Bivian (Sonny) Lee
Founder, Son of a Saint Sports Foundation
Lee is the son of former Saints defensive back Bivian Lee Jr. and the Founder/President of Son of a Saint Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of fatherless young males through sports, mentorship and education. Sonny is also former Chief Aide to Tom Benson, Owner of the New Orleans Saints. Sonny is a native New Orleanian and graduated with honors from St. Augustine High School and the University of New Orleans. At UNO, Sonny majored in Marketing and Management. Upon graduation and prior to his 3-year stint with the Saints, Sonny held the title of Assistant Director of Operations for the New Orleans Zephyrs. In the A.D. role, Sonny held a major position in rebuilding the $2.1 million of damage to Zephyr Stadium after Katrina. Sonny has served on the Desire NOLA Board of Directors, the New Orleans Jazz Institute Advisory Board, and as a Committee Member for the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
Attorney, New Orleans, La.
Fayard was born in Baton Rouge and grew up in Denham Springs, Louisiana. Caroline was the 1996 Class valedictorian and a member of the Navy Junior ROTC at Episcopal High School. Fayard graduated with honors from both Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. At Michigan, Fayard administered a fellowship program on behalf of the university.
She worked at both the White House and Congress before taking a position at Goldman Sachs. She later worked at the Washington-based firm of Williams and Connolly before returning to government service, and to Louisiana, to work as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Fayard was later appointed to the faculty of the College of Law at Loyola University New Orleans and served there until 2009 when she returned to private practice. Fayard currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Louisiana Appleseed, a non-profit organization that promotes access to justice. She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Junior League of New Orleans and a Life Loyal member and former chapter president of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, Inc. Fayard is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and New York.
Robert X. Fogarty
Evacuteer.org, Co-Founder and Board President
Dear New Orleans + Dear World, Founder
Robert X. Fogarty is the co-founder evacuteer.org and founder of Dear World. He started evacuteer.org after assisting the City of New Orleans to evacuate 18,000 residents without cars in advance of Hurricane Gustav, the largest hurricane evacuation in U.S. history.
In 2011, Fogarty started Dear World, a scalable version of Dear New Orleans, his for-profit photography venture for social good. Fogarty has photographed thousands, including Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Drew Brees, Academy Award Winner Susan Sarandon and NBA All Star Chris Paul. He graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 2005.
Josh Sawislak, AICP
Director, Clio Strategies
Josh Sawislak is the principal consultant of Clio Strategies, a small firm providing strategy consulting and public-private partnership development support to companies and public sector agencies. He holds an appointment as a senior fellow of the Telework Exchange where he researches and writes about management and nature of work policy. His blog entitled, Work: It’s a Verb, not a Noun is published in the Huffington Post. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
As the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer, Mr. Sawislak was directly responsible for business continuity planning, emergency management, and enterprise risk management across the agency. He served as GSA’s representative on NSC and White House interagency policy committees up to the Deputies level of discussion and decision-making. In his role at GSA, Mr. Sawislak was also responsible for support to FEMA, DoD, and USAID in preparation for and response to natural disasters and other emergencies. Prior to his appointment at GSA, Mr. Sawislak served in state government, but spent most of his career in the private sector where he held executive and management positions with some of the largest international firms in management consulting, infrastructure development, engineering, and architecture.
Lauren Thom is a New Orleans native who started a New Orleans-inspired shirt line called Fleurty Girl. Her shirts are worn all over the world by people who want a piece of New Orleans nostalgia wherever they go. She opened a shop on Oak Street in November 2009 inside of an old renovated shotgun that was destroyed in Katrina. Her shop has quickly become one of the most frequented destinations on Oak Street.
Prior to launching Fleurty Girl, Lauren was a radio DJ and TV News reporter. She was also featured on ABC’s “The View,” in 2005 and even made it to the Oscars in 2001. In her younger years, Lauren’s media experience began when she was a student anchor on WWL-TV’s “Our Generation” with Sally Ann Roberts. “New Orleans is my love,” says Thom, who left her television job in February 2010 in order to run Fleurty Girl full-time. “My favorite part is working the shop and just listening to the stories,” says Thom. “Everyone knows someone who said ‘Zink’ or ‘Mynez’ and the shirts remind them of a piece of something they remember and they love to share it. I’ve laughed with people and cried with them, this is exactly what I was meant to do.”
Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, City of New Orleans
Position Currently Held By:
LtCol. Jerry W. Sneed USMC (ret.)
Deputy Mayor, Public Safety, City of New Orleans
Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Sneed's first duty in New Orleans was to coordinate the “Look and Leave” program in the Lower 9th Ward directly after Hurricane Katrina, which he did as a volunteer. In the past five years he has risen from volunteer to the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and now serves as Deputy Mayor for Public Safety. His office is responsible for the City Assisted Evacuation Plan.
In this capacity he oversees the City’s public safety departments including NOPD, NOFD, EMS and Emergency Management with the goal of providing coordinated safety and security to citizens. By coordinating both internal city functions as well as external relations with other criminal justice entities, the Deputy Mayor helps limit duplicative efforts and maximizes the effectiveness of all facets of the system.
Lt. Col. Sneed served over 30 years of active duty in the United States Marine Corps.