Leadership is not an innate, static quality. It is a skill we constantly refine by serving in community with one another. The Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) draws its membership from established leaders and women eager to make their mark across Greater New Orleans. The slate of women comprising the 2020-2021 JLNO Board of Directors reflect both of these characteristics, combining a group of talented individuals with diverse experiences and giving them the opportunity to learn from one another as they pursue our shared mission: promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Each woman brings valuable and varied perspectives to the table, fostering an environment to guide their meaningful dialogue towards inevitable success. Their collaboration over the coming year will collectively contribute to the League’s legacy and shape the organization’s impact in ways that have yet to be imagined.
Kristin Van Hook Moore
As the organization’s President, Kristin Van Hook Moore leads the 2020-2021 League year for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO), providing strong guidance for the Board of Directors and JLNO staff. She will preside over meetings of the Board, Joint Council and General Membership while also acting as the organization’s official spokesperson. Dedicated to assisting the Board in establishing goals for the upcoming year, Kristin is excited about the League’s future.
Having first joined the Junior League in Pensacola after completing her medical fellowship, Kristin wanted to become involved in her community and meet people outside of work. She transferred from Florida in 2011 and has spent her nine years in JLNO serving in a variety of leadership roles, including Business Council Director, Nominating Committee Chair, Vice-Chair of the Community Affairs Committee and most recently as the 2019-2020 President-Elect. She enjoys collaborating with other women and working to improve the community while still having fun. Through the organization, Kristin has learned about fields such as development and communications, which she admits she would not have been exposed to in her career as a physician. Most importantly, she learned how to be an effective board member and has been able to use those skills to serve other organizations.
Kristin received her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees from LSU Health Science Center and currently serves as a Staff Pediatric Pulmonologist at Ochsner Medical Center. She completed her pediatrics training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and her fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology at Texas Children’s Hospital. She received a Chest Foundation Young Investigator Award in 2005 for translational research. Prior to coming to Ochsner, she worked at Nemours Children’s Clinic in Pensacola serving as Chair of Pediatric Pulmonology and as Cystic Fibrosis Center Director from 2006-2011. She also served as Children’s Medical Assessment Team Medical Director for Region One in the state of Florida. Kristin’s other current board positions include Membership Committee Chairperson for the Ursuline Academy Board of Trustees, Board Member of Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans and House Corporation Board President of Rho Chapter of Chi Omega Fraternity.
As a resident of Uptown, Kristin loves the sense of place that people who live in New Orleans have and how much the people here enjoy living life. She and her husband, Dr. Brian Moore, are parents to nine-year-old twin boys, Finnegan and Liam. When asked who inspires her, Kristin tells the story of a mother of one of her patients from when she worked in Florida. She was a single mother of five living in a rural area and had her own set of health problems to battle. She provided the best possible care for her children going to great lengths to do what she felt was best for them. One year, this woman lost her home to a fire right before Christmas, and even in the face of such turmoil, she still managed to remain positive. Whenever Kristin starts to feel overwhelmed, she thinks of that mother and realizes she certainly has the strength to keep going.
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Shannon Brice begins a two-year period on the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors as the President-Elect. During the 2020-2021 League year, she will assist the President in her duties as Chief Executive Officer and will assume those responsibilities if the President is unable to serve during her term. Shannon will become JLNO’s President for the 2021-2022 League year beginning June 1, 2021. This two-year term exemplifies JLNO’s emphasis on training and learning. Her experiences in this role provide opportunities for Shannon to thoughtfully prepare for the years ahead, ensuring her tenure maximizes community impact. During the President-Elect year, she will study JLNO’s governance documents, policies, procedures and best practices, thus allowing her to emulate previous leaders by ensuring a sustainable and impactful future.
Shannon joined JLNO in 2012 and has chaired JLNO’s Touch a Truck, Freret 5K and Strategic Parternship committes. She came to the Junior League to partner with women who wanted to develop a stronger community. That volunteer commitment is what she likes most about JLNO, and she appreciates how all its members work together to learn from one another. This collaboration creates thoughtful initiatives and robust goals. Through her JLNO service, Shannon has learned that, despite coming from diverse backgrounds, women share the same ultimate goals of being happy, residing in safe communities and making New Orleans a wonderful place to live and work.
