BGR Annual Luncheon

Nell Nolan: BGR Luncheon

By Nell Nolan

Source: The Advocate

January 9, 2018

A Launching Luncheon

At noon on a recent Thursday, the 2017 annual luncheon of the Bureau of Governmental Research opened formally with words of welcome from board Chairman Hardy B. Fowler, who later closed the program. Among the approximately 740 attendees were business, community and nonprofit leaders, public officials, and BGR members and supporters. The Marriott New Orleans was the host hotel; Canal Barge and Whitney Bank, the luncheon sponsors; and 69 people or businesses, the table sponsors. The newly renovated Grand Ballroom at the Marriott was packed.

Proceeding with the order of business, while the crowd enjoyed a lunch of red leaf salad, roasted chicken and warm white chocolate bread pudding, was Mark A. Mayer, a former board chairman, who now chairs the Nominating Committee. In addition to Fowler, the officers are Ludovico Feoli, J. Storey Charbonnet, Norma Grace, Nathalie G. Simon and Todd McDonald. Amy L. Glovinsky, president and CEO, heads up a team that includes Stephen Stuart, Selva Riemann, Susan Dudis, Clare Fiasconaro, Jamie Cortez  Parker and Paul Rioux. “With gratitude,” Nicolas Bazan, Caroline Zetzmann Calhounand Joseph S. Exnicios were cited for the conclusion of their service on the board.

The highlight of the event was the panel discussion, “Meeting the Press in an Era of Fake News, Partisan Politics and High-Stakes Elections.” Betsy Fischer Martin, executive in residence American University, and Jonathan Martin, national political correspondent The New York Times, were the panelists, while Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of The Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., moderated. He is also a university professor of history at Tulane University and the acclaimed author of a number of biographies, including the recent “Leonardo da Vinci.”

Noted in the high-profile audience were Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell,Councilwoman Susan Guidry, Councilwoman-elect Helena Moreno, Councilman-elect Joe Giarrusso, Ellie Fowler with husband Hardy, retired BGR President and CEO Janet Howard with Scott, and former BGR Chairmen Anne and King Milling and Edgar Chase III. And, Boysie Bollinger, David Kerstein, Joe Exnicios, Bob Merrick, Stephanie Feoli with Ludovico, Dennis Woltering with Carol, Joyce and Sidney Pulitzer, Ron Forman, Barbara Bush, Frank Stewart Jr., Jimmy Kock, Ruthie Frierson, Dan Shea, John “Johnny” Koerner, Nick Mueller, Alex Gershanik, Peter Kovacs, Julia Bland, Jimmy and Pixie Reiss, Haydee Bazan with Nicolas, Mary Matalin, and Bill Oliver.

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