEM requires both men and women. “Without one gender, we will be stagnant,” she says. The success of her daughter and other JLNO women in STEM ensures a bright future for the field. •


Trading Up With Swap Boutique by Cree Merriman-Jourdain | Photos by Kristen Leonard

TOP LEFT Swap Designer Consignment Shop has numerous shoe options. TOP RIGHT Swap Designer Consignment Shop has several dresses, shoes, and purses. BOTTOM LEFT Swap Designer Consignment Shop has one location on Maple Street. BOTTOM RIGHT Swap employee, Erika Torres, accepts JLNO clothing donations.


n the final installment of our series introducing the new Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Partners, the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) will highlight our friends at Swap, a carefully curated consignment boutique. Customers including but not limited to League members can bring their items for consignment to Swap and designate all or a portion of sales to JLNO. According to Sophie Martinez, Junior League's 2019-2020 Consignment Partnerships Vice-Chair, the League’s collaboration with Swap Boutique is a win-win situation, because this new program aligns with the priorities of current JLNO membership. “The League has evolved over the years,” she says, “and demographics have shifted to where more members of JLNO are employed full-time.” This made it progres-


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sively harder to keep up with the day-to-day operations at the thrift shop. Heather Doyle, Junior League’s Consignment Partnership Chair, explains another hurdle to keeping Bloomin’ Deals open. Although the revenue stream was consistent, the upkeep of a brick and mortar establishment eventually became a strain. “The League could no longer continue to defer major renovations which could have cost well over $500,000,” says Heather. Swap encourages customers to bring their designer brand, inseason clothing for consignment and designate either a portion or all of the sales to the Junior League of New Orleans. There is no longer a need to sort items, hang clothing on racks, place goods in

LEFT Swap Designer Consignment Shop has one location on Maple Street. RIGHT Swap employee, Erika Torres, accepts JLNO clothing donations.

display cases or deal with the additional aspects of managing a business. JLNO members can now drop off their luxury items at either participating Swap location for inspection, and their employees are responsible for taking care of everything else. Swap Boutique has even committed to donating 10% of its own profit from those sales to the Junior League of New Orleans. Heather succinctly encapsulates the advantages of working with Swap: “This new venture brings in revenue, supports the League’s community programming, and it is less work for members.” For over nine decades, Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Store served as a valuable resource for patrons in the city of New Orleans who desired to purchase quality items such as clothing, books and jewelry at an affordable rate. For many generations of Junior League members, the thrift shop was a reliable establishment where they could go to acquire their mandatory volunteer hours by assisting paid staff with the daily operations of the store, and earn their annual rummage donation by donating gently used clothing and additional goods to be resold to the public. The donations met the needs of individuals who were in search of pre-owned treasures on a bargain, while the proceeds of the purchases financed the day to day operations of the thrift store and supported the League’s other beneficial missions in the Greater New Orleans area and surrounding communities. Although there is no longer a physical building for Bloomin’ Deals, its legacy continues through the partnership with Swap Boutique, Dress for Success and the Youth Empowerment Project. Each of these collaborations presents a unique opportunity to the JLNO

and New Orleans area organizations. The League and its partners can share resources and revenue in mutually beneficial ways, building new relationships and maintaining existing ones. Ultimately, the transformation of Bloomin’ Deals shows how the JLNO can adapt to the changing capacities of its members while sustaining its commitment to serving the community. •

SWAP BOUTIQUE FAQS Where to donate: 5530 Magazine Street or 7716 Maple St. What to donate: High end/designer brands like Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, BCBG, etc. How to donate: Make an appointment via phone or online to bring your items in during business hours. An employee from Swap will inspect each item and determine which are most likely to sell. You may keep any items that Swap does not accept or donate them to our other partners for money to mission credit. Members receive 40-50% commission on items sold in the store. Swap donates 10% of their commission to JLNO. *Please note Swap donations can no longer be accepted at JLNO Headquarters.


Women’s Leadership Summit Advances by Lacy McManus

· Diverse panels and topics addressing the pressing recovery issues and ongoing opportunities for women’s leadership · WE Fellowship pitch competition and women’s entrepreneurship panel · Vendor marketplace highlighting small businesses · Opportunities for JLNO Training and Volunteer Credits including full Money to Mission credit and 4 training credits · Continuing Education credits for various professions · A raffle for a chance to win seven days at The Grand Mayan Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico for up to 8 people JLNO looks forward to promoting WLS speakers and engagement opportunities through our social media channels as the Summit lineup continues to take shape. For more information on getting involved in WLS or opportunities for sponsorship, visit


s the Greater New Orleans region begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) continues to prepare a new leadership training opportunity to empower both League members and women across our community. The goal of the Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) is to create a platform for conversation, learning and relationship building. That vision is now more urgent and necessary than ever before. WLS committee chairs and members continue to evolve the format and structure of this inaugural event: staying flexible to ensure all health regulations and precautions are fully implemented. While the Summit is moving forward as originally planned — a one-day event on Tuesday, October 20 at the downtown Sheraton New Orleans Hotel — organizers will ensure there is a virtual component for WLS as well. Additionally, there will be scholarship opportunities available to ensure broad participation from across the Greater New Orleans community. In addition to making necessary health and safety updates, the WLS Committee is actively scheduling an exciting program including: ·

Keynote address by philanthropist and community champion Phyllis Taylor. A celebrated local business woman, Mrs. Taylor provided the initial seed funding for the Taylor Opportunity Scholarship (TOPS), Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy and numerous other educational and community assets across Louisiana

· Three program tracks focused on Investing in Your Career, Investing in Your Community, and Investing in You 18

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WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT FAQS When is the WLS ? Tuesday, October 20, 2020 Where is WLS? Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 Who can attend WLS? All are welcome - women, men, League and non-League members How do I register? To purchase tickets, click here Is there early bird pricing? Yes. The first 50 registrants with save $25. Can I apply for a sponsorship? Yes. Sponsorship deadlines are August 15th. For more details, click here by August 15th and save!


Keep Calm and Race On by Kari Djuve


he COVID-19 pandemic has turned our daily lives upsidedown. Long-planned events are suddenly being cancelled or shifted to an online arena. Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) members have not let these unexpected changes dampen their spirits or lessen their commitment to serving the community. Such tenacity was evident this past April as the League community—including members, their friends and family—adapted to a virtual version of the League’s annual Run, Walk, Give event. The League is an official charity partner of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic, a 10k road race that began in 1979 and has become an Easter Weekend tradition. Each year, the Crescent City Fitness Foundation selects local charities to partner with and support. Ways and Means Director Shannon Brice explains JLNO’s involvement: “League participants train and raise funds on behalf of the League to support [their] projects and initiatives, such as the Diaper Bank and period supplies.” This is the second year JLNO has been a Run, Walk, Give partner. Previously, the League hosted the Freret 5k, a race organized in-house, supporting the Freret neighborhood. “Transitioning to a partnership with [Crescent City Classic] was a natural progression to bring heightened awareness to the League’s mission and promote greater community involvement,” says Shannon. In the weeks and months leading up to this year’s race, the Run, Walk, Give Committee hosted a Health Fair at Ochsner Baptist to raise interest and awareness. The committee also held regular training sessions for all fitness levels at Audubon Park, including a personalized race day schedule prepared by a health coach at Novak Sports Systems. This added structure and camaraderie helped to motivate the 33 League members who signed up to fundraise this year. In addition to this training regimen, the committee organized


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a Yoga Night fundraiser event for sustainers. Sadly, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, but 20 sustainers had already registered, according to Paige Morrison, JLNO's Development Coordinator. With such an enthusiastic early response, it is promising that the event would be successful should it return. The enforcement of stay at home orders and social distancing mandates required the race to take the unprecedented step of transitioning to a virtual event. “I think that going virtual did take some of the steam out of the engine, because the push to fundraise lost a little oomph,” says Paige. It’s understandable that fundraising efforts took a backseat to the new reality members faced. “But it did not take away from the fun of being part of a group of healthy-minded individuals who want to get outside and exercise,” she adds. Despite some lost momentum, members raised over $16,000 this year. The unexpected challenge of connecting without meeting in person was met head-on. “At first it was thought that the virtual race would lower morale; however, it actually did the opposite,” says Shannon. The Run, Walk, Give committee quickly adapted by hosting virtual chats and making training available for participants to stream from the safety of their homes. “[They] were looking to find new, inventive ways to be active all while practicing social distancing. This virtual race provided that outlet.” Immediate concerns about staying safe and healthy could detract from efforts to build resources for future projects and initiatives. Nevertheless, the League did not succumb to these temptations. The Run, Walk, Give event demonstrates how JLNO members are exercising their creativity, as well as their bodies, to maintain the connections and raise the funds that will help our community emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. •

League Day at the Capitol Turning Advocacy In Action by Eileen Chao

TOP LEFT Cherie Teamer, JLNO Community Affairs Chair. Photo by Sasha Matthews, Green Tangerine Photos. BOTTOM LEFT Women throughout Louisiana came together to address diaper need awareness. Photo from the 2019 League Day at The Capital. Photo by: Michelle Payne.


