Board and Staff

Board President Ken Caron spent most of his professional career as a Regional Vice President with the ARAMARK Corporation overseeing venues such as the Superdome and Morial Convention Center. Ken has lived in New Orleans more than twenty-six years and most recently in the French Quarter. Prior to moving here, he had lived in the Faubourg Marigny and was actively involved in the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association (FMIA) on the Board of Directors. Ken has been very active and served in leadership roles for various nonprofit organizations and charities such as COPS 8, Halloween New Orleans, Odyssey House Louisiana, NOPD Community Advisory Board, Geaux Blue NOLA, and the Mounted Patrol Support Organization. He believes it is important to be a part of and give back to the community you live in.

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.

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 Anthony Rotolo is a retired CPA who worked for the Standard Division of Reily Foods for over 30 years. A native of the city, he and lived and owned property in the Faubourg St. John and Bywater neighborhoods for 10 years before buying a home on Bourbon Street, where he lived for 30 years. During this time, Tony was a treasurer of VCPORA, having recently returned to serve in the same capacity. He graduated from UNO in 1965 with a degree in Accounting. Now that Tony is retired, he has more time to enjoy some of his passions, including travel, opera, musical theatre, and spending time with family and friends. He is also happy to assert that he is a firm believer in historic preservation.

Property Owners

Lee Alexander is currently living in his third house in the French Quarter on Burgundy, which has been through some renovation. After living in several cities and countries, he loves living in a true community that offers everything within a simple walk. He has renovated several houses in the Quarter on a pro-bono basis to help preserve the historic nature of the homes. Beginning his professional career as US Naval Officer, upon graduation from Notre Dame in Civil Engineering and receiving a Masters at Marquette, he quickly went into the private sector to be an owner’s representative building shopping malls. Later during his first time in the Quarter, he was overseeing work at Harrah’s Casino (both the temporary and permanent version), then overseeing the work at the Ritz-Carlton on Canal Street. After a short stint away, he returned to help rebuild a plant in Empire, Louisiana that had been totally destroyed in Katrina, and has lived here ever since.  He was a former Senior Vice President at Daybrook Fisheries, Inc. and has been the local president of the Louisiana Engineering Society and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also a member of the Louisiana Levee Board Nominating Committee, which sends nominees to the Governor for inclusion to both the East and West SELA Levee Boards.

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.

Brigid Brown was born and raised in New Orleans, where her French, Irish and German ancestors had settled by the mid-1800s.  She is an attorney practicing in New Orleans and previously served as a Judicial Clerk at the Louisiana Supreme Court.  Brigid permanently moved to the Vieux Carre’s Exchange Alley in 2009, where she lives with her husband, Steven Guidry.  She is a past member of the VCPORA Quality of Life Committee and has served on Committees of the American Bar Association and International Association of Defense Counsel.  She is also a volunteer at Ozanam Inn. Brigid is a regular attendee of Yoga at the Cabildo and is an avid collector of local art.   When she is not walking and biking around New Orleans, she is enjoying Louisiana’s coastal waters at her camp in Grand Isle.

Sherry Cannon began celebrating birthdays and anniversaries in the French Quarter in the mid 1970’s with her husband, Robert. They both fell in love with this special community but never dreamed they would actually live here until they looked at a condo in 2012 on a whim, made an offer that was (surprisingly) accepted, and quickly adapted to life in the Quarter. They became full time residents in 2015.  Sherry is an attorney practicing family law and was employed by the Louisiana Civil Justice Center where she assisted pro se litigants with legal issues related to family matters.  She currently volunteers with the New Orleans Pro Bono Project at the Civil District Court. Prior to attending law school, Sherry was a teacher, school principal and central office administrator with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.

Terry A. DuFrene, currently a Managing Director and Senior Investor, has been with J.P. Morgan for the past 25 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, is a board member of the Vieux Carré Commission Foundation, is past VCPORA treasurer, and serves on the Finance Committee of VCPORA. His favorite hobbies are hunting, fishing, and traveling. Terry and his wife, Lynette, live here in the French Quarter.

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.

Mark Masor has lived in the French Quarter as full time resident since 2012. As a Naval Architect, licensed Professional Engineer, and Project Management Professional, he heads up his company’s Gulf Coast office. He serves on the section board of his industry society.  Mark is an active volunteer in the community.  He volunteers with the National World War II Museum where he served as the naval architect for an all-volunteer team restoring the Higgins PT-305 for passenger operations. Mark has started up a New Orleans chapter for One Brick, a community of volunteers that support other local nonprofits by creating a friendly and social atmosphere around volunteering. Mark is a super fan of the French Quarter and enjoys our diverse New Orleans culture.

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 particularly values her time spent working in Alaska, Algeria, Chile and Iran. She currently provides project management services through her company, Acanthus Consulting, LLC, and has been working for several years with local engineering firm Waldemar S. Nelson & Company on Freeport-McMoRan Indonesian copper and gold mining projects. Kate greatly enjoys the experience of owning and caring for her property here which she says has been one of her most interesting and rewarding, as well as challenging, experiences. And she very much appreciates the uniqueness, convenience, conviviality, and neighborliness of life in the French Quarter.

Michael A Skinner is a fourth generation New Orleanian.  He is the grandson of the Honorable Judge Robert J. Skinner, former City of New Orleans recorder and treasurer, and the great grandson of Judge Edward King Skinner, who served on the city, criminal and civil district court benches, successively, over a total period of 52 years.  Michael has lived in the French Quarter since 2000.  He has served on numerous boards including the Vieux Carré Commission, The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and the Council for Academic Programs Abroad.  Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, a Bachelor of Arts degree in French, the Diplôme De Langue et De Culture Française and a Masters of Business Administration.   He has certifications as a Project Management Professional (PMP), a SAFe Agilist and is currently working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in Technology Management.

 

Commercial

Nanette Keil Shapiro is a native New Orleanian who has resided and worked in the city for her entire life. Her grandmother started an antique store on Royal Street in 1899 which Nanette runs today, of late with the assistance of her son and daughter.  And, a picture of her great-grandmother Poupart hangs in The Cabildo. Nanette’s ties to the French Quarter are strong and deep.   Nanette is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe searching for beautiful antiques for her shop. Currently, she lives in the Warehouse District in a spacious, high-ceiling condo. She also keeps an apartment in the 300 block of Royal Street.  An avid tennis player and aficionado, Nanette has been a member of The New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club for over 50 years. Each year, she manages to combine a buying trip just in time to attend the matches at Wimbledon.

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 licensed Realtor with French Quarter Realty.  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.

 

Associates

Vickie Bassetti

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. 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.

Staff

Executive Director 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. She later moved on to the Preservation Resource Center, serving as the Advocacy Coordinator for preservation policy initiatives, while serving on VCPORA’s Board of Directors. She returned to VCPORA in January on 2019 as Executive Director. In her down time, she can be found exploring New Orleans neighborhoods, traveling, and parading with the Krewe of Goddesses.

Assistant Director Jack Greenwood was born in Connecticut and raised in Texas. Jack noticed the built environment’s effect on well-being at an early age. His interest in urbanism intensified while studying at the University of Portland, where he extensively researched urban design, housing affordability, and transportation infrastructure, and collaborated with food justice and sustainable development non-profits. He has since worked with Bike Easy, Ride New Orleans, Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and various neighborhood organizations to promote smart urban design and strong communities. On a nice day, he can be found riding his bike around the city.

Office Hours:

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 (info@vcpora.org) for an appointment.