People to Watch has been a staple tradition for New Orleans Magazine for more than 40 years, and this year’s class is equally as stellar as years past. We define a Person to Watch as someone that is doing something new, innovating mainstream ideas and contributing in a meaningful way to the fabric of the […]
I know a woman who tells the story that when she was a little girl, a long time ago, her family had a ritual of having dinner at Commander’s Palace every Friday night. “Oh no,” she and her siblings complained, “not Commander’s again.” That was long before an element of the Brennan family took over […]
Many have expressed fear. Some have mentioned lack of dexterity. Others note they have no talent. Poppycock. You can do it. You can make superb cocktails at home, and that approach to quality drinking has become more necessary as our bar scene has become rather undependable in the current COVID-19 crisis. But making excellent drinks […]
A complaint I’ve heard throughout our long and wearing home isolation is: “I am so sick of cooking.” Even those of us who love cooking treasure nights out at favorite restaurants. At first, we had the joy of spring’s beautiful weather and the great outdoors of our own backyards. Then came the growing season with […]
New Orleans cuisine is often described as a melting pot where various influences converged to create a unique panoply of flavor. Typical descriptors fork broadly along two tines – Creole and Cajun. More generally, in toss-away phrasing, New Orleans cuisine is often referred to as a “gumbo.” But what is gumbo? One of our most-heralded […]
Buying a house is more than just a purchase; it’s about finding the right place that you can call home. Connecting with the right professionals to make your dream a reality is a big step in one of the most important decisions you will make. New Orleans Magazine turned to the Michigan-based firm of Professional […]
While quarantined, local realtor Francesca Brennan put her professional expertise into action for a personal matter. She and her husband purchased a new home – one that offers ample outdoor space and a place where the couple’s two kids – ages three and five – can focus on distance learning. “We thought it would be […]
Not long after spouses Scott Chapman and Troy Richard moved into their third residence together, Scott had a revelation. The two had been drawn to the open floor plan and high ceilings of the house built in 2014, but the white box simplicity of the interior didn’t relay the cozy comfort that they favor. “We […]
On March 13, while driving home from our last normal day and staving off panic, I told Ruby, “This is all going to be fine; we just need a good, solid schedule.” The next day, while my kids slept in, I made myself a nice strong cup of coffee and set about making this schedule. […]
Remember how you used to go to kids’ recitals? Your family would send an advance group – a couple of cousins, maybe – to get there real early and sit up front and scatter stuff (a coat, a hat, a scarf, an umbrella, whatever) across all the adjacent seats in front to reserve them for when […]
The theme of this issue of the magazine is an annual feature called “People to Watch.” It’s a fairly common offering in city magazines like this, along the lines of “Best Restaurants” or “Best Doctors,” etc. But I particularly favor people to watch. People watching is my favorite hobby, actually. They’re not as colorful or […]
Remember when we could all travel? Before a global pandemic interrupted spring and summer travel – or basically travel for the foreseeable future – Jessica Fender and Kerry Maloney took their love of exploration and turned it into a colorful, vibrant and entertaining look at the world and the Big Easy in the form of […]
Dear Julia, My grandmother grew up in the River Parishes and often mentioned riding the old rural ferry boats. She enjoyed the actual ride between Luling and Destrehan, but the wooden boarding ramps were scary to a little country girl growing up in the 1920s. She said the boat was called the “Victor”. Can you […]
Briquette Briquette-Nola.com 701 South Peters St., New Orleans 504-302-7496 Briquette features contemporary coastal cuisine, with a touch of creole. Make your reservation now and join us for our 5-Course September Spirited Dinner, featuring Appleton Estate Rum, $125 per person All-inclusive. Reserve our Private Wine Room for birthdays, showers, family & friend gatherings! Galatoire’s […]
As families across New Orleans navigate the uncharted waters of a 2020-2021school-year—whether in-person or through virtual classes—one thing is certain: the show must go on. Education continues to be a top priority for citywide families, and area schools are taking the steps necessary to make sure children are receiving the instruction so integral to healthy […]
Throughout 2020, the draw of the great outdoors has continued to pull Louisiana families out of their homes and into the beautiful landscapes that surround the region. From warm, sandy beaches to sweeping views of rural fields, rivers, and lakes, the Gulf South and Mississippi Delta provide a wide range of experiences. Even city’s offer […]