As the Chief Financial Officer for Richard’s Disposal Inc., Shannon is responsible for managing the financial risk of the corporation as well as financial planning and market data analysis. Prior to joining Richard’s Disposal, Shannon was the Program and Commodities Supervisor at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). In that position, she was responsible for several Supply Chain programs. Prior to joining PG&E, she held several different positions at Entergy Corporation, including Supplier Diversity Specialist, Lead Analyst in Supply Chain and Financial Analyst in Treasury/Cash Management. Some of her key responsibilities included administering statewide diversity initiatives for Louisiana and Mississippi, analyzing contracts and maintaining domestic bank relations and cash forecasts. Shannon is also the Chief Executive Officer of Brice Consulting, LLC.
Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts from Dillard University as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Her commitment to her alma mater continues through her involvement as a volunteer member of the Tulane Business Alumni Association. Additional community-based endeavors include serving as President of the New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Diversity Council (LADC) as well as Vice-President of Dress for Success New Orleans and Friends of City Park Treasurer-Elect. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Awards and accolades range from Diversity MBA magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders to the LADC Leader Award.
A proud native New Orleanian, Shannon resides in the Warehouse District. She loves the energy of the city and looks forward to the continued inspiration and education she’ll receive as a Junior League of New Orleans Board member.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
MEMBERSHIP COUNCIL DIRECTOR
Casey Zainey is ensuring meaningful volunteer experiences for 2,100 women as the Membership Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors. This role enables Casey to utilize her strong relationship building and communication skills to develop members to their greatest potential. In addition to supporting membership morale and recognition, she oversees the committees that design leadership and training opportunities, which often entails providing a forum for discussion and brainstorming of initiatives and policies related to member satisfaction. She relays information and makes strategic planning suggestions to the board in the areas of provisional education, active placement, sustainer engagement, volunteer opportunities, retention, standards and training. Casey hopes to facilitate member satisfaction and retention during her tenure on the League’s Board of Directors.
Casey holds a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Louisiana State University. She was a member of the university’s Delta Delta Delta sorority chapter, and she served as their New Member Educator and Vice-President. She began playing classical piano at the age of five and has been happily teaching for the past 12 years. Casey also brings her love of music to her philanthropic work. She serves on the board of the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans and is passionate about the organization’s mission, which focuses on music education, nurturing talent and providing opportunities for our community to appreciate the musical arts. She has enjoyed volunteer service on the committees of many local non-profits, including assisting with fundraising committees of the Preservation Resource Center, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans’ Edible Evening, and the Poydras Home. Casey and her husband Chris are also passionate about the development of St. Andrew’s Village, a future, faith-based, residential living facility for adults with developmental disabilities. Casey and Chris also enjoy coaching with the Miracle League New Orleans sports programs where they have made long lasting friendships within New Orleans’ wonderful special needs community.
She credits her parents for instilling in her a strong sense of service and a joy for life. “Watching my mother and father through the years, I’ve had wonderful role models for how to be a dedicated, hardworking, generous and strong wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend,” she explains.
Since joining Junior League in 2010, Casey has served on the Esprit and Passing the Gavel Committees, was Vice Chair of Project Selection, and Chair of Sustainer Connections and of Social Media. A naturally gregarious person, she thrives when bringing people together and enjoys forging meaningful connections in her communities. Having grown up in New Orleans, she was familiar with the good work JLNO did throughout the city, and was eager to join. She has fond memories of her 10 years in the League and looks forward to many more. Casey enjoys serving the community, because she believes New Orleans has a unique character. “New Orleanians are a special crew — I feel like we are all part of one great big family. We excel at celebrating the good times, but the true beauty of our community is our ability to come together to make it through the difficult times. There’s no place like home.”
When she’s not playing music or rallying JLNO members to achieve greatness, Casey enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and daughter Caroline Carmen “CC” (1).
“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan and not quite enough time.”
Jaimee Landry Boyd
In her second consecutive year on the Board of Directors, Metairie native Jaimee Landry Boyd will be serving as Treasurer for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). She will oversee the financial affairs of the organization, including reviewing and approving the League’s operating budget. Insight and expertise gained through Jaimee’s accounting career enable her to make recommendations on the organization’s policies, strategic goals and governance documents as they relate to financial matters. She hopes to automate and create efficiencies in the organization’s financial reporting process, so the data can be used both as a resource and a tool for leadership.
