The 2022 Women’s Leadership Summit
The Women’s Leadership Summit, features a diverse line-up of speakers and sessions including an inspirational keynote speaker, an opening plenary, and nine breakout sessions. Breakout session topics had three focus areas — professional development, personal growth, and community engagement — with all sessions reflective of JLNO’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
KEYNOTE Speaker: Rear Admiral Mary Landry
Coast Guard Rear Admiral (Retired) Mary Landry served on active duty for over 31 years and as a member of the Senior Executive Service for 3 years. Her positions included Commander of the 8th Coast Guard District Headquartered in New Orleans, LA, Director of Incident Management Preparedness Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters, and a detail as Special Assistant to the President leading the White House National Security Council in domestic resilience, preparedness, and response.
Admiral Landry now works in corporate governance and serves on the board of United Services Automobile Association (USAA), on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings LTD, (NASDAQ: NCLH), and she just wrapped up a 5-year term as Vice Chair of the board of the non-profit SCORE which assists small businesses nationwide.
Mali Carow (General Manager, Four Seasons New Orleans)
Mali brings a depth of Four Seasons experience to her first turn as a GM, with skills grown over two decades working her way through hotel food and beverage departments across the globe. The words she hears the most about her management style are “energy and passion,” she says. “I try to capitalise on that every day, making sure we’re doing things the best we can and opening doors for our people to grow.” The key to that is learning from mistakes, a policy Mali calls “core to what I am. We’re in the people business and are a people-powered company. We all grow by stepping up, taking on challenges, and moving forward, together.”
Mali started with the company in Chicago, and then continued at its Washington, DC address to help pay her way through college. She went on to the Maldives and then to Amman, Jordan, where she was promoted to Hotel Manager. She then took on the same position at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, where she was “humbled by the legacy” of the company’s original European address – an iconic hotel in London that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. There, she perfected her ability to lead and teach the employees more personal ways to curate once-in-a-lifetime experiences and ensure special recognition to each individual guest.
Now, she is thrilled to lead the team in bringing the Four Seasons experience to New Orleans, for guests and locals, as well as those who call Four Seasons home as she also oversees the property’s Private Residences.
Robin Barnes (New Orleans Songbird, MoveYa Brass)
Contemporary crossover jazz singer Robin Barnes is more than an award-winning artist, she’s also one of the city of New Orleans’ biggest brand ambassadors and a fitness leader. A few years ago, Robin suffered from kidney issues while on tour in Europe, which led to her founding the fitness movement Move Ya Brass. She made a vow to take control of her own health in a big way, and now she inspires others to do the same.
Robin is a brand ambassador for Evamor Alkaline Water, and she has worked with brands like Visa, GMC, Folgers, Express, and more. In addition to her many press mentions and music performances, she’s also served as a celebrity food judge for Crawfish Fest, PoBoy Fest, King Cake Fest, Jerk Chicken Fest, and so many more as the Songbird of New Orleans.
Tamara Wyre (Hancock Whitney)
Tamara Wyre leads corporate diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Hancock Whitney. She is dedicated to energizing a corporate culture respecting and reflecting the diversity of the communities served. Tamara is focused on strategies to attract, develop, and retain a talented and diverse workforce; and to enrich the company’s culture, business growth, and community engagement. She also oversees the Hancock Whitney Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council comprising associates from across the company’s 5 state footprint. Wyre joined Hancock Whitney in 2018 as part of the Capital One Asset Management LLC acquisition as the vice president and senior portfolio manager spearheading the Diversity Leaders Investment Strategy, a socially responsible U.S. investment model invested in companies that demonstrate inclusive practices around gender and equality. Tamara has over 20 years in wealth and asset management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Hampton University College, MBA from Tulane University and a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA ®) Certification from University of California, Berkeley. Tamara actively serves on several boards and committees with education and economic empowerment at the forefront. She actively promotes and facilitates financial literacy sessions for youth and adults including Rock the Street Wall Street which introduces girls to careers in finance. She was selected as a “Top Women in Asset Management” by Money Management Executives”; as a “Money Makers” – Leading Financial Professional by
New Orleans City Business; and named as an Executive Leadership Council Fellow during her career. Tamara is a subject matter expert on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in the workplace and often speaks to community and professional groups on the topic.