merican women have a rich history of participation in our democracy. Time and again, we have exemplified the saying, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Women advocated fiercely for an end to slavery, marched for and won the right to vote, demanded civil rights legislation, funded and lobbied for birth control, fought for the right to participate in combat and most recently ran for office in unprecedented numbers in 2018. We must maintain this legacy by paying attention to state politics and holding our local lawmakers accountable for representing us. JLNO members have a unique opportunity to participate in the legislative process in our own state capitol. Every year, JLNO’s Community Affairs Committee offers League Day at the Capitol. Junior League chapters across Louisiana have a chance to meet face-toface with state lawmakers and gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process. Any member is welcome to attend and can support, oppose or ask questions about legislation. Cherie Teamer is the Community Affairs Chair and works as a political consultant. Cherie explains: “Going to the State Capitol and speaking or submitting a card in support or opposition [to a bill] … is the way many interested parties make their voices heard and can often impact whether a particular piece of legislation moves out of committee or not.” Cherie has a larger vision for this event and believes that, in keeping with American women’s tradition of advocacy and activism, the Junior League can strengthen its impact and voice if members are more organized and unified. “This year Aimee Freeman, a Represen-

tative from New Orleans and Junior League Sustainer, has sponsored legislation to allow municipalities to make diapers and feminine hygiene products tax exempt. If Junior Leagues across Louisiana work together, we can make an impact on this legislation.” Ms. Freeman is also working on legislation around equal pay, pay secrecy (a policy which can prevent women from accessing fair compensation) and housing rights of domestic violence survivors. Angela Henderson, who is on JLNO’s Community Affairs Council, attended the League Day at the Capitol last year and was able to visit several legislators’ offices. She describes her experience, saying, “I have clear priorities in certain areas and was able to ask for support on equal pay, feminine hygiene and diaper bills.” She also composed notes to legislators whom she was unable to meet, sending feedback on bills she wanted to support on the House floor. Baton Rouge’s Junior League chapter is spearheading the day’s events in partnership with chapters from across the state, including New Orleans, Lafayette and Covington-Slidell. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the legislative process, empower ourselves to advocate for women and children, and have our voices heard. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, League Day at the Capitol, which was originally scheduled for May 18, was unfortunately canceled. Nevertheless, this annual event continues to be a transformative and educational experience for members who attend. Be sure to earmark your calendar for Spring 2021 when League Day at the Capitol will make its voice heard once again. •


Women Leading Law for a Greater New Orleans


e continue our series on Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) members who are making strides in prominent leadership roles within our community. In this issue, we are spotlighting several influential women in the legal field. We asked for their insight on how they got where they are today, what their advice would be to others and how the League has empowered them to achieve their goals. Here’s what they had to say.

Michelle D. Craig

Managing Attorney, Transcendent Law Group Hard-work, prayer, great mentors and failing forward have defined my journey. I believe in God, and I believe in hindsight we can see how things in our past worked together for our good. I previously worked at two well-respected regional firms with offices in Baton Rouge and Houston, gaining an incredible work ethic along the way. They also taught me habits, processes and routines I now use every day. Every single lesson I learned there is helping me make Transcendent Law Group a success. I didn’t realize it at the time, but their hardnose way of handling young associates helped me build a tough skin and backbone that my clients appreciate and that I need to survive the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. Photo by: Ezzie Smith, Protocol I started my firm in October 2014. By February 2016, I was splitting from my Partner. It was frightening Photography because owning a firm by myself was never part of the plan, but five years later, it’s still here. Looking back, the firm I have now could only have existed if other things didn’t work out. The obstacles made me hustle harder; they made me think more creatively; they made me a better business advisor; they made me look at not only the legal circumstances, but the totality of other circumstances that affect the decisions of business owners. Ultimately, all of it made me a better lawyer. I am a different person today, but all the obstacles shaped me and formed the foundation of who I am now. In order to succeed, mentors matter. Find women who have done what you want to do and reach out to them. A good mentor is a blessing. As a mentee, find a way to return the favor. Don’t be a taker. Find a way to be a giver in their lives. Friendship, love, business relationships, professional relationships, climbing the ladder of success, obtaining some private goal — it all involves reciprocity. This should not change when it comes to mentor/mentee relationships. Every moment of every day of everyone’s life is immensely valuable. If we did not know that before, we know that now. Few people will spend time with you if you don’t seem genuinely engaged, interested and appreciative. If you don’t feel that in your interactions with them, then don’t waste your time or theirs. So many women in JLNO are doing amazing things. It's heart-warming and inspiring to see so many women dedicating themselves to making this community better. The League has women from all walks of life sharing knowledge, networking, starting businesses, raising families and reminding each other that we have more than one purpose on this Earth. JLNO projects are changing lives and making lasting impact. As a writer for Lagniappe, I had the pleasure of researching some of those projects. They have all made a lasting impact on this community. I am inspired by members of the League that I meet. That inspiration makes me work harder to be a contributor to the community. It also makes me more cognizant of the responsibility we all have to ensure our leaders are making the best decisions for women and children in this community.

Jennifer Zeringue Rosenbach

Assistant District Attorney, Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office I went into law school wanting to practice environmental law since my undergraduate degree is in Environmental Management Systems. While in law school, I never focused on criminal law and only took the required classes. But when you get out of school, you take the job that fits best at the time. Based on that, I clerked for a judge in a small rural community in Southwest Louisiana. I then did medical malpractice defense for a brief period and ended up clerking for a judge again. In both my clerkships, I realized I enjoyed the criminal cases more than civil law. With that in mind, I applied for a job as an Assistant District Attorney. Suddenly, this field I never thought I was interested in became my entire life. Photo by: Jessica Bachmann I cannot imagine not being a prosecutor. The ability to help victims of crime is paramount to what I do and brings such joy to my life. The lesson here is to not be afraid of trying something that you had not considered before. You might just find the place that you are meant to be. Junior League has taught me so very much, from our relationships with community partners to in-League interactions, I have had the opportunity to work with people from such different backgrounds, which is exactly what I am doing now as a screening prosecutor. In addition, the way the League manages meetings and events has shaped how I handle things throughout other aspects of my life. Whether it is a meeting at my child’s school or meeting with a victim of a crime, JLNO has influenced how I speak with people and, more importantly, how I listen and hear what I need to hear. 22

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Cherie Teamer

Attorney at Law, Teamer Legal Corp. LLC Openness and a variety of experience brought me where I am today. When I graduated from law school, l deferred taking the bar exam for the opportunity to work as the Spokesperson for Senator Mary Landrieu’s re-election campaign. Working for Senator Landrieu was an awesome opportunity, and it allowed me to make long lasting relationships, travel the state and feel confident as a communications professional. All my experiences have worked that way, giving me a chance to learn from them and gain knowledge to continue to succeed in the future. Women should really focus on two things: opportunity and preparation. In my career, I have focused on Photo provided by: Sasha Matthews, being prepared for opportunities when they present themselves. I knew that I wanted to be an attorney but Green Tangerine Photos also wanted to work in politics, but I was not quite sure how to do them both at the same time. Before I went to law school, I worked in Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office. When I graduated from Tulane Law School, I contacted an attorney I worked for at the City Attorney's office in New Orleans and started to work for him. After a few months, I ran into a consultant I knew from my time in the Mayor’s Office who runs a political consulting firm. They agreed to take me under their wing and let me work on some campaign consulting projects. At that time, I also started to work in my own law practice, as I had gained valuable experience from my work with my legal mentor in his firm. After a while, I was able to meld my two passions together in Teamer Legal Corporation LLC and Radius Strategy Group LLC. I had the right credentials and experience (preparation) at the right time (opportunity), and that is how I have been able to be successful. The Junior League has benefited my success by giving me an opportunity to work and serve the community with like-minded women. Throughout my career, I have worked with numerous political and community campaigns. All the organizations and candidates I’ve worked with had one of the same goals that JLNO has — to educate and empower women with information and provide them a better, healthier future.


