David W. Morris
President, Executive Leadership Committee
David W. Morris is NOLA born and bred. After moving away for several years and starting a career as a political consultant in Mississippi, David realized what all true New Orleanians realize sooner or later- there's just no staying away! Since moving his business back home, David has come to understand just how lucky he is to be able to fuse his passions for politics and giving back to New Orleans on daily basis.
Morris on evacuteeer.org:
Three days after riding out Hurricane Katrina in Hattiesburg, MS, I finally made it to a working television in Monroe, LA. Watching the national coverage of what was happening in here New Orleans left me feeling angry, embarrassed, and helpless. When I heard about evacuteer.org, I knew this was something I was going to be a part of. The beauty of evacuteer is that it reins in and leverages the collective power of everyday people who are just looking for a chance to do the right thing. Between evacuteer.org and the best, most committed emergency preparedness officials around, we're poised to prove to the world that New Orleans gets it: People come first.
Jenna finds the best way to describe her love for her new southern home is the following: “Back in the Northeast, if you went out walking early in the morning, nobody would make eye contact with you. Everyone rushes by, immersed in their own lives, always in a hurry. In New Orleans, you better be ready to wish everyone a ‘Good Morning’, find out how their day is going, how the weekend was, and how bad the hangover is. And believe you me, I prefer it that way.” A Southern Girl in spirit, if not by birth, Jenna flew south to go to Tulane for engineering and never looked back. As a Riding Member in the Krewe of Muses, a homeowner, a leader for the Crescent City Café, and now a proud member of the Evacuteer leadership, she can’t imagine ever uprooting, nor of calling someplace else home. She lives in the Irish Channel with the Beagle Queen Reina and works for the uptown maritime terminal design firm of Lanier & Associates Consulting Engineers.
Addis on evacuteer.org:
New Orleans loves itself more than any other place I have ever been. I don’t mean that in an egotistical way, but more in a “we-take-care-of-our-own-come-hell-or-high-water” kind of way. And Evacuteer embodies the absolute best of what our city has to offer, citizens taking care of each other, protecting their communities and ensuring our futures. I first heard about the project after becoming a fan of Robert’s work through ‘Dear New Orleans’. I was fortunate enough to be out of the city when Katrina hit, but I wanted so badly to be here, to able to help. After volunteering with Habitat, Beacon of Hope, St. Bernard Project and Rebuilding Together, Evacuteer is my next big step in giving back to the community that has given so much to me. I love you New Orleans!!! Looking forward to many many many more years together.
John Michael Early
John Michael Early is a native of Mid-City and a graduate of Jesuit High School. In addition to dual degrees in History and Economics from LSU, he also earned a minor in Disaster Science and Management, which included an internship at the New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness.
John-Michael teaches high school English at Sojourner Truth Academy as a member of Teach For America's 2010 Greater New Orleans corps. Additionally, he plays in the local funk/rock band Flow Tribe and is a Nationally Registered EMT.
Early on evacuteer.org:
For New Orleanians, evacuteer.org gives us a sense of comfort and hope. It means that our citizens, regardless of means, can live free from fear. Only with this collective peace will our city continue to grow and prosper, bringing its natives home, and drawing new residents to take a risk and explore all that New Orleans has to offer.
For the rest of the world, evacuteer.org helps prove that New Orleans can and will live with the water. It demonstrates that we are forward thinking, responsible, and that we have the initiative and creativity to embrace our history and geography.
Luke Hoar de Galvan
Luke Hoar de Galvan arrived to New Orleans from Boston as a Team Leader for City Year Louisiana, serving at Carver High School. He now manages recruitment and operations for City Year, is a founding member of the Krewe of Mariah, is a right hand man for Dear New Orleans and DJ’s at the Hi Ho Lounge on Wednesday nights.
Fred Neal Jr.
Fred is an associate planner with Villavaso and Associates, a professional planning firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fred considers Baton Rouge and New Orleans his “Co-Hometowns” and is a graduate of LSU. He is a member of the board of directors of Transport for NOLA and also a member of the board of directors and executive committee of EngageNOLA. Additionally, Fred is a volunteer reader at WRBH 88.3 FM Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped, and a member of the AmericaSpeaks national volunteer facilitator network.
When not planning or thinking about urban development Fred loves to run, play tennis, frequent locally owned coffee shops, host bbq’s, and tailgate for LSU and Saints games. Fred also is big fan and frequenter of the New Orleans live music scene, however his first musical love is traditional gospel music and soul music.
Neal on evacuteer.org
Living basically my entire life in South Louisiana, I never thought about evacuating for hurricanes, even in the previous “bad storms” within my life time including Hurricane Andrew. From my perspective we got wind and maybe some water, a few days out of school/work to clean up/wait for the power to come back on, and just dealt with the rest.
However, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike changed not just my perspective, but that of many residents of the Gulf Coast. Beyond the inherent danger of the actual storm event something just a devastating became apparent to me, that some people who wanted to evacuate were not able to leave the city, not because they thought like I used think about storms, but because they didn’t have the resource to leave and there was not an adequate system in place to transport and house people who needed to evacuate.
I hope that my work with evacuteer.org can help to connect ongoing advocacy surrounding transportation choice and access to transportation with the need for efficient and sustainable evacuation systems available to every resident of New Orleans no matter their age, income, neighborhood, or social status.
Joan Ellen Young
Joan Ellen moved to New Orleans from Oklahoma in 1966, following Hurricane Betsy. She fell in love with the city, the people, the food, and the charm of a community living out loud. After many years working in various industries in New Orleans as a full-charge bookkeeper and office manager, she obtained a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the University of New Orleans, and is now a Licensed Professional Counselor [LPC], with a private practice in individual & couples counseling, trauma resolution, and gender issues. She is a lymphoma survivor, has an amazing daughter, a wonderful son-in-law, three almost perfect grandchildren, lives near Bayou St. John in an 1890s shotgun double with two cats and keeps busy with specialty sewing, bonsai, dancing, and costume sorting for a Carnival Krewe.
Young on evacuteer.org:
The first time I ever left New Orleans for a hurricane was during Katrina. I was living in Lakeview then, near the 17th Street Canal, and while I only had 6” of water, all of it was over the roof! Knowing that my family and I were safe, even if I had only 3 changes of clothes, my sewing machine & my cats, I still believe I am lucky! Like so many others, I’ve lived in a FEMA trailer [!], and gotten to really know my neighbors and this charming, caring, careless city so deeply that I don’t want anyone else to have to endure what we all had to face then, being unable to leave safely so that we could return home to the place where we belong. As I often tell my clients, to be healthy, we have to get our expectations in line with reality. I love that Evacuteer.org do will do just that and give us peace of mind, dignity and hope so that we can continue to laissez les bon temps rouler [mais pas l’eau]!
Nathan originally hails from Sacramento, California. Moving from one high flood risk river delta to another in 2011, he's fallen in love with New Orleans its neighborhoods, and its residents. He currently works as the Community Engagement and Outreach Coordinator for the Louisiana Housing Alliance, fighting the good fight to ensure that all Louisianan's have a a decent place to call home.
Cataline on evacuteer.org:
Lynetria "Fresh" Johnson
Fresh Johnson was born and raised in various neighborhoods of the 9th ward as far out as Burgundy and as far back as the East. After graduating from Eleanor McMain, she ventured down I-10 to Lafayette Louisiana to attend ULL, majoring in Mass Comm-Broadcasting with a minor in Hospitality Management. Upon graduation, Fresh came back home to take her place on the airwaves hoping to use her voice to speak to a city praised for its cultural treasures but judged for its tainted past with one goal in mind: find out where help is needed...and jump right in. As a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, she's no stranger to community service. Currently Fresh juggles her role as Production Manager for the New Orleans cluster of CItadel Broadcasting, a weekend slot on Power 102.9 and event planning with Elle R Jae Events. Organization affiliations include Communicatons Chair for evacuteer.org, and member of the local chapter of The National Associations of Black Journalists, serving on various committees.
Johnson on evacuteer.org:
We never evacuated for storms, my family figured if they made it through Betsy, then they can make it through anything. Something was different about Katrina from the very beginning and I still get chills when I think about the moment the levees broke. All I could think about was how happy I was that my family left. I was in Lafayette for school and just listening to all the stories that my peers would share about family that didn't leave left a mark on my heart. Everyone deserves a fair chance to evacuate and its a personal goal of mine to help them do just that. When I first found out about evacuteer.org, I was anxious to learn more and I'm honored to be a part of such an amazing organization whose mission is to do what some may call impossible.
New Orleanians are a different breed of people, we hear music when the room is silent, we celebrate even when the mood is grim, there's even rhythm in our walk and our accents are melodic...we're dying to be heard in so many areas and Evacuteer is definitely answering the call. Being able to utilize resources, strategize and carry out a solid plan all in order to help a city during such weak a time is conducive to a strong future. Not only are we evacuating people to a safe place, but we're bringing them back...coming back is the best part; its home.
Like many natives, I don’t evacuate and didn’t for Katrina. Then 2 days later it was clear we needed to get out. For weeks we watched on the national news the struggles of the thousands who did not have the means to leave on their own. It was a scary thought that one dead car battery and that could be you. Fast forward a few years and I met Sayde when we served on another non-profit board together, Halloween’s in New Orleans, a wonderful group that produces one of the premier Halloween events and helps fund Project Lazarus.