Investing in your Career
Session I Speakers:
Jennifer Bernard (Corcoran & Bernard)
Kathlyn Perez Bethune (Perez Law LLC)
Kathlyn is the Founder of Perez Law LLC, an employment law and consulting firm. Kathlyn has been practicing law since 2006 and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and New Orleans Magazine as a top lawyer in area of labor and employment law. Her employment law practice includes negotiating employment contracts, counseling employers regarding employee relations issues, navigating high risk departures, severances, and settlement agreements, and investigations of allegations of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Kathlyn has been conducting employment and diversity trainings for fifteen years, and has been researching, training, speaking, and writing about implicit bias for seven years. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Kathlyn was instrumental in her firm’s Women’s Initiative Leadership team as its national Programming Co-Chair and New Orleans Committee Chair.
After graduating from Sacred Heart in 1998, Kathlyn attended Washington and Lee University where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Business Management and Politics. She then attended Tulane University School of Law where she graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif and served as Articles Editor of the Tulane Law Review. Kathlyn currently serves on the board of Louisiana Appleseed and is a former board member of The Junior League of New Orleans, Second Harvest Food Bank and former Advisory Board Chair of the Salvation Army New Orleans Area Command. Kathlyn lives in New Orleans with her husband, Beau, who is also an attorney, and their two children, Penn (6) and Bishop (4).
Sarah Martzolf (The Martzolf Group)
Since 2004, Sarah has worked with buyers and sellers in the New Orleans Metropolitan area. Sarah’s impeccable loyalty and service to her clients have made her a top producer with a steady repeat and referral business. In 2017, Sarah, Hayley Bumpas and Kristen Nelson teamed up and formed The Martzolf Group, a full service real estate team.
Sarah’s passion is helping buyers and sellers maximize their property value and experience through strategic planning and design. Be it a seller getting a home ready for sale, staging, and making improvements to best posture for sale, or a buyer understanding how to make a space work for their lifestyle as well as what they can do to a home to enhance its livability and value.
Sarah was an art major at Colorado College and has expanded her real estate business to include design and consultation, her design motto is “design with attention to value”. New Orleans has so many amazing properties, and Sarah loves to work with clients to maximize the space and usability through design. Sarah filmed a pilot for HGTV/DIY networks, “Small House, Big Easy” in which she renovated a shotgun home. Sarah continues to renovate her own homes around New Orleans as well as helps buyers and sellers from staging to renovation consultation.
When Sarah is not assisting buyers and sellers, she is committed to helping her community through numerous charities and non-profit organizations. She currently serves as Vice President for Dress for Success-New Orleans, Vice President for the New Orleans Women’s Professional Council (WPC) and sits on the boards for the Preservation Resource Center, YAYA (Young Aspirations/Young Artists), and Hermann-Grima & Gallier Historic Houses.
She is a former board member of the Junior League of New Orleans, Foundation for Science and Math High School, Save Our Cemeteries, and the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society of Louisiana/Mississippi (LLS). Sarah was also honored to be the Alumnae Association President for Louise S. McGehee.
Sarah is a Historic Homes Specialist (HHS) as well as member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (NOMAR)
Beth Colon (Morgan Stanley)
As the granddaughter of a commodities trader and a trust officer, Beth grew up surrounded by the market and joined the financial services industry in 2002. With close to 20 years’ experience in the business herself, she guides her clients through comprehensive wealth planning, including investment and risk management, retirement income planning, and philanthropy. Beth has served on the board of many local non-profits including Longue Vue House and Gardens, The Arts Council of New Orleans, and The Women’s Professional Council. An avid triathlete, Beth spends her early morning hours training for her next race. She resides in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband Jimmie, a Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist at Ochsner, and her three children: Carmen, Elodie and Isaac.
