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Meet the 2016 Louisiana Fellows
Evan Bergeron, Attorney At Law, Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP
Evan is an Attorney at Law with the New Orleans firm of Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP. His practice focuses on insurance defense, insurance coverage, bad faith, commercial litigation, and First Amendment and Media Law. Evan received his Juris Doctor degree from the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from LSU. Evan remains politically active in his community through campaign and legislative consulting.
Michelle Craig, Co-Founder, Transcendent Legal
Michelle D. Craig serves as Co-Founder and Chief Litigation and Labor & Employment Counsel of Transcendent Legal, a newly formed law firm and Co-Founder of Prosquire, a legal project management software. With over 13 years of Am200 law firm experience, she was a partner with Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans before starting her own firm. She holds dual degrees including a Juris Doctorate and a Bachelor of the Civil Law (B.C.L.) from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Law Center. She also studied International and Comparative Law at the Université d'Aix Marseille III. She has extensive experience in labor and employment, commercial litigation and charter school law, and she is currently a member of the Louisiana and Texas State Bars.
Vanessa Douyon, Management Consultant, Bellwether Education Partners
Vanessa Douyon is a consultant with Bellwether Education Partners in the Strategic Advising practice. As a consultant, Vanessa has served as the lead project manager for a $100M scholarship program rollout, designed a network-wide teacher selection process and staffing needs prediction model, and generated recommendations for state-level and national education initiatives. Vanessa has also consulted with the Noble Network of Charter Schools to implement a research-based food service evaluation program and analyze network performance against data-driven metrics. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2015, Vanessa launched Moxie Leadership Academy, an emotional intelligence program for girls in low income communities. She has worked in talent and recruitment in the charter network space as well as for Teach For America. She also served as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Senegal, West Africa where she established an elementary school library. She has written blogs for several outlets, including Forbes. Vanessa began her career as a 5th grade math teacher with Teach For America in Central City, New Orleans. She holds an MBA with leadership distinction from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Florida, where she graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Vanessa is a proud Haitian-American, originally from South Florida, currently residing in Broadmoor, New Orleans.
Dave Hand, Senior Policy Analyst, Cowen Institute at Tulane University
Dave came to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to work with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). As a certified teacher, he spent two years working in special education at an alternative public school and three years as a founding teacher at a public school where he focused on instructional technology. He has served as a Project Manager for the Compass Information System, Louisiana’s evaluation platform for managing student learning targets, observations, and evaluations. Recently, he led a team of Data and Technology Specialists at the Louisiana Department of Education that supported district leadership across the state in interpreting and using data to drive decision-making processes. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Politics from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he worked for two sessions at the Oregon Legislative Assembly. He is a proud alum of Teach For America and Education Pioneers.
Mike Hill, Strategic Operations, Ochsner Health System
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Mike moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to work at Ochsner Health System in 2011. Mike originally started with Ochsner as an Administrative Fellow where he worked with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Ochsner's flagship hospital. Mike currently is a member of the Office of Strategy Management where he works with the System Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer on strategic planning, public relations, internal communications, project management, and physician relations. Mike led a number of high-level projects including drafting the System's three-year strategic plan, opening physician notes online to patients (the first hospital in the Gulf South to open notes), and writing the application for the Acclaim Award (AMGA's highest honor), where Ochsner was named an Honoree in 2015. Prior to his position with Ochsner, Mike practiced law in Alabama. His practice included health care law, construction law, and federal practice. Mike was a law clerk to the Honorable W. Keith Watkins of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama prior to transitioning to private practice. Mike received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Alabama in finance and economics. He received his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. Additionally, Mike received his Masters in Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mike has a number of interests outside of work. He is the Co-Chair and an Advisory Board member of the Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans, a graduate of the Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, a dinner parent and academic tutor for Boys Hope Girls Hope, and volunteer with WRBH (a radio station dedicated to reading to the blind). Mike also loves crossfit, running, and attending Saints and Alabama football games.
Victor Jones, Associate Attorney, Kelly Hart & Pitre
Victor Jones is a native of Pascagoula, Mississippi and a ten-year resident of New Orleans. He received his B.A. in English from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2007, where he served as Vice President of the Student Government Association, a member of the Class of 2007 Executive Board, and President of the Xi Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Victor is a very proud 1989 graduate of the Head Start Program. Victor graduated from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2012, where his classmates selected him to deliver the student commencement address at graduation. Prior to practicing law, Victor received a Master’s Degree in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2008. Thereafter, he taught kindergarten at Prospect Hill Academy Charter Public School in Somerville, MA. He was also adjunct faculty at the Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, MA. And as a third-year law student, Victor taught Street Law at Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School in New Orleans, in 2012. Through New Leaders Council, Victor hopes to use his dual passion for law and education to serve at-risk youth and their families in New Orleans.
