City Launches Series Of Katrina 10 Panel Discussions

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the City of New Orleans begins hosting a series of panel discussions at the Katrina 10 Media Center in the Sheraton Hotel located at 500 Canal St. The discussions will highlight stories of resilience and rebuilding from individuals, community leaders and government officials who experienced Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. These panel discussions are open to the general public and the media.

         A listing of Tuesday’s panels include:


- Sponsors -

Forward Together: Rebuilding New Orleans from the Neighborhoods Up


         New Orleans is a city of neighborhoods, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, citizens leaders across the city stepped up to fill leadership voids. Learn from those who have been engaged in these important discussions that led to rebuilding New Orleans from neighborhoods up.

- Partner Content -

Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

         8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


- Sponsors -

• Flozell Daniels, Jr. : President & CEO, Foundation for Louisiana (moderator)

• Connie Uddo: Exec. Dir., Hike for KaTREEna and the St. Paul's Homecoming Center

• Timolyn Sams Sumter: Executive Director, Neighborhoods Partnership Network

• LaToya Cantrell: Councilmember, District B, City of New Orleans


* * *


People-powered Change: Citizen-led Reforms and the Future of Civic Engagement


         In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the failure of critical infrastructure and governing and social structures necessitated that individual residents and civic groups join together to lead the recovery efforts. Civic leaders and groups sprouted up to lead efforts to bring about widespread governmental and ethics reforms. Gain insight from the people who powered change in systems after the storm.

         9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Flozell Daniels, Jr. : CEO & President, Foundation for Louisiana (moderator)

• Sandy Rosenthal: Founder,

• Anne Milling: Founder, Women of the Storm

• Erika McConduit-Diggs: President & CEO, Urban League of Greater New Orleans

• Ruthie Frierson: Founder, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans

• Michael Cowan: Chair, Ethics Review Board, City of New Orleans


* * *


Protecting Our Past: Historic Preservation and Architecture


         The post-Katrina recovery has placed significant importance on safeguarding the heritage of the City by preserving and regulating historic landmarks and historic districts, which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history. This work enhances the quality of neighborhoods, strengthens the City's economic base, stimulates the tourism industry, improves property values, fosters economic development, and encourages growth.  Gain insight from officials, architects and preservationists on how they have and will continue to protect and preserve the City's past.

         9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

         Rhythms I


• William Gilchrist : Director Place-Based Planning, City of New Orleans (moderator)

• Elliott Perkins: Executive Director, Historic District Landmark Commission

• Paula Peer: Principal, Tropolin-Peer Architects

• Ray Manning: Owner & Managing Principal, Manning Architects

• Scott Hutcheson: Sr. Advisor for Cultural Economy, New Orleans Mayor Landrieu

• Patricia Gay: Executive Director, Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans


* * *


New Orleans Politics Post-Katrina


         Politics in Louisiana has long been known for controversy and corruption.  And in addition to major indictments came major reforms. The flood also created demographic shifts that altered the political landscape.  During this panel, participants will talk about the evolution of politics in post-Katrina New Orleans.

         Waterbury Ballroom

         10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.


• Clancy DuBos: Chairman & Co-Owner, Gambit Communications (moderator)

• Vincent Sylvain: Publisher, The New Orleans Advocate

• Silas Lee: Dr. Silas Lee & Associates, & Xavier University of Louisiana

• Stephanie Grace : Columnist, The New Orleans Advocate

• Frank Donze: Former Staff Writer, The Times-Picayune


* * *


A Convention Destination Once Again


         For decades, New Orleans had earned a reputation as one of the most popular convention and leisure destinations in the country.  When Hurricane Katrina struck, the New Orleans CVB was forced to cancel $2 billion in business, relocate all meetings through May 2006 and begin to overcome unprecedented brand impairment. Today, the City is once again hosting prominent corporate and association meetings, and earning myriad awards as one of the hottest leisure destinations in America.  During this discussion, Panelists include will talk about the success of their conventions and why they continue to choose New Orleans.

         Rhythms I

         10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.


• John Deveney: President, Deveney (moderator)

• Steve Pitt: VP of Conventions & Expositions, National Automobile Dealers Association

• Joy Profet: General Manager, ESSENCE Communications

• Robert Kolinek: President, CEM & CMP, Helen Brett Enterprises

• Pam Henry: Deputy Executive Director, Water Environment Federation

• Marty Balogh: Assoc. Exec. Dir. of Meeting & Travel Group, American Bar Association


* * *


Regionalism Restated: The Power of Collaboration Post Disaster & Beyond


         In the years following Katrina, regional economic development transformed itself for the betterment of Greater New Orleans. Companies who previously left the region are returning.  Economic development leaders from around Greater New Orleans will discuss what is driving this historic renaissance, where Greater New Orleans is ranked the #1 region of the decade for economic development wins in the South.