It’s fair to say we’ve been spending a lot of time around the house these days. For some people, all of this time at home has inspired a desire to improve their living space, whether through a renovation or a move. The challenges of this year have given homeowners the perfect excuse to engage in […]
Whether a bold painting that strikes a chord or a cultural experience that connects you to something bigger than yourself, the feelings and emotions evoked by art or culture help us find joy and fulfillment, making our days brighter or more meaningful. New Orleans is known for being a city that highlights well its arts […]
In 2016, Shannon joined the New Orleans startup WiseMove. In four years the flat-fee brokerage firm has handled over 200 transactions and saved clients over $1M in commissions. For Shannon, “Being a Realtor isn’t about the money; it’s about getting people into their dream home. Our business model and incredible team allow me to focus […]
Tom is uniquely qualified to provide buyers and sellers assistance with single family homes, bank owned assets, investment properties, multi-unit complexes, and commercial transactions. FAST FACT Fixed mortgages are now between 2-3%, the lowest in almost 50 years. unitedrealestatepartners.com 504-305-4930 3330 Veterans Blvd. Ste. C, Metairie
For 20 years, Tiffany has helped both residents and businesses make fresh starts by locating and securing the perfect property for their needs. FAST FACT: More than a realtor, Tiffany is a commercial property manager, former superintendent, and mother. berkshirehathawayhs.com 985-951-2324 1321 West Causeway Approach
Matthew Grass isn’t just passionate about buying and selling homes, he’s passionate about creating a sustainable future for New Orleans’ real estate market. That’s why he founded The Agency, a brokerage designed to create successes for buyers and sellers by providing agents with the top tools of the trade, the latest in market information, and […]
Terrence loves helping clients maximize their property’s image and comfort. In 2018, he ranked in the top five Keller Williams agents nationally for units sold. FAST FACT: A former pro basketball player, Terrence offers a personable nature and competitive edge. terrencedavis.yourkwagent.com 504-450-9003 8601 Leake Ave New Orleans
Gardner Realtors Sam Poché and Jennifer Saltaformaggio formed Team Right Side, benefitting clients by combining their collective skills & resources. Along with Beth Dunkenberger, Brett Massony, & Jolene Woods, Sam & Jennifer provide clients with well-rounded expertise & integrity that has earned the team citywide respect. Team Right Side offers expert negotiating, problem-solving, & efficiency […]
With nearly 30 years of experience, Lynda is a top-ranked producer who offers trusted advice, proven results, and a reputation built on integrity and respect. FAST FACT: A former behavioral health executive, Lynda loves helping clients succeed emotionally and financially. email@example.com 504-583-8207 622 1/2 Pirates Alley, New Orleans
Whether a historic New Orleans home or the perfect vacation property, Rae has the background and experience to make your real estate dream a reality. FAST FACT: Previous lender and appraisal analyst experience contribute to Rae’s 14-year, top-tier realtor success. reverealtors.com 504-908-9155 1477 Louisiana Ave #101
Gary takes pride in guiding clients throughout the buying and selling process, helping them set expectations that provide for a seamless, surprise-less real estate transaction. FAST FACT: Gary’s construction background informs his ability to guide clients when viewing a property. garylazarus.com 504-382-2603 8001 Maple Street
From historic properties in the French Quarter, Marigny, and Bywater to development sales in the CBD and Warehouse District, Realtor Patrick Knudsen is well versed in the variety of properties and neighborhoods New Orleans offers. A former business owner, Patrick brings excellent communication and sales experience to every project, complemented by his genuine enthusiasm for […]
With 30+ years of experience helping people purchase homes and rebuild communities, Pam is one of the most passionate, caring loan officers you’ll ever meet. FAST FACT Pam stays up-to-date on available programs and grants, and voluntarily teaches community classes. gulfbank.com 504-561-1307 8216 West Judge Perez Drive
With a military family, Erika Buxton knows well the complexities of buying and selling under specific timelines, and she became a realtor to help others—whether military or civilian—navigate the real estate market effectively and efficiently. Erika’s flexibility and understanding of each client’s different needs make her an ideal choice for helping find the perfect home […]
The Nola Lending Group Southshore Team is led by experienced professionals Joey Piel, Ryan Thomassie, and Mark Boasberg. In addition to their management and Vice President duties, they also hold the top producer spots for Nola Lending, a division of Fidelity Bank. The leaders contribute their success to unwavering commitment to world class client service […]