Terrence Lockett, President, Axis Strategies, LLC
Terrence Lockett is President of Axis Strategies, LLC a Public and Governmental Affairs firm. The firm provides strategic planning and management to candidates seeking elected office along with governmental affairs representation for a variety of entities at the state and federal level Recently, Terrence served as the Capital Region Manager and State Education Liaison for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. In this capacity, Terrence served as a direct contact to a 12 parish coverage area assisting elected officials and community stakeholders in the region. Also, in his role as Education Liaison he was responsible for working with multiple stakeholders at the national, state, and local levels on Education Reform in Louisiana. Prior to rejoining the Senator’s staff, Terrence served as the Director of the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge Louisiana. In that capacity, he managed the day to day operations of the facility ensuring that semester after semester student clinicians delivered high quality services to clients who utilized the facility. Terrence serves the Managing Partner of Bayou Speech Group, LLC a professional Speech Language Pathology Practice that services schools and clients in the capitol region and southwest Louisiana. Terrence began his career as a Speech Pathologist in the East Baton Rouge parish school system before joining Senator Landrieu’s staff in 2004 as Deputy Regional Manager. Terrence received a B.S. in Speech Language Pathology, and a M.Ed. in Communication Disorders from Southern University. The New Orleans native holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). In addition Terrence is an active member of the community. He is a board member for the St. Paul Catholic Church Adult Learning Center, and has served on the YMCA’s Capital Area Board of Directors.
Kate Monson, Principal, Kate Monson Media
Kate Monson is an independent consultant who helps state Democratic parties, candidates, nonprofits and businesses develop their brands and communicate effectively with their audiences. As a veteran political communications director and a self-taught designer and digital producer, her unique background enables her to both tell a compelling story and bring it to life across different media. As a seminary graduate, she excels at values-based communication and bringing together diverse stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Kate works from her studio in New Orleans and from the South Dakota farm where her family has lived for 125 years. As a city-dwelling farm kid, she is passionate about agricultural and Native American issues as well as progressive efforts to level the economic playing field for working families in general. She is also committed to protecting women's right to choose, ending domestic violence and sexual assault, and investing in a more secure future through clean energy. Kate majored in religion and classics at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she was the department Latin tutor, a student congregation leader, an advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault, and a co-founder of a nonprofit that provides supportive housing and services for homeless women and families in central Minnesota. She continued her education at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities – a progressive, interfaith graduate school of the United Church of Christ. In 2009 she completed an M.A. in religion and theology, which informs her work daily and helps when she provides pulpit supply for her home congregation in Centerville, South Dakota. While a graduate student, Kate got involved in her first congressional campaign – a decision that led to five years as a campaign staffer and then to serving as the Communications Director for the Minnesota DFL Party. At the DFL, she helped Democratic campaigns win back both state legislative majorities, defeat an anti-marriage equality amendment and a voter restriction amendment to the state constitution, and win a hotly-contested race to defeat a Tea Party incumbent in Minnesota's Eighth District. Kate loves living in New Orleans with her partner Nathanael and their many, many houseplants. She's also glad to maintain her midwestern ties as a consultant to the Minnesota DFL Party and the South Dakota Democratic Party. Her current clients also include Parkinson's Action Network in Washington, DC and a number of federal, state and local Democratic candidates and consulting firms.
Anna Nguyen, Communications Director, City Council District B - Office of LaToya Cantrell
Anna Nguyen is a born and raised New Orleans native, which has made her deeply passionate about food, wine, and culture. Upon graduating from St. Mary's Dominican High School, Anna attended Tulane University where she earned her B.A. in French with a minor in History in 2014. Anna spent her extracurricular time with the Orleans Public Defenders office's Client Services Division and Investigations Division. Anna also served several years as an elected officer for Phi Mu Fraternity and the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government. Soon after completing her undergraduate studies in May 2014, Anna began her career as the Communications and Outreach Fellow for New Orleans City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell of District B. Anna was subsequently promoted to a fulltime staff position as the Communications Director in November 2014. In her role, Anna has developed her capacities of planning and implementing short-term and long-term communications and outreach strategies, managing media initiatives and relations, and coordinating and overseeing volunteer efforts. Although she has spent time raising awareness around transportation safety and mental health, Anna’s proudest campaigns have been the Smoke-Free New Orleans efforts and New Orleans HIV/AIDS Awareness Week. Outside of the office, Anna is a member of the Alliance Francaise de la Nouvelle Orleans and Young Leadership Council, as well as a 2015-2016 Institute of Politics Fellow. Anna is also a part-owner and league manager for the New Orleans Dodgeball Association.
