The Young Leadership Council has formed its 2014 Role Model Class, comprising 25 business, community and civic leaders who will be honored at the YLC Role Model Gala on Aug. 9 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

Members of the class include: Iftikar Ahmad, New Orleans International Airport; Justin Augustine, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority/Veolia Transportation; Therese Badon, UNCF; Arnold Baker, Baker Ready Mix; Bryan Batt, Le Petit Théâtre and NO/AIDS Task Force; David Blossman, Abita Brewing Company; Matt Candler, 4.0 Schools; Michelle D. Craig, Adams and Reese LLP; Jeffrey Goldring, Goldring Family Foundation, Sazarac Company and Crescent Crown Distributing; Stephanie Haynes, Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition; and Sister Marjorie Hebert, MSC and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Others are James M. LeBlanc, Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans; Charles E. Leche, Deutsh, Kerrigan & Stiles; Lan Chi Luu, LSU Health Sciences Center; Ed Marshall, First NBC Bank; R.M. “Iray” Nabatoff, Community Center of St. Bernard; Lavonzell Nicholson, PLAYNOLA Sports; Daryl Reginelli, Reginelli’s; Melissa Sawyer, Youth Empowerment Project; Dana Shepard, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans; Michael O. Smith, Hyatt Regency New Orleans; Monica R. Sylvain, The Posse Foundation Inc.; Keith Twitchell, Committee for a Better New Orleans; Thomas P. Westervelt, IberiaBank; and Ana Zorrilla, Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The annual YLC Role Model Awards Gala is black-tie attire and will feature a formal presentation of the members of the 2014 Role Model Class followed by dinner, a silent auction and musical entertainment. New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation President and CEO Mark Romig will serve as this year’s master of ceremonies. An exclusive patron party will precede the main event.

This year’s Role Model Gala is chaired by YLC board member McKensie Kirchner.

General admission tickets are $200 per person and can be purchased online until 5 p.m. Aug. 6 at Table sponsorship packages are available, starting at $2,000.

For information about tickets or sponsorship, contact Juliana Wilkins at or call (504) 585-1198. For more information on YLC and to view a list of past Role Model Award recipients, visit