VCPORA Board and Staff

Property Owners Category

 

Carol Allen, a native of southwest Louisiana, made New Orleans her home in the early 80's. After living in Paris, France for more than 22 years, Carol returned to New Orleans and lives on Royal Street. A former superintendent of schools and university professor, Carol has run a non-profit in Paris, organized international conferences, written three books (including the biography of New Orleans chef, Leah Chase), and, since returning home, has served VCPORA as committee chairperson of the Quality of Life committee, board member, and president of the board, 2010-2012.  She is a member of French Quarter Citizens and Patio Planners, and volunteers as a tutor in the GED program of St. Jude’s Community Center. Additionally, Carol worked to raise funds for the Mahalia Jackson Early Childhood & Adult Learning Foundation, founded by Phyllis Landrieu.   Her doctorate in Education is from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, and in 2004, she completed an Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children at Vermont College.  Happy to call New Orleans home, Carol is vigilant in safeguarding, preserving, and protecting the Vieux Carré.

 

Dan Altenloh has over 25 years experience in building business and quality/reliability systems for high tech companies, including telecommunications, semiconductor and opto-electronics.   In addition to his business experience, he has also been active in local community activities in the Dallas area such as working with city agencies, developers, builders and neighborhood groups to help solve flooding problems.  Now that he is a half-time (soon to be full-time) resident of the French Quarter, he is serving on the board of his condominium association, and is specifically working for a better environment for the residents.  He became active on quality of life issues after he and his neighbors experienced noise, crime, crowding and other safety concerns stemming from nearby bars and clubs.  Dan’s documentation of these problems, which he presented to a number of groups, helped get action from local agencies and the area is now under increased surveillance and scrutiny.  The problems have lessened, and Dan looks forward to helping the rest of the French Quarter with similar issues.

 

Peggy Armstrong is a retired Certified Public Accountant.  She attended the University of Tulsa, the University of Texas at Arlington, and received her B.S. from the University of New Orleans.  Peggy and her husband, Robert, live in the French Quarter.  She has been VCPORA treasurer for the past two years and served on the board in the 1990s.  Peggy and her husband have two daughters and four grandchildren.  Peggy is active in other New Orleans organizations, including the World Affairs Council and serves as treasurer of the Girl Scouts Louisiana East Council.  Peggy cites walking along the Mississippi River in the early morning as one of her favorite things about living here.  She also enjoys reading and spending time with her grandchildren.

 

 

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.

 

Carolyn Goodwin returned to her Southern roots when she moved to the French Quarter after living, working and attending school in England, Germany, Boston and the Caribbean. She began her professional career in public relations at a Boston agency, and eventually left to form her own company. She has worked with clients ranging from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to AT&T. Carolyn moved to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and joined a public relations company there until a major hurricane destroyed both her home and her job.  Searching for a mainland home, her parameters were clear - a walkable city combining a Caribbean attitude with city amenities, plus a vibrant art and music scene.  She realized that and more existed in the French Quarter, not far from her parent's Gulfport, Mississippi home. Carolyn and her husband Tim now reside on Orleans Ave where they enjoy the history, charm and idiosyncrasies of French Quarter streets from their balcony perch overlooking Burgundy St. Carolyn serves as chairperson for the VCPORA Quality Of Life committee and enjoys volunteering with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals.

 

 

 

Kelly McLaughlin 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 dogs and being hounded by their son throughout the Quarter. She currently serves as VCPORA’s secretary.

 

Evelyn Rodos

Originally an Uptown girl, Evelyn’s interest and appreciation for the French Quarter came from her mother, the late Lillian Rodos.  Her extended family began to migrate to the Quarter, and a few years after graduating from Louisiana State University, she followed.  She’s lived in the heart of the Vieux Carré, right off of Jackson Square, in family-owned buildings for 25 of the last 35 years.  In the interim years, she was in Los Angeles, working primarily as a location manager.  That background fueled her involvement in a local group striving to strike a fair balance between the film industry and the fragile French Quarter neighborhood.  For several years, Evelyn has served on VCPORA’s Quality of Life committee. She is a full-time landlord, and works as a Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner.  She feels fortunate to "marry" her passion for local music and Feldenkrais by working with the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic and Assistance Foundation where I am one of their health care providers, an active volunteer and donor to their mission. 

 

David Speights has a wide range of experience with federal, state and local governments, as well as private non-profit and international organizations.  He was with the U.S. EPA from 1980 until his retirement in 2004.  David’s environmental emergency work included the Bhopal, India chemical tragedy, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Prior to the EPA, he served in the Mississippi’s Governor’s office and later as a consultant to state and local governments.  A south Mississippi native, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Virginia. 