Since 2010, Jaimee has served on JLNO’s Finance Council and Planning and Development Councils. She’s held the Treasurer position for two different councils and has been a committee member for both the Strategic Planning and Business Evaluation committees. She joined the Junior League to have a resource where she could participate in high-need volunteer activities across the community. Through JLNO, she’s developed a clearer understanding of and respect for the needs of the Greater New Orleans community. She has experienced tremendous personal growth from volunteering. Her understanding of JLNO and the ways she can support the organization has changed over the years. Had it been only a two or three-year experience, she would have missed out on her greatest years as a member.
Jaimee graduated with both Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in accounting from Wake Forest University, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Sturm College of Law, University of Denver. She has been a licensed CPA since 2000 and a licensed attorney since 2007, imparting her with a unique blend of legal, financial and compliance experience. She is a public finance lawyer at Foley & Judell, L.L.P. and serves nonprofit and government clients across Louisiana.
Jaimee and her husband Kenneth are parents to two children, Evelynn (11) and Grant (8). She enjoys serving as Treasurer for other nonprofit entities and volunteering as a team leader for elementary students participating in the STEAM program Destination Imagination, which focuses on science, technology, education, arts and math. She looks to her grandmothers as her biggest inspiration, due to their patience, commitment and faith in all things positive.
“Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
Nene Glenn Gianfala
Nene Glenn Gianfala will serve as the Assistant Treasurer for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). Her term on the Board of Directors will run for two years as she will oversee the financial affairs of the organization, including reviewing and approving the League’s operating budget and authorizing purchases.
Over the past six years as a JLNO member, Nene has served as Community Council Treasurer, Ways & Means Council Treasurer and Women’s Leadership Summit Production Vice-Chair. She puts her knack for finance to excellent use as Vice President of the Valuation Advisory group at Chaffe & Associates, with over 12 years of experience in accounting, corporate finance and business valuations. Her work is multi-faceted and ever-evolving. She offers a myriad of services to her clients which includes intellectual property and intangible asset valuations, as well as business valuation for both public and private companies. Nene is an active member of the Women’s Energy Network (WEN), where she is currently serving as the Vice Chair for the WEN Foundation, and she serves as a board member of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni. She holds an Associates degree from Houston Community College, a Bachelor of Science Management in accounting and finance from Tulane University (Summa Cum Laude), and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans with a concentration in finance.
Nene’s interest in serving the community began with her admiration for women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. “My mother gave me an autobiography on Anthony when I was a teenager, and it has forever instilled a desire to stand up for what I believe in,” Nene says. Nene believes JLNO exemplifies community service and the strong bonds between women. She has watched projects like the Diaper Bank grow from humble beginnings to the impactful initiatives they are today. “It has been a wonderful experience with valuable networking and camaraderie that overwhelmingly surpassed my expectations,” she says of her years in the League. “To say I am happy to have joined the League those many years ago is an understatement. I will forever cherish my lifelong friends and relationships made here.”
A proud native Texan, Nene never imagined she’d move away from her home state. Still, she admits there’s a certain quality about New Orleans that makes it stand out from all the rest. She remarks, “There is something exciting and mystical about this one-of-a-kind city which makes it so easy to fall in love with.” This je ne sais quoi is expressed beautifully in her description of the Crescent City: “It is the perfect melting pot of scrumptious food, soulful music and the zeal of its people.” Through her work at the JLNO and the friendships she’s made, it is clear New Orleans has made its mark on Nene.
When she’s not volunteering, she enjoys taking long walks with her husband Jonathan, her daughter, Nene (2), and her two corgis. Even with all the accolades and professional achievements she has amassed over the years, she confesses that being a mother is her most rewarding job.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Emily Booth will serve as Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) for the 2020-2021 League year. In this position, she will manage the official record, including meeting agendas and minutes. She will function as Parliamentarian at Board, Joint Council and General Membership meetings. It will be her responsibility to offer guidance on the organization’s governance documents and ensure adherence to those directives, including League Bylaws, Standing Rules, Policies and Procedures. She will work with JLNO members and staff to maintain membership information and address member requirements.
Taking on the role of Secretary during the year post-COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to modify membership standards in light of realities that limit in-person contact amongst members and with the outside community. Emily hopes to innovate JLNO’s current operating procedures while also addressing the financial and economic struggles that many members are facing during this time.