I heard about Evacuteer, through Sayde, and saw the tremendous value in the mission. No one should have to stay through an evacuation just because they can’t get in a car and drive themselves out. It’s a fact of life that some people will always to say “I won’t go.” Evacuteer makes sure no one has to say “I can’t go.”
Crysty Skevington is a graduate student at Tulane University, working on her MS in Disaster, Resilience, and Leadership Sciences with a focus in Risk Communications. She received her BFA from Emerson College in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. Originally from upstate New York, Crysty ventured down to Plaquemines Parish during her junior year of college and promised to return to Louisiana after graduating. Now she's here, trying to help rebuild a vision of New Orleans that everyone can get behind.
Skevington on evacuteer.org:
The plan makes so much sense. New Orleans has given its all to fixing the problems that occurred during Katrina's evacuation, and Evacuteer plays a compassionate role for anyone anxious about leaving the city. It takes so many moving parts to make the plan work. There are the people who make sure it stays fluid and efficient, the people who keep you safe, and then there is Evacuteer to make sure you are doing okay. I want to be among the faces eager not only to keep each other from harm, but also to prove there’s a reason to come back.
Special Projects Committee
Less than a month after moving to New Orleans, Justin first experienced the chaos that can accompany a Hurricane evacuation, loading his car with several law school friends who did not have transportation of their own and driving through the night to Houston to avoid Hurricane Ivan which had threatened New Orleans before turning to the east. Less than a week after returning to New Orleans for his second year in law school, he again found himself driving a car full of law school friends out of town, but had no idea at the time it would be over four months until he could return, and even today, he will never forget the state of the city when he returned in January, 2006. Over six years later, he has established firm roots in the city he loves and considers home.
Justin was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, and made his way to New Orleans in 2004 to attend Tulane University Law School after graduating with Honors from the University of Michigan. Justin is a member of the Louisiana Bar and has practiced law with the New Orleans Based law firm of Hailey McNamara, LLP since graduating from Tulane Law School in 2007. He serves on the Special Projects committee of evacuteer.org and also provides his legal expertise and experience to evacuteer.org whenever the need arises.
Alsterberg on evacuteer.org:
I will never forget my first drive back into the city when I returned in January of 2006, when over 3/4 of the city was still dark and desolate. Now, over six years later, I truly believe New Orleans is back and better than ever, and that is because of the efforts many who love this city as much as I do have made to help New Orleans come back and be what it is today. However, we can never forget what happened during some of this city's darkest days, and that is why I joined evacuteer.org after I learned about it, because the power of volunteer organizations like evacuteer.org and the individuals that drive them has helped bring us so far, but there remains plenty to do to prove to the rest of the country New Orleans is back and better than ever, especially in the event we face another threat.
Quick run-down: Hiphop head, nerd girl, international development ninja assassin, and wife. I cook, I bust spontaneous dance moves & I wanna save the world.
English is a New Orleans girl, born and raised in the NOLA metro area. After her and her twin brother graduated from high school, English went on to Xavier University in New Orleans where she earned her BA in Political Science. English breezed through undergrad in 3 years and realized she was too exhausted to head straight to grad school but was lucky enough to be offered an opportunity to intern in the Texas State Legislature in Austin, TX. This was her first taste of wide-spread public service. English has gone on to subsequently earn her MBA from Tulane's Freeman School of Business and her JD from Loyola-New Orleans College of Law. English currently works on implementing international development projects and grant management for Tulane Law School's Payson Center for International Development. This has given her the opportunity to travel all over the world and work to improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations.
Pratts on evacuteer.org:
Working for Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis in Houston after Katrina hit, I remember attending an event with the Senator when he mentioned "Katrina refugees," rhetoric used by most of the media at that time. The NOLA girl in me sprung up, interrupting him mid-sentence in a crowded room full of people, and I said "Senator, we are not refugees. We are American citizens and we are survivors." I returned home to NOLA in December 2005 because I knew that if New Orleans were to ever thrive again, it was going to be up to my generation.
I was eager to become a part of Evacuteer to be a part of keeping citizens safe, secure, and informed during evacuations and to make sure that the tragedies of Katrina are never repeated.
Emma Storm Herr
Emma Herr began her one-year term as Director of Development through a partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program through Tulane University Center for Public Service. Emma will serve from December 2010 through December 2011.
Emma hails from New York City, and her first time stepping foot in New Orleans came on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. As a member of the first class to come to Tulane following the storm, she has seen the city grow in leaps and bounds but fall short in many aspects as well. Upon graduation in May 2010, she knew she wanted to stay and work in New Orleans. She joins Evacuteer.org as an Americorps VISTA through Tulane's Center for Public Service and will serve as evacuteer.org’s first director of development focusing on crafting a five year strategic growth plan for the organization and identifying traditional and non-traditional funding opportunities.