Session II Speakers:
Amanda Credeur (Peter Mayer)
Amanda (Mandi) Credeur is a native of Southern Louisiana and graduate of Loyola University New Orleans. After graduation she spent seven years in Washington, D.C.
then happily returned home to New Orleans, LA in 2014. She specializes in client management and business development; her career has spanned a variety of industries
including healthcare, construction, and finance. Mandi recently joined the amazing team at PETERMAYER as an Account Executive. Mandi has always had a passion for health and wellness, which lead her to become a yoga instructor in 2009. As the owner of Firecracker Yogi LLC, she provides private yoga instruction, life coaching, and continuing education classes. She is also dedicated to serving the Greater New Orleans community and is an active member of Junior League of New Orleans, Sylvain Society, Kohlmeyer Circle, and Krewe of Tucks. She and her husband enjoy volunteering with local pet rescues, running, cooking, and spending time outdoors.
Amber Barlow Garcia (Deutsch Kerrigan)
While in law school, Amber served as Managing Editor of the Law Review, President of the Women’s Student Bar Association, Vice President of the Mississippi Defense Lawyer’s Association-Student Chapter, Law Student Bar Association Senator, and Mississippi College School of Law Honor Court Justice. She was awarded the Am Jur Award in Trial Practice taught by Presiding Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jess Dickinson as well as receiving the Mississippi Defense Lawyer’s Association’s Outstanding Leadership Award. While in law school, she clerked for the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Staff Attorney’s Office and the Honorable Neil P. Olack, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Outside of the office, Amber spends time giving back to the New Orleans community she lives and loves. She is an American Cancer Society Advocate, serving on the Belles and Beaus Ball Committee, a committee to assist one of the largest fundraisers where proceeds benefit the Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge in New Orleans. Amber is also an active member of the Junior League of New Orleans, where she serves on the Finance Committee. In her spare time, Amber enjoys Audubon Park, reading, boxing, and spending time with family.
Anne Comarda (Engel & Volkes New Orleans)
A native New Orleanian, Anne Delery Comarda, is an alumna of the Academy of Sacred Heart and Tulane University. The Delery family has always been involved in
professional, civic and charitable organizations – a value that was instilled at a young age by their parents, Winifred and the late Judge Oliver Delery. In fact, Judge Delery
was a founder of the Ozanam Inn homeless shelter in the 1950s.
Anne is a sustaining member of the Junior League of New Orleans, an active member of the Orleans Club, Chi Omega Alumnae Association and remains engaged in the
Sacred Heart and Stuart Hall School communities. Political and neighborhood association activities and causes have always been important to her.
Anne is the mother of four children; Kelly Comarda, Jennifer Comarda Voss, Amy Comarda and Julie Comarda. When her youngest entered 1st grade at Sacred Heart, Anne took the opportunity to get her real estate license. After a few years, she convinced her sister, Joyce Delery, to join her. Anne’s strong organizational skills and vast network of friends and family combined with Joyce’s marketing experience across several roles including a post with Brennan’s, the team developed the perfect pitch, two distinct personalities, one powerful combination. They became one of the first
successful real estate teams in the New Orleans area. After several years working side by side, both Anne and Joyce realized they wanted to do more within the industry. In the years following Hurricane Katrina, having to re-define their roles and practices, both Anne and Joyce decided to become brokers. While growing their own team and building relationships with colleagues, they decided to launch their own boutique brokerage, Delery Comarda Realtors, in February of 2011. Anne and Joyce, the team, continues to be a top producing team with 100% of their
business coming from repeat and referral clients. In May 2016, they made the bold decision to partner with Engel & Völkers, becoming the leading global luxury real estate brokerage in the local real estate market. In making the transition, Anne and Joyce firmly believe that partnering with a company that shares all of their core values enables them to provide first-in-class technology, tools and systems to their agents. Introducing a European brand is a perfect fit here in New Orleans.
