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As the organization’s President, Kristen Cocke Koppel leads the 2017-2018 League Year for the Junior League of New Orleans. She provides responsible and effective guidance for the Board of Directors and staff in addition to presiding over meetings of the Board, Joint Council, and General Membership and serving as the organization’s official spokesperson. With enthusiasm for improvement, she assists the Board in confirming goals and tasks at the beginning of each year and in evaluating and recommending paths for the future.
As a member for more than 11 years, most of Kristen’s JLNO experience has been on the Community and Planning & Development councils. She previously served on the Board as the Communications Council Director, where she oversaw the organization’s communications, including publications, public relations, advertising, social media and archives. She has taken the training aspect of JLNO’s mission to heart and has focused her efforts on learning how a nonprofit operates and how it can best improve the community. The placements that have allowed her to learn the most about JLNO were Project Evaluation Chair, Project Development Chair, and Fundraiser Evaluation and Steering Chair. These provided valuable feedback to the Board but also allowed members to give their input on the current and future projects. She enjoys helping JLNO constantly evolve with new ideas and bringing members together.
Originally from Fairhope, Alabama, Kristen now resides in Uptown New Orleans with her husband Woody Koppel and their three children: George (10), Elizabeth “Bitsy” (8) and Charlotte (4). Her grandmother, Elizabeth “Betty” Collins Driscoll, is her greatest inspiration. She instilled in Kristen a desire to always give back and think of others. She grew up watching Betty volunteer in the local schools, church and hospital. One of Betty’s many talents is needlepoint and sewing. Many years ago, she noticed that premature babies in the local hospital needed caps to fit their tiny heads, so she began knitting hats for all the babies in the NICU. It was just one of the many ways Kristen’s grandmother gave back over the years. At 94 years old, she continues to amaze with her energy and commitment to many organizations for which she continues to volunteer.
Kristen has developed her professional career through positions that require an attention to detail, exceptional listening skills and expert client service. After graduating from College of Charleston, in Charelston, S.C. with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management, Kristen gained hospitality, recruiting and academic experience. She currently works as a Real Estate agent for Valmont Realtors and manages the rental portfolio for Valmont Properties. In addition to her career and service to JLNO, Kristen also volunteers for nonprofits whose missions are to help and educate children. This includes the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Children’s Hospital, Hermann-Grima, Longue Vue House and Gardens, and her children’s schools, Lusher Elementary and Les Enfants at Trinity Episcopal School. She enjoys snow skiing, exercising, gluten-free cooking and traveling with her family.