ABCs of SPF What does your sunscreen label mean? Contributing Writer Suneeta Walia, MD

Depending on your skin type, dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun's UVB rays. Higher SPFs block a bit more of the sun's UVB rays, but no sunscreen — not even SPF 100 products — can block all the sun's rays. It’s important to remember that sunscreens with high SPFs work for the same amount of time as those with lower SPFs, and do not allow you to spend additional time outdoors without reapplication. All sunscreens should be reapplied approximately every two hours when outdoors and after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle. Take extra precautions In addition to using sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher, the American Academy of Dermatology also advises using one with broad-spectrum protection to guard against UVB rays as well as UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the skin and cause aging and immune suppression. However, sunscreen alone cannot fully protect you, which is why dermatologists suggest taking the following steps to further protect your skin and discover skin cancer as early as possible: Suneeta Walia, MD. Photo submitted by Ochsner Health System.


he heat of the summer is upon us, and while we should be mindful of sun protection year-round, this is the season of beach vacations, backyard barbecues and other activities that can keep you in the sun for long periods of time. While the Earth’s atmosphere blocks most of the sun’s UV radiation from reaching us, the small amount that does get through is associated with a variety of health problems ranging from sunburn and premature aging to cataracts and skin cancer. Using sunscreen is an important way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. What does an SPF number tell me? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures the level of protection from UVB rays — the type of radiation that causes sunburns and skin cancer — a product will give you. It indicates the length of time that your skin is protected from sunburn while wearing it compared to the time it takes you to burn without it. For example, if you have very fair skin and tend to start getting burned after five minutes in the sun without any sunscreen, properly applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 would protect you for 30 times five minutes (or 150 minutes) before you begin to burn. Your level of sun protection can also be influenced by other factors, such as the weather conditions, your location, your skin type and if you’re swimming or sweating. Selecting an SPF SPF is indicated by a number that ranges from 1 to 100. Generally speaking, a higher SPF extends the amount of time you can spend in the sun while protecting your skin. SPFs are categorized into four levels: low (4, 6, 8, 10); medium or moderate (15, 20, 25); high (30, 40, 50); and very high (50+).


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· Wear sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection.

· Seek shade when the sun’s rays are the strongest — between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

· Wear a wide-brim hat and sun-protective clothing.

· Use a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher.

· Keep infants out of the sun.

· Perform a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin at least once a month.

· See your physician every year for a professional skin exam. •

DR. SUNEETA WALIA is a native of New Orleans and completed her undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University. She earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans in 2001. Dr. Walia completed her internship at Georgetown University and her dermatology residency at George Washington University in Washington D.C. She also completed a Mohs Surgery fellowship at Dermatologic Surgery Specialists in Macon, Georgia. Dr. Walia is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the American College of Mohs Surgery. Her areas of interest include Mohs Micrographic Surgery, dermatologic surgery and skin cancer. Dr. Walia sees patients at Ochsner Medical Center – Jefferson Highway (1514 Jefferson Highway New Orleans, LA 70121).


JLNO Welcomes the 2020-2021 Board of Directors Board Member Profiles by Mary Liza Hartong | Photos by Jessica Bachmann


eadership is not an innate, static quality. It is a skill we constantly refine by serving in community with one another. The Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) draws its membership from established leaders and women eager to make their mark across Greater New Orleans. The slate of women comprising the 2020-2021 JLNO Board of Directors reflect both of these characteristics, combining a group of talented individuals with diverse experiences and giving them the opportunity to learn from one another as they pursue our shared


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mission: promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Each woman brings valuable and varied perspectives to the table, fostering an environment to guide their meaningful dialogue towards inevitable success. Their collaboration over the coming year will collectively contribute to the League’s legacy and shape the organization’s impact in ways that have yet to be imagined.


Kristin Van Hook Moore PR E S ID E N T


s the organization’s President, Kristin Van Hook Moore leads the 2020-2021 League year for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO), providing strong guidance for the Board of Directors and JLNO staff. She will preside over meetings of the Board, Joint Council and General Membership while also acting as the organization's official spokesperson. Dedicated to assisting the Board in establishing goals for the upcoming year, Kristin is excited about the League's future. Having first joined the Junior League in Pensacola after completing her medical fellowship, Kristin wanted to become involved in her community and meet people outside of work. She transferred from Florida in 2011 and has spent her nine years in JLNO serving in a variety of leadership roles, including Business Council Director, Nominating Committee Chair, ViceChair of the Community Affairs Committee and most recently as the 2019-2020 PresidentElect. She enjoys collaborating with other women and working to improve the community while still having fun. Through the organization, Kristin has learned about fields such as development and communications, which she admits she would not have been exposed to in her career as a physician. Most importantly, she learned how to be an effective board member and has been able to use those skills to serve other organizations. Kristin received her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees from LSU Health Science Center and currently serves as a Staff Pediatric Pulmonologist at Ochsner Medical Center. She completed her pediatrics training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and her fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology at Texas Children’s Hospital. She received a Chest Foundation Young Investigator Award in 2005 for translational research. Prior to coming to Ochsner, she worked at Nemours Children’s Clinic in Pensacola serving as Chair of Pediatric Pulmonology and as Cystic Fibrosis Center Director from 2006-2011. She also served as Children’s Medical Assessment Team Medical Director for Region One in the state of Florida. Kristin’s other current board positions include Membership Committee Chairperson for the Ursuline Academy Board

of Trustees, Board Member of Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans and House Corporation Board President of Rho Chapter of Chi Omega Fraternity. As a resident of Uptown, Kristin loves the sense of place that people who live in New Orleans have and how much the people here enjoy living life. She and her husband, Dr. Brian Moore, are parents to nine-year-old twin boys, Finnegan and Liam. When asked who inspires her, Kristin tells the story of a mother of one of her patients from when she worked in Florida. She was a single mother of five living in a rural area and had her own set of health problems to battle. She provided the best possible care for her children going to great lengths to do what she felt was best for them. One year, this woman lost her home to a fire right before Christmas, and even in the face of such turmoil, she still managed to remain positive. Whenever Kristin starts to feel overwhelmed, she thinks of that mother and realizes she certainly has the strength to keep going.

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit” - HARRY S. TRUMAN





hannon Brice begins a two-year period on the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors as the President-Elect. During the 2020-2021 League year, she will assist the President in her duties as Chief Executive Officer and will assume those responsibilities if the President is unable to serve during her term. Shannon will become JLNO's President for the 2021-2022 League year beginning June 1, 2021. This two-year term exemplifies JLNO’s emphasis on training and learning. Her experiences in this role provide opportunities for Shannon to thoughtfully prepare for the years ahead, ensuring her tenure maximizes community impact. During the President-Elect year, she will study JLNO's governance documents, policies, procedures and best practices, thus allowing her to emulate previous leaders by ensuring a sustainable and impactful future. Shannon joined JLNO in 2012 and has chaired JLNO’s Touch a Truck, Freret 5K and Strategic Parternship committes. She came to the Junior League to partner with women who wanted to develop a stronger community. That volunteer commitment is what she likes most about JLNO, and she appreciates how all its members work together to learn from one another. This collaboration creates thoughtful initiatives and robust goals. Through her JLNO service, Shannon has learned that, despite coming from diverse backgrounds, women share the same ultimate goals of being happy, residing in safe

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” - ALAN KAY


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communities and making New Orleans a wonderful place to live and work. As the Chief Financial Officer for Richard’s Disposal Inc., Shannon is responsible for managing the financial risk of the corporation as well as financial planning and market data analysis. Prior to joining Richard’s Disposal, Shannon was the Program and Commodities Supervisor at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). In that position, she was responsible for several Supply Chain programs. Prior to joining PG&E, she held several different positions at Entergy Corporation, including Supplier Diversity Specialist, Lead Analyst in Supply Chain and Financial Analyst in Treasury/Cash Management. Some of her key responsibilities included administering statewide diversity initiatives for Louisiana and Mississippi, analyzing contracts and maintaining domestic bank relations and cash forecasts. Shannon is also the Chief Executive Officer of Brice Consulting, LLC. Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts from Dillard University as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Her commitment to her alma mater continues through her involvement as a volunteer member of the Tulane Business Alumni Association. Additional community-based endeavors include serving as President of the New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Diversity Council (LADC) as well as Vice-President of Dress for Success New Orleans and Friends of City Park Treasurer-Elect. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Awards and accolades range from Diversity MBA magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders to the LADC Leader Award. A proud native New Orleanian, Shannon resides in the Warehouse District. She loves the energy of the city and looks forward to the continued inspiration and education she’ll receive as a Junior League of New Orleans Board member.




asey Zainey is ensuring meaningful volunteer experiences for 2,100 women as the Membership Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors. This role enables Casey to utilize her strong relationship building and communication skills to develop members to their greatest potential. In addition to supporting membership morale and recognition, she oversees the committees that design leadership and training opportunities, which often entails providing a forum for discussion and brainstorming of initiatives and policies related to member satisfaction. She relays information and makes strategic planning suggestions to the board in the areas of provisional education, active placement, sustainer engagement, volunteer opportunities, retention, standards and training. Casey hopes to facilitate member satisfaction and retention during her tenure on the League’s Board of Directors. Casey holds a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Louisiana State University. She was a member of the university’s Delta Delta Delta sorority chapter, and she served as their New Member Educator and Vice-President. She began playing classical piano at the age of five and has been happily teaching for the past 12 years. Casey also brings her love of music to her philanthropic work. She serves on the board of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans and is passionate about the organization’s mission, which focuses on music education, nurturing talent and providing opportunities for our community to appreciate the musical arts. She has enjoyed volunteer service on the committees of many local non-profits, including assisting with fundraising committees of the Preservation Resource Center, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans' Edible Evening, and the Poydras Home. Casey and her husband Chris are also passionate about the development of St. Andrew's Village, a future, faith-based, residential living facility for adults with developmental disabilities. Casey and Chris also enjoy coaching with the Miracle League New Orleans sports programs where they have made long lasting friendships within New Orleans' wonderful special needs community.

