Board President Rick Normand is a practicing lawyer specializing in wills, trusts, successions, small business development, preservation/zoning, and entertainment law. He has a long history of involvement in historic preservation issues beginning in 1982, serving as President of the Faubourg Marigny Neighborhood Association, then President of the Louisiana Preservation Alliance. Later he served as President of the Esplanade Ridge Neighborhood Association and President of the Louisiana Landmarks Society. He joined the board of VCPORA for a six year term in the 2000s serving as secretary and membership chair, and he returned to the board in 2015, He recently completed a six year term on the board of the PRC. He and his wife Liz Williams have renovated four historic homes.
Vice President Jill McGaughey moved to New Orleans from her hometown of Minneapolis in 1999 after a torrid long-distance love affair with the historic French Quarter and New Orleans in general. A self-described “aesthetic pilgrim” in need of a reviving dose of beauty, Jill arrived here in search of inspiration which she finds daily in the architecture, vegetation and the sense of living history that permeates her adopted home city. Her career as an art dealer has thrived in this culturally rich community; Jill presently manages the Vincent Mann Gallery at 305 Royal Street, one of the city’s oldest fine art galleries. As a merchant on Royal Street, she is keenly attuned to the unique ecosystem of the Quarter, having spent more than 10 years observing firsthand the delicate balancing act between world-class attractions for visitors and the quality of life demanded by residents. Jill is also a passionate advocate for her neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny, where she and her husband Eric own a small shotgun house with a large garden in the Triangle, which they share with their three LA-SPCA rescued mutts.
Vice President Jeff Morgan, a native of Evangeline Parish, moved to New Orleans in 1988 to attend Tulane. He established residence in the French Quarter in 2006 and owns a home on St. Philip. Jeff is an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration. He is also on the adjunct faculty at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and holds degrees from McNeese State University, Tulane Law School, and Stanford Law School. Jeff is active in the Nola Softball League and is a past member of that organization’s Board of Trustees. He is also a founding member of NOAGE, advocating for the welfare of older adults in the New Orleans area. He and his spouse have previously restored historic properties Uptown but are particularly devoted to the preservation and enhancement of the French Quarter, a neighborhood that they and their two dachshunds greatly enjoy.
Secretary Kate Simister has been a resident of the French Quarter since 1991. She was a member of the French Quarter Citizens Board from 2000-2005 and 2008-2013 and was also a member of the initial Rampart Street Committee in 2004. Kate has a B.A. in Social Science from UC – Berkeley and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). During a 30+ year career in engineering and construction project management, Kate worked in Alaska, Algeria, Iran, and Chile. She currently provides project management services through her company, Acanthus Consulting, Inc., and is currently working with Waldemar S. Nelson & Company on Freeport-McMoRan projects. Kate greatly enjoys the convenience, conviviality and neighborliness of life in the French Quarter and says owning and caring for a property here has been one of her most rewarding and challenging experiences.
Treasurer Terry A. DuFrene, currently a Managing Director and Senior Investor, has been with J.P. Morgan for the past 20 years, and joined their New Orleans team in 2011 after transferring from their Houston offices. Outside of his professional demands, Terry is on the board of the New Orleans Ballet Association, a member of the Investment Committee for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, sits on LSU’s Planned Giving Professional Advisory Council, and serves on the Finance Committee of VCPORA. His favorite hobbies are hunting, fishing and travelling. Terry and his wife, Lynette, live here in the French Quarter.
Ira Paul Babin served as President of the board for the Foundation of Historical Louisiana during the 1990’s and more recently, as a long standing member of the board of directors for Magnolia Mound Plantation, both in Baton Rouge. Additionally he has been a trustee of the board of the Beauregard-Keyes House here in the Vieux Carré and currently volunteers as a docent. Ira’s interest in preservation and tourism reach back to his high school and college days, when he was a tour guide at Houmas House, later becoming the manager. Now retired, his most recent post was as director of marketing with the Louisiana Office of Tourism.
Deborah West Brown has lived in the City of New Orleans her entire life. She realized her life-long dream of living in the French Quarter in March of 2010 when she and her husband completed their renovation of an 1830’s Greek Revival townhouse. She shares her home on Dumaine Street with her husband Gary and two SPCA canine rescues, Mona and Mick. Deborah has served on numerous boards including the Community Resource Partnership (CRP), Upper Audubon, Coliseum Square, and Irish Channel Neighborhood Associations. Deborah has a Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University, Project Management Professional (PMP) and Lean Practitioner certifications, and is currently working at Shell Oil Company as a Senior Project Manager-Production.
Jane Krug was born, raised, and educated in the Northeast, earning a BA from McDaniel College (Westminster, MD) and an MS in Genetics from George Washington University (Washington, DC). Prior to moving to New Orleans, Jane had a lengthy career in the biotechnology industry. A visit to New Orleans for Jazz Fest in 1987 was the catalyst for a 20-year journey. After buying a condominium and enjoying the part-time lifestyle of the French Quarter for many years, Hurricane Katrina provided the final motivation to become a full-time resident and part of the city’s renewal. Enchanted by the unique historic architecture and desire to be part of the preservation, Jane earned her Louisiana Real Estate license in 2009, followed by a Preservation Resource Center Historic House Specialist certification in 2012. She now works for Latter & Blum out of their French Quarter and Historic Offices, where she applies her considerable talents to helping people find homes here in New Orleans.