Emily was born in Windsor, England, and spent time growing up in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Sheholds a Bachelor of Arts in art history and political science from Tulane University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She recently began work as an attorney with Wanek Kirsch Davies law firm, where her practice focuses on insurance defense. Prior to this position, Emily served as an Assistant District Attorney in Jefferson Parish for seven years, where she prosecuted crimes that included domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse. In this role, she represented the District Attorney’s Office in Jefferson Parish’s Re-Entry Court program and tried a combined total of over 50 jury and judge trials. In 2014, she received the Victims & Citizens Against Crime Outstanding Prosecutor Award for her work on a child sexual abuse case. Emily serves on the Advisory Board for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, Alpha Phi Chapter at Tulane University / Newcomb College. She also volunteers with Louisiana German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue and works on various political campaigns in the New Orleans area.
Emily joined JLNO in 2010 to learn about volunteer opportunities in the community and meet people she might not meet otherwise. She wanted to be aligned with an organization that actively seeks out opportunities to fill its purposeful mission. “With the Junior League, you know that your volunteer time is meaningful and useful,” she says. She continues to explain, “The size of the League, the international reach — it’s the ultimate training ground for any volunteer.”
Since joining, Emily has served as Cookbook Chair, Business Council Secretary and Staffing Chair. When she’s not volunteering, you can find Emily on the water: fishing, boating and swimming are some of her favorite pastimes. She also enjoys partaking in New Orleans culture. “I love the sense of community and the never-met-a-stranger attitude of so many New Orleanians,” Emily says. “I also love that people don’t even bat an eye when someone is dressed in costume walking down the street on a random Wednesday.”
“I always throw my golf club in the direction I’m going.”
BUSINESS COUNCIL DIRECTOR
In her role as Business Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO), Sophie Martinez will oversee management and maintenance of the League’s physical assets. She will be responsible for revenue generating projects — like the Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) and Consignment Partnerships — along with Get on Board, the long-standing nonprofit board training program.
Sophie hopes to execute a successful first year of WLS as a fundraiser and unique training opportunity for those looking to hone their skills in a variety of fields. As a new project, WLS has great potential to be a meaningful event for members and the New Orleans community. She knows JLNO members are up to the task of creating something special and lasting.
As Business Council Director, Sophie has the ambitious goal of establishing a concrete five-year plan for the Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Project, generating a new income stream for JLNO. The opportunity to move this project forward is what motivates her. “Our membership is largely made up of women employed full-time outside of the home, mothers to young children or both,” Sophie says. “Yet we all find time to make a lasting mark in our community. You find time for what you are passionate about.”
A New Orleans native, Sophie holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in business and English with a minor in French from the University of Texas, Austin. She has a background in banking and finance and has spent the past two years working in compliance at local data and technology company, Lucid. She has been with the company for six years, serving in the treasury department before shifting to compliance. She has also served on the board of the Lower Garden District Association.
Sophie joined JLNO in 2013 to make friends and gain valuable leadership experience. She cherishes the friendships she has forged over their mutual goal of serving those most in need. “I have enjoyed meeting career-driven women across the New Orleans area that I would not have otherwise met,” she says. “I have only worked with our new board group for a few months, but I can already tell that I am going to form lasting bonds with these women.” Her previous leadership roles within the League include serving as Chair of the Procurement and Headquarters Rental Committees as well as Consignment Partnerships Vice-Chair. Her philanthropic inspiration comes from her mother, an attorney with 45 years of experience who never stops advocating for others.
When Sophie isn’t volunteering, she enjoys trying new restaurants in her Magazine Street neighborhood with her husband Kevin and spending time with her children Nemours (2) and Amelie (1).
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
COMMUNITY COUNCIL DIRECTOR
As Junior League of New Orleans’ (JLNO) Community Council Director, Rachel Stickney will coordinate, develop and maintain the organization’s programs which further the mission of improving the community and advancing the wellbeing of women.
She believes this year will prove to be a unique time for the League. “There is always a great need for committees that fall under Community Council, but based on what is happening across our country and in our own backyard, I believe we’re going to see an even greater need in the 2020-2021 League year to support our community,” she says. Rachel hopes the Community Council is ready to respond to that need with understanding and flexibility, offering meaningful service to our community partners so JLNO can maximize their impact across the Greater New Orleans region.
