BGR Annual Luncheon

Nell Nolan: Society of Colonial Wars, Churchill Society Dinner, BGR Luncheon, Ditta Dinner UHC

By Nell Nolan

Source: The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

January 4, 2023

90th Anniversary

At the annual luncheon of the Bureau of Governmental Research in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, the 90th anniversary of the “private, nonprofit, independent research organization dedicated to informed public policy,” hailed past board of directors chairs: Harry J. Blumenthal Jr., Edgar L. Chase III, J. Kelly Duncan, Ludovico Feoli, Hardy B. Fowler, Louis M. Freeman, Richard W. Freeman Jr., Ronald J. French, David Guidry, Hans B. Jonassen, Diane M. Lewis, Mark A. Mayer, Anne M. Milling, R. King Milling, Lynes R. “Poco” Sloss and Sterling Scott Willis. The board chair at the Hancock Whitney-sponsored luncheon was Norma Grace, along with board officers Merritt Lane, Steven W. Usdin, Anne P. Baňos, Blake J. Stanfill, Christine Albert and Feoli. The 22 board members ranged from Ryan Adkerson to Jonathan A. Wilson.

Norma Grace headed the program that included BGR President and CEO Rebecca “Becky” Mowbray (Samuel Zemurray Chair in Research Leadership), Merritt Lane, Gary Lorio and Anne Milling, who introduced the speaker, Judy Woodruff, the just-retired anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour, and her topic on defending democracy. Questions and answers followed. (Her presentation was part of the Janet Howard Speaker Series in Governmental Research. Howard was a former president and CEO of BGR.)

A mixed greens salad, pecan-crusted chicken breast and s’mores cake constituted the menu. Enjoying the multiple features of the luncheon were John Georges, Peter Kovacs, Dennis and Carol Woltering, Jodie and Walt Handelsman, Susan Jones Gundlach, Sybil Favrot, Alex Gershanik, Daniel and Melanie Bronfin, and Robert Sternhell and Al Hunt, respective spouses of Grace and Woodruff. Among Norma Grace’s concluding words were, “Thank you, Judy, for the generous gift of your time today.”

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