Stephen Maitland-Lewis has been visiting New Orleans regularly since 1971. He and his wife purchased a home in the French Quarter in 2012. He is a former British attorney, with two law degrees, and the writer of a published thesis on corporate takeovers. He spent close to thirty years as an international investment banker holding senior positions on Wall Street, and in London, Paris and Kuwait, He is now a full-time, award-winning novelist. He is a board member of The Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York and serves on the advisory board of the California Jazz Foundation.
Kelly McLaughlin Starr is originally from Birmingham, Alabama, where she practiced architecture. Her design practice included master planning, historic restoration, renovation, and new construction of varied program types and scope. She taught design studios in Auburn University’s College of Architecture Urban Studio and The University of Alabama’s Department of Interior Design. Kelly is married to a New Orleanian. In 2007, they moved from Birmingham to the French Quarter. She and her husband enjoy walking their dog and being hounded by their son throughout the Quarter. She currently serves as VCPORA’s secretary.
Patricia (Pat) Meadowcroft began her career in retail in 1968 with Federated Department Stores achieving a position as Vice President. Included in the group were such icons as Bloomingdale’s and Filene’s. In 1994, Wal-Mart brought her to the New Orleans area where she fell in love with the culture. She then moved to JC Penney in order to stay here avoiding another transfer. After hurricane Katrina and the levee failures of 2005, Pat was responsible not only for managing numerous stores in Louisiana and Mississippi, but she re-opened 10 that had been severely damaged. Losing her home prompted her move to the Vieux Carré full-time, where she’s been since 2006. She retired in 2011, and was grateful for the opportunity to travel all over the world for her career. Retirement has afforded Pat the opportunity to follow her passions. She enjoys traveling, art, music and all the diversity that New Orleans and South Louisiana bring. Pat has served as president of Tammany Yacht Club’s First Mates, and has served for two years as VCPORA president. She has worked on numerous fundraisers and events, and has been a dedicated volunteer and board member for LPBF as well as VCPORA.
Lisa Shedlock retired from law enforcement in Michigan in 2005, and realized her life’s ambition of moving back to New Orleans to be near her southern roots. She lives in the French Quarter with her husband, Ed and her Corgi, Shorty. She is a LA Licensed Realtor, and owned and operated her own business in the French Quarter for 10 years. Lisa has been active in several VCPORA committees, including Quality of Life, Finance, Membership & Volunteer. She is vigilant in safeguarding the Vieux Carré as an historic neighborhood for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Lisa’s favorite part of living in the Quarter is having everything she needs within walking distance. She and her husband enjoy taking long walks, and chatting with neighbors and friends.
Jennifer Kelly is a native of Florida who came to Louisiana to attend LSU in Baton Rouge, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Design. After a 3 year post-college stint in Atlanta, she came to New Orleans to work for Perez Architects, and chose to live in the French Quarter, which is when she fell in love with the neighborhood. A subsequent job took her to Los Angeles, but again, she returned to New Orleans, living in Marigny, until she relocated to Houston for 10 years. It was there that she began her interior design company, Designlab. The pull of New Orleans was strong, though, and she made her way back. Jennifer now lives and works in the French Quarter, where almost all of her clients’ projects are located. She is a member of several civic and professional organizations, and a dedicated volunteer at VCPORA events.
Mary Matthews is a New Orleans native who returned home in 2013 after earning her Bachelor’s degree at Sewanee in Tennessee, and a Master’s degree in International Development in France. In 2014, Mary fulfilled her life-long dream of living in the French Quarter. She believes strongly in preserving the Vieux Carré, so that future generations of residents and visitors can continue to experience this unique place that is like no other. As Executive Director of 504ward, a nonprofit collaborative initiative with designed to retain the influx of young talent in the New Orleans region, Mary works with organizations and businesses across the city to ensure that New Orleans is a place for young professionals to thrive and grow. Mary is an alumnus of programs such as Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans and the Civic Leadership Academy, is a member of the Young Leadership Council, and in addition to VCPORA, serves on the board of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6 mile linear park that runs from the French Quarter to City Park. Mary is also an active member of the Alliance Francaise, New Orleans’ French language and cultural center working to promote knowledge and appreciation of the French language and our unique Francophone heritage in New Orleans.
