John D. Georges
Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Married to Dathel Coleman Georges, and full of passion, John Dennis Georges has cultivated achievements in both the public and private business sectors. Georges has strived to maintain marked integrity in the local, regional, statewide and national communities. Through successful business developments, faith based initiatives and philanthropic efforts, Georges remains a driving force.
After graduating from Tulane University where he majored in management with an emphasis on accounting, Georges worked for his family business, Imperial Trading Co., which was started by his immigrant grandfather. He took the family's company to a billion dollar corporation. Georges serves as Chief Executive Officer for Georges Enterprises, a Louisiana conglomerate which includes Imperial Trading Co., a national food distribution for convenience stores headquartered in New Orleans and regional offices in twelve states and several other businesses. In 2013 together with his wife, Dathel, he purchased “The Advocate,” which he grew into Louisiana’s largest daily newspaper, including The New Orleans Advocate and The Acadiana Advocate.
In the past 30 years, Georges has served on several state, national and international boards. He served for seven years on the State of Louisiana Board of Regents. He supported the establishment of Baton Rouge Community College, and facilitated collaboration between LSU and Tulane Medical Schools in areas such as gene therapy. He ran for Louisiana Governor in 2007 and Mayor of New Orleans in 2010.
Georges is a Trustee for the National World War II Museum, Member of the Board of St. Augustine High School, Past President of the Young Presidents Organization of Louisiana, past member of the Tulane University President’s Council, the University of New Orleans Foundation, the LSU Medical Foundation Board, Jefferson and New Orleans Business Councils, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, World Trade Center and the Chamber of Commerce.
A firm believer in education and entrepreneurship, Georges founded Lemonade Day in Louisiana. An annual community event that gives children an opportunity to learn the inner workings of running a business, Lemonade Day has helped more than 50,000 children become entrepreneurs. Georges established the Galatoire's Foundation, named after the restaurant he owns, to expand local cultural programs. Galatoire's has made over $1 million in contributions to local charities.
Georges’ Greek heritage and Christian religion is a foundation for him in business and everyday life. He is a member of the Order of St. Andrew, Leadership 100 and AHEPA. During Hurricane Katrina, Georges was president of the Greek Orthodox Community in New Orleans, following the tradition of his father and grandfather, and was instrumental in the $4 million rebuild of the Greek Orthodox Church and Hellenic Cultural Center within four months of the storm. He also chaired the Katrina Relief Fund at Metairie Park Country Day School, raising more than $5 million to re-âopen the school.
John and Dathel live in New Orleans with their children Zana, Liza and John Jr. (Nike).
Dathel Coleman Georges
Owner and Community Advisory Board
Dathel Coleman Georges graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in Art History. She is a 1986 graduate of Metairie Park Country Day School. From 1990 to 2004, Georges served as Vice President of Operations at St. Rose Nursery, St. Rose, Louisiana.
In May, 2013 Dathel and John Georges purchased The Advocate and expanded the newspaper's reach by launching The New Orleans Advocate, partly by hiring several Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists from The Times-Picayune. They also publish The Acadiana Advocate.
Dathel sits on advisory boards for The Advocate and The New Orleans Advocate, which are groups of community leaders who counsel the owners and management on ways to improve the newspaper and tailor it to the needs and tastes of each unique community.
Dathel currently serves as a trustee of Metairie Park Country Day School, is on the board of Dillard University, is a trustee of Galatoire's Foundation and Crimestoppers, and is a board member of St. Rose Nursery.
Past community involvement includes the 2013 fundraising chair for Ogden Museum of Southern Art 'O What a Night Gala' and the 2011 chair for the Museum of Art's 'Art in Bloom' event. She is also a past board member for the Contemporary Art Center.
Her hobbies include hiking, biking, golf, tennis, travel, and art collecting. John and Dathel live in New Orleans with their children Alexandra (Zana), Eliza (Liza) and John Jr. (Nike).
Dan Shea is the Publisher of The Advocate. In this role, he leads all departments of the newspaper and theadvocate.com website.
Prior to joining The Advocate, Shea served as the managing editor/news for The Times-Picayune for 19 years. He supervised newsroom operations, technology, copyediting, presentation and photography. During his tenure, his team won scores of awards for photography, graphics and design from the Society for News Design and the National Press Photographers Association.
Shea played a key role in continuing publication of the paper in print and online in the harrowing days after Katrina. He led a small team to Houma when rising floodwaters forced the paper to evacuate its newsroom and kept the operation going while a larger news operation was being assembled in Baton Rouge. For its efforts, the TP won the Gold Medal for Public Service and the Breaking News Award of the 2006 Pulitzer Prizes. The paper also won two more Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure.
