Young Leadership Council Announces 2021 Board of Directors

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This 2019 photo of a YLC 'Wednesday at the Square' concert is reminder of life before the pandemic.

NEW ORLEANS – At a virtual meeting, members of the Young Leadership Council (YLC) formally voted to approve the proposed slate of 2021 YLC board candidates. These board members will work together to support YLC’s mission of developing young professional leadership through community projects.

The 2021 Executive Committee will be led by President Yelena McCloskey of IBERIABANK/First Horizon. Kevin Ferguson of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans will serve as past president and chair of the nominations committee, with Andrew Koehler of Intralox serving as president-elect.

“The challenges of 2020 have reminded our board of directors, staff and members of the valuable ways young leaders serve New Orleans.” said McCloskey. “2021 will continue to be a year of uncertainty as we navigate the continued repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am confident that the incoming board of directors will be able to continue our mission of developing leaders through community service, while continuing to advocate for a more equitable city.”

Two committee chairs will return to the executive committee for a second year: Patrick Hernandez of Propeller and Roulaison Distilling returns as vice president of projects and Cassie Carreras of the Louisiana Bar Foundation returns as treasurer and vice president of finance.

Four new board members join the executive committee in 2021: Mia J. Lewis of Galloway Law Firm will serve as secretary/general counsel; Katherine Hammer of the Hand Center of Louisiana will serve as vice president of membership; Diana M. Hernandez, PR strategist and event organizer, will serve as the vice president of communications, and Lauren Michel of Tulane University will serve as the VP of development.

To the general board, YLC welcomes five additional new board members. These individuals have contributed hundreds of volunteer hours during their tenure as project leaders and committee members. Joining the board is Damon Carraby of City Year, Gavin Pitre of Lucid, and Liz Waller of Accruent. Toastmasters Project Leader Esteban Largaespada of Top Floor Marketing and Leadership Development Series Project Leader Josie Delaune also join the board.

Past President Aimee McCarron led the nominations committee and oversaw the recruitment and development of the 2021 Board of Directors.

“2020 has given us the opportunity to be more active and intentional about strengthening YLC’s commitment to diversity and equity in New Orleans,” she said. “Our 2021 board of directors reflects a genuine representation of the New Orleans that YLC has served since 1986. We are incredibly excited about the talent, expertise, and vision that the 2021 board of directors will have – I leave knowing that YLC is in capable hands.”

Returning as general board members are Danielle Boveland, Louisiana State Bar Association; Cory Cheramie, Re/Max Generations; Wayne Encalarde, New Orleans Business Alliance; Caroline Hayes, AOS Interior Environments; Kristie Kaaa, Bevy; Jeremy McMullin, Ernst & Young; Amanda Menniti, Entergy; Olivia Mertensmeyer, Humana; Stephen Sewell, Evoke Consulting; Nancia Sterling, New Schools for New Orleans; Graham Williams of Sternberg, Naccari & White, LLC. 

Transitioning off the board of directors in 2021 are Jennifer Guenard, Advantage Capital Partners; Margaux Krane, New Orleans Museum of Art; Danielle Martin, Tulane University; Aimee McCarron, Prudential Advisors; Caleb Roberts, Tulane University; C. Garlan White, Bellingrath Wealth; Brittany Whitsell, Hancock Whitney Bank, and Joseph T. Wilson, Liskow & Lewis.

YLC’s 2021 Board of Directors

President: Yelena McCloskey

President-Elect: Andrew Koehler

Past President: Kevin Ferguson

Secretary/General Counsel: Mia J. Lewis

Treasurer/VP of Finance: Cassie Carreras

VP of Communications: Diana M. Hernandez

VP of Membership: Katherine Hammer

VP of Development: Lauren Michel

VP of Projects: Patrick Hernandez

General Board:

Danielle Boveland, Damon Carraby, Cory Cheramie, Josie Delaune, Wayne Encalarde, Caroline Hayes, Esteban Largaespada, Kristie Kaaa, Jeremy McMullin, Amanda Menneti, Olivia Mertensmeyer, Gavin Pitre, Stephen Sewell, Nancia Sterling, Liz Waller, and Graham Williams.


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