Baton Rouge area

Robert J. Nolan has been named vice president of development for the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising arm of Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

He was with Loyola Medicine in Chicago, having led corporate and foundation relations for the academic medical center, the medical and nursing schools, and transitional research center since 2015. He has held previous positions at Hartford Healthcare, Eastern Connecticut Health Network and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Nolan earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington, Indiana, and a master’s degree in education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Jerry Raehal has been named executive director for the Louisiana Press Association, effective Sept. 28.

He succeeds Will Chapman, who is retiring.

Raehal was publisher and ad director at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent in Colorado and served as chief executive officer of the Colorado Press Association and its for-profit arm, Colorado Press Network, from 2014 to 2018. He has been involved in newspapers since his high school days, and has experience as a reporter, editor, ad director and publisher at various newspapers in Wyoming, Oregon and Colorado.

New Orleans area

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art has promoted Dorcas Omojola to director of finance and administration, Amanda Rose to director of programming and operations and Claire Wilkinson to director of development.

Omojola was controller and is responsible for the museum’s accounting, information technology contract support, Museum Store operations and various administrative processes. She joined the museum in January 2019 and had been finance and operations manager for Propeller. Omojola holds a bachelor's degree in business administration in accounting and marketing from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 

Rose was manager of programming and special events and will direct the museum’s security and facilities teams and oversee programming, special events and facility rentals. She joined the museum in April 2019 and worked as event manager and festival manager for New Orleans Film Society. She has 10 years of experience in event management and production and holds a bachelor's degree in film, theater and communications from the University of New Orleans.

Wilkinson was manager of development initiatives and will lead the museum’s fundraising plan. She has been with the museum for six years and previously was with the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans and 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago. She received her bachelor's degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The promotions complement the promotion of Ellen Balkin to director of education, who has been at Ogden Museum since 2007, and was education manager, and Melissa Kenyon to director of marketing and experience, who joined the museum in 2017, and was communications manager.

Xavier University of Louisiana has appointed Phillip D. Adams as vice president of institutional advancement, providing leadership to the university’s fundraising and development division and responsibility for designing and implementing institutional advancement initiatives.

Adams was vice president for university advancement at Savannah State University in Georgia. He also acted as the executive director of the SSU Foundation and as director of government relations. He has served at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities as vice president for institutional advancement. The U.S. Air Force veteran received his Masters of Science degree at Golden Gate University and undergraduate degree from Saint Leo University.

Kristian Sonnier has been named vice president of communications and business development at Ryan Gootee General Contractors LLC.

Sonnier was vice president of communications and public relations for five years at New Orleans & Co., the city’s destination marketing organization, leading its 2018 rebranding from the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has 25 years of experience in public relations, communications, marketing, media relations, media management and crisis communications. Sonnier spent 16 years at Peter A. Mayer Advertising. She received a bachelor's degree from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication in 1993, with a focus on journalism and public relations.

Around Louisiana

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana will be honoring the accomplishments in leadership and community engagement of individuals and corporations within the Hispanic community at its annual Excelencia Gala. The 2020 honorees are Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana, corporate partner; Entergy, president’s choice; Jose Garcia, owner of Televizion Christian channel, community partner; Jeiver Gonzalez Villegas, of GNO Tax & Business Center LLC, small business; and Cristy Cali, of the CristyCali designer jewelry brand, young leader.

Louisiana Bar Foundation chairs for community partnership panels and committees have been named by Harry J. "Skip" Philips Jr., of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips LLP in Baton Rouge, the organization's 2020-21 president.

Panel chairs are Shannon Seiler Dartez, The Glenn Armentor Law Corp. in Lafayette, Acadiana; Teresa D. King, of Teresa King, Esquire, LLC in Houma, Bayou Region; Linda Law Clark, of DeCuir, Clark & Adams LLP in Baton Rouge, capital area; Elizabeth W. Randall, of the U.S. Western District Court of Louisiana in Alexandria, central; Margaret E. Woodward, a New Orleans attorney, greater Orleans; Thomas M. Hayes IV, of Hayes, Harkey, Smith & Cascio LLP in Monroe, northeast; Judge Page McClendon of Madisonville, Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, north shore; Paul L. Wood, Law Office of Paul L. Wood LLC in Shreveport, northwest; and Edwin F. Hunter III, of Hunter, Hunter & Sonnier LLC in Lake Charles, southwest.

Committee chairs are Philips, executive and nominating committees; Julie M. Lafargue, of Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett in New Orleans, building committee; Deidre Deculus Robert, of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development in Baton Rouge, communications committee; Charles C. “Chuck” Bourque Jr., of St. Martin & Bourque in Houma, development committee; Kerry A. Murphy, of Lasky Murphy in New Orleans, vice chair of development committee; Professor Russell L. Jones, of the Southern University Law Center, education committee; Alan G. Brackett, of Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett in New Orleans, finance, investment, grants committees; Amanda W. Barnett, of Red River Bank in Alexandria, governance committee; Matthew R. Richards, of Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corp. in Baton Rouge, Kids’ Chance committee; Edmund J. Giering IV, of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, regional grantee board and staff training committee.