Diana Lewis is a well-known and highly respected New Orleanian philanthropist and advocate. She holds a degree in mathematics from Goucher College in Maryland and was the first woman to lead the boards of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Born to parents who were civic volunteers, Diana Lewis started volunteering as a Junior League member. A winner of The Times-Picayune Loving Cup for 1998, her causes have included education, housing, the Girl Scouts, philanthropy and Kingsley House. In honor of her decades of service, the Committee for a Better New Orleans established the Diana Lewis Citizen Participation Award.
Todd Battiste is currently the Vice President for Education and Youth Development at the Urban League of Louisiana. Previously, Todd was the Executive Vice President of Program Operations with Volunteer of America Southeast Louisiana (VOA), wherein he was responsible for planning and implementation of business lines designed to meet emerging community needs and leveraging organizational assets to achieve fiscal success. In addition to providing senior-level leadership of a wide scope of operations, he provided services to diverse populations in a 16-parish area. Todd has spent the last 18 years of his career working in philanthropy. Prior to joining VOA, Todd served as Senior Vice President for Education & Equity with United Way of Southeast Louisiana. Todd has also worked for Total Community Action/Head Start and New Orleans Public Schools improving educational opportunities for children & families. Todd prides himself on Enhancing Programs, Engaging Philanthropy, and Enacting Policy.
Todd is a 2019 Distinguished Fellow of the Nancy Marsiglia Institute of Justice, 2017- 2018 Fellow with The Association of Black Foundation Executives – Connecting Leaderships Fellowship. He is past treasurer for the Children & Youth Planning Board, an appointment by New Orleans City Council, Youth Force, New Orleans Youth Program Quality Initiative/New Orleans Youth Alliance, Campaign for Grade Level Reading and a host of other initiatives. Todd is an active member of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and served as Co- Chair for the Greater New Orleans Funders Network. He was nominated and elected to Chair the Child Care Block Advisory Council. He is the Past President for the Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children, and former Vice President for Public Policy. He served on the Advisory Committee on Licensing of Childcare Facilities and Child Placing Agencies, Louisiana’s Quality Rating System for Early Childhood Programs Steering Committee, Louisiana Advisory Council on Child Care and Early Education, Delgado Early Childhood Education Advisory Board, and the Greater New Orleans Rebuild. Todd received the Young Leadership Council (YLC) 2011 Role Model of the Year and Children Defense Fund-Louisiana 2011 Champion for Children awards and is a proud members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Todd is a native of New Orleans, graduated from Southern University at New Orleans with a bachelor’s in Psychology, Xavier University at New Orleans with a Master’s in Business/Industry Counseling, and the University of New Orleans with a Master’s in Public Administration. Todd is married to Caryn Rodgers-Battiste and the proud father of two sons, Todd II and Dillon.
Ronald M. Carrere, Jr. is a native New Orleanian, a graduate of the University of New Orleans and an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Art and Practice of Leadership Development program, Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, Loyola Institute of Politics and the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute. Currently employed by Liberty Bank & Trust Co., Ronald is a leader in both the real estate and commercial lending divisions, and assists with several community initiatives. Ronald currently serves on multiple Boards for local nonprofits and has served on the planning committee for the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute and the transition teams of Mayor Mitchell Landrieu and Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
Tiffany Davis is a litigator and a qualified civil and family mediator. She offers live and virtual mediation services for parties who prefer the convenience and efficiency of meeting online. She focuses her litigation practice on complex energy-related matters concerning maritime and oilfield torts and contracts, environmental cleanup, property damage, and coastal erosion. Tiffany also handles toxic tort litigation related to claims for occupational exposure to asbestos. She also has experience with regulatory and transactional matters concerning environmental and energy law.
Her litigation background includes managing docket-wide discovery and involvement in trials, trial preparation, motions practice and mediation. "My maritime work includes the defense of energy companies facing complex claims involving serious personal injuries, property damage and other torts and losses." She helps energy-sector clients throughout the region with permitting, enforcement and compliance with environmental rules and regulations. For example, Tiffany has assisted a major refinery and other industrial clients with complex enforcement actions concerning alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. She also assists with developing compliance and implementation strategies to address newly promulgated rules and regulations. Tiffany serves as the firm’s first Chief Diversity Officer and chairs the firm’s Diversity Committee. In that role, Tiffany is instrumental in developing, supporting and implementing policies and initiatives to facilitate the firm’s mission to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive workplace. In addition to her firm wide responsibilities, Tiffany is active in several professional and community organizations. She has spoken on issues relating to Louisiana environmental litigation, insurance, indemnity, electronic discovery, the Medicare Secondary Payor Act, and offshore drilling. Tiffany has earned a reputation for being responsive and analytical and for showing an ability to handle tight deadlines and complex discovery projects. "Clients like that I'm well organized and that I deliver...fast."