Anne has been increasingly involved with NOMAR (New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors) and GSREIN (Gulf South Real Estate Information Network) during her 27+ year career in Real Estate. Currently, Anne serves as Past President (2021 President) of the Board of Directors of NOMAR. She is also a member of the Boards of Directors for Louisiana Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.
Session III Speaker:
Amy Landry (Loyola University New Orleans, JLNO)
Amy Landry is the Program Facilitator for Women’s Leadership Academy. Amy served on the Advisory Committee for the formation of the Academy and helped drive the creation and ultimately the execution for Loyola University’s Women’s Leadership Academy. Amy has a passion for learning and development and has previous learning and development experience at Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Lines, and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotels and Resorts. Amy is a certified Human Resources professional through the Society of Human Resources (SHRM-CP) and a certified practitioner for Meyers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment (MBTI®). Her talents for training and development have led her to create training as owner of Landry Training, LLC, for the Sazerac House, Commander’s Palace, Shell Oil & Gas, and LCMC Health.
Landry is a charter member and Past-President of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Crescent City Connections Express Network in New Orleans. Amy’s previous work experience as a Human Resources Director helped her create a negotiation workshop for women on National Equal Pay day learning to educate countless women on negotiating salary and has even testified at the Louisiana Legislature on Equal Pay in 2018. In 2018, Amy was awarded ABWA’s local Woman of The Year and then awarded the prestigious honor of national
recognition as an American Business Women Association Top Ten 2019 Business Woman. Amy serves on the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) Board. She served on the board of the New Orleans Society of Human Resources Management for three years as Director of Professional Development and then as Vice-President of Membership. Amy served as as Speaker Chair for Junior League’s inaugural leadership conference in 2020 and currently serves as Co- Chair of JLNO’s Get On Board. Amy is an alumni of YLC Leadership Development Series and of EPNO (Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans). Amy is a New Orleans City Business Woman of the Year Class of 2018, Greater New Orleans (GNO) Inc. Millennial Award Winner in Business 2018, and a 2019,2020, 2021 Junior Achievement & City Business Empower Mentor.
Investing in your Community
Session I Speaker:
Jennifer Ray (Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force)
Jennifer Ray is the Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force Coordinator. Jennifer formerly held the anti-human trafficking coordinator position at the Florida Department of Health. Jennifer values collaboration and believes that expanding the engagement of multi-disciplinary actors will strengthen the response to human trafficking. Jennifer is a Florida native who can claim roots in the Latin community of Tampa, Florida, where she received her Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Jennifer and her husband David call Madisonville, Louisiana, home.
Dr. Deidre Hayes (Tulane University)
Deidre Hayes has been a licensed clinical social worker in New Orleans for over 30 years. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Loyola University of the South, a master’s in Social Work from Tulane University, and a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She has extensive experience with individuals and families, specializing in mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Dr. Hayes has been an integral part of many start-up initiatives including, Covenant House New Orleans, the New Orleans Drug and Mental Health Courts, and the New Orleans Family Justice Center. Her private practice specializes in individual, children, and family interventions. She also provides clinical supervision, and guidance for dedicated social workers seeking licensure who serve the most vulnerable members of the community. Trainings provided include: Child Advocacy, Mental Health, Trauma Informed Care, Ethics, and Case Management.
Dr. Hayes is currently a Professor of Practice at the Tulane University School of Social Work. She co-chairs the Empowering Change Task Force, the committee that addresses the School’s EDI initiatives and coordinates the Elk Street Health Spot, a virtual community-based health fair. Trainings provided include: Child Advocacy, Mental Health, Trauma Informed Care, Ethics, and Case Management. Additionally, Dr. Hayes supports many community based programs and is currently the Board Chair of Covenant House New Orleans.
