VCPORA Board and Staff

Board President  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 is 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 is VCPORA’s Membership Committee chair.  She has worked on numerous fundraisers and events, and has been a dedicated volunteer for LPBF as well as VCPORA.

Vice-President 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-Dominguez 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 four years and currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator.

Secretary 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 dog and being hounded by their son throughout the Quarter. She currently serves as VCPORA’s secretary.

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.

Property Owners Category

Dan Altenloh has over 25 years of experience in building business and quality/reliability systems for high tech companies, including telecommunications, semiconductor and opto-electronics.   He holds a Ph. D. in Chemistry from University of North Texas.  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.

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.

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.

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 in the film industry.  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 she is one of their health care providers, an active volunteer and donor to their mission. 

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.

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. 

Commercial Category

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 also makes his living in the French Quarter, working in the U.S. Customhouse as a Senior Attorney for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  His practice is primarily focused on international trade, immigration, and employment and labor law issues.  He is an adjunct faculty member at Tulane and holds degrees from McNeese State University, Tulane Law School, and Stanford Law School.  He previously served on the adjunct faculty for Loyola University’s College of Business, completed a teaching fellowship at Stanford Law School, and served as a managing editor of the Tulane Law Review.  Jeff is active in the Nola Softball League and is a past member of that organization’s Board of Trustees.  He is also a member of the steering committee for NOAGE, promoting the welfare of older adults in the New Orleans area.  He and his partner 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.

Lisa Shedlock After retiring from law enforcement in Michigan, Lisa realized her life’s ambition of moving back to New Orleans in 2005, to be near her southern roots.  She has owned and operated her own boutique, Hoi Polloi, and lived in the French Quarter for nearly 10 years.  Lisa and her husband lived in the Upper Quarter and now live on Ursulines St.  Lisa has been active in several VCPORA committees, including Quality of Life and Finance.  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.

Rental Residential Category

Darrell Hammond is an actor, stand-up comedian, and impressionist known for his long stint on Saturday Night Live.  He was a regular on SNL from 1995 until 2009, making him the show's longest tenured cast member. He made a name for himself with his impressions, notably of Bill Clinton and Sean Connery, and has impersonated more than 107 celebrities.  In 2007, he made his Broadway theater debut in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and in 2009, he had a guest-starring role on the FX drama Damages.  In November 2011, his darkly comic memoir God, If You're Not Up There, was published by HarperCollins, and is now set to open as a Broadway play.  Although Darrell has been a long-time New Yorker, a seven-week stay in the French Quarter a few years back spurred him to look for a more permanent perch here, which he now has on lower Royal Street.   As someone who's never quite fit in, he appreciates the Quarter's mysteries and idiosyncrasies.  Serving on the VCPORA board will give him a chance to reciprocate and give back to the neighborhood that has made him feel so welcome. 

Associate Category

Hilary Somerville Irvin, a native of Minter City, Mississippi, moved to New Orleans 43 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island, where she had the pleasure of working with the grande dame of preservation, Antoinette Downing, who whetted her appetite for urban preservation. Her formal training includes a B.A. in history from Hollins College, M.A. in history from the University of New Orleans.  Following these she received fellowships with the Attingham Trust for the Study of the Country House, the Victorian Society's Summer School in London, and Alumni Study Week in Glasgow, Scotland. From 1985 until retirement in 2013, she served as the Principal Architectural Historian for the Vieux Carré Commission. Her research has been published in numerous articles and essays, several of which center around the City’s French landscaping traditions. She now works as an independent historical and architectural consultant.

Susan Krantz was a Dean and is Professor Emerita at the University of New Orleans.  She received her B.A. in English from Newcomb College, her M.A. in English and American Literature from Mississippi State University, and her Ph.D. in Early Modern English Literature from Tulane University. As Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UNO from 2003-2013, she led the administrative, financial, and academic functions of the collective humanities, arts, and social science departments housed in the college. She is especially interested in the cultural and creative economy in New Orleans.  She was instrumental in establishing the New Orleans Jazz Institute (the academic unit coordinating with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra) and the UNO Art Gallery in the burgeoning St. Claude Arts District, as well as a new academic program in Transportation Studies. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, for the UNO Alumni Association, for the Neighborhood Story Project, and for the Committee for a Better New Orleans, among others.  Most recently, she has been named to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation Board.  As a native New Orleanian and an enthusiastic supporter of the city’s history and culture, she is devoted to maintaining the unique heritage and current vibrancy of the French Quarter.

Julie Smith is a long-time VCPORA member, was a French Quarter resident for many years, and is still a Quarter Rat and ardent preservationist at heart, although she is currently exiled to the Irish Channel.  She moved to New Orleans after graduating from the University of Mississippi, worked as a reporter for the Times-Picayune, and then spent time at the San Francisco Chronicle before leaving to write fiction.  She's the author of the Skip Langdon and Talba Wallis mystery series and is the founder of booksBnimble, a digital publisher. She moved back to New Orleans in1994, when she and her husband bought a home in the French Quarter, and later lived in the Marigny, but only steps from Esplanade. 

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. 




   

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