While many realtors can say they are passionate and enthusiastic, few put in the countless hours that Liz Tardo and Melissa McClendon dedicate to their clients. Owners of NOLA Home Realty Group, Liz and Melissa are known for their tireless work ethic and excellence at getting the job done—whether listing or buying—with ease and efficiency. […]
An exceptional and smooth client experience is what buyers and sellers in today’s market want, and that’s exactly what Michael Lester of MDL Homes & MDL Luxury is known for delivering. Michael loves helping people begin their next chapter and offers a detailed, comprehensive approach that covers it all—not only does he offer expertise in […]
A well-versed team with specialized certifications, Michelle Soliman, Sara Richards, and Corinne Pagano are nationally recognized REALTORS® who can simplify and navigate your real estate transaction with compassion and skill. Licensed in La., A member of the franchise system of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Each office individually owned and operated. Fast Facts: Backgrounds in marketing, advertising, […]
Glennda Bach’s passion for helping clients and her incomparable willingness to go the extra mile is the reason she’s a record-shattering Latter & Blum REALTOR®. FAST FACT Evidence of her client dedication, Glennda sold over $18.4M in February 2020 alone. glenndabach.latter-blum.com 504-583-2792 200 Broadway Street #142 st.
When taking advantage of today’s historically low rates, choose a loan officer with the know-how to help you achieve your financial goals. As Branch Manager and Senior Loan Officer with GMFS Mortgage, Stephanie Machado Barto is well versed in conventional mortgages, refinancing, construction/renovation loans, and other services. A verified Top Producer, Stephanie has been consistently […]
Since 2005, Lara Schultz has focused on building dreams and rebuilding local communities. Since Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans native has contributed to the rebuilding efforts across St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes and developed extensive expertise in first-time homebuyers, new construction with an emphasis on rebuilding neighborhoods, and investment property. Fast Facts: Lara’s most recent […]
With 17 years of mortgage experience, Jordan Gerard has served in every capacity, including CEO; however, his passion is helping his community with home finances. FAST FACT: A veteran himself, Jordan takes extra pride in helping other veterans achieve homeownership. jordangerardmortgageteam.com 985-545-6501 19500 Helenburg Suite #D, Covington
Jeannine Relf is known for going the extra mile—on referrals alone, she’s enjoyed a more than 20-year career in helping clients find their perfect New Orleans home or sell the one they’ve outgrown. A New Orleans native, Jeannine knows the city like no other. She is a Multi-Million Dollar Producer that appeared on HGTV’s Property […]
At only 29, Hillory Hracek has developed a reputation as a top loan originator thanks to her reliable, caring, fast, and professional approach to securing loans and making home ownership a reality for people across Southeastern Louisiana. Known for her flexibility and availability, she helps clients understand the process every step of the way. Despite […]
With 60 years of history, Eustis Mortgage is a time-honored New Orleans area provider of home loans with a specialized, client-focused team of loan officers. The company was founded in 1956, when two determined loan officers decided the best way to provide service was to form a sustainable, long-term team that would benefit clients with […]
Engel & Völkers New Orleans provides a real estate experience fit for the Big Easy—combining the company’s core values of competence, exclusivity, and passion with local New Orleans flair, its team of advisors creates an authentic and bespoke experience tailored to each client. Locally owned and globally connected, the brokerage allows for meticulous, white-glove service […]
Elizabeth McNulty and Jennifer Cohn Nierman want your experience buying or selling to be as luxurious as the property itself. With careful attention to detail, vast market knowledge, and an expansive network, they ensure a streamlined, stress-free transaction. New Orleans Luxury Living is known for assisting clients in every aspect of home ownership, from […]
Stacie understands that buying a home is a life change, not a mere transaction. Skillful and communicative, she gets the home of your dreams on the right terms. Fast Fact: Stacie delivers results, not excuses—her dynamic approach garnered a Top 100 rating. staciecarubba.com 504-434-7653 118 W. Harrison Ave., #301, New Orleans
An in-depth knowledge of New Orleans, 20+ years of experience in the mortgage business, and excellent service sets Edwards apart as a trustworthy lender. Fast Fact: Edwards constantly searches for better loan products to help clients obtain their dream. assurancemortgage.com 504-523-5740 2800 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 214, Metairie
Your guide to the dining, entertainment, lifestyle, culture and people of New Orleans from the trusted editors of New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Home, New Orleans Bride, and St. Charles Avenue.