Session II Speakers:
Coretta LaGarde (American Heart Association &)
Coretta LaGarde’s purpose of serving has led to an extensive career with the American Heart Association beginning in 2011. Coretta is the Executive Advisor of Consumer Health Equity at the Association. With eighteen years of experience in non-profit and corporate engagement, Coretta provides strategic program oversight, engagement and collaboration leadership, and technical expertise to ensure the implementation of health equity solutions. Her people-management journey paired with performance leadership at the Regional and National levels, including involvement in the Future of Advocacy Workgroup, Social Determinants of Health Matrix Team, Health Equity and Structural Racism Champion, and McKinsey Black Leadership Academy alumni.
Outside of the Association and in her community, Coretta is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Council on Aging, Chair of the Health & Wellness Committee/Executive Board Member at the Jefferson Chamber, and active on several health-related commissions and coalitions throughout Louisiana. Coretta’s accolades include receiving an Association-wide Pillar Award in 2019, Southeast Region Community Impact Collaboration Award in 2020, and most recently, the Jefferson Chamber Chairman’s Award.
Coretta is a graduate of the University of New Orleans College of Liberal Arts with a Master of Public Administration and Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Dr. Sheryl Martin-Schild, MD, PhD (Dr. Brain, Inc.)
Diane Lyons (FestiGals, Accent on Arrangements)
Thirty years ago, Diane Lyons created her company, ACCENT New Orleans, a woman owned award winning Meeting and Event Planning Management Company. Her company is well known in the local and national hospitality industry for creating amazing one-of-a-kind events for association and corporate clients, locally she is well known for creating FestiGals and Nola ChristmasFest. Diane’s first company is ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements, this company travels across the country to create secure, and entertaining on-site children’s programs at meetings, weddings, conventions, trade shows. She is a local resource for anything you need! A problem solver extraordinary! Clients call her to source anything, virtual events, hybrid events, speakers, to create magical events small and large. She is a one stop shop! She knows everyone in the hospitality industry and likes to say she has a database of the weird and unusual entertainers like snake dancers, and so much more!!
In 2011, Diane created a new festival in New Orleans, FestiGals, a 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to connecting, inspiring and entertaining women in the city made for celebrations. The event has grown from a first-year attendance of 100 women to over 2500 annually with followers across the country. In 2013, she was hired by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to create another Festival, NOLA ChristmasFest, a 12-day indoor family festival. Diane manages the social media, marketing, sponsorship and media buys. Event attendance has grown from 100 people in 2013 to 50,000 in 2018 by using a combination of social media, print and word of mouth. In October of 2020 she teamed up over 100 entertainers, event planners and producers, Mardi Gras World, New Orleans Morial Convention Center and Three Rivers Art Festival to create “The Empty Event”. This event was produced to raise awareness and advocacy for the 12 million people “out of work” in America that are still unemployed in America due to the pandemic.
Diane is passionate, persistent and loves creating new events. Diane has served the community with local and national board leadership positions as well as won too many awards to list. During the pandemic she has worked as a research consultant for venues and conference centers as well as shared her expertise and extensive knowledge to create virtual fundraisers, as well as created an extensive protocol for “how to” create safe live events in the new normal! A speaker, a planner this creative woman is a “mover and a shaker” in the hospitality world!
Session III Speaker:
Nadine Brown (Dress For Success New Orleans)
Investing in Yourself
Session I Speakers:
Moncherie Holmes-Jones (MOJO Marketing + PR)
Monica Pierre (Pierre Principal Communications)
Emmy award-winning journalist Monica Pierre left her post at Entercom New Orleans, owner of WWL Radio, during the pandemic to launch a media company focusing on “uplifting news and information geared toward empowering women.” Pierre’s productions include “The Powerhouse Woman Show” on YouTube and a series of Monday morning webinars on Facebook. Both are created for anyone at a professional crossroads.