Dale O'Neill, Director of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, University of New Orleans
Dale O'Neill currently serves as the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership at the University of New Orleans. Here, she oversees all areas of student life including: leadership development, Greek Life, university programming, volunteer initiatives and 130+ student organizations. During her tenure at the University of New Orleans, she has increased campus programming by 12%, increased fraternity and sorority life membership by 45%, established the University’s Emerging Leaders Program, implemented the University’s Interfaith Prayer and Meditation room and coordinated the University’s first campus-wide recycling program. She assists in the execution of many of the University’s retention strategies as well as the enforcement of University policy and procedures, such as Drug Free Campus, Anti-Hazing, and Alcohol Usage. At the University, she also serves on several committees, including Title IX, Quality Enhancement Plan, University Budget, Diversity Cabinet, Common Read, Strengths Quest, Service Learning and Retention. She also has experience teaching courses in the university setting including: University Success, Learning Strategies and Processes, and Career Exploration. Dale received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in Educational Administration at the University of New Orleans. Her research interests include: high-impact post secondary retention initiatives, resilience theory, precollege outreach programs, usage of self-efficacy theory in college seminars, and first generation college students. She has presented nationally and regionally concerning: First Generation College Students in the University of Louisiana System, Hazing Awareness: Changing Campus Culture, College Planning and Entrance, Creating Possibilities for Student Adjustment and Acclimation through High Impact Collaborations and Enhancing Self-Efficacy in First Year Seminars. She holds leadership positions in various professional organizations, including President Elect of the Louisiana College and University Personnel Administrators, Coordinator Elect of the National Association of Campus Activities' Leadership Institute and directorate positions within the Standing Committee on Disability and the Ambassadors program for the American College Personnel Association. In her free time, she volunteers with Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans, the YLC Power Ties Program, and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA-New Orleans).
Kate Pedrotty, Director of Strategic Communication, Centenary College of Louisiana
Kate Meehan Pedrotty is the Director of Strategic Communication at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, where she coordinates the College’s student recruitment marketing efforts and is responsible for promoting Centenary through coordinated media and public relations. Prior to joining Centenary’s Marketing & Communication staff in April 2014, Kate was the Executive Director of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet (SMB) for five years, where she managed all public relations, marketing, and fundraising for the 42 year old regional ballet company. She has also worked as a freelance writer, writing several successful grants for the Fuller Center for Housing of NWLA and contributing articles to the new Shreveport Magazine. Kate currently serves on the SMB Executive Board and holds leadership roles with the Fairfield Elementary Magnet PTA and Pack 13 Cub Scouts. She and her family are active members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Shreveport and volunteer in several parish ministries. Kate attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduating with degrees in Dance and History. During her college career, she had the opportunity to work in Washington, D.C. at both the National Park Service and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2010, Kate earned an MA in History from the University of Illinois, where she studied Eastern European and Russian history, served as a teaching assistant and undergraduate lecturer, and was a leader in graduate student organizations and on departmental committees. Kate was born in Baton Rouge and grew up in Shreveport, where she performed for twelve years with SMB and first learned to appreciate and advocate for the arts as a vital part of a vibrant community. Raised in a family of generations of public servants committed to civic engagement, Kate takes great pride in her city and state and is excited to have the responsibility of working for continual improvement in Shreveport and Louisiana.