She credits her parents for instilling in her a strong sense of service and a joy for life. “Watching my mother and father through the years, I’ve had wonderful role models for how to be a dedicated, hardworking, generous and strong wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend,” she explains. Since joining Junior League in 2010, Casey has served on the Esprit and Passing the Gavel Committees, was Vice Chair of Project Selection, and Chair of Sustainer Connections and of Social Media. A naturally gregarious person, she thrives when bringing people together and enjoys forging meaningful connections in her communities. Having grown up in New Orleans, she was familiar with the good work JLNO did throughout the city, and was eager to join. She has fond memories of her 10 years in the League and looks forward to many more. Casey enjoys serving the community, because she believes New Orleans has a unique character. “New Orleanians are a special crew — I feel like we are all part of one great big family. We excel at celebrating the good times, but the true beauty of our community is our ability to come together to make it through the difficult times. There’s no place like home.” When she’s not playing music or rallying JLNO members to achieve greatness, Casey enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and daughter Caroline Carmen “CC” (1).

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan and not quite enough time.” - LEONARD BERNSTEIN



Jaimee Landry Boyd T REAS URER


n her second consecutive year on the Board of Directors, Metairie native Jaimee Landry Boyd will be serving as Treasurer for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). She will oversee the financial affairs of the organization, including reviewing and approving the League's operating budget. Insight and expertise gained through Jaimee's accounting career enable her to make recommendations on the organization’s policies, strategic goals and governance documents as they relate to financial matters. She hopes to automate and create efficiencies in the organization’s financial reporting process, so the data can be used both as a resource and a tool for leadership. Since 2010, Jaimee has served on JLNO’s Finance Council and Planning and Development Councils. She’s held the Treasurer position for two different councils and has been a committee member for both the Strategic Planning and Business Evaluation committees. She joined the Junior League to have a resource where she could participate in high-need volunteer activities across the community. Through JLNO, she’s developed a clearer understanding of and respect for the needs of the Greater New Orleans com-

“Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” - MOTHER TERESA


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munity. She has experienced tremendous personal growth from volunteering. Her understanding of JLNO and the ways she can support the organization has changed over the years. Had it been only a two or three-year experience, she would have missed out on her greatest years as a member. Jaimee graduated with both Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in accounting from Wake Forest University, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Sturm College of Law, University of Denver. She has been a licensed CPA since 2000 and a licensed attorney since 2007, imparting her with a unique blend of legal, financial and compliance experience. She is a public finance lawyer at Foley & Judell, L.L.P. and serves nonprofit and government clients across Louisiana. Jaimee and her husband Kenneth are parents to two children, Evelynn (11) and Grant (8). She enjoys serving as Treasurer for other nonprofit entities and volunteering as a team leader for elementary students participating in the STEAM program Destination Imagination, which focuses on science, technology, education, arts and math. She looks to her grandmothers as her biggest inspiration, due to their patience, commitment and faith in all things positive.


Nene Glenn Gianfala A S S I STAN T T REAS URER


ene Glenn Gianfala will serve as the Assistant Treasurer for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). Her term on the Board of Directors will run for two years as she will oversee the financial affairs of the organization, including reviewing and approving the League's operating budget and authorizing purchases. Over the past six years as a JLNO member, Nene has served as Community Council Treasurer, Ways & Means Council Treasurer and Women's Leadership Summit Production ViceChair. She puts her knack for finance to excellent use as Vice President of the Valuation Advisory group at Chaffe & Associates, with over 12 years of experience in accounting, corporate finance and business valuations. Her work is multi-faceted and ever-evolving. She offers a myriad of services to her clients which includes intellectual property and intangible asset valuations, as well as business valuation for both public and private companies. Nene is an active member of the Women’s Energy Network (WEN), where she is currently serving as the Vice Chair for the WEN Foundation, and she serves as a board member of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni. She holds an Associates degree from Houston Community College, a Bachelor of Science Management in accounting and finance from Tulane University (Summa Cum Laude), and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans with a concentration in finance. Nene’s interest in serving the community began with her admiration for women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. “My mother gave me an autobiography on Anthony when I was a teenager, and it has forever instilled a desire to stand up for what I believe in,” Nene says. Nene believes JLNO exemplifies community service and the strong bonds between women. She has watched projects like the Diaper Bank grow from humble beginnings to the impactful initiatives they are today. “It has been a wonderful experience with valuable networking and camaraderie that overwhelmingly surpassed my expectations,” she says of her years in the League. “To say

I am happy to have joined the League those many years ago is an understatement. I will forever cherish my lifelong friends and relationships made here.” A proud native Texan, Nene never imagined she’d move away from her home state. Still, she admits there's a certain quality about New Orleans that makes it stand out from all the rest. She remarks, "There is something exciting and mystical about this one-of-akind city which makes it so easy to fall in love with." This je ne sais quoi is expressed beautifully in her description of the Crescent City: "It is the perfect melting pot of scrumptious food, soulful music and the zeal of its people." Through her work at the JLNO and the friendships she’s made, it is clear New Orleans has made its mark on Nene. When she’s not volunteering, she enjoys taking long walks with her husband Jonathan, her daughter, Nene (2), and her two corgis. Even with all the accolades and professional achievements she has amassed over the years, she confesses that being a mother is her most rewarding job.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - WAYNE GRETZKY



Emily Booth S ECRETA RY


mily Booth will serve as Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) for the 2020-2021 League year. In this position, she will manage the official record, including meeting agendas and minutes. She will function as Parliamentarian at Board, Joint Council and General Membership meetings. It will be her responsibility to offer guidance on the organization's governance documents and ensure adherence to those directives, including League Bylaws, Standing Rules, Policies and Procedures. She will work with JLNO members and staff to maintain membership information and address member requirements. Taking on the role of Secretary during the year post-COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to modify membership standards in light of realities that limit in-person contact amongst members and with the outside community. Emily hopes to innovate JLNO’s current operating procedures while also addressing the financial and economic struggles that many members are facing during this time. Emily was born in Windsor, England, and spent time growing up in Al Khobar, Saudi

“I always throw my golf club in the direction I’m going.” - RONALD REAGAN


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Arabia. Sheholds a Bachelor of Arts in art history and political science from Tulane University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She recently began work as an attorney with Wanek Kirsch Davies law firm, where her practice focuses on insurance defense. Prior to this position, Emily served as an Assistant District Attorney in Jefferson Parish for seven years, where she prosecuted crimes that included domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse. In this role, she represented the District Attorney’s Office in Jefferson Parish’s Re-Entry Court program and tried a combined total of over 50 jury and judge trials. In 2014, she received the Victims & Citizens Against Crime Outstanding Prosecutor Award for her work on a child sexual abuse case. Emily serves on the Advisory Board for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, Alpha Phi Chapter at Tulane University / Newcomb College. She also volunteers with Louisiana German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue and works on various political campaigns in the New Orleans area. Emily joined JLNO in 2010 to learn about volunteer opportunities in the community and meet people she might not meet otherwise. She wanted to be aligned with an organization that actively seeks out opportunities to fill its purposeful mission. “With the Junior League, you know that your volunteer time is meaningful and useful,” she says. She continues to explain, “The size of the League, the international reach — it’s the ultimate training ground for any volunteer.” Since joining, Emily has served as Cookbook Chair, Business Council Secretary and Staffing Chair. When she’s not volunteering, you can find Emily on the water: fishing, boating and swimming are some of her favorite pastimes. She also enjoys partaking in New Orleans culture. “I love the sense of community and the never-met-a-stranger attitude of so many New Orleanians,” Emily says. “I also love that people don’t even bat an eye when someone is dressed in costume walking down the street on a random Wednesday.”


Sophie Martinez B U S IN E S S CO U NCI L DI RECTOR


n her role as Business Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO), Sophie Martinez will oversee management and maintenance of the League's physical assets. She will be responsible for revenue generating projects — like the Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) and Consignment Partnerships — along with Get on Board, the long-standing nonprofit board training program. Sophie hopes to execute a successful first year of WLS as a fundraiser and unique training opportunity for those looking to hone their skills in a variety of fields. As a new project, WLS has great potential to be a meaningful event for members and the New Orleans community. She knows JLNO members are up to the task of creating something special and lasting. As Business Council Director, Sophie has the ambitious goal of establishing a concrete five-year plan for the Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Project, generating a new income stream for JLNO. The opportunity to move this project forward is what motivates her. “Our membership is largely made up of women employed full-time outside of the home, mothers to young children or both,” Sophie says. “Yet we all find time to make a lasting mark in our community. You find time for what you are passionate about.” A New Orleans native, Sophie holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in business and English with a minor in French from the University of Texas, Austin. She has a background in banking and finance and has spent the past two years working in compliance at local data and technology company, Lucid. She has been with the company for six years, serving in the treasury department before shifting to compliance. She has also served on the board of the Lower Garden District Association. Sophie joined JLNO in 2013 to make friends and gain valuable leadership experience. She cherishes the friendships she has forged over their mutual goal of serving those most in need. “I have enjoyed meeting career-driven women across the New Orleans area that

I would not have otherwise met,” she says. “I have only worked with our new board group for a few months, but I can already tell that I am going to form lasting bonds with these women.” Her previous leadership roles within the League include serving as Chair of the Procurement and Headquarters Rental Committees as well as Consignment Partnerships Vice-Chair. Her philanthropic inspiration comes from her mother, an attorney with 45 years of experience who never stops advocating for others. When Sophie isn’t volunteering, she enjoys trying new restaurants in her Magazine Street neighborhood with her husband Kevin and spending time with her children Nemours (2) and Amelie (1).