Shea was the liaison with nola.com for many years when it was a separately run company. He also created The TP Store, an online source for TP photos, books and page reproductions. He directed the publication of six books from the TP staff.
Prior to coming to New Orleans, Shea worked at The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, first as the business editor, later as publishing technology manager, where he supervised the purchasing and installation of millions of dollars of new computer technology.
He also was a financial reporter at a trade paper covering Wall Street and reported on local government and business for the Journal Inquirer and Hartford Advocate newspapers in Connecticut.
A native of Massachusetts, Shea is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Mass. and also studied in England and Canada. He is married to Stephanie Stokes, the former editor of the Inside Out section of The Times-Picayune. They reside in Metairie with their teenage children, DJ and Catie.
Judi was named president of The Advocate in February 2018. She joins Georges Media Group from Gannett where she spent the majority of her 30-year career in the media business. She held many positions with the company including sales consultant, advertising director, general manager and publisher. Most recently she was the president of the Gulf Region overseeing 8 markets in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. She was recognized by Gannett as a finalist for the 2012 Manager of the Year award.
Judi is an army brat who attended eleven different schools growing up. She's a graduate of The University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in communications. In each market, she has been very active in the community by serving on various boards of directors as well as a serving as a facilitator at the prestigious American Press Institute in Washington, D.C.
Her publications have won numerous awards from the Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee Press Associations. Her grandfather was the longtime editor of The Dominion News in Morgantown, West Virginia. Her husband, Bob, is Executive Vice President of Mather Economics in Atlanta. Judi has one son, a captain and Blackhawk pilot in US Army National Guard stationed in Hammond, LA and two stepchildren, who reside in North Carolina. She enjoys running, boating, shopping and traveling.
Kovacs has been a newspaper editor in Louisiana for more than three decades at The Times-Picayune and The Advocate. He moved to Baton Rouge, joined The Advocate in 2013, and helped expand its reach in Louisiana by launching separate newspapers serving New Orleans and Acadiana, as well as more than a dozen weekly titles covering the Baton Rouge and New Orleans markets. From 1983 to 2012 he held a variety of positions at The Times-Picayune, including managing editor/news. During his time there, the newspaper won four Pulitzer Prizes, including two for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He came to New Orleans from Alabama, where he was an editor and reporter for The Birmingham News. He is a graduate of Brown University and has served on various boards, including the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Manship School. He is a member of the Baton Rouge Rotary.
Kalmbach has been involved in covering news in the Baton Rouge area for more than 25 years, first as a reporter covering crime, courts and the environment, and later as an editor. He started his career in journalism in 1988 as an intern reporter with the State-Times, the city's afternoon newspaper at the time. He later joined Baton Rouge’s morning paper, The Advocate. In 2004 he left the paper to become managing editor at the Baton Rouge Business Report. In mid-2005 he returned to The Advocate as Metro editor, just in time to help lead the news coverage of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and has been managing editor since 2011. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Managing Editor, New Orleans
Martha Carr, managing editor of The New Orleans Advocate, has worked as a reporter and editor in her hometown for almost two decades. After spending 16 years at the Times-Picayune, she joined The Advocate in 2013 to lead the effort to bring back a strong, civic-minded, daily newspaper to the New Orleans area.
She was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial team that reported on the tragedy unleashed by Hurricane Katrina, and was integral in directing the coverage of the recovery, including every anniversary for the past 10 years.
Carr received her bachelor's in communications from Loyola University and her master’s in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago. While at the Times-Picayune, she worked as a political reporter, deputy city editor and online news editor. Her job is now focused on helping The New Orleans Advocate's award-winning staff of journalists unearth the stories that are important to readers and hold the powerful to account.
Managing Editor, Investigations
Russell has worked in daily newspapers since 1995, including stints at the Morgantown, West Virginia Dominion Post and the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune. He worked at The Times-Picayune from 1999 until 2013, and was part of a team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He was the paper's last city editor, a position he held for four years. He has been managing editor for investigations at The Advocate since 2013. He is a graduate of Columbia University and earned a master’s in journalism from New York University. He lives in New Orleans.
Vice President - Finance
Jim Myers joined the Advocate’s executive team as Vice President of Finance in the fall of 2018.