         Rhythms III

         10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.


• Michael Hecht: President & CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc. (moderator)

• Brenda Reine-Bertus: CEO, St. Tammy Economic Development Foundation Quentin Messer, Jr. : President & CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance

• Corey Faucheux: Dir., St. Charles Parish Dept. of Economic Development & Tourism

• Torri Buckles: Economic Development Dir., St. John the Baptist Parish

• Jerry Bologna: Exec. Dir., Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission


* * *


Covering Katrina: The Media's Perspective


         Gain insight into what it was like reporting before, during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from several of the top New Orleans-based reporters and editors who continue to bring the news each day.

         11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.



• Debbie Elliot: National Correspondent, NPR News (moderator)

• Camille Whitworth: Anchor, WDSU6

• John Snell: Anchor, WVUE-TV

• Gordon Russell: Investigations Editor, The New Orleans Advocate

• Garland Robinette: Journalist & Radio Host, WWL

• Mike Hoss: Anchor, WWL-TV


* * *


Forward New Orleans: Driving Excellence in City Government


         Forward New Orleans is a diverse coalition of community organizations united in their vision of excellence in city government. Member organizations vary in their respective missions and areas of focus, but find common ground in their belief that citizens deserve, and elected officials must deliver, a highly effective municipal government that translates into better quality of life for all citizens.  In this panel, leaders from across the coalition will explore the Forward New Orleans priorities, action plans and progress.

         11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

         Rhythms II


• Mark Romig : President & CEO, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation

• Greg Rusovich: Chief Exec. Officer, Transoceanic Development

• Coleman Ridley: Managing Dir., Business Council of New Orleans & the River Region

• Paul Flower: President & CEO, Woodward


* * *


Rebuilding Homes Together: The Importance of Public-Private Partnerships


         Hurricane Katrina damaged one million homes across the Gulf Region. The impact Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans’ housing stock alone was extensive: nearly 80 percent of the 184,000 homes and apartments and almost all the affordable and public housing in the city was damaged or destroyed. Leaders from non-profits and philanthropic organizations will address how thousands of homes have been built back better and more resilient.

         12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Ellen Lee: Dir. of Housing Policy and Community Development, City of New Orleans (moderator)

• Jon Skvarka: Director, Preservation Resource Center/Rebuilding

• Carey Shea: Executive Director, Project Home Again

• Zack Rosenberg: CEO & Co-Founder, St. Bernard Project

• Jim Pate: Executive Director, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity

• Tom Darden: Executive Director, Make It Right


* * *


Tapping into Our Talent: Creating Pathways to Prosperity for Every Individual


         Fifty-two percent of African-American men in the city are not works. The City's Economic Opportunity Strategy seeks to connect disadvantaged job seekers and businesses to new opportunities through new partnerships with local training providers, social service agencies, and community advocates.  Hear from those who are driving this program and ensuring that it will be successful now and in the future.

         12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

         Rhythms I


• Jaquetta White: Reporter, The Advocate (moderator)

• Janet Snow Godfrey: SVP & Chief Human Resource Officer, Ochsner Health System

• Kamila Rose: Senior Director, PolicyLink Center for Infrastructure Equity

• Erika McConduit-Diggs: President & CEO, Urban League of Greater New Orleans

• Ashleigh Gardere: Senior Advisor for Economic Opportunity, City of New Orleans

• Joan Davis: Chancellor, Delgado Community College

• Matthew Causey: Participant, STRIVE


* * *


Creating a Culture of Preparedness


         After Katrina, major improvements were made in disaster preparedness not only in federal, state and local governments, but also with non-profit, academic, faith, business and community-based organizations. Today, we are one of the most prepared cities in the nation with coordination across federal, state and local governments, hotels, major supermarkets, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, utilities and more.  Hear from various sector leaders about how they have created a culture of preparedness.

         1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Richard Rainey: Staff Writer, Times-Picayune (more)

• Ana Zorilla: CEO, Louisiana SPCA

• David Worthy: New Orleans Command, The Salvation Army

• Kay Wilkins : CEO, South Louisiana Region of the American Red Cross

• Charles Rice: President & CEO of Entergy New Orleans, Inc., Entergy

• Russ Paulsen: Exec. Dir., Community Preparedness and Resilience Services, American Red Cross

• Mark Cooper: Senior Director of Global Emergency Management, Walmart Stores, Inc.

