Nell Nolan: Achievements

Business Hall of Fame, “An Evening in the English Countryside,” and Installation Supper rounded up festive followers, thanks to the rallying by Junior Achievement, the Greater New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Metairie Rotary Club. In addition to the instilled good will, accolades abounded.

The Bounty of Business

Donna Fraiche, Roy A. Glapion, Katie LeGardeur (Junior Achievement board chairwoman), Roger H. Ogden, Mike Rodrigue, Gregory Rusovich, Ashton J. Ryan Jr., Patricia K. “P.K.” Scheerle, Gary N. Solomon and Roderick K. West, all answering to a business title or two, huddled to come up with the names for the 2014 Business Hall of Fame of Junior Achievement.

Tapped by that selection committee were Scott S. Cowen, then president of Tulane University, for the Lifetime Achievement Award; and as Laureates, Klara B. Cvitanovich, owner of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant; Preston J. Edwards Sr., president and CEO, IMDiversity Inc.; John B. Elstrott Jr., Ph.D., chairman of the board, Whole Foods Market, and emeritus executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship of Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business; Paul H. Flower, owner, president and CEO, Woodward Design + Build, LLC; and Carol A. Solomon, CEO, Peoples Health.

Within the past decade, the Lifetime Achievement Award has honored Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger (2005), Frank B. Stewart Jr., Sydney J. Besthoff III, Ella Brennan, Robert H. “Bob” Boh, G. Frank Purvis Jr., James E. Fitzmorris Jr., Thomas B. “Tommy” Coleman, and Norman C. Francis (2013). Henceforward, Scott Cowen’s name appears on that list.

Many of the past Lifetime and Laureate individuals gathered for the dinner at The Roosevelt that began with the Chairman’s Reception and then moved on to the dinner and awards. Just after guests were seated, the Procession of Laureates ensued.

To launch the formalities of the JABHF, which was established in 1984, and honors businessmen and women who have embraced the spirit of entrepreneurship in our community, the above Gary Solomon stepped up to the podium. A Laureate of 2003, he chairs the 2014 Business Hall of Fame. Following him was Junior Achievement President Jack Brancewicz. Then came the awards.

Thanks tapped the many sponsors, led off by Presenting Sponsor First NBC and Reception Sponsor Peoples Health, as well as the 11-person JA staff, and board.

A tasty meal punctuated all the program’s activity, starting with a fire-grilled salad, and continuing with the duo entrée (petit filet mignon and a roulade of stuffed flounder), and finishing with a chocolate chicory bombe. Centerpieces of hibiscus and other flowers were placed in round, clear globe vases atop white tablecloths.

Among the many noted were Jimmy Reiss (who introduced Scott Cowen) with Pixie, Carroll Suggs, Henry L. Coaxum Jr., Alden McDonald Jr., Pat Denechaud, H. Merritt Lane III, Marian H. Wallis, Charles C. Teamer Sr., Dr. Nicolas G. Bazan, Suzanne Mestayer, Dr. Patrick J. Quinlan, Morris Kahn, Tom and Teresa Brader, Aileen Suazo, Maggie Candon, and, smiling as newlyweds, Vanessa and Chad Berg. They swapped vows on April 12 in Dallas and now call New Orleans home.

“Countryside” Charms

English Turn Golf and Country Club was the site for the crepuscular fun put on by the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section. The beautiful decor of the clubhouse set an immediate ambiance and the centerpiece arrangements were English ivy. Of course!

A floral touch came via the Fleur de Lis Singers, a quartet featuring Jeanine Thibodaux, Sheryl York, Susan Domanque and Beverly Traub. The ensemble is part of the Crescent City Sound Chorus of the Sweet Adelines International and the “Countryside” assembly loved their scintillating sounds.

More excitement was generated by the silent auction, which featured gift certificates for stays at The Roosevelt and Windsor Court hotels.

Yet another foursome rated raves. The NCJW honored four of its longest established Community Service Programs. Striding forth were Carol Good, accepting the award for ACE — Alzheimer’s Care and Enrichment; NCJW leader Babs Isaacson and Fox 8’s Susan Tramontana received recognition for the Fox 8 Defenders, NCJW’s broadcast consumer advocacy program; and Allison Freeman received an award for HIPPY — Home Instruction for Preschool Youngsters. The Irma M. Isaacson Memorial Scholarship Fund was hailed as giving college-scholarship financial aid to New Orleans students.

Reveling in all the activity were NCJW President June Leopold, Vice President of development Barbara Greenberg, and event committee members Ina Davis, Barbara Kaplinsky, Phyliss Nitzkin, Loel Samuel, Dana Shepard, Kathy Shepard, Katie Single and Missy Taranto. For the top donors of this summer fundraiser that benefited the NCJW programs and services, the nominal move was to an interior. Joan Berenson, Sandra Chass Goldsmith, Betty Kohn and Sara Stone were the Buckingham Palace Patrons.

Banquet Brigade

For the Metairie Rotary Club’s Installation Supper, the Metairie Country Club was the location for a program that not only featured prandial pleasures by worthy individuals. Robert “Bob” Merrick was named Person of the Year; Steve Mogle, Rotarian of the Year; and respectively, Don Borngesser and Jackie Elliott were tapped as Fast Start and Paul Harris awardees. New officers included President Joey Nieto, Vice President Jennifer Esler, Treasurer Steve Mogel and Secretary Harold Buchler.

As the outgoing president, Michael Martin was duly acknowledged.

More representation came from board members Karen Babin, Lori Ramsey, Luke Delouise, Jim Folse, Roy Perrin, and Tom Kennedy.

They, in turn, caught up on such attendees as Dr. Lindhe and Martha Guarisco, Mettery and Mary Ann Sherry, Dan and Paula Milham, the Michael Davises, Larry and Peggy Holmes, Harry Winters III, and Dalton and Marlene Truax.

Despite the fact that it was a sit-down dinner — and certainly appreciated in that form — there was a strong move to get up and move about. The dance band Get Back made sure of that.

Follow this link to the photos.