Sean Perkins, Executive Director of Portfolio Management, Orleans Parish School Board
Sean Perkins grew up in Manchester, NH, the oldest son of a Public Works employee and a licensed foster care provider. Upon graduating from high school in 2000, he attended The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in English in May 2004, followed by a Master's of Arts degree in Education and Human Development in August 2006. While at GW, he was elected Vice-President of his class housing committee, served as a congressional intern, studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, and worked a minimum of 20 hours/week under the college work study program. During his graduate school tenure, Sean served as a year-long substitute English teacher at James Madison High School in Fairfax, Virginia (2004-05 school year), and as a case assistant at the international law firm Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. After earning his Master's degree, Sean was hired as the Senior Advisor to Education at the Embassy of Kuwait, and remained in that role for seven years. As Senior Advisor, Sean provided educational policy recommendations to the government agencies of Kuwait and managed the acquisitions of contractual agreements with more than 150 colleges and universities in North America. In the summer of 2013, Sean moved to New Orleans, LA to engage in the charter school movement at the Orleans Parish School Board. Now Executive Director of Portfolio Management, Sean oversees Career & Technical Education, Early Childhood Education, English Language Learning, the charter school application process and pre-opening guidelines for new charter schools, data analysis of enrollment, academic performance, and citywide demographic trends, and coordinates grant opportunities available to schools across the LEA. Sean's commitment to community service throughout his life is unparalleled. As an undergraduate, he tutored D.C. Public School students via the D.C. Reads program and coached baseball, basketball, and soccer in separate seasons. From 2007-13, Sean mentored D.C. youths in the Higher Achievement Program, also serving on its Advisory Council (and center fielder on its softball team). He has also led workshops on speech writing to 9-12 year olds at 826 DC, and grew a (terrible) mustache for one month to raise over $500 for the 826 foundation. Sean’s other interests include attending concerts (has seen over 1,000!), running, golf, and reading The New Yorker magazine and the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
William Snowden, Staff Attorney, Orleans Public Defenders
William is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. Upon graduating college, William worked as a paralegal at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and subsequently as an investigator at the Bronx Defenders. While in New York, William volunteered as a cello teacher at UpBeat Bed-Stuy—a non-profit organization providing music lessons to children who did not have access to the musical arts curriculum. William attended Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey where he served as president of the Black Law Students Association. Additionally, William was a Center for Social Justice Scholar, taught constitutional law at a local charter school and was awarded the Elizabeth Ann Seton Student Servant Leader award. While in law school William studied abroad taking courses in human trafficking and modern day slavery in Tanzania as well as the criminalization of protest in Guatemala. William first came to New Orleans, Louisiana as a second-year law student to work at the Orleans Public Defenders as a law clerk during the summer of 2012. During his clerkship, William was exposed to the numerous civil rights violations committed upon the indigent of New Orleans as well as the inequities of Louisiana’s habitual offender statute and its failure to differentiate between violent and non-violent offenses. Currently, William works as a staff attorney at the Orleans Public Defenders. When asked why he chose to work in New Orleans, William stated that Louisiana is the prison capital of the world and he wanted to work in a place where he could help curb that statistic by providing the best representation to the poor of New Orleans. When not working, William plays cello with Junko Beat—a New Orleans band self-described as a cosmic funk dance jamtronic band combining New Orleans and African rhythms with modern electronics.
Kyle Stadtplaner, Commercial Banker, Campus Federal Credit Union
Kyle Stadtlander is a Commercial Banking Officer for Campus Federal, a local credit union serving members across Louisiana and focused on finding creative lending opportunities for local businesses. A native Shreveporter, Kyle attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA, where he studied Economics, eventually earning his Bachelor of Science. During his time at Tech, Kyle was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Inter Fraternal Council, holding various leadership positions. His senior year, Kyle was awarded an internship in Washington DC to work on policy related to national fraternities and sororities housing. Upon graduating from Louisiana Tech, Kyle began his career in banking with a community bank in Hammond, LA., and after living and traveling across Louisiana, Kyle finally settled back home in Shreveport where he is currently working for the betterment of the community. As a volunteer and local leader, Kyle spends his time working for organizations dedicated to the progress of education and economic development in North Louisiana. In his spare time, Kyle is an overly dedicated Louisiana Tech sports fan and increasingly average golfer. He enjoys reading biography's and spending time with friends.
