Matthews Named New 504ward Executive Director

NEW ORLEANS – The 504ward team has chosen Mary Matthews as Executive Director to lead the next phase of their collaborative initiative to ensure New Orleans is a place for young professionals to thrive and grow.

         Matthews is replacing Jessica Shahien, the organization's leader since its founding in 2008.

         Matthews grew up in New Orleans and, like many of her peers, went away for college and graduate school. Upon completing her Master's in International Development in France, Matthews began to pay greater attention to the change taking hold in New Orleans and was inspired.

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         Over the past two years, Matthews has honed her skills in the nonprofit field. She is an alumnus of programs such as Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans and the Civic Leadership Academy, is a member of the Young Leadership Council, and serves on the boards of Friends of Lafitte Greenway and her neighborhood organization, VCPORA.

         "I'm looking forward to helping my peers stay connected, stay involved, and stay here,!" she said.

         504ward is a collaborative initiative designed to retain the influx of young talent in the New Orleans region. Focused on both new and native New Orleanians, 504ward connects the 23 to 35-year-old demographic to key events, people, organizations and opportunities throughout New Orleans.

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