2023-24 Committee and Subcommittee Chairs


Chair and Board Liaison: Michael J. Mestayer
Staff: Dennette Young

Chaired by the Secretary of the Foundation and works with the Communications Department to educate the public, lawyers, judges, and the philanthropic community at large about the work of the Foundation and civil legal aid.


Chair and Board Liaison: Zeb Winstead
Staff: Joe Berghausen

Works with the Board of Directors and Development Department to provide funding for the annual operations budget, major gifts, special projects; the committee also recommends policies governing development activities to the Board and identifies and cultivates relationships with foundations, corporations, and individuals. Acquisition of charitable gifts to the Foundation, includes the Infinity Fund and Legacy Funds.

Development Subcommittees:

Annual Fellows Gala
Co-Chairs: Travis A. Beaton and  G. Adam Cossey
Staff: Joe Berghausen

Coordinates planning and implementation aspects of the Gala including sponsorships, auction, and logistics.
Co-Chairs: Monica VelaVick and Maggie Trahan Simar 
Staff: Joe Berghausen

Recruitment of new members and retention of current Fellows: outreach and education to the judiciary and local bars; utilization of the one-hour professionalism CLE, Why the Louisiana Bar Foundation is Good for the Profession.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Co-Chairs and Board Liasons: John Nickelson and Adrienne White
Staff: Laura Sewell

The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee works to build capacity and identify strategy through research, learning and analysis of (1) internal protocols and processes, (2) leadership and volunteer engagement practices and (3) client community advocacy and support of efforts. The Committee will be working with a consultant on the creation and implementation of multi-year goals impacting membership, grantmaking, and human resources.


Chair: Linda Law Clark
Staff: Dennette Young

Works with the Communications Department and focuses on promoting study and research in the field of law, the diffusion of knowledge thereof, and the continuing education of lawyers. 


Chair and Board Liaison: Deidre D. Robert
Laura Sewell

Chaired by the President of the Foundation and consist of the officers, the Immediate Past President, and the Executive Director. The Executive Committee shall have and exercise the authority of the Board of Directors in the management of the corporation and the Executive Director at all times between meetings of the Board of Directors; provided, however, that the Executive Committee shall not have the authority to amend the Bylaws, remove any officer, adopt a plan for dissolution or liquidation of the corporation, or to repeal or amend any formal action of the Board of Directors.


Chair and Board Liaison: Edmund J. Giering IV
Staff: Alan Abadie Jr.

Chaired by the Treasurer of the Foundation and works with the Finance Department to oversee the LBF’s financial operations, including the annual operating budget, the review of monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements, and the annual audit and Internal Revenue Service 990 Filing. 


Chair and Board Liaison: Alan G. Brackett
Staff: Laura Sewell

Chaired by the Immediate Past President of the Foundation and works with the Executive Director to ensure the effective and equitable governance of the Foundation by conducting evaluation of relevant procedures and making recommendations to the Board of Directors and Fellowship regarding warranted amendments to the Foundations By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation.


Chair and Board Liaison: Hon. John C. Davidson (Ret.)
Staff: Renee LeBoeuf

Chaired by the Vice President of the Foundation and works with the Grants Manager to review grant applications, make recommendations to the Board of Directors with respect to the disbursement of available funds received by the Foundation including those received through the IOLTA Program as implemented by Order of the Louisiana Supreme Court, and recommend policies regarding standards by which applications are to be measured and funding decisions are to be made by the Board of Directors.

Grantee Audit and Training Committee 

Co-Chairs and Board Liaison: George D. “Dave” Ernest III and Camille Jackson
Staff: Renee LeBoeuf

This committee works to satisfy grant award audit stipulations requiring in-person team review of grantee administration and operations and to provide civil legal aid network training events aimed at strengthening grantee management by reviewing staff/board member responsibilities, setting program and administration priorities, identifying current client service trends, best practices, and evaluating outcomes.


Chair and Board Liaison: Edmund J. Giering IV
Staff: Alan Abadie Jr.

Chaired by the Treasurer and works with the Finance Department to review quarterly and annual reports for Foundation managed funds to ensure investment of funds in compliance with the investment policy or governing documents, review expenditures of fund assets for compliance with fund objectives and purposes, and provide an annual report to the Board of Directors on the administration of all managed funds. The Vice President, Development Committee Chair, and Executive Director serve as members of the committee. 

My Community Cares

Co-Chairs and Board Liaison: Hon. John C. Davidson and Anthony J. Staines

Staff: Renee LeBoeuf
This ad hoc committee will explore how the LBF can engage with My Community Cares (MCC), a community-driven neighborhood-based approach to preventing child abuse and neglect in Louisiana, and provide legal representation, advice, and expertise to families before moving into the DCFS system.


Chair and Board Liaison: Deidre D. Robert
Laura Sewell

This committee shall be chaired by the President of the Foundation and works with the Executive Director to recommend Fellows for vacancies on the Board of Directors. The officers serve as ex-officio members of the committee.