“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.”
Fundraising is a critical aspect of any nonprofit organization, and special events provide the means for volunteers to learn event planning and logistics while showcasing the nonprofit and its mission to the public. As the Ways and Means Council Director for the Junior League of New Orleans Board of Directors, Kathlyn Perez Bethune coordinates, develops and maintains JLNO's fundraising activities including its Freret 5K, Touch a Truck, Get on Board, and this year's 95th Anniversary Celebration. She is responsible for increasing awareness of JLNO's mission and its financial needs, including that 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 reports to the Board on fundraising effectiveness and recommends policy and procedure changes that can further improve these events now and into the future.
Kathlyn hopes that through JLNO's signature fundraisers, which are being chaired by some incredibly talented and dedicated women, the organization will be able to raise more money than ever to put back into its community projects. She is also excited to celebrate JLNO's 95th Anniversary alongside its community partners to highlight the JLNO's stewardship of its donor dollars. Kathlyn joined JLNO in 2008 and has held positions on every Council through her positions with Get on Board, Lafayette Academy, Events, Legislative Affairs, 100-year Celebration, and Scholarship committees and as JLNO's House Counsel. In these roles, she has witnessed first hand JLNO's capacity to train strong women to improve their community while building lifelong bonds between them.
As a labor and employment and commercial litigation shareholder at Baker Donelson, Kathlyn represents clients in all different industries before state and federal agencies and courts. She also conducts internal corporate investigations, counsels clients on best practices, and provides management and employee trainings on employment related topics. Kathlyn leads her firm’s Women's Initiative in New Orleans and serves as the Co-Chair of the firm-wide Women's Initiative Programming Committee. In addition to her JLNO service, Kathlyn has held positions on several other nonprofit boards, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Washington and Lee University New Orleans Alumni Chapter and The Salvation Army. In honor of their father who passed away from prostate cancer in 2003, Kathlyn and her siblings founded a sporting clay competition-fundraiser called “Gunning for a Cure,” which has raised over $700,000 for prostate cancer research in the last six years. Kathlyn has received several awards for her contributions, including being listed as a Louisiana Rising Star in Louisiana Super Lawyers, receiving the Louisiana Appleseed 2017 Good Apple Award, New Orleans CityBusiness 2014 Women of the Year award, Louisiana State Bar Association's 2009 Pro Bono Publico award, and National and Louisiana Appleseed 2009 Good Apple Award. Kathlyn received her undergraduate degree in business and politics from Washington and Lee University and her law degree from Tulane University School of Law.
Kathlyn spends her free time trying new recipes, exploring new New Orleans restaurants, and walking in Audubon Park. She and her husband Beau live Uptown with their two children, Penn (2) and Bishop (under a year). Kathlyn’s inspiration to serve her community comes from her mother, who was one of the first one hundred women attorneys in the state of Louisiana, and who constantly reminded her that “to whom much is given, much will be required.”