 

Frances Swigart Steg is a practicing artist whose mediums are from Medieval times with a focus on the use of archival materials.  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Newcomb College of Tulane University, where she studied Louisiana's history in architecture under Sam Wilson.  Frances has a long history with New Orleans - she’s fifth-generation - as well preservation, particularly in the Vieux Carré.  She is currently the caretaker of a creole townhouse owned by her aunt since the 1950s. 

 

Jerry Walker Zachary, a native of Homer, Louisiana (Claiborne Parish) has lived in the French Quarter since January of 1981 when he joined VCPORA, Patio Planters, New Orleans Athletic Club and subscribed to Le Petit Theatre.  He currently serves as VCPORA vice-president.  With degrees from Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University, he spent more than 14 years in Chicago working in banking, public relations, and singing in Chicago Symphony Chorus (six Grammys).  He directed the chorus at Our Lady of Holy Cross College for 10 years, performed with the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans for 26 seasons, and in 1983 founded the New Orleans Gay Men’s Chorus.  Jerry and his partner of 21 years, Henry Bernstein, share a 1835 creole cottage on Burgundy Street.

 

 

Commercial Category

 

Barry Cooper hails from Houma, Louisiana.  He received an MBA (1994) and Juris Doctorate (2000) from Loyola University, clerked with the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, and has been in private practice here in New Orleans for over 10 years.  Barry is a member of National Preservation Trust and Resources, on the board of both the New Orleans Ballet Association and New Orleans Opera Association, and is a commercial/instrument rated pilot, certified by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  He’s been a resident of the Vieux Carré since 1997.

 

Mia Matassa was born right here in New Orleans in Hotel Dieu. She is the granddaughter of local recording engineer Cosimo Matassa and the daughter of local grocer John Matassa. Mia moved to Houston in the early 1990s, where she attended high school and studied restaurant management at the University of Houston. She was offered a management position at one of the country’s major restaurant chains and was instrumental in opening restaurants all over the United States and internationally.  She returned to New Orleans in early 2005 to continue her restaurant management career and to be closer to her family.   During the Katrina catastrophe, the pull of the family business was strong, and after Katrina Mia found herself spending most of her free time “helping out” at the grocery store.  In 2009 she chose to conclude her successful restaurant management career to work full time at her family’s store, Matassa’s Market.

 

 

Rental Residential Category

 

Nancy Ferraro earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and her master’s degree in Multicultural Education from California State University-Domiguez Hills.  She worked for a small public relations firm for 4 years before continuing her education to become a teacher.  She taught elementary school in Las Vegas for 11 years. Nancy and her husband, Frank, moved to the French Quarter in October 2010.  Both Las Vegas natives, they share a passion for New Orleans and specifically the French Quarter. Each day is an adventure living in a small neighborhood that also serves as the major tourism hub of the city and safeguarding the delicate balance of co-existence is an important issue for the couple. Nancy has been involved with VCPORA for two years and currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator.

 

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.

 

 

Associate Category

 

Brian Wiggins  A former resident of the French Quarter now living in Mid-City, Brian is an attorney for the Louisiana Supreme Court .  Prior to moving to New Orleans, Brian was a Staff Attorney for the Louisiana House of Representatives and Assistant Executive Counsel for the Office of the Governor.  While no longer a resident of the Quarter, Brian is still a preservationist at heart having served for over three years on the Board of French Quarter Citizens as chairman of its Legislative Committee and even, for a brief period, as its president. 

 

Louise (Lou) Chapman Hoffman is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has lived in New Orleans since 1968.  She was a staff member at The Historic New Orleans Collection for 19 years, serving as editor of the Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly and other publications.  She was co-editor of "Preservation Press" (1979 - 1981), predecessor of the Preservation Resource Center's "Preservation in Print."   She served as president of the Garden District Association in the early '90s and on the board of Louisiana Landmarks.  Currently she is a board member of the St. Charles Avenue Association and the Alliance Française of New Orleans.  In 2009, her biography of the artist Josephine Crawford (1878 - 1952), who  lived in the French Quarter at 612 Royal Street and studied at the Quarter's Arts and Crafts Club, was published by The Historic New Orleans Collection.

 

Sara Orton graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.  She studied Spanish at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain and received an associate’s degree in Spanish Language.  After working in a real estate office in the French Quarter, she acquired a real estate license and worked at French Quarter Realty with clients throughout the French Quarter and other historic neighborhoods.  In 1998, Sara started the Masters of Preservation Studies program at the Tulane School of Architecture.   Sara’s professional experience in preservation began at Earth Search, where she was an architectural historian, and continues in her present position at CH2MHILL as a cultural resource specialist working on projects all over the U.S.  She’s been a fervent supporter of the Vieux Carré since moving to New Orleans 16 years ago, and chose to get married here in the Quarter.

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.

Staff

Executive Director

Meg Lousteau  Meg’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. 




   

View Larger Map