I was recently asked to put together a short bio of my work, my education and background, hobbies, etc. The last question asked was “what is a quote that speaks to you about leadership?” I thought about words from favorite writers of mine, female leaders throughout the years, family members and artists. But one woman leaped to mind; a person who is beloved by pretty much everyone. The writer, musician, the icon Dolly Parton, who said, “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” I can’t think of anything more iconic than leaving a legacy of inspiration for future leaders.

Those words resonated as we put together our annual May women’s issue in which we feature our 2022 class of Top Female Achievers. We highlight 11 leaders from across New Orleans. Each are actively working, leading and, indeed, inspiring from backgrounds as diverse as education, business, conservation, literature and sports. Each of our female achievers are actively working to create her own legacy through impactful changes across the community. One day we may even be quoting them alongside Dolly.

In addition to honoring these leaders, we encourage our readers to honor themselves with a  self-care routine to rebuild and renew. Everyday life, and the stresses that come with it, can take its toll on the body and mind, and we have your first aid kit for repairing your soul, for building strength both inside and out, and pampering your body – a prescription we all need to fill.

Late spring is a glorious time to be in New Orleans. Festival season is in full swing. Flowers are blooming everywhere. The weather hasn’t become stifling…yet. And there’s so much to do and see. It’s a great time to put on some music, whether it’s Dolly or New Orleans’ own Irma or Tank, and dance like no one is watching. To quote another female leader and entertainer: 

“If you can dance and be free and not be embarrassed, you can rule the world.” – Amy Poehler.


Ashley McLellan, Editor