Blake Stanfill, Executive Director, Orleans Parish School Board
Blake J. Stanfill is an Executive Director for the Orleans Parish School Board, where he manages communications strategy and the disadvantaged business enterprise program. Prior to this role, Blake served as Chief of Staff in the Academic Policy & Analytics group at the Louisiana Department of Education. Previously, he was a Mayoral Fellow in the Economic Development department of the City of New Orleans, where he played an integral role in the formation of the City’s economic development public-private partnership, New Orleans Business Alliance. With the City of New Orleans, he also was an administrator within the Office of Supplier Diversity and was charged with revamping the certification process for hundreds of small and disadvantaged businesses in the greater New Orleans area. Additionally, Blake spent time in the private sector as a credit-risk analysis at Bank of America, working in mortgage correspondent lending. Blake began his professional career as a teacher and administrator at St. Augustine High School, a historic New Orleans high school. Stanfill earned a B.A. from Duke University, a Master of Finance from Tulane University, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ryan Stivers, Director of Testing & Orientation, Social Studies Teacher, ReNEW Schools
Ryan Stivers is Director of Testing and Orientation and a Social Studies educator at ReNEW Accelerated High School in New Orleans, LA. Ryan moved to New Orleans in 2014 to pursue his passion of teaching social studies in an alternative high school geared toward at-risk youth. A former high school-drop out, Ryan now works with students teaching a senior level social studies course called Topics in Social Justice. In the course, students explore various ways inequalities affect american culture and develop civic-action plans to address issues they are passionate about. He is also responsible for the schools orientation process for new students, a critical element of an alternative school. Ryan's passion is to create student-centered equity-based environments that help shatter the institutional and bureaucratic feel of traditional systems. Ryan is from Chicago, where he previous worked in marketing before going receiving his B.A in Secondary Education and History from Lake Forest College. His notable accomplishments including graduating Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Kappa Delta Pi. Ryan was awarded the Senior Prize in Education. He is currently a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, Representative on the Executive Council of Kappa Delta Pi, and a member of the New Orleans Leading Educators cohort.
Courtney Stuckwisch, Economic Development Policy & Program Manager, City of New Orleans
Courtney Stuckwisch serves as the Policy and Program Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at the City of New Orleans where she works to bring amenities and good-paying jobs to every neighborhood. She is committed to working toward Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s vision to ensure that all New Orleanians have a path to prosperity and that no one is left behind as our city grows. Previously, she helped reopen G.W. Carver High School post Katrina teaching 11th and 12th grade English and AP literature. She was also a founding administrator at Cohen College Prep High School where she managed school operations, helped move the school from an F to a B on the statewide report card, and supported the first two graduating classes in attaining 100% college admission and over $2 million in merit scholarships each year. Originally from Virginia, Courtney moved to New Orleans to join Teach For America in 2007 and is now proud to call it home. She received a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. Courtney hopes to be a life-long public servant. She loves outdoor adventures, running, volunteering, and serving youth and young professionals at her church.
Marlene Thebberge, Outreach and Development Director,
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
Marlene Theberge is a New Hampshire native and currently serves as the Outreach and Development Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. In this capacity, she supervises all of the organization’s education and outreach activities throughout the State of Louisiana, with an eye towards building collaborative relationships and expanding fair housing programming into underserved communities in the central and northwest regions of the state. She also oversees all of the Center’s fundraising, grant writing, and grants management activities, including an annual federal grants process, which, under Ms. Theberge’s leadership, secured more than $800,000 in funding for vital civil rights programs in 2015. Ms. Theberge holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Classical Studies from Tulane University. While at Tulane, she was a regular participant in CourtWatch NOLA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing greater transparency and efficiency to New Orleans’ criminal courts. Ms. Theberge is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Young Leadership Council, and the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council. She is dedicated both to creating more equitable communities through her work on housing and social justice issues and to learning as much as possible about the intersections of other issues areas such as criminal justice, economic justice, and education.
Julie Thibodaux, Resource Development Manager, United Way of Southeast Louisiana
Julie Thibodaux is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana and has lived in New Orleans for over ten years. Currently, Thibodaux is as a Resource Development Manager for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) where the mission is clear-- “To increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another in order to create a stronger community for all”. At UWSELA, she oversees the fundraising and outreach efforts in Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Thibodaux partners with donors, employers, nonprofits, faith groups and government to bring a coordinated approach to solving community problems. Before joining UWSELA, Thibodaux served as the Interim Director of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) for Loyola University New Orleans. She provided Loyola women and men with a positive college experience by fostering an environment that is free of sexism and other forms of institutional and individual forms of oppression. From 2008-2013 Thibodaux worked as the Education and Outreach Director for the ACLU of Louisiana and was responsible for the general public education campaigns throughout the state of Louisiana. Her tasks included advancing LGBT equality and first amendment issues and fighting for reproductive justice and criminal justice reform. Thibodaux received her BA and JD from Loyola University New Orleans. She currently serves as a Board of Director for The Jim Collins Foundation and Forum for Equality of Louisiana. She is also a commissioner for the Human Relations Commission for the City of New Orleans. She enjoys living in New Orleans and all the music, history, and food it has to offer! Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler (Let the Good Times Roll)!