It wasn’t until the pandemic that Pierre decided to take a chance and launch her own media company, Pierre Principle Communications, focusing on a “positive mindset and uplifting news.”
A little more than a year into her new endeavor, Pierre says she is organically building her audience and is both relieved and very proud to have finally accomplished something she’s been contemplating for far too long.
Valerie M. Grubb, CSP (Val Grubb and Associates)
A dynamic, engaging, and entertaining speaker who draws on decades of senior-level management experience in a variety of industries, Valerie M. Grubb educates and inspires her audiences to achieve breakthrough results, exceed their own expectations, and propel themselves to success. Val helps companies grow their bottom line by elevating employees from tactical thinkers to strategic leaders. With extensive corporate experience including founding the Oxygen channel and InterActiveCorp (parent company to Expedia, Home Shopping Network and TicketMaster just to name a few), and senior leadership roles in NBC Universal and Rolls-Royce, she understands how companies work on the shop floor, in the C-Suite, and everywhere in between.
In her keynotes and training programs, she covers topics such as strategic thinking, workforce development, building a culture of accountability, leading change, managing managers and many others—in short, the skills, knowledge, and capabilities that are key to successful leadership. Her presentations are highly interactive: rather than “talk at” her audience, she invites them to participate in an extended conversation. Described by one client as “engaging, humorous, insightful, and inspiring,” Val has a confident, easygoing, and intelligent style that enables her to build a strong connection with her audiences that helps them get the most of their time with her and leaves them well-positioned to follow up on what they learn. She has taught senior leaders and high-potential employees throughout the US, Asia, Europe, South America, and Central and Eastern Europe. Valerie is certified as a Marshall Goldsmith Executive Coaching Stakeholder-Centered Coach and she is an Everything Disc® authorized partner and facilitator. Valerie has experience working in a variety of industries, including both for profit as well as non-profit.
Prior to founding Val Grubb & Associates, Ltd., Valerie served as the vice president of strategic operations at NBC Universal, where she oversaw business development opportunities and spearheaded on-air quality initiatives for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Valerie played a seminal role in the 1999 formation and subsequent success of Oxygen Media which led to the company’s purchase by NBCU in 2007. Before joining Oxygen, Valerie was the vice president of operations for Barry Diller during the inception of IAC, where she managed the integration of newly acquired companies including Home Shopping Network, TicketMaster and Expedia just to name a few.
She began her career as an engineer with Allison Engine Company, a division of General Motors that was purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1995. During her eleven years with Rolls-Royce, she earned increasingly senior assignments, culminating in her appointment as director of public affairs. Valerie graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Kettering University and obtained her MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, the Institute of Politics at Loyola University, the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) Leadership Louisiana program and the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI). Valerie currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Film Society, the New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild, Ellevate Louisiana and she recently ascended to Board President for the New Orleans Chapter of the National Speakers Association. Valerie has published two books: Planes, Canes, and Automobiles: Connecting with Your Aging Parents through Travel (Greenleaf) and Clash of the Generations: Managing in the New Workplace Reality (Wiley).
Session II Speakers:
Jill Knight Nalty & Jodi Penn Rives (Argent Trust Company)
Session III Speaker:
Casey Ferrand (Casey Ferrand Media)
YOGA SESSION BY THE OHM WELL (Valerie McMillian)
WELLNESS BREAK (Maria Terry with Eat Fit NOLA & Dr. Tammy Lewis Wilborn)
The 2020 Summit featured a diverse line-up of speakers and sessions including an inspirational keynote speaker, an opening plenary, and several breakout sessions. Breakout session topics had three focus areas — professional development, personal growth, and community engagement — with all sessions reflective of JLNO’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Click here to view the speakers from the 2020 Women’s Leadership Summit.