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." - MOTHER TERESA





s Junior League of New Orleans’ (JLNO) Community Council Director, Rachel Stickney will coordinate, develop and maintain the organization’s programs which further the mission of improving the community and advancing the wellbeing of women. She believes this year will prove to be a unique time for the League. “There is always a great need for committees that fall under Community Council, but based on what is happening across our country and in our own backyard, I believe we’re going to see an even greater need in the 2020-2021 League year to support our community," she says. Rachel hopes the Community Council is ready to respond to that need with understanding and flexibility, offering meaningful service to our community partners so JLNO can maximize their impact across the Greater New Orleans region. As for her other goals this year, one of her main priorities is adding adult diapers to the Diaper Bank’s offerings. She also plans to continue defining the trajectory of the Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Project initiative. She looks forward to working with our community partners to further JLNO's mission and help promote lasting change across Greater New Orleans in response to our current unprecedented circumstances. A New Orleans native, Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in business with a minor in communications from Lake Forest College. She serves as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving Campaigns at Tulane University and has been an active part of their team for nearly six years. Her role focuses on direct mail, digital campaigns, the campus call center and Give Green, Tulane’s dedicated day of giving. She works with the university’s central annual fund as well as various schools and units across campus on their annual giving campaigns. Her philanthropic work includes the Krewe of Muses Executive Committee, Swine Krewe (a competitive barbeque team at the popular Hogs for the Cause yearly fundraiser) and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts Gala Committee.


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Rachel joined the Junior League in 2011 to get more involved and give back to the community in a meaningful way. She follows in the footsteps of her aunt, Emily Stickney Morrison, who was involved in the League in the 1990s and had a wonderful experience chairing Teen Court for several years. Since joining, Rachel has served as Provisional Chair, Placement Chair and 100 Year Impact Chair. She is grateful for the meaningful friendships built on a mutual passion for serving others. When she’s not volunteering, Rachel enjoys cooking, mentoring and reading her beloved copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Every spring, she has the unique opportunity to incorporate these passions by instructing the students enrolled at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts in their Culinary Arts track. Her specialty? Macarons. She always enjoys connecting with the students over their shared gastronomical curiosity, but admits she is the ultimate benefactor saying, "I always leave feeling like I have learned so much more from the young chefs than I can ever teach them."

“Times are not good here. The city is crumbling into ashes. It has been buried under a lava flood of taxes and frauds and maladministrations [sic] so that it has become only a study for archaeologists. Its condition is so bad that when I write about it, as I intend to do soon, nobody will believe I am telling the truth. But it is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio.” - LAFCADIO HEARN ON THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS




eigh Thorpe will serve as the Planning and Development Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors. In this position, she will advise the board on long-range planning and integrate the strategic plan into everyday operations. She will encourage development of funding sources and lead the volunteer team that formulates JLNO's partnerships, community projects, strategic plan and fundraisers. She looks forward to working with each Planning and Development committee to bring in as many financial investments as possible in support of JLNO’s mission. She will apply thoughtful consideration to how the League’s projects, fundraisers, membership engagement activities and overall strategies are being interwoven to create the most effective impact on our community. Leigh works as the Associate Vice-President of Annual Giving & Membership for the National WWII Museum. In this role, she oversees the museum’s entire membership program, which has more members than any other museum in the country, with 160,000+ active supporters each year. She also oversees the museum’s Fundraising Events team and its Memorial Brick program. All programs bring in much-needed operating revenue for the Museum. Her philanthropic work includes serving as President of the Loyola University Alumni Association, Past President of Friends of City Park, board member and Special Events Chair for the City Park Improvement Association and Advisory Board member for Dress for Success New Orleans. In 2016, she was named one of Gambit Weekly’s 40 Under 40 in New Orleans. Since joining JLNO in 2009, she has served in a number of strategic planning roles such as Get on Board Development Chair, Strategic Partnerships Chair and Annual Giving Chair. Her

vision and dedication have found a perfect fit with many of JLNO’s projects. She feels lucky to have found a like-minded group of women committed to serving New Orleans. “I have made so many great friends within the League,” Leigh says. “I have also served on many other boards alongside League members. It’s always the League members on nonprofit boards that know how to roll up their sleeves and get to work.” When she’s not spearheading new projects, you can find Leigh in New Orleans City Park. “Besides spending time in City Park board and committee meetings, I spend at least five days a week there. With more than 1,300 acres to walk through, play around, and party in, I can do something different every single day.”

“Go forth and set the world on fire.” - ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA





s Ways and Means Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors, Sarah will coordinate, develop and maintain the League’s fundraising activities including Touch a Truck, Run Walk Give, Passing the Gavel Celebration as well as other special events and partnerships. She will be responsible for increasing awareness of JLNO’s mission and financial needs, especially how JLNO puts 100% of its fundraiser proceeds back into the community. Through management, organization and team building, she helps volunteers harness their fundraising development skills to generate funds that support JLNO's community projects. She will report to the board on fundraising effectiveness and recommend both policy and procedural changes to improve these events. During her time on the board, Sarah hopes to spread the word about what the Junior League of New Orleans stands for and all that it has accomplished.

“There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking and say it was good.” - BRIAN ANDREAS


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A New Iberia native, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Loyola University New Orleans. She puts her communication and facilitation savvy to work as the Greater New Orleans Regional Director for the Louisiana Restaurant Association. In her 11 years with the organization, her role has included board management, event planning, fundraising, membership and workers’ compensation insurance sales. Having grown up in a foodservice family, Sarah loves helping restaurant owners every day with the resources the association has at its disposal. Sarah joined JLNO in 2013 with the goal of meeting new friends and serving the community. She has filled many leadership positions in that time, including Esprit Vice-Chair, Freret 5k Chair and Passing the Gavel Celebration Chair. Her other volunteer passions include the Anti-Defamation League, where she was a Glass Leadership Institute Bissinger-Timm Fellow. She continues to volunteer with the organization and was a committee member for the inaugural Concert Against Hate in the summer of 2019. Additionally, she has been named a New Orleans Finest Honoree by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was a board member for the Acadiana Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. What she loves most about New Orleans is the constant stream of cultural delights. “On any given day you can walk into the street and hear a brass band playing, drive past a beautiful mural or see someone dressed in costume. This city appreciates art and culture and is truly unique,” Sarah says. When she’s not hard at work on one of JLNO’s many projects, you can find her and her boyfriend Sam taking in the festivals, arts, restaurants and bars that make the city truly magical.




s the Board of Directors Communications Council Director, Lacy McManus will coordinate and disseminate information about the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). By dovetailing her management and communication skills with her professional experience, Lacy will oversee the promotion of JLNO's events and community projects via traditional advertising, social media, press releases, the Lagniappe publication and the organization’s website. Working closely with the President, Board members, committee chairs and staff, Lacy will be responsible for reviewing all print and digital materials while providing guidance on additional opportunities to expand JLNO’s influence. During her year as Communications Council Director, Lacy intends to spread the message of JLNO’s community-wide impact . This includes the general public, but also — and perhaps most importantly — League membership. She is enthusiastic about the many ways provisionals, actives and sustainers can engage, and she seeks to enrich the organization by better connecting the League’s core constituents to its mission. Lacy holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Arts in global communications from the American University of Paris, and a Masters of Business Administration from Tulane University. Lacy has recently taken a position with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate team as a Program Manager. In this role she works with AWS's international clients, economic development and higher education partners to connect AWS's educational curriculum with employer needs and overall economic goals. Prior to joining AWS, Lacy was Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives for Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.), the economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana. In this role, Lacy was the primary liaison for business and industry, higher education, career technical educators, government agencies and non-profit partners to cultivate partnerships creating a thriving regional economy. Lacy's seven-year tenure at GNO, Inc. built on her non-profit experience as the Special Initiatives Manager at the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX). In addition to serving on the JLNO Board, Lacy is Board President of the public transit advocacy organization RIDE New Orleans, a current participant in the 2019-2020 New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, an alumna of the 2016 Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans (EPNO) class and has served as a Lead Mentor to entrepreneurs in the small business incubator, Propeller.