Kwame Juakali currently serves as the Gulf Coast Fellow for Enterprise Community Partners. Prior to joining Enterprise, Kwame was the Impact and Development Consultant for Cooperation Jackson, Propeller, Manager of Charter Applications for the Orleans Parish School Board and the Special Projects Manager and Legislative Aide for the Mayor’s Office. Kwame also served with City Year as a first year corps member in 2012 and joined City Year New Orleans staff as a Program Manager in 2013.
Julia moved to New Orleans with husband Rick Rizzo in 2018 and serves as a consultant at Bastion Community of Resilience. Previously, Julia was the Chief Marketing Officer for MetLife's B2B focused divisions, which represented over 60% of MetLife’s global business. Prior to that, Julia had an extensive global career with Pfizer in general management and marketing, based in Canada, Brazil and the USA. She was the Diversity Officer for Warner Lambert, was on the board of PFLAG National and was a fellow of the International Women’s Forum. Currently, Julia is a mentor with Propeller and Idea Village and is working on Development for the International High School of New Orleans. Julia was born in Vancouver, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Queen’s University, Canada.
A native of New Orleans, Melisse began her non-profit career as a City Year, Boston mid-year Corp Member in 1996-1997. After her year of service, Melisse returned home with a new-found sense of purpose and finished her undergraduate Counseling degree at the University of Holy Cross and secured her Master of Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans. After serving as a case manager, Melisse found herself enjoying and being successful in fundraising for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and soon thereafter, United Way of New York City. Returning home after Hurricane Katrina, Melisse served as United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact for close to 10 years, where she assisted community health partners in delivering quality programming, resulting in systemic impact while being fiscally sound. With a desire to parlay her fundraising and management skills into one position, Melisse became the Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement for The National WWII Museum where she successfully led a fundraising team responsible for their capital campaign and education programs.
After 4 years, Melisse moved to the position of Chief Advancement Officer for the Louisiana Children’s Museum where they saw an increase in annual giving, an increase in new donors and they surpassed fiscal goals while under her tenure. A year to the date of hire, Melisse was presented with a unique opportunity when the Children’s Museum had to temporarily close its doors due to the global pandemic – she now had time on her hands – and that resulted in her returning to Social Work, securing her license to become a LMSW, and becoming qualified as a civil and family Mediator for the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. Melisse also served as the Patient Navigator for the Cancer Association of Louisiana, where they were proud to deliver patient services to individuals in treatment without regard to race, color, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national, or ethnic origin. Melisse is currently the Vice President Community Impact of United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
Jasminne Navarre is a 4th generation death care and human resource professional. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Clark Atlanta University, an Educator Certification from the University of St. Thomas, and a degree in Mortuary Science from the Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville. Most recently, she secured National Certification by the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) as a SHRM-CP. Jasmine's experiences and education have prepared her for various roles as an Educator, Sales Manager, Director of Operations, Senior Generalist, and HR Manager for organizations in both the public and private sector. Jasmine is an Insight Institute Certified Celebrant, has taught Funeral Service History as an Adjunct Professor and was most recently honored by Frontline and PBS producers as a principal in the documentary Death is Our Business. Louisiana Weekly profiled Jasmine’s work in a cover story about the rise of female morticians.
Ava Rogers was the founding Director of Strategic Partnerships at New Pathways New Orleans. Ava is a values-driven leader who has successfully mobilized governments and institutions to better serve communities. She brings an extensive achievement record in breaking down institutional silos and integrating the work of entire systems to get results. Prior to joining NPNO, Ava worked as an independent consultant for international and domestic constituents, including the “Global Resilience Partnership” and a New Orleans-based non-profit. From 2013-2016, Ava served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the City of New Orleans. Ava has also spent 20 years as a U.S. diplomat in the U.S. State Department, specializing in conflict and emergency settings primarily in Africa and the Middle East. She currently serves on the boards of the Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies, Propeller and the New Orleans Arts Education Alliance. Ava was raised in New Orleans and is a proud alumni of New Orleans public schools. She holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Mike Scott is the Community Development Manager for Regions Bank, managing the CRA and community development efforts in the state of Louisiana. He has been with Regions, a top U.S. bank-holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with $118,801,412 billion in assets, operating 1,678 banking offices in 16 states, since 2007.
