Ileana Suquet
Volunteer, Owner, Ily Designs

 

Education: Ward Melville High School in New York; Business Degree from Fordham University; MBA, University of Miami.
Family: Husband, José; sons Joseph, 25 and Jonathan, 23.
Mentors: My husband

 

Ileana Suquet made New Orleans her home one month before Hurricane Katrina hit. Her husband was offered a job in the city and Suquet moved from New York to New Orleans after visiting just once before. After Katrina, her commitment was unwavering, and she made
a conscious decision to embrace the city and
help it heal.
Suquet immediately joined the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, where she helps raise money for scholarships for deserving students. The former banker and realtor also sits on the board of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and works with the Greater New Orleans Foundation. She designs jewelry through her company, Ily Designs and has donated many pieces for charity auctions in New Orleans.

 

Why volunteer? I have the time, and I have the wherewithal; that’s important. And I made a conscious decision that this will be my home, and I’m passionate about my family. As long as I have
the energy to make things better, I will.

 

Why is funding education so important? I grew up with Cuban parents who really believed in education. Within the Cuban community, many realized when they had to leave everything behind, the one thing they didn’t leave behind was their education.

 

How did you get into making jewelry? I had a friend in New York who wanted to take a beading class and she didn’t want to do it alone. I would stay up all hours doing it because it was so relaxing. We had a show, and I ended up getting 10 orders.

 

What is your proudest accomplishment? It’s a great feeling to see a child go up on stage and receive a scholarship because of your efforts. Also with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to hear that beautiful music and know that it’s here because we’re working hard to have it here.

 

Are you a Saints fan? I went to the first home game after Katrina, and I was instantly smitten. The noise, the enthusiasm, the love and the hope that this team gave the city was surreal. It reminded me of the Yankees in 2001 after 9/11 — something positive people can hold on to.

 

iBERIABANK is proud to present a series of profiles featuring entrepreneurs, volunteer activists and artists whose work is making a difference. As iBERIABANK continues to make significant investments in our community, this special feature focuses on a few individuals who are doing the same.

While we can not include everyone who is inspiring change and worthy of recognition, we are proud to highlight a select few who give tirelessly to our community with their time, energy and passion.

 

Ileana Suquet