Since joining JLNO in 2013, Lacy has served as Co-Chair for the Women’s Leadership Summit and Editor of Lagniappe magazine. She takes inspiration from her first boss in Louisiana, Boo Thomas: Baton Rouge Junior League Past-President, leader and community development powerhouse. She quickly became Lacy’s role model due to her grace, poise and independence. Lacy was also inspired to join the Junior League having watched her mother participate. “My mother was very involved in the Baton Rouge Junior League when I was growing up,’” Lacy says. “I watched her leverage her League engagement to support my dad’s community goals. Together, they launched the Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association: a now 28-year-old organization that has advocated for over 3,100 abused and neglected children in Louisiana. Watching my mother use her Junior League connections to provide volunteers, grant support and broader community awareness to CASA was such a special childhood memory.” Lacy joined JLNO to continue this amazing legacy of impact. When she’s not volunteering, you can find Lacy chasing her daughter Clara Byrd (2) and rescue dog Daisy May, swinging on her front porch with her husband Bryan or running the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground. Lacy and Bryan are expecting a daughter, Virginia, this summer.

“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.” - ATLAS SHRUGGED BY AYN RAND





ane Dufour will serve as the Nominating Committee Chair for the Junior League of New Orleans' (JLNO) 2020-2021 League year. In accordance with JLNO's Bylaws and Standing Rules, the Nominating Committee matches organizational needs and individual strengths to produce a leadership team which will most effectively forward the organization's mission, goals and strategic plan. Jane believes the Nominating Committee holds the uniquely important role of ensuring that there are great leaders to guide the League, both by choosing the incoming Board but also by placing members in positions where they can develop their potential and hone their leadership skills in the years to come. “I keep repeating this, but I feel that the more time and energy you give in the League, the more rewarding your experience is,” Jane says. “That starts with members seeking and accepting leadership positions. Ultimately as a training organization, the primary skill we impart on our members is being an effective volunteer and hopefully an effective leader.” Jane is grateful for her years in JLNO, which have provided a safe

“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” - LEWIS CARROLL


Lagniappe | Summer 2020

arena to learn and become a strong leader. She feels the League is an organization of women supporting and encouraging other women who are ready to roll their sleeves up and respond to any challenge. This support system and collective community impact are two things that have driven Jane to continue dedicating her time to the League. Jane joined JLNO in 2010 and has since served in a number of creative placements such as Graphic Design Chair, Marketing Chair and Communications Council Director. A New Orleans native, she attended St. Mary’s Dominican High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the College of Charleston and a Master's of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. Jane works as Director of Real Estate Services at GCR Inc. (GCR), a software and consulting firm that serves public sector clients in various government services. The Real Estate Division at GCR works with state and parish entities on right of way acquisitions for public works projects, including coastal protection and restoration projects. “It has been hugely rewarding to see the projects that we work on go from planning to construction and to know that the work that we are doing is contributing to providing flood and storm protection or delivering better infrastructure to the residents of South Louisiana,” Jane says. When she’s not working or volunteering, you can find Jane spending time with her family and walking her 13 year old dog, Cady. “We may not walk as far as we used to," she admits, “but our walks are still a great time for processing the successes and trials of the day.”


Blanche “Dee” McCloskey SU STAI N I N G ADV I S OR TO T HE B OARD


he Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) 2020-2021 Sustaining Advisor to the Board of Directors will be Blanche “Dee” McCloskey. This position provides a historical perspective and offers practical guidance from a sustaining member and past president. Her volunteer and leadership experience will allow her to be a sounding board for League leaders as they make decisions on membership, fund development, community projects, administration and strategic planning. She will also encourage other sustaining members to continue their involvement with the League. Dee is honored to serve and work alongside such an exceptional group of leaders. Raised outside Folsom, Louisiana, Dee graduated from the University of Virginia. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Vice-President for Corporate and Foundation Relations for Ochsner Clinic Foundation. This role allows her to work with a wide variety of generous individuals and institutions, connecting them with meaningful ways to make a difference in our region. She is proud of the role her organization is playing in the COVID-19 pandemic and feels grateful to have a part in supporting the healthcare heroes in our community. Her philanthropic work includes serving on the board of Poydras Home, volunteering through Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans and participating on the Catholic Women’s Giving Circle Grants Committee. Dee joined JLNO in 2004 to make a difference in her community. Her mother, a Sustainer and Past-President of the Junior League of Greater Covington, set a great example of the fun and friendship to be had in volunteering. Over the years, Dee has served as Thrift Shop Chair, Planning & Development Council Director and 2011-2012 President. Dee is proud of the role the League has played in the lives of so many members, saying, “JLNO is a safe and encouraging place for a woman to learn a new skill or try her hand at a leadership position for the first time.” She goes on to say, “There are great stories of women

who go on to make a major career change, lead a local nonprofit or launch a new business because of something they did in the League, but every woman who learns new things and develops herself for volunteer service is transformational for our community.” When she’s not volunteering, you can find Dee exploring new interests, whether that may be reading, fly fishing, knitting, cooking, native plants...the list goes on. Dee is also an avid beekeeper. As a longtime resident of New Orleans, she loves the shared rituals, traditions, celebrations and quirks that permeate the city. In times like these, Dee feels especially grateful for the city’s resilience.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” - BLESSED JULIAN OF NORWICH




Women LEADING for a Greater New Orleans


ne civic-minded woman can start a movement. When she observes a need within a community, she can envision a way to address it and find others with which to collaborate. The 10 original members of the Junior League of New Orleans established this organization over 95 years ago by combining their compassionate natures with creativity and diligence to help those that needed it most. Today, JLNO remains a proud, thriving organization where any woman can realize her commitment to voluntarism in a way that is impactful and relevant to her and the community she serves. Our members are change-makers that contribute to a variety of industries, develop their potential through our infrastructure and implement our organization’s impact. These inspiring and diverse individuals are empowering the next generation of women leaders. JLNO’s values of leadership, diversity, empowerment, training and impact further guide our platform of voluntarism that goes beyond teaching safety skills to a child or providing diapers for families. Our experiential training increases the effectiveness of our community impact. Because of what our members learn from the Junior League, New Orleans has: • more women founding organizations and starting businesses • more leaders serving on boards • more volunteers giving their time and effort • more donors valuing these causes through their financial support Thousands of Greater New Orleans area residents have benefited from the work of Junior League volunteers, and helping others has immeasurably enriched those volunteers’ lives. As its legacy, JLNO founded several well-known organizations, including the Preservation Resource Center and the Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital. JLNO has also supported many of the city’s major cultural institutions including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. The infrastructure our members build and maintain ensures we help someone not just in the present but far into the future as well. JLNO is excited to discover what the next 95 years holds for our volunteers and celebrate the positive impact they will make on our community.




Hours in


Volunteer Service

75 Unique

Volunteer Opportunities

44 Nonprofit


58 Training


881,438 Members of the Community Served


Business Partners

Programming Distributed 1,053,730 diapers to 22 distribution partners through its DIAPER BANK to help alleviate diaper need for families

COVENANT HOUSE Birthdays: 380 attended birthday parties throughout the year

Held 3 events with 130 total attendees on FINANCIAL LITERACY topics of budgeting, saving and investing

Trained 44 people in nonprofit board and staff leadership skills through its award-winning GET ON BOARD program

In its eighth year, JLNO’s Touch a Truck continues to grow. Two days in the Pontchartrain Center provided a fun, interactive and educational opportunity for families throughout the region.

• 29 vehicles highlighting various transportation methods across numerous professional sectors participated • 3,420 people of all ages attended • 931 students from partner schools visited for free as a part of JLNO’s Field Trip Friday • $30,000 from the event’s ticket sales, business sponsorships and donations support JLNO’s mission and volunteer efforts

Distributed 285,000 pads, liners and tampons to 12 distribution partners through its PERIOD PRODUCTS program to help address period poverty for women

Administered 8 sessions preparing 190 young people through the SAFE SITTER program for the profound responsibilities of nurturing and protecting children

Awarded 3 local nonprofit partners $20,000 in Community Assistance Fund grants

Awarded 2 non-traditional female students with $11,000 in scholarship funding

For the second year running, JLNO participated as an Official Charity Partner with the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic. • 33 people participated in the race on JLNO’s behalf • 182 donors gave in support of JLNO’s #runningforJLNO team • $15,701 from the participant’s peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns supported JLNO’s mission and volunteer efforts

JLNO's Members JLNO’s members range from 23 to 107 years old, with an average age of

92% 61% 96%



of JLNO’s Active membership works outside of the home

76% of JLNO’s members have been actively involved with the League for five years or more

of JLNO’s members received a postsecondary degree, with over half having received a postgraduate degree of a Masters, PhD, M.D. or J.D.