Jim has been involved as a newspaper Controller for the last twenty years, most recently working in the Springfield, Illinois market for Gatehouse Media. Prior to his stop in Illinois, Jim worked with Gannett in Alexandria, La and Pensacola, Fl. Jim is married to his wife Charlene with two children, both boys – one located in Lufkin, Tx and the oldest located in Las Vegas, NV. They have one grandson. Jim enjoys golfing in his spare time.
Vice President - Information Technology
Saunier joined The Advocate’s leadership team as Vice President of Information Technology in 2013, after a 13-year career at The Times-Picayune. His expertise includes technology management, systems architecture, project management, strategic planning, and customer service. Before joining the publishing industry, he served in the Louisiana Air National Guard for 12 years where he received multiple acknowledgements for his service, including being recognized by the United States Air Force as 'Best Seen to Date' for managing IT related fixed assets. In addition to being Microsoft certified, he graduated with a Business Administration degree from the University of New Orleans. Saunier has lived in south Louisiana his entire life. He lives in Prairieville with his wife Regina and daughter Ava. Saunier loves spending time with his family, and is a huge sports fan.
Vice President - Production
John Phillips recently joined the Advocate's executive team as Vice President of Production in May, 2018.
He has been actively involved in newspaper production for three-plus decades. Before relocating to Baton Rouge, John worked and resided in the central Illinois market for 25 years holding various production positions. Phillips also worked in the Panama City, FL market and was responsible for assisting the consolidation of Florida Freedom newspapers located throughout the panhandle. While there, he received the annual “Karen E. Haynes” Award given to managers making the biggest impact within the organization.
From 2012 to early 2018, Phillips served as Senior General Manager of Production for Gannett Publishing Services residing in Shreveport, Louisiana, and later in Jackson, Mississippi. He was directly responsible for the newspaper production of four markets in two states. He has served on various committees and boards, including the “Muller Martini Users Group” Board of Directors. He attended Illinois Central College majoring in Business Administration.
John is married to his wife, Pam, and they have two children - a son located in Omaha, Nebraska, and a daughter in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They have five lovely grandchildren, as well. He loves to golf, BBQ, and travel.
Vice President – Sales Majors & Nationals
Lou Hudson is Vice President of Advertising for Majors & Nationals for all Advocate brands and markets. She joined The Advocate in 2012, bringing more than 25 years of experience as a sales and marketing leader in New York, Chicago and Miami markets as part of Knight Ridder, Tribune and ADVO.
Hudson is a member of three national business and advertising organizations: Multi-Cultural Executives, National Marketing Association and National Advertising & Marketing Coalition.
Locally, she is involved in community organizations including the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, the Pennington Foundation, Rotary Club and Catholic Charities.
Hudson is a native of Yucatan, Mexico, but grew up in Arlington, Texas, where she attended the University of Texas, and Texas A&M for graduate work. She is a resident of Baton Rouge and is married to Chip Coulter. Together, they have four daughters. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Publisher of Gambit
Jeanne Exnicios Foster, is the publisher of Gambit and bestofneworleans.com. After receiving a degree in Marketing and Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology and interning at Time Out New York magazine, Jeanne returned to her hometown and began her career at Gambit. Initially hired as an advertising coordinator, Jeanne's career progressed as Gambit's assistant advertising director, marketing director and associate publisher.
Jeanne previously served as the program coordinator for the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council, where she designed programs of study for participants of the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. She also has participated in community programs such as the New Orleans Business Alliance Economic Development Ambassadorship Program, and the Junior League of New Orleans Get on Board Training Series.
From 2014-2016, Jeanne was a member of the national Association of Alternative Newsmedia Board of Directors. She currently serves as a Board Member of Communities in Schools of the Gulf South. In 2011, Jeanne received an ADDY Award for Promotions/ Special Events Coordination; and in 2018 the Gambit team was awarded an EPPY from Editor & Publisher magazine as the Best Weekly / Non-daily Newspaper Website in the country.
Human Resources Director
Jessica has been with The Advocate since January 2007, and has more than 12 years of experience in the field. She’s a graduate of Louisiana State University with a bachelor of science degree in business management with a concentration in human resources. In 2018, she obtained her SHRM-SCP certification.
She began her Advocate career in benefits administration and was promoted to Human Resources Director in 2015. Legath has secured a past training grant with the state for more than $100,000. She was also part of the team that obtained the “Safest 70” award with The Advocate’s worker’s compensation carrier for the last 11 years.
A native of south Louisiana, she lives in Livingston with her husband John and their 3 children. She loves spending time with her family, playing softball and reading.