• Laurie Barnett: Senior Director Outreach & Preparedness, Southwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines Communication & Outreach


* * *


Preserving Our Wetlands: Coastal Restoration for the Next 300 years


         Major threats exist from coastal erosion and subsidence. Between 1932 and 2010, the New Orleans region lost 948 square miles of coastal wetlands, which is nearly 30 percent of the wetlands that buffer the region from hurricane storm surges. To respond to continued wetlands loss, the State of Louisiana has developed a $50 billion Coastal Master Plan identifying 109 potential projects to protect communities and achieve a sustainable coast.  These Panelists include will address a systematic approach to restore natural features and ecosystem processes.

         1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

         Rhythms I


• John Snell: Anchor, WVUE-TV (moderator)

• Chuck Perrodin : Public Information Dir., Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority

• Mary Landrieu: Former Senator of Louisiana, U.S. Senate

• G. Paul Kemp: Board Member, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East

• John Barry: New York Times Best-Selling, Author

• Steve Cochran, Environmental Defense Fund, Mississippi River Delta Campaign


* * *


Reducing Homelessness in New Orleans


         In 2011, the City announced a Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness and created the New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness to oversee its implementation. As part of its comprehensive plan to end homelessness, the City has launched a series of initiatives and has pledged to work with 63 partner agencies and service providers that make up the Continuum of Care and to collaborate with HUD, VA and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Panelists include will discuss this comprehensive plan and the partnerships that are helping to reduce homelessness in New Orleans.

         1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

         Rhythms II


• Earl Randall: Field Director, US Department of Housing & Urban Development (moderator)

• James Kelly: Executive Director, Covenant House

• Martha Kegel: Executive Director, UNITY of New Orleans

• Sam Joel: Policy Advisor, Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu

• Stacy Horn Koch: Interim Exec. Dir. Atlanta Homeless Continuum of Care, Atlanta Homeless Continuum of Care


* * *


Growth in the Cultural Economy


         New Orleans culture reaches beyond music, food and architecture. Organizations from a broad background not only survived Katrina but also came back stronger.  During this panel, representatives from various arts and cultural organizations will explore their journey and growth since 2005.

         1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

         Rhythms III


• Jeanne Nathan: Executive Director, Creative Alliance of New Orleans (moderator)

• Asante Salaam: Outreach Manager for Cultural Economy, City of New Orleans, Mayor’s Office

• Jenny Hamilton: Executive Director, New Orleans Ballet

• James Boyd: CEO, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra



* * *


Charting a new Course: Post Katrina Education Reform


         Before Katrina, New Orleans public schools were among the worst performing schools in the nation. The state created the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) to take over the operations of chronically failing schools and give oversight to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). Today, the City’s graduation rate has soared from 54 percent to 73 percent of students earning their diplomas, with 65 percent of the City’s African American males graduating on time.  Panelists include will explore the progress of post-Katrina education reform in New Orleans.

         2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Danielle Dreilinger: Journalist, Times Picayune (moderator)

• Kira Orange-Jones: Exec. Dir., Louisiana Board of Elementary & Secondary Education

• Mary Landrieu: Former Senator of Louisiana, U.S. Senate

• Leslie Jacobs: Founder, Educate Now!

• Kathleen Blanco: Former Governor, State of Louisiana

• Jay Altman: CEO and Founder, Firstline Schools


* * *


The MAX: Joining Forces for Recovery


         Following Hurricane Katrina, the administrations from three New Orleans Catholic educational institutions collaborated to establish the MAX School of New Orleans. This commitment guaranteed the post-Katrina survival of the three historically African-American Roman  Catholic High Schools in New Orleans.  Panelists include from the participating schools will reflect on coming together in the spirit of unity and resiliency.

         2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

         Rhythms II


• Vincent Sylvain: Publisher, The New Orleans Advocate

• Sean Goodwin: Principal, St. Augustine High School

• Cheryllyn Branche : Principal, St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory

• Cheryl Brown: Assistant Principal, St. Mary's Academy


* * *


Driving Economic Growth to 2018 and Beyond


         New Orleans is diversifying its economy, creating jobs in digital media and bioscience, and fostering an emerging environmental industry focused on coastal restoration and sustainability, while supporting foundational industries like energy, international trade, advanced manufacturing and hospitality. This growth has been guided by Prosperity NOLA – the first comprehensive development plan in New Orleans and the public-private partnership with the New Orleans Business Alliance. Industry leaders will talk about how they are driving economic growth toward 2018 and beyond.

