At a luncheon at the W Hotel, New Orleans Magazine honored its 2008 class of top female achievers.

The more than 200 people in attendance enjoyed a lunch of filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, scallops, shrimp and garlic mashed potatoes, as well as spirits provided by Republic Beverage Co., Korbel Champagne, Fetzer Vineyards, Luxco Spirited Brands, and Pearl Vodka. Other sponsors were W Hotel New Orleans Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and Fabulous Flowers.

Following an inspiring speech by Anne Milling, the founder of Women of the Storm the awards were presented and each of the honorees gave a brief acceptance speech.

Mildred Fossier, a 95-year-old retired civil servant and one of this year’s honorees, brought the audience to its feet several times with her moving acceptance speech in which she praised the city for its diversity.

The other top female achievers of 2008 were Valentine Bemiss-Williams, the director of Love Alive Fellowship Choir; Sheila Ealey, the founder of the Creative Learning Center for children with autism; Cathy Harris, the founder and president of C. Harris Cos. Inc.; Yvonne LaFleur, the owner of Yvonne LaFleur New Orleans; Barbara Motley, the proprietor of Le Chat Noir; Capt. April Overman, the commander of the Reserve Division of the New Orleans Police Department; Kathleen Sullivan Schiavi, an obstetrician/gynecologist at East Jefferson General Hospital; Melinda Sothern, a professor of research at Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center; and Ann Rogers Tuennerman, the founder of Tales of the Cocktail.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited Grace House, a residential treatment facility for women with substance abuse problems. New Orleans Magazine would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors who helped make this year’s luncheon such a success!

Leading Ladies
Honoree Capt. April Overman
Leading Ladies
Honoree Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Schiavi
Leading Ladies
Honoree Barbara Motley
Leading Ladies
Pam Breaux from the office of the lieutenant governor with honoree Cathy Harris and Amelie LeBreton
Leading Ladies
Honoree Mildred Fossier
Leading Ladies
Joan Ingram with honoree Sheila Ealey and her husband