Herr on evacuteer.org:
Born and raised in New York, I never owned a car. When Hurricane Gustav approached New Orleans, I relied on the kindness of friends and strangers to evacuate. I understand the feelings of helplessness for those without access to transportation. Two years later, I am still in New Orleans, armed with a license and a commitment to working full-time for evacuteer.org’s mission to safely evacuate all residents without reliable evacuation transportation. Every citizen has a right to safe evacuation transportation and refuge in the face of disaster and I’m excited to contribute to the vision of evacuteer.org.
Sustainability & Development Committee:
Joy is the Executive Director of CASA New Orleans. She grew up in NOLA and then spent a decade living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She studied horticulture and business in undergrad at LSU, then received her master’s in Plant Pathology and went to work as a horticultural consultant for projects ranging from small businesses to Sean Payton’s backyard. After the economic downturn, she made a deliberate career shift into the nonprofit realm and hasn’t looked back. She served as the Director of Impact Initiatives and Disaster Coordinator for the ten parish region served by the Capital Area United Way, was Chair of the Long Term Recovery Committee after Hurricane Gustav, played an integral role in the regional and state VOADs (Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster), and regularly trained nonprofits in outcomes measures and social media for social good.
After trying for years to return home, she found the perfect fit with CASA New Orleans and is now happily living in the Irish Channel. You can often find her taking photographs, tailgating, at a festival, or in the front row cheering for her husband’s band.
Bruce on evacuteer.org:
When Katrina hit, my family in New Orleans scattered – my dad and two youngest sisters joined me in my tiny loft apartment, another sister went to Shreveport, my brother drifted from Kentucky to Ohio to Texas, and my mother was in the Superdome. I spent the week after the storm in the hospital with my sick father, lost my voice trying to find out where my mother was, and watched the steady stream of triaged New Orleans residents as they joined us in the ER. I saw firsthand the chaos and the pain, but also the love and generosity of strangers. I saw the complete meltdown in communications at every level – from the government to my family’s cell phones. And I never, ever, want anyone to have to live through that again. There is a better way, and evacuteer.org is here to help.
Sofia Curdumi Pendley
Sofia Curdumi Pendley is a Program Manager at Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA). At the DRLA Sofia is responsible for the management of various disaster related research projects, including the Haiti Humanitarian Assistance Evaluation, Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Impact Assessment, and the Strengthening Leadership in Disaster Resilience Program. Sofia attended Tulane University where she studied Political Science and French. After graduating, Sofia taught English in Shanghai, China for two years. In 2007, Sofia returned to New Orleans and to Tulane to pursue a Masters in Public Health, which she was awarded in 2009. Sofia is a first generation American and very proud of her Cuban heritage. She loves New Orleans, its eclectic culture, and the spirit of its people. It is her hope that emergency preparedness practices will be instituted in every home in this city.
Curdumi Pendley on evacuteer.org:
My first experience with the City Assisted Evacuation Plan occurred in 2008 during the mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Gustav. As an intern for the Emergency Services Department of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross, I contacted many of the people who had registered with the CAEP to make sure that they were aware of the process, and to assure that they were able to get to the designated pick up points. What happened during Katrina can never happen again, we must all push to make ourselves, our community, our city stronger. The work that evacuteer.org is doing is necessary for New Orleans and it is truly an honor to be a part of such an innovative organization.
Liaison to City of New Orleans / NOLA Ready
Sara Hudson hails from Texas but she and her cowboy boots did a permanent boot scootin’ boogie down I-10 to New Orleans as soon as they possibly could. Some know her as the writer behind 504ward’s emails; others as a temporary dog walker of a dog with an extraordinarily long snout (and a second dog who can’t actually see anything). The only times you’ll see her sedentary are when she’s writing or reading; otherwise, look for her speeding along on her bicycle, running around the Bayou, laughing out on the dance floor, or volunteering at whatever festival New Orleans has to offer that weekend, where she somehow always winds up as the volunteer giving you your beer. (No complaints there.)
Hudson on evacuteer.org
In the first six months after I arrived in New Orleans, I lost my entire graduate student career when a thief stole my computer and back-ups. I was attacked by pit bulls while training for a breast cancer run. Three friends died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and another was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer. I had my nose almost broken by a falling nut while I was biking. I was hit by a drunk driver. It didn’t matter. New Orleans is the place I love. Nothing changes that. I believe in the power of this city, and I believe the power of this city comes from its people. I believe everyone – everyone – has the right to safely evacuate and safely return, no matter who they are, how they look, where they live, or what they make. Evactueer.org makes that happen. This is our home, and we take care of our own. New Orleans is my home; evacuteer.org lets me help take care of my own.