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Jon Renne, PhD, AICP Board Chair

John L. Renne, Ph.D., AICP, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He is an Honorary Research Associate at the Transport Studies Unit in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford in England. Dr. Renne’s work focuses on creating sustainable and resilient transportation systems. He coined the term “carless evacuation” after Hurricane Katrina. He led a National Study on Carless and Special Needs Evacuation Planning, funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and is a co-founder of the National Evacuation Conference. Dr. Renne has published extensively and served as an editor of scholarly journals on the topics of evacuation and transportation resilience for Natural Hazards Review, Journal of Emergency Management, and the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Dr. Renne is the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Transportation and Land Development and serves as a Committee Member on the TRB Emergency Evacuation Committee. He serves in leadership and board positions with the Urban Land Institute and the Palm Beach County Planning Congress. Dr. Renne is also the founder of The TOD Group, LLC, the Denver TOD Fund, LLC, and the TOD Index, LLC.

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Caroline Fayard

Caroline Fayard was born in Baton Rouge and grew up in Denham Springs, Louisiana. She graduated with honors from both Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. At Michigan, she administered a fellowship program on behalf of the university.

Ms. Fayard 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. She 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. She 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. Ms. Fayard is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and New York.

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Josh Sawislak, AICP

Josh Sawislak is an internationally recognized expert on climate and disaster resilience and sustainable development. He advises governments, corporations, international organizations, and NGOs on policy, implementation, and financial issues around building sustainable and resilient infrastructure in both the developed and developing world. He holds an appointment as a professional affiliate of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University and is a Senior Advisor to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) based in Arlington, Virginia.

Mr. Sawislak served in the Obama Administration as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he developed U.S. federal policy on climate adaptation and resilience and worked with foreign governments and international organization on multilateral and bilateral efforts.  He also served as a senior advisor to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) focused on infrastructure and resilience at HUD and across government. He led the development of the infrastructure recommendations for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. 

Mr. Sawislak is an environmental and transportation planner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He earned a degree in political science from George Washington University and a certificate in infrastructure development from Harvard Kennedy School.

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Jeffrey Thomas

Jeffrey Thomas is a New Orleans attorney with over 17 years of law and policy experience focused on environmental protection, economic development, disaster recovery, renewable energy, and increasing public participation in government. As principal of Thomas Strategies, LLC, Jeffrey helps facilitate public-private financing and policy solutions to spur resilient and sustainable community and economic development. Jeffrey is also a partner at Cara Stone, LLP. 

Jeffrey coordinated the New Orleans Citizen Sewer, Water & Drainage System Reform Task Force, which was created at the request of the City of New Orleans to recommend existing opportunities to improve the City’s water and flood protection systems, including means for reducing polluting runoff and reducing subsidence by safely absorbing more storm water within public spaces.

Jeffrey’s local experience also includes service as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as Special Assistant to the New Orleans Office of Recovery & Development Administration, in which he supervised post-disaster policy development aimed at blight reduction, neighborhood commercial revitalization, and sustainable public infrastructure investment.

Jeffrey’s community efforts have been recognized with several honors, including the New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine’s Leadership in Law Award, and designation among Gambit Magazine’s “Forty Under Forty” in the New Orleans region.

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Joy M. Bruce

Joy M. Bruce is the Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) New Orleans. She joined Evacuteer in 2011, initially as a member of the Executive Leadership Committee. She co-wrote the CDC grant to install the Evacuspot statues, activated with our volunteer team in the City’s Emergency Operations Center for Hurricane Isaac, and most recently, Hurricane Barry.

Before joining CASA in 2011, Joy was the Director of Impact Initiatives at the Capital Area United Way (CAUW), where she created and supported collaborative community impact projects in the ten-parish region served by the organization. Under her direction, CAUW created and launched a ten year collective impact initiative, changing the way the community approached and supported early childhood education. She was also the Disaster Coordinator for the region, serving as Chair of the Long-Term Recovery Committee after Hurricane Gustav and playing an integral role in the regional and state VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) before, during, and after the BP Oil Spill. She regularly trained nonprofits in outcome measures and social media for social good. While in Baton Rouge, she also served as a volunteer advocate for Capital Area CASA.