Jay Brinkmann was the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research and Education at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) until he retired and moved home to New Orleans a little over two years ago. He was a recognized expert in residential, commercial, and multifamily real estate finance. He has published articles on bank regulation and housing finance in various academic journals and on the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal and the American Banker, has appeared on the news shows of all of the major broadcast and cable networks, and has testified before the US House and Senate banking committees. Jay began his career on Capitol Hill as the press secretary to U.S. Rep. David C. Treen, later becoming Treen’s deputy chief of staff when Treen was elected governor. He worked in commercial banking at what was then Louisiana National Bank/Premier National Bank in Baton Rouge, was on the business school faculty at the University of Houston, and worked in the portfolio strategy group at Fannie Mae. Jay holds a Ph.D. in finance from Purdue University, an MBA from Tulane University, a BA from The George Washington University, and was a 1969 graduate of Ben Franklin High School.
Erin Holmes, a native Louisianian, made New Orleans home in 2006. She received a Bachelor of Interior Design from Louisiana State University and worked for a small commercial interior firm before deciding to further her education, specifically in the field of Historic Preservation. She obtained a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans with a double specialization in Historic Preservation and Economic Development. Upon graduation, she joined the staff of VCPORA as Assistant Director before leaving to join a small furniture manufacturing group. Erin has already been active in the Membership and Gala Planning Committees. Currently, she is looking to return to Historic Preservation but in a more hands-on capacity that will incorporate her passions for design and the built environment.
Amy Stelly is an artist, designer, and planner. Her body of artwork includes architectural and urban design, along with abstract painting, drawing, mask-making, photography, mixed-media and three-dimensional construction. She has led collaborative art projects and taught integrated arts to a variety of students including autistic, gifted, main-stream and incarcerated youth. Amy currently runs a monthly forum and publishes a newsletter in her capacity as the coordinator for NEWCITY Neighborhood Partnership, a diverse coalition of stakeholders committed to ensuring place-based development. She has studied and worked with acclaimed masters, including Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and the late Charles Moore. As a designer and planner, she has worked on a variety of projects including building and open space design, historic restoration, downtown and neighborhood revitalization, environmental planning, municipal zoning, incentives, entitlements, site planning, streetscapes and gardens. Amy has also served the New Orleans community as an advocate for water safety and water management. She has lectured on community garden design and the history of open space in the Treme. She’s also written about resiliency and public engagement in New Orleans. Amy was born uptown and raised downtown in Treme, where she lives today.
Executive Director Meg Lousteau’s interest in preservation began during her undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies and Liberal Arts in 1991. After graduating, she moved to Paris, where she was an au pair for a large family and studied French. Living in Europe offered Meg the opportunity to travel extensively throughout both Western and Eastern Europe, and even into western Asia. These travels furthered her interest in protecting and preserving her home town of New Orleans. Upon her return, she enrolled in the University of New Orleans’ College of Urban and Public Affairs, where she was a graduate assistant. She earned her Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning, also completing the Historic Preservation component, in 1996.
Meg then went to work for the Preservation Resource Center, where she was assistant director of the Operation Comeback program for 8 ½ years. During that time, Operation Comeback marketed historic neighborhoods, helped people buy and renovate houses, produced a variety of workshops to help homebuyers and neighborhoods, advocated for preservation at the city and grass roots level, and undertook dozens of renovation and resale projects on its own.
Her next step was to become the first executive director in the history of the Louisiana Landmarks Society. Located in the Pitot House, which the organization helped save from demolition in the 1960s, Landmarks’ mission involved both interpreting one of the oldest houses in the state, as well as acting as a vigorous advocate for preservation and neighborhoods. During her tenure, Landmarks successfully worked on numerous advocacy efforts, including the creation of the New Orleans’ Nine, modeled on the National Trust’s Eleven Most Endangered.
Meg left Landmarks after Katrina, and became involved in real estate and renovations. However, her love of preservation and advocacy lured her back to the non-profit world, and in November of 2008, she accepted a position as the first executive director of VCPORA.
Meg serves on the board of the Historic Faubourg Tremé Association, and on the PRC’s Property Advisory Committee. In 2004, she was named on of CityBusiness Magazine’s “People to Watch,” and in 2003, that publication included her as a member of the “Power Generation.” In 2001, she was named one of New Orleans Magazine’s Eight Under 35. She was first a member, and then a co-chair of the Young Leadership Council’s Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership from 1994-99.
Assistant Director Jenna Burke is a sixth-generation native of the Irish Channel. She is deeply involved in multiple organizations that focus on the social, cultural, and architectural aspects of her historic neighborhood and hometown. After graduating from LSU, Jenna completed her Master’s work at UNO in Urban and Regional Planning, with a concentration in Historic Preservation. She worked with the Preservation Resource Center on an Oral History of Shotgun Homes, and is still involved with the Shotgun Home Tour. A Garden District resident, she recently served her neighborhood as its Historic Districts Landmarks Commissioner. Emerging from recent careers in education and organizing, Jenna is eager to dedicate herself to this mission-driven preservation advocacy organization. She is a board member with the WWII Museum’s Young Benefactor Committee and the Friends of St. Alphonsus, and active with the New Orleans Rose of Tralee, Irish Network-New Orleans, 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration, and the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Committee.
The VCPORA office at 816 N. Rampart is generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call ahead (504-581-7200) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an appointment.