key component of every successful organization is strong leadership. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Junior League of New Orleans gives much attention to detail in the selection of its president. A common trend in the attributes of JLNO’s elected presidents are commitment to service and leadership. Not only have JLNO’s presidents served in several capacities within the league, but many also generously commit themselves to being of service to various non-profit and charitable organizations throughout the city of New Orleans. Junior League New Orleans celebrates the accomplishments of its outgoing president and welcomes its incoming president at its annual Passing of the Gavel ceremony.

Kristin Van Hook Moore, outgoing 2020-2021 JLNO President, pediatric pulmonologist at Ochsner for Children and League member since 2011, reflected on her experience as President at this year’s Passing of the Gavel event on May 23, 2021. During her tenure, Kristin demonstrated genuine qualities of leadership in her support of council directors and committee chairs.

“I viewed my role as making sure that council directors and chairs were able to be successful in theirs,” she said. “Seeing our members succeed in their roles this year was incredibly rewarding.”

A dedicated mother and concerned community member, Kristin serves on the Board of Directors at her children’s school, Trinity Episcopal, and participates in the fundraising efforts at organizations such as the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Audubon Zoo and Ochsner Medical Center.  During a toast to his mom, Finnegan Moore, Kristin’s son,  expressed how the Moore family has openly embraced and celebrates Kristin’s altruistic nature and appreciates the Junior League of New Orleans for having provided Kristin with such an amazing opportunity.

“I have only known this organization as a child of someone who serves, but I am truly moved by what you do to help our city,” Finnegan said.

Kristin passed the ceremonial gavel to Shannon Brice, 2021-2022 JLNO President and Chief Financial Officer for Richard’s Disposal, Inc. A native New Orleanian, Shannon graduated from Dillard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Business Administration from Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Beyond her role as President with JLNO, Shannon serves as Vice President of Dress for Success and Treasurer of the Board of Friends of City Park.

Shannon’s decision to join Junior League of New Orleans has developed from her interest in volunteering with an organization making a huge impact. She has many goals for her tenure as president, all of which involve helping Junior League New Orleans members to realize their potential in contributing to the growth of JLNO. Specifically, Shannon has committed herself to “lead with transparency.” She offers that she will “acknowledge all the great work the Junior League does in the community and be our biggest cheerleader.” 

In addition to dedicating herself to creating a “healthy and collaborative environment,” she hopes to “recruit leaders in the community to join as well as strengthen partnerships within the community to further expand our reach.” And less than one month into her tenure as President, Shannon has actively demonstrated superior communication and leadership skills as she manages council directors and the many chairs who serve the community through the League.

“Junior League is a leader in the community,” Shannon said at the Passing of the Gavel event. “Junior League is an organization for Women whose purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. This was the organization that provided me an opportunity to volunteer with like-minded women committed to making our community better.”

As no event organizes itself, we must acknowledge those JLNO members who worked tirelessly to make Passing of the Gavel possible. Torry Dean and Nicole Deshotels served as co-chairs to the Passing of the Gavel event committee, and the success of this year’s ceremony is the result of their teamwork and the collaborative efforts of other members including Shannon, Kristin, Sarah Peltier, Chair of the Ways and Means committee, and Dana and Stephen Hansel, who hosted the event in their festive garden.

“Sustainer Dana Hansel was fabulous to work with as she has extensive experience in party planning,” said Nicole Deshotels. “Given the COVID restrictions changing daily, we had to act quickly when the restrictions were lifted. Dana graciously offered her home, and we all worked together to make it a successful event. Given our desire to ensure attendees safety and adhere to social distancing guidelines, we requested a garden party box for all attendees.”

Torry Dean noted: “This year was challenging due to the COVID restrictions, but it was exciting to have the first in-person event to end the League year. The committee members went above and beyond, working diligently to assist in any way they could. Sarah was very instrumental in leading all aspects of the event. Dana was an absolute pleasure to work with, and her home was the perfect setting for the event.”

Whether organizing a diaper drive or a holiday social, women of Junior League of New Orleans, strive to make each event a success for the betterment of the community and in support of the vision of the Association of Junior Leagues International.