Scott has over 30 years of banking experience, including close to 20 years in the area of community development. Prior to joining Regions, Scott served as the Louisiana State Community Development Manager for J P Morgan Chase and held a similar position with Bank One prior to their merger. In that position, Scott was responsible for the development of execution of community development strategies for the state of Louisiana. During this period, his management contributed to Chase/Bank One receiving two “Outstanding” CRA ratings. Scott has also held several management positions in retail banking and lending throughout his banking a career.
Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Xavier University of Louisiana. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. Scott is very active in his community and is involved with a number of organizations. Serving on the Board of Directors of New Orleans Neighborhood Development Foundation Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, New Orleans Community Development Capital and City Year New Orleans. Scott also serves on the steering committee of Rebuilding Together New Orleans and Chairman of Xavier University’s Division of Business Advisory Council.
Donna has been a member of Corporate Realty since 2013. She began her real estate career in the mid-1970’s with regional developer, Joseph C. Canizaro Interests. Beginning as leasing agent for One Canal Place, a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use development in downtown New Orleans, Donna was responsible for leasing over 300,000 square feet of space in the Class-A office tower, working with tenants such as Schlumberger, Halliburton Services and Consolidated Natural Gas.
Following the success of One Canal Place, as leasing agent for 400 Poydras in New Orleans, Donna was responsible for pre-leasing, and successfully negotiating over 400,000 square to open the building in 1984 with Texaco as the major tenant (over 250,000 square feet), the law firm of Phelps, Dunbar (over 40,000 square feet), and Dean Witter Financial Services (over 15,000 sq. feet). A promotion to Vice-President of Leasing for Canizaro Interests in the mid-1980’s involved pre-leasing 909 Poydras, another 500,000 square foot Class-A building, including Louisiana Land & Exploration Company as the major tenant and the Milling Law Firm (over 50,000 square feet).
In 1989, Donna formed her own firm, Whalen/Stoddard, Inc., specializing in exclusive tenant representation. Whalen/Stoddard represented many major law firms, national insurance and financial firms and energy-related companies. After twenty-two successful years, she joined Corporate Realty in July, 2013, continuing exclusive tenant representation. Donna is a native New Orleanian and attended Loyola University. She was named a YMCA Woman in Business Role Model in 1989, was formerly a member of the Board of Kingsley House, a United Way agency, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of City Year New Orleans.
Kevin N. Wilkins is the Founder and CEO of trepwise, a growth consulting firm whose mission is to power organizations to maximize their potential. With over 30 years of experience in corporate and private ventures, Kevin has built a strong team of consultants at trepwise who collectively have worked with over 500 organizations within the for-profit, non-profit, and public sectors. Since moving to New Orleans, he has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence and COO for The Idea Village (2011-2013). Kevin’s experience working closely with entrepreneurs in the New Orleans area led him to solidify his mission for trepwise: to power organizations to maximize their potential. trepwise, established in 2013, strives to achieve its vision of thriving communities where good ideas spread.
Kevin also serves on many non-profit boards, currently for City Year New Orleans, Collegiate Academies, Tulane Hillel, Institute of Mental Hygiene, Be Well Nutrition, Montclair Kimberley Academy; Touro Synagogue; and GNO Inc. and formerly for The Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Louisiana Children’s Museum, and Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation. Kevin is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as holding executive leadership positions with Procter & Gamble, Fidelity Investments, and State Street Research & Management. In addition, Kevin was recognized by the Young Leadership Council (YLC) as the 2019 Role Model of the Year and by Louisiana Life as the Louisianian of the Year 2021 for Business. trepwise has also been named one of the Best Places to Work by CityBusiness for the last 5 years and was chosen as The Best Place to Work in 2018.
Mario is a local New Orleanian and graduate of University of New Orleans. He is an experienced Development and Political Finance Director at the company he founded, Zervigon Consulting Group, which has been in operation for over 15 years. Prior to this, Mario worked as the Finance Director for the Louisiana Democratic Party, and managed campaigns for Susan Guidry, Kristen Palmer, Helena Moreno, Kira Orange Jones and many other local leaders. Mario is married and has two children who attend Lusher Charter School.