BGR Announces Annual Luncheon Speakers, Opens Nominations For 2018 Excellence In Government Awards

NEW ORLEANS – The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) announced its 2017 Annual Luncheon speakers, Betsy Fischer Martin and Jonathan Martin.

         The esteemed media duo will appear together with Walter Isaacson moderating their discussion, “Meeting the Press in an Era of Fake News, Partisan Politics and High-Stakes Elections.”

         The 2017 Annual Luncheon will take place Thursday, Dec. 7, at 12:00 p.m. at the New Orleans Marriott hotel, 555 Canal St.

         Betsy Fischer Martin is an Emmy-winning journalist and TV news executive. Currently she is an executive in residence at American University’s School of Public Affairs. During her earlier career in television news, she was the managing editor of NBC News political programming, where she was responsible for the development and execution of network political coverage. Her career at NBC News spanned more than 20 years, most notably as a producer for "Meet the Press" and for NBC News’ coverage of several presidential elections. She is a native of New Orleans.

         Jonathan Martin is the national political correspondent for The New York Times and a political analyst for CNN, where he appears regularly on "Inside Politics." Prior to joining The New York Times in 2013, he served as senior political writer and White House correspondent for Politico where he covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. His career in journalism began at the National Journal where he reported for The Hotline on party politics and with the National Review magazine.

         Walter Isaacson will moderate the discussion. A native of New Orleans, Isaacson is currently president and CEO of The Aspen Institute. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine, and has authored several books, including biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Isaacson previously spoke at BGR’s 1998 Annual Luncheon.

         “BGR looks forward to another successful Annual Luncheon,” said Hardy B. Fowler, BGR Board chairman. “As BGR’s sole fundraising event, this luncheon provides important financial support for BGR’s good government work.”

         BGR’s Annual Luncheon has a history of featuring award-winning journalists, such as Maureen Dowd, Kathleen Parker, Steve Roberts and Jonathan Capehart. Last year, CBS News president David Rhodes addressed BGR’s supporters.

         “BGR is excited to have three insightful observers of the national political scene speak at our Annual Luncheon,” said Amy L. Glovinsky, BGR president and CEO. “This panel discussion will provide valuable perspective on the people and events shaping our country’s future.”

         BGR’s event sponsors include Canal Barge Company, Inc. and Whitney Bank.

         BGR’s annual business meeting, during which BGR’s members will elect the 2018 Board of Directors, will immediately precede the luncheon program.

         Click here to reserve tables and tickets, or to view a full list of current table sponsors

         Revenue from the fundraiser will support BGR’s core activities: local government monitoring, policy analysis, publication of reports, and post-publication implementation work. During 2017, BGR published new research on stormwater fees, potential funding sources for street maintenance in New Orleans, the nonprofit tax exemption and other important topics affecting citizens and local government. For the 11th year in a row, BGR was recognized by its national peers in governmental research for its outstanding work, reps said. The Governmental Research Association awarded BGR the Outstanding Policy Achievement award for the 2013 report Sound the Alarm: New Orleans Firefighter Pension Woes and the Legislative Session. BGR also earned the award for Most Distinguished Research for its 2017 report Beneath the Surface: A Primer on Stormwater Fees in New Orleans.

         The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) is also accepting nominations for its 2018 Excellence in Government Awards. Since 1994, BGR has given more than 150 awards Excellence in Government awards to extraordinary public employees and private citizens. The awards honor creative, dedicated public employees for their accomplishments and citizens who have worked to significantly improve local government. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 16, 2018.

         “BGR looks forward to honoring the most dedicated, creative and high-performing individuals working on and in local government,” BGR Board chairman Fowler said. “The impact of Excellence in Government honorees’ work extends long past the award ceremony.”

         There are four Excellence in Government award categories. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes sustained performance over a career in public service. The Merit Award recognizes outstanding performance by public sector employees. The Innovation Award recognizes employees who have implemented new solutions to pressing problems. Finally, the Citizenship Award recognizes a private citizen who has worked to improve the quality of government. All public employee awards include a

cash award.

         “BGR’s Excellence in Government awards motivate public sector achievement and citizen engagement, which align with BGR’s mission and benefit the community at large,” BGR president and CEO Glovinsky said. “This is an exciting part of our mission where BGR recognizes those who are actively working for and facilitating efficient and effective government.”

         Anyone can nominate a public employee or private citizen for an award. BGR relies on nominators to bring awareness to unsung heroes who are making an important contribution to local government. BGR accepts nominations throughout the Greater New Orleans Region, including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles and St. Tammany Parishes.

         BGR’s 2018 Excellence in Government sponsor is the Canal Barge Company, Inc.

         BGR is a private, nonprofit, independent research organization. Since its founding in 1932, it has been dedicated to informed public policy-making and the effective use of public resources in the Greater New Orleans area.

         For more details on eligibility and to submit a nomination


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