People to Watch has been a staple tradition for New Orleans Magazine for more than 40 years, and this year’s class is equally as stellar as years past. We define a Person to Watch as someone that is doing something new, innovating mainstream ideas and contributing in a meaningful way to the fabric of the New Orleans community.¶ As always, the only problem is narrowing the field of nominees. New Orleans always has many candidates that would be a welcome contribution to our list. We will keep watching them, and we hope you will keep watching our 2020 class as they continue to excel.
"This is the beginnings of me giving back to my country and helping women."
While growing up in Kenya, Sophia Omoro’s mother, a seamstress, would occasionally bring home a piece of fabric and ask her six daughters what they wanted her to make for them. ¶ “I’d immediately start thinking of ideas for how I could distinguish myself from the others,” said Omoro, who said she’d start making up crude sketches of designs. “It’s in my blood.” ¶ That love for fashion stayed in her blood when she moved to North America for her higher education, including an M.D. and Ph.D. at Tulane University, and during the nine years she spent as a head and neck surgeon. Then, in late 2015, Omoro lost her sister, Lily. ¶ “She was only 46 and it made me realize our length of time on earth is not promised,” she said.¶ Returning to her first love, Omoro began odAomo, designing clothes and having them made in Kenya, where she opened her second shop in 2017 — her first is at 839 Chartres St.¶ “This is the beginnings of me giving back to my country,” said Odomo, “and helping women everywhere.”
Who Inspires You?
Bivian “Sonny” Lee III
"It's so important that they know we're there for them."
The program Sonny Lee began on Jan. 1, 2011 with the goal of transforming the lives of boys who have lost their fathers to death or incarceration, is almost the same age as the youngest of the boys it helps. But before Son of a Saint celebrates its birthday there’s a lot of work to be done — work that’s been made even more difficult during COVID-19. ¶ “We’ve provided over 10,000 meals so far,” said Lee. “We wanted to make sure we could feed not only our boys that needed it during this difficult time, but their whole families.” ¶ The organization has also given out approximately 50 laptops and provided tutoring to boys in need. ¶ “Right now [the boys] are really watching to see who is stepping up and supporting them when their families really need it,” said Lee. “For me, it’s so important that they know we’re there for them. That’s something they’ll pass along.”
"I love what I do for so many reasons. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories."
Crista Rock picked up her first camera when she was five years old. The rest is history. ¶ Captivated by storytelling in all its forms, Rock’s every photo, film and mural is another opportunity to capture the stories and struggles of New Orleanians. Her impressive resume includes collaborations with the Business Council of New Orleans, the NFL Network and, most recently, a series of public service announcements produced with NOLA Ready and Homeland Security. ¶ “I love what I do for so many reasons. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories,” Rock says. “I love being in the middle of whatever is going on, when it’s going on.” ¶ Even before founding her production company, Rock was refining her skills as an artist and storyteller through her photojournalism work. It was during her coverage of Hurricane Katrina that her commitment to celebrating and strengthening the city’s spirit was solidified, setting her on a path that is just as much a personal identity as it is a career. ¶ “Without this passion, I wouldn’t know what else to do or how else to be. I’m excited to keep going.”
What Does Being a Part of the New Orleans Community Mean to You?
Allison Shapiro Dandry
“I want to make a difference in as many lives as I can, whether they’re two-legged or four-legged."
Whatever project she’s taking on — innovating social media for international brands, serving on the LA-SPCA Board of Directors, or volunteering with the Junior League of New Orleans — you can bet Allison Shapiro Dandry is doing it with passion. ¶ After obtaining her master’s degree in neuroscience, Dandry spent several years working in scientific research before pivoting to sales, then to marketing and brand management, before finally stepping into her role as Director of Marketing & Technology at her family business, Krispy Krunchy Chicken. But what might seem like disparate accomplishments to the untrained eye is actually a unified, deep-rooted commitment to giving back. ¶ “Doing good in the community is my biggest passion and overall goal,” Dandry says. So far, that has included fostering more than 30 animals, raising over $250,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and providing hot meals to frontline workers in the wake of natural disasters. ¶ “I want to make a difference in as many lives as I can, whether they’re two-legged or four-legged,” she says. “I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life.”