Reaghan Wainwright, Innovation Manager, City of New Orleans
Reaghan A. Wainwright is an Innovation Manager with the City of New Orleans’ Service and Innovation team. This team is a small group of five individuals from diverse professional backgrounds who serve as internal project managers/consultants for the Landrieu Administration, charged with identifying savings and additional revenues, while improving processes for the City of New Orleans. As an Innovation Manager, Ms. Wainwright’s goal is to help city departments, agencies, and employees at all levels realize their ability to innovate, and together, improve processes and affect policy with innovation and collaboration. Capacity building for individuals, communities, and organizations is the core foundation of Ms. Wainwrights’ work. Her focus is in government affairs and philanthropy, specifically in the areas of innovation, policy, grant writing, fundraising, project management, and overall organizational effectiveness. She’s worked in various industries including financial services, professional services, retail, nonprofit, and government. Past work experience includes Global Novations A Korn/Ferry Company, International Business Machines (IBM), Equifax Inc., and Bank of America. Reaghan is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. She actively volunteers with several local organizations and community programs including Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, A Sincere Foundation, New Orleans South African Connection (NOSACONN), Young Leadership Council (YLC), Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO), and Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans (EPNO).
Kiri Walton, Community Engagement Specialist, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Kiri Lanice Walton is a native of Nashville, Tenn. whose deepest yearning is to affect change in her community, from her neighborhood to her state overall. Since a young age, Kiri has possessed a talent and love for writing and for using this skill to inform others about injustices involving racial inequality. In high school, she became involved with her local chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice and even started an Embracing Diversity club at her school. She carried this zeal for bringing awareness to the issues of inequality and structural racism to her alma mater, the University of Florida, where she joined Gatorship– a group devoted to empower student ambassadors to help fight everyday iniquities. She went on to earn her master’s in community journalism as a Knight Foundation Fellow at the University of Alabama. She has worked in a variety of positions within the journalism industry, including three years in Atlanta as an editor for a handful of hyperlocal news websites owned by AOL. Most recently, she has worked as a community engagement specialist for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune where she implements strategies to grow audience and user engagement, as well as crafting social media messages that help readers reach articles on the site and build brand awareness. This spring, she participated in a Dialogue on Race Louisiana series, which establishes a space for people of all walks of life to discuss an array of issues of racism in Louisiana. As a New Leaders Council Louisiana member, she plans to learn new ways to use her skills and abilities to not just inform about injustices, but to help mitigate and eliminate them.
Daniel Williams, Director of Community Services, City of Alexandria
Daniel Williams was born on December 14, 1983 in Berkeley, CA to his parents the former Monica Joiner Williams and Pastor Henry Williams Jr. Along side the birth was Daniel's two older siblings Kristy Williams-Givens and David Williams. Daniel's parents divorced in 1988. In 1989 Pastor Henry Williams Jr. remarried to Ethel McCray and she gave birth to twin Jeremy and Cory. Ethel already had a daughter Jessica in which Daniel's father adopted. Daniel stayed in California to live with his father until 1998 when he moved to Louisiana with his mother, brother (David), and sister (Kristy). Daniel attended high school at Pineville High School, participating in multiple sports and civic groups. After high school Daniel received his education from Louisiana State University at Alexandria majoring in Communications and minoring in Political Science. While in college Daniel also worked for The Central LA Red Cross handling logistics for disaster sites. After college Daniel's first job was as the Specialty Leasing Coordinator for Jones Lang LaSalle a property management company that is the third party manger for the Alexandria Mall. During this time Daniel developed the bug for public office from a local sheriff race that he worked on. In 2012 Daniel ran for City Councilman At- Large for a city of 49,000 people. Although Daniel came up short this experience gave him insight into his future calling. After running Daniel was offered a job to lead the Division of Community Services for the City of Alexandria. Under Daniel's leadership, the Community Services Division has enacted numerous new initiatives and policies that has drastically changed the make-up of Alexandria. Daniel enjoys all things life, his goal is to positively affect every single individual he comes in contact with. The quote that defines him is, " Only a fool thinks he/she can change the world with one simple act of kindness. Well that's my kind of fool."