As for her other goals this year, one of her main priorities is adding adult diapers to the Diaper Bank’s offerings. She also plans to continue defining the trajectory of the Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Project initiative. She looks forward to working with our community partners to further JLNO’s mission and help promote lasting change across Greater New Orleans in response to our current unprecedented circumstances.
A New Orleans native, Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in business with a minor in communications from Lake Forest College. She serves as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving Campaigns at Tulane University and has been an active part of their team for nearly six years. Her role focuses on direct mail, digital campaigns, the campus call center and Give Green, Tulane’s dedicated day of giving. She works with the university’s central annual fund as well as various schools and units across campus on their annual giving campaigns. Her philanthropic work includes the Krewe of Muses Executive Committee, Swine Krewe (a competitive barbeque team at the popular Hogs for the Cause yearly fundraiser) and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts Gala Committee.
Rachel joined the Junior League in 2011 to get more involved and give back to the community in a meaningful way. She follows in the footsteps of her aunt, Emily Stickney Morrison, who was involved in the League in the 1990s and had a wonderful experience chairing Teen Court for several years. Since joining, Rachel has served as Provisional Chair, Placement Chair and 100 Year Impact Chair. She is grateful for the meaningful friendships built on a mutual passion for serving others.
When she’s not volunteering, Rachel enjoys cooking, mentoring and reading her beloved copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Every spring, she has the unique opportunity to incorporate these passions by instructing the students enrolled at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts in their Culinary Arts track. Her specialty? Macarons. She always enjoys connecting with the students over their shared gastronomical curiosity, but admits she is the ultimate benefactor saying, “I always leave feeling like I have learned so much more from the young chefs than I can ever teach them.”
“Times are not good here. The city is crumbling into ashes. It has been buried under a lava flood of taxes and frauds and maladministrations [sic] so that it has become only a study for archaeologists. Its condition is so bad that when I write about it, as I intend to do soon, nobody will believe I am telling the truth. But it is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio.”
LAFCADIO HEARN ON THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Leigh Thorpe will serve as the Planning and Development Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors. In this position, she will advise the board on long-range planning and integrate the strategic plan into everyday operations. She will encourage development of funding sources and lead the volunteer team that formulates JLNO’s partnerships, community projects, strategic plan and fundraisers. She looks forward to working with each Planning and Development committee to bring in as many financial investments as possible in support of JLNO’s mission. She will apply thoughtful consideration to how the League’s projects, fundraisers, membership engagement activities and overall strategies are being interwoven to create the most effective impact on our community.
Leigh works as the Associate Vice-President of Annual Giving & Membership for the National WWII Museum. In this role, she oversees the museum’s entire membership program, which has more members than any other museum in the country, with 160,000+ active supporters each year. She also oversees the museum’s Fundraising Events team and its Memorial Brick program. All programs bring in much-needed operating revenue for the Museum. Her philanthropic work includes serving as President of the Loyola University Alumni Association, Past President of Friends of City Park, board member and Special Events Chair for the City Park Improvement Association and Advisory Board member for Dress for Success New Orleans. In 2016, she was named one of Gambit Weekly’s 40 Under 40 in New Orleans.
Since joining JLNO in 2009, she has served in a number of strategic planning roles such as Get on Board Development Chair, Strategic Partnerships Chair and Annual Giving Chair. Her vision and dedication have found a perfect fit with many of JLNO’s projects. She feels lucky to have found a like-minded group of women committed to serving New Orleans. “I have made so many great friends within the League,” Leigh says. “I have also served on many other boards alongside League members. It’s always the League members on nonprofit boards that know how to roll up their sleeves and get to work.”
When she’s not spearheading new projects, you can find Leigh in New Orleans City Park. “Besides spending time in City Park board and committee meetings, I spend at least five days a week there. With more than 1,300 acres to walk through, play around, and party in, I can do something different every single day.”
“Go forth and set the world on fire.”
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
WAYS AND MEANS COUNCIL DIRECTOR
As Ways and Means Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) Board of Directors, Sarah will coordinate, develop and maintain the League’s fundraising activities including Touch a Truck, Run Walk Give, Passing the Gavel Celebration as well as other special events and partnerships. She will be responsible for increasing awareness of JLNO’s mission and financial needs, especially how JLNO puts 100% of its fundraiser proceeds back into the community. Through management, organization and team building, she helps volunteers harness their fundraising development skills to generate funds that support JLNO’s community projects. She will report to the board on fundraising effectiveness and recommend both policy and procedural changes to improve these events. During her time on the board, Sarah hopes to spread the word about what the Junior League of New Orleans stands for and all that it has accomplished.