L. Kamisu Harris
"I am a steward of a culinary tradition by Black people too often overlooked."
L. Kasimu Harris is an award-winning photographer, artist and writer. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, NPR and The Bitter Southerner. This year, his work appears in State of the Art 2020 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a solo exhibit at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh, and he is a 2020 Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence. ¶ While Harris’ food writing started out as a business, it has grown into a purpose-driven craft. ¶ “After graduate school, I basically took almost every opportunity that came my way,” he said. “Now, when I write about food, it’s much more intentional. I know I’m a steward of a culinary tradition by Black people too often overlooked and told from a Black perspective too few times.” ¶ Photography and visual art also remains a passion that Harris continues to create and grow. ¶ “In graduate school, [a professor] had me and a few other students come to New Orleans, 45 days after [Hurricane Katrina]. That trip was my foundation as a visual storyteller. Then, I [learned] how to go deep with stories and how to shape a visual narrative. Since then, it’s been a lot of looking at images and asking questions from mentors and peers. I’m not ashamed to ask how to do something, even now.”
What are You Looking Forward to Doing or a Place to Visit After COVID-19?
"I think of them as more than just perfumes, but as an object of ritual and self-care.”
For Kathleen Currie, owner of Smoke Perfume & Co., scents are more than just aromas. Launched in 2013, her perfumes provide a unique experience for each user, with an eye towards mindfulness of the body and the environment. ¶ “My scents are all unisex and 100 percent natural,” she said. “The world of natural perfume is growing as the green beauty movement evolves, and I’m proud to be at the forefront of the natural perfume movement. I think of them as more than just perfumes, but as an object of ritual and self-care.”¶ Originally from Belize, with family from New Orleans, Currie works out of her Bywater studio, and embraces travel, nature and the city of New Orleans as inspirations to her scents. ¶ “Jumping into the world of essential oil-based scent felt like a natural extension of my interests,” she said. “I liked the idea of creating a scent that connected you to your own power and breath. The idea of it growing into a company came later and after much trial and error.” ¶ Smoke Perfume can be found in stores locally, nationally and online, as well as the company’s newly opened brick and mortar space inside The Good Shop off Magazine Street.
"Doing double duty was much more than I had anticipated."
There are no shortage of mysteries in New Orleans. Journalist Thanh Truong has taken on some of the city’s most intriguing stories, becoming one of the most trusted sources for news and information. ¶ Recently, Truong moved from his job reporting for WWLTV to his own true crime podcast, “New Orleans Unsolved,” and then back again during COVID-19. ¶ “Doing double duty was much more than I had anticipated,” he said. ¶ Truong launched the podcast with his wife, Anna Christie. For Truong, it allowed him the chance to tell a story in a much bigger way than with on-air reporting.¶“Television reporting calls for brevity. In podcasting, there’s more room to expand a script and the people involved in the case or story. We were looking to take on a creative challenge and New Orleans Unsolved was it.” ¶ Truong knows there are more stories to share ¶ “Sadly, there is no shortage of unsolved cases in southeast Louisiana. We are currently looking into several.Much of the future rests with finding sponsors and ways to fund the production. That was a challenge in the first season,” he said.
What's Your Favorite New Orleans Restaurant?
"I am incredibly proud at how everyone at Touro and LCMC Health have come together."
On July 9, 2019, Manuel Linares was named the new CEO of Touro hospital. Taking on the leading role at a metropolitan hospital in the midst of a global pandemic has not been easy, but Linares said the challenge has had a silver lining. ¶ “I am incredibly proud at how everyone at Touro and LCMC Health have come together,” he said. “Employees have been volunteering for extra shifts and taking on extra duties and procedures and it’s honestly felt like a family. The experience has made us more integrated as a hospital and a system.” ¶ Looking outside of COVID-19, Linares said one of Touro’s largest initiatives currently lies in senior care. ¶ “The Baby Boomer population is expected to grow by 27 percent in the next five years in our service area, and we are positioning ourselves to meet their needs by expanding services, including in cardiology and oncology. I’m proud to say Touro is the first hospital in the state to have a level two geriatric emergency department — the highest level of accreditation for emergency senior care.”