         2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

         Rhythms III


• Mark Romig: President & CEO, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (moderator)

• Quentin Messer, Jr.: President & CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance

• Michael Hecht: President & CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.

• Henry Coaxum: Chair, NOLA Business Alliance


* * *


Neighborhood Clinics: Preventative Health Care in the Aftermath of Katrina


         With only three of the nine hospitals remaining open after the storm, local officials and hospitals saw an opportunity to rebuild a stronger infrastructure and transform the way healthcare services are delivered. The New Orleans area now boasts world-class clinical care through new and refurbished hospital facilities and expanded access through a network of neighborhood-based community health centers. Hear from a group of medical professionals who are leading the preventative healthcare charge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

         3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Charlotte Parent: Director of Health, New Orleans Health Department (moderator)

• Susan Todd: Executive Director, 504HealthNet

• Stephenie Marshall: Exec. Dir., Daughters of Charity Health Centers of New Orleans

• Joseph Kimbrell: CEO, Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)

• Donald Erwin: CEO, St. Thomas Community Health Center


* * *


Home Sweet Home: Strengthening Neighborhoods for Everyone


         When the levees protecting New Orleans failed in August 2005, approximately 80 percent of the city was flooded and vast expanses of many New Orleans neighborhoods were inundated. Now, with over $1.63 billion invested in the long-term neighborhood revitalization, there is construction in every neighborhood in New Orleans. Roads, schools, community centers and libraries. Recreation centers, parks, playgrounds, pools and athletic stadiums. Police and fire stations, and hospitals and clinics. Recreation facilities alone represent a $151 million investment.  Hear from state and local leaders on the initiatives that have strengthened neighborhoods across New Orleans.

         3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

         Rhythms III


• Ellen Lee: Director, Housing Policy and Community Development

• Terri North: CEO & President, Providence Community Housing

• Jeff Hebert: Chief Resilience Officer, New Orleans

• Pat Forbes: Executive Director, Louisiana Office of Community Development


* * *


Expanding Our Defenses: Protecting New Orleans from a 100 Year Storm


         Following Katrina, Congress authorized and funded construction of the $14.5 billion 100-year level risk reduction system, known as the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). The new risk reduction system is stronger and more resilient than it has ever been in the area’s history, and capable of defending against a 100–year level of storm surge, also known as a storm that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year.  The USACE and Sewerage & Water Board are constructing $2 billion in drainage improvements as part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project (SELA) in Jefferson and Orleans parishes.  The Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project (SELA) reduces the risk of flood damages due to rainfall flooding.  These federal, state and local Panelists include will talk about the status of these new systems – from design to construction to operations and maintenance.

         4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Paul Verkuil: Chairman, Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) (moderator)

• Richard Hansen: New Orleans District Commander, USACE New Orleans District

• Cedric Grant: Executive Director, Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans

• Stephen Estopinal: Manager, Survey Division, SJB Group, LLC


* * *


Disruptive Government: A Force for Good


         Out of necessity, leaders in government pushed innovations and tough, sometimes disruptive, changes across the board. This led to an unprecedented transformation in the education system; breakthrough change with public housing and healthcare; and a complete overhaul of City Hall.  Many argue today that New Orleans has now become America's laboratory for innovation and change.  During this discussion, Panelists include will probe the ways in which government has been a force for good in post-Katrina New Orleans.

         4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

         Rhythms II


• Michael Berkowitz: CEO, 100 Resilient Cities (moderator)

• Kira Orange-Jones: Executive Director, Louisiana Board of Elementary & Secondary Education

• Andreanecia Morris: Vice President of Homeownership & Community Development, Providence Community Housing/Greater New Orleans

• Andy Kopplin: First Deputy Mayor/Chief Administrative Officer, City of New Orleans


* * *


Louisiana: Economic Impact of Recovery Spending


         The state of Louisiana and City of New Orleans funded a study on the actual economic impact of the recovery in Louisiana. The purpose of the study is to provide key data demonstrating the tremendous impact of the recovery on jobs and industries, as well as other economic indicators.  During this panel, officials will provide insight into the results of the analysis.

         5:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.

         Waterbury Ballroom


• Dek Terrell: Executive Director, LUS, and Division of Economic Development

• Andy Kopplin: First Deputy Mayor/Chief Administrative Officer, City of New Orleans

• Pat Forbes: Executive Director, Louisiana Office of Community Development  


         All panels located in the Waterbury Ballroom will be live streamed at

         For more information




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