75% 64%

of JLNO’s members have previously served or are currently serving on boards of another nonprofit organization

of JLNO’s members are married

of JLNO’s members are volunteering with other nonprofit organizations outside their Junior League service

of JLNO’s members are parents

“The Junior League has women from all walks of life sharing knowledge, networking, starting businesses, raising families and reminding each other that we have more than one purpose on this earth. JLNO projects are changing lives and making lasting impact. I am inspired by members of the League that I meet, and that inspiration makes me work harder to be a contributor to the community” - Michelle D. Craig, JLNO Active Member

“It's a beautiful thing to look around a room and see women committed not only to their personal and professional success, but also to the success of their community. I believe it is what we are called to do.” - Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, JLNO Active Member

“The Junior League provided me with a sense of home and belonging, and it has since led to many incredible and lasting friendships. The League also taught me more about the importance of community and the role every one of us can play in that.” - Beth Walker, JLNO Sustaining Member


FUND GRA N TE D $2 0,0 0 0


Started over 30 years ago, the Community Assistance Fund provides JLNO with a flexible means to grant money to nonprofit organizations that effectively demonstrate they have a dire need for funding. These agencies seek to advance the wellbeing of women in the areas of economic opportunity, physical and mental health and family assistance. The CAF Committee thoroughly examines requests for funding before submitting them to JLNO’s Community Council and Board of Directors for final approval.

Bridge House/ Grace House $5,000 Bridge House is a long-term residential intensive alcohol and drug addiction treatment center. Grace House is the only substance-use disorder treatment facility exclusively for women in the Greater New Orleans area. At Grace House, treatment is provided to focus on the unique needs of women in recovery including the areas of trauma, self-esteem, parenting, and healthy relationships. Bridge House and Grace House merged in 2006. Since that merger they are now publicly known as Bridge House / Grace House, and have maintained a single administrative staff, single Board of Directors, and a single purpose -- to treat those suffering with the disease of addiction who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Now as one organization, Bridge House / Grace House treats over 700 individuals per year, with 150 licensed beds. JLNO awarded $5,000 for the Susan W. Glennon Grace House Women’s Medical Clinic that addresses their population’s physical and mental health needs through prevention, education and treatment. The Susan W. Glennon Grace House Women’s Medical Clinic opened in January 2014. The clinic has a simple vision— to provide the kind of care we would want for ourselves, care without judgment or bias, in an environment that feels safe and comfortable. By giving timely pelvic exams and pap smears, Tulane Medical Students can intervene to provide medical care or refer to residents for follow up testing within the timeframe of treatment at Grace House, giving these women a better chance of

treating any infections and removing precancerous lesions.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana $10,000 Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission is to lead the fight against unger and build food security in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response. JLNO awarded $10,000 to Second Harvest Child Hunger Program. More than 84,500 individuals in Orleans Parish struggle with food insecurity. Of that number, over 18,800 are children. Studies have shown that children from homes that lack consistent access to food are more likely to experience considerable and potentially lasting effects on their physical and mental health and development, academic achievement, and future success. When kids have access to healthy meals every day, they feel better, do better in school and have fewer behavior problems. Second Harvest’s Child Hunger programs are meant to help parents and caregivers fill these gaps. Kids Café and Summer Feeding Programs reduce the gap in afterschool and summer meals, providing free meals and snacks to thousands of children in need throughout New Orleans. These programs reduce hunger and allow children to return to school feeling refreshed and ready to learn, while increasing the capacity

of families to make ends meet when schools are not in session. The School Pantry Program reaches hungry children from the accessible and protected environment of their school, providing fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, proteins, and nonperishable staples for students and families to access when they need it most. The School Pantry reaches not just one child in a school, but whole families who are struggling with hunger, including siblings and parents or grandparents.

Hotel Hope $5,000 Hotel Hope is a nonprofit, interfaith organization that provides housing to women and their children in a safe and loving atmosphere while guiding them to self-sufficiency and selfempowerment through intensive case management. JLNO awarded Hotel Hope $5,000 to purchase computers for each guest room. The computer/ tablets will be used by mothhers to search for employment opportunities, housing placements, social service assistance, childcare, school enrollment and other resources. Many resources, for example, day care/school applications, social security, food stamps, only accept online applications. The computers/tablets will assist the family to search for jobs and housing placements in a more efficient manner. This service will empower the mothers to seize new opportunities. The single mothers will also have access to online workshops, online classes (for school/training) and online mental health counseling, a new service from Metropolitan Human Service District.




Support & Revenue Membership Dues................................................................................ $323,152 Discontinued Operations............................................................... $2,193,574 Contributions & Support.................................................................. $260,289 Special Events........................................................................................ $117,127 Investment Income.............................................................................. $87,470 Other......................................................................................................... $5,259 Change in Value of Beneficial Interest In Charitable Remainder Trust ................................... ($1,534)

Total Support & Revenue


Expenses Programming & Mission-Related...................................................... $653,330 Supporting Services Management & General............................................................$149,107 Fundraising.................................................................................. $85,345


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

JLNO respects and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics, and perspectives that make each person who they are. We welcome all women who value our Mission and aim to create and retain a membership representing all socio-demographic aspects of our community. We believe that bringing diverse women together allows up to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our community. We are committed to supporting inclusive environments. We strive for JLNO partners, strategies, and investments to reflect this belief and commitment.

The Junior League of New Orleans is committed to advancing the wellbeing of local women through the use of trained volunteers that provide direct service, educate the community and advocate for issues that affect women.

Allocation of Expenses



goes to Programming goes to Management & Mission-Related & General

The Junior League of New Orleans is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Focus Area

Total Expenses



10¢ goes to Fundraising

Change in Net Assets


*Figures tie back to audit for fiscal year 2018-2019

JLNO specifically works to tackle three strategic goals: Improving economic opportunities for women and supporting women’s potential to seize those opportunities Providing needed family support to alleviate the burdens on women caregivers Promoting information and resources for women’s health, allowing them to live healthy and happy lives

Junior League of New Orleans 4319 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 (504) 891-5845 | |

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Donors Donations received between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020. Support includes gifts to JLNO Programs, Annual Giving, Endowment and Fundraising Events.

Please contact Development Coordinator Paige Morrison about bequests and planned giving — or 504-891-5845


The Helis Foundation


Cox Communications Ashley Geary


Barbara Colon Lynn Dicharry Carol Herlihy Franchesca Lorio Laura Politz Ann Strub Sybil M. & D. Blair Favrot Family Fund Mary Temple Thomas UNITED WAY Christine Vinson

Up to $249

Adele Abboud Amenah Abdelfattah Kathryn Aikman Kathryn Albayrak Martha Allen Anne Angelico Beth Applewhite Aimee Arceneaux Nicole Babb Kiki Baker Barnes Patricia Barry Kathryn Baxter Michele Beelman Amber Beezley Benevity Community Impact Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Elizabeth Boh Elizabeth Bolles Bridget Bories Connie Bousquet Jaimee Boyd Courtney Brdlik Martha Claire Breland 48

Lagniappe | Summer 2020

Ashley Brewer Elizabeth Brinson Patricia Brinson Eugenie Brooks Whitney Brooks Blair Broussard Johannah Brown Julie Brown Peggy Brown Taylor Burgmon Valerie Cahill Rosemonde Capomazza di Campolattaro Claire Carrere Stephanie Carroll Robin Carubba Stacie Carubba Kaitlin Kotler Ann Clayton Chamberlain Sarah Chase Julie Childress Kristen Chmurka Vanessa Cloutier Dorothy Clyne Ellen Coleman Gabrielle Combe Ann Conger Giselle Connick Pam Cooper Rebecca Cooper Lenora Costa Tink Crawford Katherine Crosby Keely Crowder Constance Dahlberg Elizabeth Dalferes Nanine d'Aquin Nathalie Dillon Olivia Dominguez Natalie Donnelly Laurie Doyle Jane Dufour Regan Dupuy Marie-Therese Dwyer Catherine Edwards

Cheryl Ellsworth Colleen Emory Catherine Eustis Linda Eustis Leeann Evans Elizabeth Faust Shawne Favre Janet Favrot Linda Fendley Anne Fitz-Hugh Ashley Fletcher Donna Flower Ella Flower Sally Forman Catherine Freeman Elizabeth Frein Ruthie Frierson Nicole Fuller Rachel Futch Ashley Galarneau Eileen Gambel Ann Geary Angelle Gelvin Cynthia Geoghegan Julie George Nene Gianfala Katherine Gibert Tomi Gilliam Claire Gisclair Julia Gooch Nicette Goodier Megan Gorman Kathleen Gray Tina Griffith Carlys Guillot Patricia Hardin Diana Harris Amina Harvey Mary Ellis Hasseltine Allison Herrera Emily Lewis Tina Hinckley Joanne Hoppe Sarah Hargrove Isabel Irvine

Jenny Irwin Belinda Janeski Elizabeth Janke Pierce Jonassen Diana Jones Priscilla Jordan Wendy Joseph Jo Nelle Kepper Cynthia Kessler Susan Kliebert Kristen & Woody Koppel Mari Krane Lynn Lacroix Beverly Lamb Beth Lambert Elizabeth Landis Jane Landry Eleanor Lane Laurie Leaman Rose LeBreton Eileen Lilien Kay Livaudais Jennifer Lohmann-Bigelow Mary Lorenz Geri Lotze Mary Lynn Lunn Irene Lutkewitte Nell Mabry Eugenia Maginnis Jacqueline Mahony Jayda Malveaux Shingo Dameron Manard Michelle Mangum Lynn Mann Olivia Manning Mary Marks Crystal Marks-Price Lesley Marshall Ann Masson Jane Mathes Christen Mayer Carol McCall Monique McCleskey Lacy McManus Melissa Mcqueen Karney