"It’s important they have the support they need.”
For low-income and persons of color in greater New Orleans who want to make their dreams of growing a business a reality, Fund 17 is a smart first step. ¶ Focused on “turning hustles into livelihoods” since 2012, the nonprofit provides access to funding, business services and workspace to entrepreneurs. ¶ “We work generally with low-revenue, low-income ventures with under $150,000 in business revenue,” explains Fund 17’s Executive Director Antonio Alonzo, who previously worked negotiating license agreements with digital media company TurboSquid before joining Fund 17 as its community coordinator in 2017. In July of 2019, he was officially made the organization’s executive director. ¶ Fund 17’s small but mighty staff includes two full-time employees, seven contractors who serve as business case managers and a robust internship program. During COVID-19, Alonzo has led the team to convert all the nonprofit’s services to digital platforms and planned and relaunched a capital ready program. ¶ “Low-revenue businesses typically have less to rely on,” said Alonzo, “so it’s important they have the support they need.”
What's Your Favorite Mardi Gras Parade?
“My journey to preserve and document culture led me around the world, but the stories of New Orleans, where my paternal lineage is from, gives me the passion to keep doing what I do.”
Lose the measuring cups and tablespoons — when you’re in the kitchen with Zella Palmer, cooking is about feeling, a creative process that relies on intuition rather than weights and measurements. ¶ Palmer calls this “vibrational” cooking, and it’s a method she carries into her work as an author, educator and food historian. In each role, her primary mission is to preserve Black, Native American and Latino culinary history in New Orleans while amplifying unheard voices within those foodways. ¶ “My journey to preserve and document culture led me around the world,” Palmer says, “but the stories of New Orleans, where my paternal lineage is from, gives me the passion to keep doing what I do.” ¶ At Dillard University, Palmer is Chair and Director of the Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture. While educating students about existing careers in the food and culture industries, she works hard to open new doors along the way. ¶ “My goal is to create more opportunities for youth in restaurant management, food policy, agriculture and ownership, with more opportunities for New Orleanians to own their stories on major media platforms.”
"The food, the recipes, the stories, they can’t be separated.”
Melissa Martin wears many hats. Restauranteur, chef, writer, storyteller are just a few. When Martin opened her restaurant, The Mosquito Supper Club, in 2014, the goal was to bring real Cajun cooking, inspired by her upbringing along the bayous of south Louisiana, to a new audience. ¶ “There wasn’t a lot of Cajun food available in New Orleans, and there certainly wasn’t a woman cooking Cajun food,” she said. "I wanted people in New Orleans and visitors to experience it.” ¶ She also wanted to tell the bigger story of Cajun culture, cuisine, fishing and farming that she grew up with. From there her more-than-just-a-cookbook cookbook was born. Her passion, can be seen, felt and tasted on the pages of “Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou.” The book was named a Best New Cookbook of Spring 2020 by “Bon Appétit,” “Food & Wine,” Epicurious and more. ¶ “My passion was always in fishing and farming, and cooking included all those things, as well as art. The food, the recipes, the stories, they can’t be separated.”
What's Your Favorite New Orleans Festival?
Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes
"It’s my fate to be here doing this work, addressing the same thing they ran away from."
Serving as a leader for change and social justice is more than just a calling for Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes — it’s a legacy that extends generations into her lineage. Her parents were Black Panthers, her grandfather was a founder of the Head Start education program, and even further back were ancestors who escaped enslavement in Louisiana. ¶ “It’s my fate to be here doing this work, addressing the same thing they ran away from,” Ecclesiastes says. “I know they see me now, protect me and guide my path.” ¶ That path has taken Ecclesiastes through an education at Vanderbilt University, several years as the Congo Square Coordinator for Jazz Fest, Director for Strategic Neighborhood Development with New Orleans Business Alliance, and most recently to Ashé Cultural Arts Center, where she’s the Executive Director of Efforts of Grace. Through it all, she’s channeled the power of art and community to guide people’s minds, spirits and hearts, as well as to restore opportunity and funding to underprivileged culture bearers. ¶ “I take so much pride and glory in this moment. This is my life’s mission.”