Education: Trinity Episcopal School, Isidore Newman School, Bachelor’s in Art History from Southern Methodist University; Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University.
Family: Husband, Andrew; three children Patrick, 14; James, 11; Christopher, 4.
Mentors: My sister, Elizabeth Keenan Thompson.
Compassion is what motivates Marilee Hovet to serve on boards and raise money for many important New Orleans organizations. For Hovet, a former social worker, there’s something satisfying about working alongside other volunteers, knowing that their efforts are helping keep an organization viable and, in some cases, in existence.
Her commitments have included serving on the boards of the Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses, Trinity School, Kingsley House, The New Orleans Botanical Garden and the Beauregard-Keyes House. She chaired the Sugarplum Ball for Children’s Hospital and the Art in Bloom fundraiser, which benefits the Garden Study Club of New Orleans and the New Orleans Museum of Art. This year, she’s also chairing the Zoo-to-Do fundraiser.
How did you start volunteering? No city can function without people who give back to the community. I watched my grandmother and my mother devote their free time to working for the community. They were both on several boards, and I was really inspired by that. When I moved home, the reason I got involved with Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses is that my mother was on the Gallier House board; it was just a natural thing.
How is a background in social work similar to volunteering? Social work is humbling; there are people who have so many difficulties in their lives. Watching the human spirit take over is really a great thing to watch.
How do you choose which organizations to help? It really matters to me to raise money for organizations that need it. The end result is really important. The parties are fun, but it comes down to having a successful event that does something good for the organization. That’s at the heart and soul of what I do.
What makes for a good fundraiser? The cause, first and foremost. You can
have a great fundraiser, but if the cause is not something people believe in, it will not work.
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.