The 31st annual YLC Role Model Awards Gala took place in the Empire Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, preceded by a next-door patron party. “Individuals who have distinguished themselves in the community,” the 21 Young Leadership Council honorees were Alyson M. Mount, Entergy Corporation; Amy Boyle Collins, Gambel Communications; Andrew “Andy” Kopplin, Greater New Orleans Foundation, president and CEO; Bill Hammack, Kingsley House, board president; Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, Son of a Saint; Carol G. McCall, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans; Derrick Tabb, The Roots of Music; Gabriel A. Feldman, Tulane Law School; Gregg Reggio, Taste Buds, Inc.; Jeffrey P. Hebert, City of New Orleans, chief resilience officer; Kay Kerrigan, YAYA Inc., board president; and Dr. L’Issa L. Gates, Ochsner Health Center for Children.
The roster continues with Leann Opotowsky Moses, Carver Darden law firm; Lee C. Reid, Adams & Reese, LLP; Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux, Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian Tribe; Petrice Sams-Abiodun, Ph.D., Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans; Raymond J. Jeandron Jr., retired from KPMG, LLP; Salvador A. Scaccia, Kroger Specialty Pharmacy, West Operations; Terri B. North, Providence Community Housing, president and CEO; Todd P. Murphy, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, president; and Wesley J. Palmisano, Palmisano Group, president. Their Faber awards will be constant reminders of their laurels from the event.
More top names were those of Carolyn S. Buckley and Caleb S. Roberts, who chaired the gala; President Jermaine L. Smith and officers Jack Wiles (president-elect and joined by wife Alexis), Joseph T. Wilson, Margaux Krane (with spouse Stew), Allen Smith, Jennifer Jeandron (with fiancé John Guenard), Amanda Menniti, Maisha Robinson, and Calais Hurst Waring; and, from the staff, executive director Stephanie Powell, Ryan Kreiser and Julia Moore.
Particularly thanked was in-attendance Phyllis Taylor, of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, the Diamond Sponsor. The Goldring Family Foundation was the Platinum one, while the Gold Sponsors were Lynne Burkart and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kerrigan. The New Orleans Advocate was the Media Sponsor. For hours, the silent auction and the Mystery Boxes had guests adding to the YLC coffers.
To launch the program, executive director Stephanie Powell (with husband Karl Hartdegen), master of ceremonies Mark Romig and Caleb Roberts (with husband Dario Bayardo) extended words of welcome, followed by remarks from Jermaine Smith (with wife Megan Holt, Ph.D.). Dinner punctuated the program, thanks to a mesclun and goat cheese salad, roasted chicken and a chocolate pot de crème, purveyed by 1718 Catering. Meade Wenzel, mother-in-law of RM Alyson Mount, did the décor and flowers, and Phat Hat, the musical momentum.
More within the crowd of 440 were Magistrate Judge Michael North (with RM Terri), Leah and Miller Engelhardt, Fred and Soheila Holley, Sarah and Tommy Usdin, state Rep. Helena Moreno and husband Chris Meeks, state Rep. Julie Skinner Stokes and Larry, Maisha Robinson and Shaun Mena, and Kevin Wilkins with mother-in-law Carol Wise.
Accolades flowed freely throughout the evening, tapping the Role Models. So did gratitude. Just prior to going into the Empire Ballroom for the formalities, Kay Kerrigan said how honored she was to be recognized. That sentiment was echoed by her 20 RM cohorts.
On a recent Thursday evening, The WYES Paulette and Frank Stewart Innovation Center for Educational Media took place with kin, close kith and WYES VIPs attending the 6 p.m. ceremony in the Collins C. Diboll Pavilion. An hour later, more invitees milled about, heaping praise on the new center as they grazed the delicious food spread.
Allan Pizzato, president and CEO of WYES, opened the program with a welcome and an introduction of WYES Board Chairman Cleland Powell. Special remarks came from a pair of Pats — Harrison, president and CEO Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Butler, president and CEO American Public Television Stations (APTS). Then Powell made the dedication announcement and the Stewarts, the honoree remarks. Pizzato (with wife Sharon) closed the program. A reception and guided tours ensued. A special acknowledgment went to Mathes Brierre Architects and Trimark Constructors.
Among the features of the event were the letter-pressed invitations by Margaret Jones, of Scriptura; food and flowers by Palate New Orleans catering and Special Events; and décor by Event Rentals.
More top names were those of Danny Conwill (with Mary Clare) and Bobby Bories (with Bridget), Breaking New Ground Campaign-co-chairmen, who received the WYES Chairman’s Award presented by Cleland Powell (with Claudia). Also, from the Stewart family, daughter and son-in-law Betty and Dr. Jeff Poole; son Frank B. “Trey” Stewart III; sister Linda Stewart (Mrs. Gene) Newton; niece Virginia de la Vergne, and cousins Andrea and David Bland, Desiree and William Wegmann, Rini and Wally Marcus, Gervais Favrot, and Bitsie and Grover Mouton. Kornman family members were especially prominent, namely Mary “Kevin” and Larry, and Richard and Kathy.
Others were Sarah and Richard Freeman, Vince and Donna Giardina, David and Catherine Edwards, Herschel and Anne Abbott, Lulie and Denis McDonald, Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, Joe Exnicios, Hunter Hill, Arlene and Alan Philipson, Flora and Ronald French, Rod and Elizabeth McIlhenny Rodriguez with son Richard, Margaret and Pierre Villere, Susan and Pierre C. Villere, Sandy Villere, and WYES luminaries. When thanked for the Stewarts’ generosity, Paulette smiled and said, “We were glad to be able to do it.”
Suppose you gave a party and everyone invited came. And then some. The premises were packed when Liberty’s Kitchen held its seventh annual Come Grow with Us Chef Showdown. Thanked as big donors were Ace Hotel New Orleans, the venue, and Domain Companies. Allison Stock and Patrick Bordnick chaired the gala, assisted by a committee of 21. Board luminaries are executive director David Emond, Chairman Matt Schwartz (with Christa), Vice Chairwoman Denise Redmann, Secretary Jeff Good and Treasurer Scott Powell. Jeff Gulotta, Youth Advocate Award, and Da’Mon Keelen and Nadja Sampson, Janet Gorence Davas Youth Achievement Award, were the honorees.
Making rounds were retired Judge Calvin Johnson with Deidra Hayes, board member Stephen Hanemann with Jennifer, LK’s Dennis Bagneris, TG and Nicelle Herrington and Gary Solomon Jr.
The chic décor of the hotel was enhanced by West Elm tables and lanterns with the soft glow of uplighting furthering the ambiance. Whole Foods Market Broad Street donated the stunning flowers, and food galore came from 21 top eateries and toques. Delicious fare abounded.
The patron party started the Showdown fun, with general admission at 8 p.m. and, an hour later, Emond’s welcome, the award ceremony and live auction (with, as major purchasers, Jennifer Weishaupt, Elaine Garvey, Aaron Motwani, Charlie Fontenelle and Lauren Marwil). Chrystal McDonald was the emcee and moderator with help from Bordnick. “Thank You and Good Night” capped the chef caper, but not before T-Ray the violinist and DJ RQ Away cooked up some music.