Julie Meckstroth Kylie Mills Krista Mincey Dana Moore Kristin Van Hook Moore Kelley Moreau Emily Morrison Gabrielle Moulis Megan Mueller Elizabeth Nalty Marion Newsom Molly Nix Mary Lou O'Keefe Linda Osborne Trisha Paeth Dawn Palermo Ashley Parker Marcella Peraza Elisabeth Perino Kelsey Petry Victoria Adams Phipps Elizab Pinney

Penny Pirri Sheela Plater Susan Pleva Katie Rafferty Carmen Ramirez Katherine Raymond Hope Read Debra Rees Christine Rigamer Sarah Roberts Ashley Robinson Barbara Rosenberg Susan Russell Sophia Ryan Ty Salvant Lori Savoie Elizabeth Schafer Emily Schmidt April Scott Connie Shannon Charlotte Smith Erika Smith

TRIBUTES & MEMORIALS In Memory Of James A. Anderson, III by Melissa Mcqueen Karney In Honor Of Madeleine Blessey by Karen Blessey In Honor Of Madeleine Blessey by Stephanie Lilley In Memory Of Yvonne Brown Collier by Sibby Charbonnet In Honor Of Board and Council by Jennifer Couvillon In Honor Of Hallie Lanier Boh by Evelyn Poitevent In Memory Of Dorothy Charbonnet & Margie Villere by Alma Pettit In Memory Of Dottie Charbonnet by Ella Flower In Memory Of Dottie Charbonnet by Gwathmey Finlay Gomila In Honor Of Dana Davis & Robin Beducian by Carolyn Sweeney In Honor Of Milo Joseph by Sarah Mansell In Honor Of Kaya Koban by Casey Perez In Memory Of Nora Lea LeDoux by Elizabeth Tajonar In Honor Of Kristin VanHook Moore by Anne Long In Memory Of Stella Porche by Ninette Eastman

Judith Smith Kaylee Smith Gabriella St. Amant Clare Stewart Paulette Stewart Rachel Stickney Sally Suthon Jay Taffet Emily Taylor Margaret Taylor Miriam Taylor Jennifer Teague Helene Tebo Mary Temple Thomas Ann Thompson Lucie Thornton Nell Tilton Pat Unsworth Michelle Van Vleet Micheline VanDenburgh Laura Vickery Christine Vinson Debbye Vosbein Elizabeth Walcavich Beth Walker Christine Walsh Kathryn Waltemath Erica Washington Julia Watt Caroline Wegmann Brandy Whisnant Jeanne Williams Letra Wilson Marie Wood Alice Wright Lisa Yip Nell Young Coleena Zimet

Run Walk Give In-Kind Donors

Proforma Key Solutions tasc Performance

Bloomin’ Deals Donors Kimberly Allen Sarah Aucoin Melyne Barrett Alexandra Battestin Christine Berger Jaimee Boyd Kathryn Brennan Aylett Clesi Kristin Curole Gaynelle Davis Jane Dufour Martha Falls Shawne Favre Carroll Feiling Valerie Fontenot Margaret Francez

Ashley Gold Kelsey Grzegorczyk Lacrecia James Elizabeth Janke Kelly Jones Jennifer Jumonville Nancy Kirkeby Kayuyum Koban Paula Jo Lentz Nicole Licardi Jennifer Lohmann-Bigelow Jennifer Mackey Monica McShan Kathryn Mick Emilie Montgomery Shayna Beevers Morvant Liana Narcisse Amanda Molay Nolan Lesley Norwood Cheyanna Paige Sarah Peltier Kendra Reade Miranda Rector Kristen Rivero Caroline Robichaux Sarah Roy Sophia Ryan Susana Ruddock Karen Sablich Michelle Sauque Jennifer Scanlon Dana Schmitt Logan Senior Chrissy Sheets Swap Boutique Kimberly Tara Sabrina Testut Patricia Thibodeau Kate Uhle Stephanie Vega Lanie Victory Elizabeth Walcavich Lucy Wardlaw Vanessa West Sarah Wood Casey Zainey

Diaper Bank Donors Taylor Baggarley Erika Smith Lanie Victory

Period Products Donors Gretchen Lozes Fischer Savanna VanAusdale


League Faces JLNO Active Lacrecia "Cree" Jones celebrates Easter with bunny ears and a festive mask. Photo courtesy of Cree Jones.

For JLNO Active member Robin Beducian, staying connected during quarantine means staying connected to her patients, even if that requires suiting up in protective equipment. Photo submitted by: Robin Beducian.

JLNO Board for 2020-2021 is presented to members at the February General Membership Meeting. Photo by: Ann Conger. Active member Kaya Koban and her mother played many family croquet games during quarantine. Photo submitted by: Kaya Koban.

Active member and Lagniappe writer, Eileen Chao, bakes a cake with her children for Mother's Day. Photo courtesy of Eileen Chao.


Lagniappe | Summer 2020

JLNO President Elect, Shannon Brice, and JLNO President, Kristin Van Hook Moore, give out free masks at JLNO Headquarters. Photo submitted by: Kristin W. Durand.

Active Sarah Nieuwenhuisen and her son enjoy the spring weather during quarantine. Photo courtesy of: Sarah Nieuwenhuisen. During quarantine, Sustaining member Ann Herren created a volunteer-driven birthday parade for children where she and volunteers dressed up to celebrate birthdays. Photo courtesy of Ann Herren.

Sustaining member Jeanne Charlebois and her daughter enjoy a Mother's Day picnic in the park. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Charlebois.

Active member Robin Davis Beducian with husband John Elliott Beducian and sons Sawyer (4) and Sutton (1) show off shaggy DIY haircuts and smiles from their front porch as participants in the Front Porch Project. Photo submitted by: Robin Davis Beducian.

Active member Ashley Millet, made 3-D printed face shields and ear savers to donate to healthcare workers during quarantine. Photo submitted by: Ashley Millet.

Thank you to the 2019-2020 Lagniappe Committee for a great year. Photo submitted by: Taylor Pospisil.

Emily Dike celebrates her 30 something birthday while social distancing. Photo courtesy of Emily Dike.


Héritage A Legacy of Activism: Honoring the Late Rosa Freeman Keller By Shanelle Joseph

Image courtesy of


ew Orleans has garnered its place in history by making great strides to overcome the oppression of slavery and discrimination. Nevertheless, such milestones are not accomplished without the efforts of brave citizens who choose to pursue justice and equality in the face of adversity. One such person is the late Rosa Freeman Keller. Rosa served the city of New Orleans independently as well as a member of the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). In 1968, JLNO bestowed upon her the honor of Sustainer of the Year. Today, the League honors Rosa as one of its most revered pioneers in the history of JLNO. The daughter of acclaimed New Orleans businessman A.B. Freeman and wife of Charles Keller, Jr., a successful engineer and businessman, Rosa is best known for her social activism and contributions to the upward mobility of African Americans. Rosa devoted nearly 40 years of her life to supporting the equality and progression of African Americans through various pursuits

including, but not limited to, affordable housing and desegregation of public and private schools. As we delve into historical accounts of desegregation – such as the first Black students to enroll into an all-White elementary or post-secondary school – we are presented with the names of the students or their parents listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit. However, several non-Black persons worked diligently behind the scenes to make such efforts possible. Even after the United States Supreme Court ruled segregated schools were unconstitutional, many states resisted, and such resistance called for further action by concerned citizens. When Orleans Parish School Board threatened to close many of its schools, Rosa founded the Save Our Schools initiative. Save Our Schools was an effort to keep schools open despite projected closures as resistant citizens decided to keep their children at home rather than send them to school with Black students. Rosa could have spent the best years of her life as a lady of leisure, enjoying her family’s wealth. Instead, she fought tirelessly to integrate public spaces and ascertain equality in education. When Rosa became aware of Tulane University’s refusal to admit two African Americans who had recently graduated from Dillard University, Rosa pulled the funds she had been saving to purchase a fur coat and instead used them to finance a federal lawsuit that had been filed against Tulane. Rosa was presented with several awards throughout her life, including the Lane Bryant award for community service. Rosa will be remembered as many things – wife, social activist, philanthropist and mother. Rosa's daughter, Mary Keller Zervigon, shared the following cherished memories of her late mother. “Our mother was definitely not like every other mother. In addition to her well-known accomplishments, she was also very active in the PTA at the school we attended and worked a number of years as room mother, at least one year for each of us. She was active in the support of ‘good government’ candidates she felt Louisiana badly needed. She had a gift for friendship and had many long-term friendships with people of all classes, races and ages.”

A lifetime of altruism rarely goes unnoticed. Rosa's tireless efforts may have garnered her personal acclaim, but it is the impact she had on those around her that ultimately defines her spirit. Especially now, may her legacy inspire us to live our lives with the goal of selflessly improving the wellbeing of others. •