French Quarter Festivals, Inc. Welcomes New Board Members and Announces 2018 Officers

NEW ORLEANS – French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) proudly announces its newly elected board members and officers for 2018. The 28-member board serves the nonprofit organization French Quarter Festivals, Inc. – producer of three festivals annually: French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron, Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron, and Christmas New Orleans Style. In 2018, the organization celebrates its 35th anniversary. 

Jeremy Thibodeaux has been reelected as Chairman. Thibodeaux is a CPA with Ericksen Krentel, LLP where he holds the title of Senior Manager in the firm's Accounting and Audit Services Section. He has been with the firm for nearly a decade where he oversees the quality and timeliness of services to many of the firm's audit clients, leads the firm's growth strategies as they relate to A&A services, and created the firm's Performance and Career Excellence program. He has been involved with French Quarter Festivals for the past seven years serving as a board member, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman. 

Robert Rizzuto has been reelected as Vice Chairman. Rizzuto, General Manager of House of Blues New Orleans, is a native New Orleanian who has worked in the French Quarter hospitality business for over 20 years. He has served on the French Quarter Festival Board of Directors for four years, working on several committees.

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Barrett Cooper, COO of ERG Enterprises, a New Orleans-based investment company with holdings in healthcare, real estate, energy, technology, aviation, and entertainment, will serve as Treasurer.  As a native New Orleanian, Cooper recognizes the importance of promoting the culture and heritage unique to our city.

Jon Smith has been elected as Secretary. He is the principal of Etre Commercial Investments, a real estate investment firm, and also works with RE/MAX Commercial Brokers, Inc as a commercial realtor. He has been on the French Quarter Fest board since 2014 and has been an active part of several committees. 

The FQFI board welcomes two new members: Sharonda Williams and Jeff Semeons.

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Sharonda Williams serves as Special Counsel with Fishman Haygood following a distinguished career in public service and private practice. Her service includes acting as City Attorney for New Orleans and as Bridge House board president. Her numerous honors include being named Loyola University's 2011 Young Alumna of the Year and 2014 recipient of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc.'s prestigious A.P. Tureaud Award.  In 2010, she was locally recognized by Gambit Weekly as a "40 under 40" honoree and was one of the CityBusiness Women of the Year Honorees in 2011.

Jeff Semones is the Managing Partner and Head of Social Media at MediaCom. Previously, he was co-founder/President of M80, GroupM's social media specialists in North America. M80, also a record label, released multiple records from local favorites, The Morning 40 Federation.  For over a decade, he has invested in neighborhood bars like Royal Street Inn & Bar (aka the R Bar) and Bud Rip's. He and his wife also co-founded two New Orleans based start-ups, Benevolent Enabler (BE) and Best of Street.  BE is a digital donation platform committed to supporting nonprofits and other grassroots organizations to raise funds.  Best of Street is a music company dedicated to celebrating the great music being performed in the streets of New Orleans and beyond. 

Other returning board members are: Zeid Ammari, Leslie T. Alley, Stu Barash, Charlie Bateman, David Bilbe, Michael Biri, Howard Boyd, Richard Eglé, Janice Foulks, Chimene Grant, Dino Hanson, Shelley Hardison, Tim Laughlin, Brent McCrossen, Brittany McGovern, Deborah J. Moench, Dennis Pearse, Trey Reinhardt, Adrienne Thomas, Kristian Sonnier, David Teich, and Tim Williamson.

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About French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization, which produces French Quarter Festival (April), Satchmo SummerFest (August) and Christmas New Orleans Style (December). French Quarter Festivals, Inc. promotes the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well-being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.

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