Good News!

Luncheon Road to Rhodes

Mark A. Mayer, outgoing board chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bureau of Governmental Research, opened the program at the BGR 2016 annual Luncheon with words of welcome, and, moments later, remarks. In between, Nominating Committee Chairman J. Kelly Duncan recognized new officers and directors. Hardy B. Fowler succeeded Mayer as the board chairman and Ludovico Feoli, J. Storey Charbonnet, Norma Grace, Nathalie G. Simon and Todd McDonald are the 2017 officers. The new directors are Andrea Chen, Louis M. Freeman Jr., Alex Gershanik, Andrew Lee, Jennifer Neil, Slade Simons and Larry Washington, while Caroline Zetzman-Calhoun, Anthony Recasner, and the above Mayer and Simon were re-elected to a second term.

The newly dubbed Hardy Fowler then stepped to the lectern for his remarks as the 2017 chairman right before WWL-TV President Tod Smith introduced the guest speaker, David Rhodes, CBS News president. Rhodes, then, talked about CBS notables with New Orleans connections, such as Michelle Miller, also a former first lady of the city; thanked everyone at WWL, saying it is “always one of the strongest CBS affiliates”; and, in discussing real versus fake news, emphasized the importance of solid, truthful journalism. Moderator Dennis Woltering, retired WWL-TV anchor, then opened the floor to questions and answers, before Fowler’s closing remarks.

Audience members were especially focused on what Rhodes had to say, as well as the pre-and post-mingling. Among those seen were BGR President and CEO Amy L. Glovinsky; retired BGR President and CEO Janet Howard, who was joined by husband Scott; New Orleans Police Department Superintendent of Police Michael S. Harrison; Whitney Bank President/BGR board member Joseph S. “Joe” Exnicios; past BGR Chairwoman Anne Milling; The Advocate owner John Georges; and Robert J. “Sandy” Whann IV, another BGR board member and chairman of Leidenheimer Baking Co.

Two-score socializing and a salute

At the 40th anniversary annual dinner of the Catholic Foundation Archdiocese of New Orleans, Marilyn Quirk, foundress of Magnificat Ministry for Women, received the prestigious St. John Paul II Award. Since 2005, the recipients have been Mary Jane and John Becker, Mary Ann Valentino, Michael O. Read, Betty Lauricella, the late Deacon Everett J. Williams, Leon J. Reymond Jr., Dr. Jack A. Andonie, John P. Laborde, Judge Jay C. Zainey, and, in 2015, Anne and Jack Dardis. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond chairs the foundation board, which has Steven J. Hubbell as president and Ralph C. Cox Jr., Jamie G. Lassere and August “Gus” Kuntz as officers. Once again, Patricia T. “Patsy” Hotard, joined by Jimmy, chaired the Dinner Committee.

As it has been for years, the dinner took place in the Grand Ballroom of the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, amassing hundreds who enjoyed spinach salad, boneless short ribs, and a chocolate croquant with fresh berries. The room was embellished with centerpieces by Federico’s Family Florist of burnished gold baskets with deep red roses, greenery, Christmas ball-ornaments, and red and green metallic ribbon. They were placed on snow-white table cloths. Similar and much larger arrangements were on the stage.

Instead of a keynote speaker, a 10-minute video was shown spotlighting the impact of The Catholic Foundation’s mission and work, as well as powerful testimonies from representatives of Covenant House, Woman’s New Life Center and Project Lazarus. Program principals included CF executive director Charles W. Heim Jr. (with Barbara), Monsignor Andrew Taormina, the Jesuit High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC Color Guard, CF President Hubbell (with Kathy), Archbishop Aymond, the honored Marilyn (who received a standing ovation after receiving the award and her words of acceptance), associate CF executive director Cory J. Howat, and Archbishop Emeritus Alfred C. Hughes.

In attendance were all of the six children of Marilyn and Peter Quirk (her husband of 58 years), including daughter Cheryl and her husband, Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Also, Patricia Cox with Ralph, Sister Briege McKenna, O.S.C., Monsignor Christopher Nalty and mother Jane Nalty (who received the above award with her late husband, Paul, a deacon, in 2001), Stacy Pellerin, Darlene and Mark Robert, Mary Matalin, Joseph “Joe” and Sue Ellen Canizaro, the Beckers, the Rev. Ronald Calkins, and scores more, who extended heartfelt congratulations to Marilyn.

Port plaudits

The fourth annual Louisiana International Trade Gala had the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center of the National WWII Museum as its venue and Gary P. LaGrange, president and CEO, Port of New Orleans, as the 2016 recipient of the Eugene J. Schreiber Award. Joining honoree Gary were family members. From the Schreiber family came the late Eugene’s son and daughter-in-law Jeremy and Cynthia.

Features of the gala were many, including a dinner of iceberg lettuce, braised beef short ribs, and a choice of lemon cheesecake or French Opera cake for dessert; Firefly Ambiance centerpieces and lighting arrangements; a silent auction of 20 items, including artwork from the former collection of the World Trade Center New Orleans and area businesses; and the award presentation to LaGrange by Greg Rusovich (with Suzanne), former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. Eddy Hayes, joined by Christina, answers to WTCNO chairman.

Among the 300 attendees — all with impressive titles — were Billy App with Marguerite, Jared Sleeth with Stephanie, Conny Willems with Casey, Quentin Messer Jr. with Kenya, Corrado Giacona II with Pat, Michael Olivier with Penelope, John Fay with Christina, Conrad Appel with Carol, Sean Duffy Sr. with Michele, and Frank Stewart Jr. with Paulette. Along with the recognition of Gary LaGrange was that Shelby Westfeldt Mills and Tom Spiers, who co-chaired the gala committee and made rounds with spouses John and Lacey.