Committee for a Better New Orleans Announces 55th Annual Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum


NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO) is calling all future leaders to get involved in the 55th annual Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum.

Established in 1968, the Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum (BBMLF) is a program aimed at identifying emerging leaders from all sectors of the community, giving them expert inside information about key metropolitan issues, providing exceptional networking opportunities, and stimulating their interest and involvement in community service.

Prominent graduates include former mayor Mitch Landrieu, former senator David Vitter, state senator Karen Carter Peterson, city councilmember Jared Brossett, and philanthropist Roger Ogden. The class of 2019 will be the 55th graduating class and will join more than 2000 fellow alumni in serving as a tremendous resource to the community.

“I wouldn’t be as involved in the New Orleans community if it wasn’t for the Leadership Forum,” said Timothy Hemphill, BBMLF alumnus and CBNO board co-chair. “There is a huge benefit of having this type of program in New Orleans. The Leadership Forum pursues the goals and mission of the Committee for a Better New Orleans by raising awareness for community issues and affecting positive change in current and future leaders.”

This year, the Leadership Forum will offer a full scholarship named in honor of Sharree Walls, whose life was tragically cut short in the post-Endymion bicycle accident. Sharree was a graduate of the 2017 Forum, and the scholarship will be awarded to an emerging leader in the nonprofit sector. Applicants for the scholarship should complete the regular nomination process, and send a separate cover letter to

“Sharree was a lifelong learner, activist, and philanthropist. She was able to grow her awareness and deepen her resolve thanks to many scholarship opportunities in her life,” said Dana Walls, Sharree’s sister.  “We are grateful that the Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum is extending an offer for someone to have an awakening experience in her honor.”

The 2019 Leadership Forum begins with the human relations session on Wednesday, Sep. 5, and the citywide bus tour on Saturday, Sep. 8, which will give participants an overview of the local dilemmas and opportunities that lie ahead.

Additional session topics include housing, education, environment and coastal issues, public safety, economic and workforce development, regionalism and transportation, city management, healthcare, and leadership. Each session is followed by question and answer sessions that will push the conversation forward. A key feature of the Leadership Forum is the capstone class project, where participants design their own community service project focused on education or housing, to experience first-hand the power of volunteerism.

Upon completion of the forum, graduates will be connected with organizations that match their interests. Two will be invited to serve on the CBNO Board of Directors.

“The BBMLF is an excellent venue for new and life-long residents to learn about the issues our city and region are facing and increase their involvement,” said Anthony Carter, chair of the 2019 BBMLF Committee. “We are thrilled for this year’s Forum and look forward to the connections participants will make and adding another class of civicly engaged leaders to our community.”

Nominations for the 2019 Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum are now open and will be accepted until Friday, July 26. Any member of the community may nominate candidates for the Leadership Forum. Self-nominations are welcome. The entire nomination process will take place online. Nomination forms can be found at

Space in the forum is limited. There is a $400 participant fee.


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