Where did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in New Orleans – attending public schools, skulking around the Latter Library, roller skating at Phil’s Big Eight and dancing with the Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble.

What do you do for fun outside of the office?

I love taking day trips, cooking and eating fresh seafood.

What was your “finest moment;” the thing you’re most proud of?

I think the thing I’m most proud of is the work I did – and southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi did collectively – before and after Hurricane Katrina. As a communications professional, I was part of the efforts to inform our residents about the storm and then how to recover from it. Our people showed such resilience and teamwork and creativity in coming back from the storm. I will never be prouder of my city than when I heard the first marching band during the first Mardi Gras parade of 2006.

What makes the Gulf Coast stand out to you?

To me, the Gulf Coast represents culture, hospitality, food, energy and everything in between. America wouldn’t be America without it, and our people and products provide such a diverse, rich outsized influence on the rest of the country.

What are some things most people don’t know about you?

I was an NCAA Division I athlete at Boston University and medaled with my boatmates at the Head of the Charles, the world’s largest rowing regatta. The cooperation and trust that it takes to keep a boat set still informs my ideas about teamwork outside of athletics.

Education

Boston University

B.A. Russian and Eastern European Studies

B.S. Journalism

Minor in Russian Language