Joy is active in the local and state foster care communities and is a passionate advocate for community collaborations and meaningful policy improvement. She is a certified Master Facilitator of the Louisiana Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Educators program, a graduate of Leadership St. Bernard, and serves in leadership roles on the board of the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, as well as legislative and local taskforces. In her volunteer time, Joy serves on the LSU College of Agriculture Alumni Board of Directors and also serves as a Public Information Officer for Evacuteer. She has been honored as a CityBusiness Women of the Year, Louisiana Angel, CityBusiness Nonprofit Leader, and with the Linda Christmas Service to Children and Families Award.

Emani Flowers
Photo and bio coming soon!

Charise Jerve-Harper
Photo and bio coming soon!


Alessandra Jerolleman, PhD, MPA, CFM

Alessandra Jerolleman is an Assistant Professor in Jacksonville State University’s Emergency Management Department. She is a community resilience specialist and applied researcher at the Lowlander Center, as well as co-founder of Hazard Resilience, a United States-based consultancy providing leadership and expertise in disaster recovery, risk reduction, and hazard policy. Dr. Jerolleman is one of the founders of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) and served as Executive Director for its first seven years. She is a subject matter expert in climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, disaster recovery, and resilience with a long history of working in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Dr. Jerolleman is involved in various aspects of planning and policy and the national and local level, including participation in several workshops each year. Her experience includes: conducting independent research on disaster risk reduction and hazard mitigation for various organizations such as the National Wildlife Foundation; working as the lead grant writer and emergency planner for the First Peoples’ Conservation Council, through her role with the Lowlander Center on coastal community resettlement; community based resilience planning across the United States; working with Save the Children USA along the Gulf Coast following hurricanes and tornadoes, on a resilience initiative around children’s needs in emergencies; hazard mitigation planning at the local, state and campus level; community education and outreach regarding mitigation measures and preparedness; development of collaborative networks and information sharing avenues among practitioners; and, delivery of training and education to various stakeholders. Dr. Jerolleman speaks on many topics including: Just Recovery; hazard mitigation and climate change; campus planning; threat, hazard and vulnerability assessments; hazard mitigation planning; protecting children in disasters; and, public/private partnerships.


Fresh Johnson

Fresh Johnson is a New Orleans-based wedding planner for her boutique events company, Elle R. Jae Events. She's also a media personality and can be found on-air at KMEZ 102.9 or online for GoNOLA TV. Fresh travels internationally on behalf of Dear World, and has delivered keynote addresses at the United Nations for Youth Assembly in 2017 and the Meeting Planners International 2019 World Education Congress in Toronto.

Fresh's community service work began in the earliest stages of Evacuteer, when she served on the Executive Leadership Committee and activated with our volunteer team in the City’s Emergency Operations Center for Hurricane Isaac. Most recently, she narrated our City-Assisted Evacuation informational video, produced in partnership with NOLA Ready, Camp Restore’s Young Men’s Voices Have Power Project, and the University of New Orleans’ Center for Hazards Assessment, Response, and Technology (UNO-CHART).

Fresh also served as a member of the Innocence Project New Orleans’ (IPNO) Young Leadership Committee. She remains an advocate for IPNO, and works with familiar names and faces around the city to bring awareness to wrongful incarceration. Fresh is also a co-founder of The Wishlist Holiday Soiree, an annual fundraiser for IPNO to help exonerees get back on their feet and settled into society.

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Robert X. Fogarty Co-Founder and Board Member Emeritus

Robert X. Fogarty is the co-founder of and founder of both Dear New Orleans and Dear World. He started after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the City of New Orleans, when he recruited volunteers to help evacuate 18,000 residents without access to reliable transportation 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.