UNO Research and Technology Foundation Announces Board Members

ResearchparkwebNEW ORLEANS – The UNO Research and Technology Foundation announces the appointment of four new members of its board of directors, as well as the slate of officers and board members for 2021.

Joining the board are Ayame Dinkler, Kelisha Garrett, Norma Grace and Todd James.

“All four of our newest members exemplify the spirit of community and will bring talent and expertise in a variety of key areas,” said David Gallo, newly elected chairman. “We have ambitious goals for 2021 that will include re-branding, the launch of a website, and new investments in the UNO Research and Technology Park. They will make perfect additions to an already strong board.”

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Ayame Dinkler is the chief administrative officer for LCMC Health, a nonprofit health system on a mission to provide the best possible care for every person in Louisiana and beyond. As CAO, she leads government affairs, has operational oversight over one of the system’s facilities, and manages the organization’s innovation portfolio. She joined LCMC Health in 2015 after spending more than a decade in public service.

Ayame previously served in a chief of staff capacity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., and also served in various leadership roles at the City of New Orleans and on Capitol Hill.

Kelisha Garrett is the principal consultant at Gen-X Consulting Group, a firm focused in business development, strategic sourcing, and vendor compliance management; the executive director of the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce which covers a 10-parish region in southern Louisiana and the chief operating officer and vice president of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In addition, she is a licensed Realtor. During the lifecycle of her prior careers, she has worked in pharmaceutical research for Drug Research Services, financial advisory as a stock broker at Merrill Lynch, a legal nurse consultant, public relations/special projects manager for Councilmember Kristin Palmer and DBE Regulatory Compliance & Community Relations Mgr. for Harrah’s New Orleans Casino & Hotel (Caesars Entertainment).

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Norma Grace retired from the University of New Orleans as vice chancellor for technology and economic development in 2008. While at UNO, she was a leader in the university’s efforts in real estate acquisition and technology partnerships, including the development of the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park (awarded the Association of University Research Parks Excellence Award for Science/Research Parks, 2003). Grace coordinated the development of the university’s technology/industry/university partnerships, including efforts in technology transfer, job creation, business incubation and acceleration, and economic development.

Todd James, director of strategic planning at Broadmoor LLC is a New Orleans native with over 18 years of experience in the building industry, delivering more than $850 million in construction projects across the Gulf Coast Region. In his current role, James is responsible for supporting and furthering Broadmoor’s mission of honorably serving the community.

The full slate of board members for 2021 is listed below.

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David Gallo, Chairman of the Board Gary Solomon, Vice Chairman Michael Hecht, Secretary

Paul Reuter, Treasurer

Thomas “Tom” Brown

Rebecca Conwell – President/CEO UNO Research & Technology Foundation Ayame Dinkler

Jeffery “Jeff” Ehlinger

Kenneth “Ken” Flower

Dr. Trivia Frazier

Kelisha Garrett

Norma Grace

Todd James

Robert “Rob” Johnson

Thomas “Tom” Leonhard, J r.

Dr. Alvin “Al” Merlin

Dr. Gordon “Nick” Mueller

Dr. John Nicklow – President University of New Orleans

Riley Parker

Dr. Matthew “Matt” Tarr

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