We are thrilled to present the “Business Hall of Fame Gala” presented by Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, Inc. on our cover this month!  They honor local businessmen and women who have embraced the spirit of entrepreneurship, have achieved extraordinary success in business and serve as role models for others. Thanks to our cover models: Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Walter E Blessey Jr., Chairman and CEO, Blessey Marine Services; Honoree Barry Kern, President and CEO, Kern Studios and Mardi Gras World; Chair Marty A. Meyer, President and CEO of Stirling Properties; and Title Sponsors Vincent Giardina and Lisa Romano of The Oscar Tolmas Trust.

The gala will be Thursday, May 16, at the Ritz-Carlton, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and expect fabulous cocktails and dinner. The other 2019 Laureates are: Lynne A. Burkart, Director, Postlethwaite & Netterville; Dennis Lauscha, President, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans; Curtis A. Pellerin, President Pellerin Laundry, Machinery and James W. Pellerin, Chairman and CEO, Pellerin Milnor Corporation; David M. Rubenstein, President, Rubensteins; and Allen Square, Founder and CEO, Square Button. I know you’ll want to support this amazing organization, so call 569-8658. Individual tickets are $350, or you can have a table for $3,500 or $5,000. This charity inspires and prepares young people to successfully participate in our economy through workforce readiness, entrpreneurship and financial literacy.

GiveNOLA Day,” an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is a one-day online giving event. For 24 hours, everyone who loves our region can support their favorite local causes by donating to one of more of 700+ participating nonprofit organizations. Last year’s event raised nearly $5.6 million from nearly 49,000 donations around the world. Learn more at GiveNOLA.org.

Meaghan Bonavita, who locally founded Dress for Success, wants you to attend their event “Suits and Salads” on May 10. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Dress for Success New Orleans. The 10th annual “Suits and Salads Luncheon” will be held Friday, May 10. The event will be honoring the founder of DFSNO, Hope Encalade, and will feature a moving speech by the Client of the Year Shametria Gonzales. Joi Gordon, DFS Worldwide CEO, will be in attendance and will deliver the keynote speech. The proceeds from the luncheon will go to meet their goal of serving more than 400 local women in 2019, and to sustain the four programs offered by DFSNO: Suiting, Professional Women’s Group, Career Center and Mentoring. For more information and to purchase a ticket, call 891-4337.

We are excited as always to bring you our fabulous wedding feature, which will inspire you and give you wonderful ideas! Thanks to Victoria Michelle Cambise and Aaron Michael Williams; Katie Ann Deshautreaux and Alvin Adam “Pepper” Baumer III; Caroline Alder Kappelman and Nigel Bruce Rafferty; Melissa Manget Lyman and Hansford Perdue Wogan; and Charlotte Anais Young and Robert Merritt Henry for sharing your weddings with us!

Our column What’s Hot for Hostess Gifts offers you options aimed to impress beyond the usual baked goods.

Last but not least, please review our Registry of Charitable Events: May-August. We are the clearing house for all of your fundraising events to keep from competing with another gala on the same night, and if you don’t see your event there, please fill out our online nonprofit events form now: MyNewOrleans.com/CharitableEvent.

Have a great start to the summer vacation and be safe!

Bev's Note




Beverly Reese Church



Bev's Note

“The American Spirit Awards” presented by Hancock Whitney is an annual multiday celebration at The National WWII Museum that celebrates individuals and organizations whose work reflects the values and spirit of those who served our country during World War II and throughout history. Pictured here are the 2018 Honorees.

Sponsors and patrons of the American Spirit Awards will begin their experience in New Orleans on May 22 at a Patron Reception presented by Acadian Ambulance Services at the Windsor Court Hotel. On the following day, May 23, activities will continue with the “American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum” in partnership with Stephens, where the 2019 American Spirit Medallion and Silver Service Medallion honorees will receive their awards and share their stories of success with Billy Michal Student Leadership Award recipients – a group of high school scholars from across the country who demonstrate the American spirit in their communities. The awards presentation gala and seated dinner will begin at 6 p.m. the same evening, where specialty menu items will be prepared by Susan Spicer.

Proceeds from the events will support educational programming at The National WWII Museum, including the ongoing development of classroom materials and professional-development opportunities for teachers in schools across the country, as well as online experiences that bring the museum and its resources to students around the world.

For American Spirit Awards ticket information and additional event details, visit AmericanSpiritAwards.org or call 528-1944 extension 334.