A New Iberia native, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Loyola University New Orleans. She puts her communication and facilitation savvy to work as the Greater New Orleans Regional Director for the Louisiana Restaurant Association. In her 11 years with the organization, her role has included board management, event planning, fundraising, membership and workers’ compensation insurance sales. Having grown up in a foodservice family, Sarah loves helping restaurant owners every day with the resources the association has at its disposal.
Sarah joined JLNO in 2013 with the goal of meeting new friends and serving the community. She has filled many leadership positions in that time, including Esprit Vice-Chair, Freret 5k Chair and Passing the Gavel Celebration Chair. Her other volunteer passions include the Anti-Defamation League, where she was a Glass Leadership Institute Bissinger-Timm Fellow. She continues to volunteer with the organization and was a committee member for the inaugural Concert Against Hate in the summer of 2019. Additionally, she has been named a New Orleans Finest Honoree by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was a board member for the Acadiana Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.
What she loves most about New Orleans is the constant stream of cultural delights. “On any given day you can walk into the street and hear a brass band playing, drive past a beautiful mural or see someone dressed in costume. This city appreciates art and culture and is truly unique,” Sarah says. When she’s not hard at work on one of JLNO’s many projects, you can find her and her boyfriend Sam taking in the festivals, arts, restaurants and bars that make the city truly magical.
“There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking and say it was good.”
COMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL DIRECTOR
As the Board of Directors Communications Council Director, Lacy McManus will coordinate and disseminate information about the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). By dovetailing her management and communication skills with her professional experience, Lacy will oversee the promotion of JLNO’s events and community projects via traditional advertising, social media, press releases, the Lagniappe publication and the organization’s website. Working closely with the President, Board members, committee chairs and staff, Lacy will be responsible for reviewing all print and digital materials while providing guidance on additional opportunities to expand JLNO’s influence.
During her year as Communications Council Director, Lacy intends to spread the message of JLNO’s community-wide impact . This includes the general public, but also — and perhaps most importantly — League membership. She is enthusiastic about the many ways provisionals, actives and sustainers can engage, and she seeks to enrich the organization by better connecting the League’s core constituents to its mission. Lacy holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Arts in global communications from the American University of Paris, and a Masters of Business Administration from Tulane University.
Lacy has recently taken a position with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate team as a Program Manager. In this role she works with AWS’s international clients, economic development and higher education partners to connect AWS’s educational curriculum with employer needs and overall economic goals. Prior to joining AWS, Lacy was Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives for Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.), the economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana. In this role, Lacy was the primary liaison for business and industry, higher education, career technical educators, government agencies and non-profit partners to cultivate partnerships creating a thriving regional economy. Lacy’s seven-year tenure at GNO, Inc. built on her non-profit experience as the Special Initiatives Manager at the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX). In addition to serving on the JLNO Board, Lacy is Board President of the public transit advocacy organization RIDE New Orleans, a current participant in the 2019-2020 New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, an alumna of the 2016 Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans (EPNO) class and has served as a Lead Mentor to entrepreneurs in the small business incubator, Propeller.
Since joining JLNO in 2013, Lacy has served as Co-Chair for the Women’s Leadership Summit and Editor of Lagniappe magazine. She takes inspiration from her first boss in Louisiana, Boo Thomas: Baton Rouge Junior League Past-President, leader and community development powerhouse. She quickly became Lacy’s role model due to her grace, poise and independence. Lacy was also inspired to join the Junior League having watched her mother participate. “My mother was very involved in the Baton Rouge Junior League when I was growing up,’” Lacy says. “I watched her leverage her League engagement to support my dad’s community goals. Together, they launched the Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association: a now 28-year-old organization that has advocated for over 3,100 abused and neglected children in Louisiana. Watching my mother use her Junior League connections to provide volunteers, grant support and broader community awareness to CASA was such a special childhood memory.” Lacy joined JLNO to continue this amazing legacy of impact.
When she’s not volunteering, you can find Lacy chasing her daughter Clara Byrd (2) and rescue dog Daisy May, swinging on her front porch with her husband Bryan or running the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground. Lacy and Bryan are expecting a daughter, Virginia, this summer.
