New & Notable: Christine Briede
Executive Director, Jefferson Community Foundation
“If we want to get better — not just grow, but get better — we have to work smarter.”
For Christine Briede, executive director of the Jefferson Community Foundation, this means bringing parish government, business interests and the general community together as partners. This is particularly important as Jefferson Parish emerges from the pandemic.
The foundation was launched after Hurricane Katrina, but is reaching new heights since hiring Briede as its first paid director in March 2020. Briede previously spent 20 years as the owner of a restaurant supply company, and after taking a break to spend more time with family, she was looking for new challenges.
JCF works in fields such as education, health and wellness, transit, neighborhood support, and senior programs, all with an overarching focus on race and equity. Current priorities include establishing pre-K for all Jefferson Parish children and redeveloping the Hope Haven campus on the Westbank.
The foundation also provides local nonprofits with grants that are funded by individual and corporate contributions.
“Community donations go 100% back to the community,” Briede noted.
Despite having lived there for 30 years, Briede finds that “there is so much I didn’t know about Jefferson Parish. I love learning about the place.”
She said her top priority is building awareness of the foundation, and in the process, advocating for the parish as a whole.
“I want to know what are your dreams, what are your visions, and how can the foundation help you,” she said. “We need to promote Jefferson Parish as a thriving area.”