“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.”
ATLAS SHRUGGED, AYN RAND
NOMINATING COMMITTEE CHAIR
Jane Dufour will serve as the Nominating Committee Chair for the Junior League of New Orleans’ (JLNO) 2020-2021 League year. In accordance with JLNO’s Bylaws and Standing Rules, the Nominating Committee matches organizational needs and individual strengths to produce a leadership team which will most effectively forward the organization’s mission, goals and strategic plan. Jane believes the Nominating Committee holds the uniquely important role of ensuring that there are great leaders to guide the League, both by choosing the incoming Board but also by placing members in positions where they can develop their potential and hone their leadership skills in the years to come.
“I keep repeating this, but I feel that the more time and energy you give in the League, the more rewarding your experience is,” Jane says. “That starts with members seeking and accepting leadership positions. Ultimately as a training organization, the primary skill we impart on our members is being an effective volunteer and hopefully an effective leader.” Jane is grateful for her years in JLNO, which have provided a safe arena to learn and become a strong leader. She feels the League is an organization of women supporting and encouraging other women who are ready to roll their sleeves up and respond to any challenge. This support system and collective community impact are two things that have driven Jane to continue dedicating her time to the League.
Jane joined JLNO in 2010 and has since served in a number of creative placements such as Graphic Design Chair, Marketing Chair and Communications Council Director. A New Orleans native, she attended St. Mary’s Dominican High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the College of Charleston and a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. Jane works as Director of Real Estate Services at GCR Inc. (GCR), a software and consulting firm that serves public sector clients in various government services. The Real Estate Division at GCR works with state and parish entities on right of way acquisitions for public works projects, including coastal protection and restoration projects. “It has been hugely rewarding to see the projects that we work on go from planning to construction and to know that the work that we are doing is contributing to providing flood and storm protection or delivering better infrastructure to the residents of South Louisiana,” Jane says.
When she’s not working or volunteering, you can find Jane spending time with her family and walking her 13 year old dog, Cady. “We may not walk as far as we used to,” she admits, “but our walks are still a great time for processing the successes and trials of the day.”
“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.”
Blanche “Dee” McCloskey
SUSTAINING ADVISOR TO THE BOARD
The Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) 2020-2021 Sustaining Advisor to the Board of Directors will be Blanche “Dee” McCloskey. This position provides a historical perspective and offers practical guidance from a sustaining member and past president. Her volunteer and leadership experience will allow her to be a sounding board for League leaders as they make decisions on membership, fund development, community projects, administration and strategic planning. She will also encourage other sustaining members to continue their involvement with the League. Dee is honored to serve and work alongside such an exceptional group of leaders.
Raised outside Folsom, Louisiana, Dee graduated from the University of Virginia. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Vice-President for Corporate and Foundation Relations for Ochsner Clinic Foundation. This role allows her to work with a wide variety of generous individuals and institutions, connecting them with meaningful ways to make a difference in our region. She is proud of the role her organization is playing in the
COVID-19 pandemic and feels grateful to have a part in supporting the healthcare heroes in our community. Her philanthropic work includes serving on the board of Poydras Home, volunteering through Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans and participating on the Catholic Women’s Giving Circle Grants Committee.
Dee joined JLNO in 2004 to make a difference in her community. Her mother, a Sustainer and Past-President of the Junior League of Greater Covington, set a great example of the fun and friendship to be had in volunteering. Over the years, Dee has served as Thrift Shop Chair, Planning & Development Council Director and 2011-2012 President. Dee is proud of the role the League has played in the lives of so many members, saying, “JLNO is a safe and encouraging place for a woman to learn a new skill or try her hand at a leadership position for the first time.” She goes on to say, “There are great stories of women who go on to make a major career change, lead a local nonprofit or launch a new business because of something they did in the League, but every woman who learns new things and develops herself for volunteer service is transformational for our community.”
When she’s not volunteering, you can find Dee exploring new interests, whether that may be reading, fly fishing, knitting, cooking, native plants…the list goes on. Dee is also an avid beekeeper. As a longtime resident of New Orleans, she loves the shared rituals, traditions, celebrations and quirks that permeate the city. In times like these, Dee feels especially grateful for the city’s resilience.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
BLESSED JULIAN OF NORWICH