Dr. Vera Triplett, PhD
Founder & CEO
Kristine is an experienced education administrator with a background in school compliance and public policy. While working at the Louisiana Department of Education, Kristine oversaw both support and accountability for a large portfolio of charter schools throughout the state to maintain high performing schools for students and families. Previously, she has worked for the Recovery School District putting in place academic and compliance measures to improve student achievement. With many years of school data, compliance, and grants management experience, Kristine is dedicated to expanding opportunities for students in Louisiana.
Lead School Administrator
Patricia Hawley, Board Chair
Patricia Hawley is a social worker in New Orleans, with professional interests in community research and human behavior in the social environment. While completing graduate degrees in feminist studies and social work, she coordinated several community programs in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Louisiana. In New Orleans, her work primarily focuses on developing multigenerational biopsychosocial histories in the indigent defense context. She has also presented and published academic articles addressing the needs and realities of education for girls and women in developing countries.
Guyon Lewis, Board Secretary
Guyon Lewis is a local real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty. Guyon is also the owner of Equitable Solutions LLC, a firm specializing in the acquisition and management of residential properties in southeast Louisiana. Prior to starting Equitable Guyon worked in various operational capacities for Target stores. He earned a degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College and an MBA from Tulane University.
Lisa Bakale-Wise has worked with the New York City Department of Homeless Services providing legal aid to low-income, underserved individuals. After receiving her law degree from New York University, she moved to Louisiana to help fight the unjust imposition of the death penalty. Her practice includes state and federal litigation and is rooted in a deep appreciation for the dignity of her clients.
As a broadcast journalist for WDSU in New Orleans Jeanne Nathan she covered government, economic development and politics, producing the news on weekends and ultimately as managing editor. She produced weekend profiles of artists among many special cultural productions. She co-founded the Contemporary Arts Center with her husband, Robert Tannen, inviting artists and arts supporters to help, opening the center at its present address within a four month start up process. She produced the first CAC fundraising concert with Allen Toussaint; an annual late night jazz jam festival called the Dew Drop Inn, and won the center’s first NEA grant. As President of Events in Media, the Nathan Bering Agency, and Creative Industry, she launched numerous cultural events and projects in support of clients, the administrations of three mayors in New Orleans and New York City, and business improvement districts, including the Art Exchange show, a Wall Street art fair presented in empty office spaces, helping to transform a dying financial district into a 24/7 live/work neighborhood.
Jerry Hall graduated from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), 1987.
with a B.A. in Education. Jerry worked within the Offices of Academic Affairs, Institutional Research and Affirmative Action in various capacities at Memphis State University/University of Memphis. Jerry transferred to University of Tennessee Health Science Center-Memphis. Worked within the Department of Human Resources. Title of positions occupied were, Employment Recruiter, Benefits Specialist, Assistant Manager of Employment/Records, Manager of Employment/Records, Assistant Director of Human Resources, Interim Director of Human Resources and Director of Human Resources. In July, 2013, Jerry retired from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (30 years state of Tennessee service). Jerry moved to New Orleans, LA in May, 2014. Since arriving here, Jerry is serving on various boards, volunteers in homeless ministry and enjoys exploring this city (especially by bike).
Shay Hunter has been with Families Helping Families of Southeast Louisiana for six years working in the capacity of EarlySteps’ Community Outreach Specialist, Data Entry Specialist, and is now our Assistant Director. She plans to provide the best possible support, resources and programming for people with disabilities. As a parent of a daughter with a severe-profound disability, she fully understands the concerns of parents of children with disabilities and the great need for supports and services. Shay is excited about the upcoming year of programing and our fantastic staff ready to serve children and families.
Wil Jacobs is a financial services professional with a background in commercial and real estate lending, economic and community development finance, and housing development. Since 2013 he has assisted state and local governments across the country, businesses, and nonprofits in the procurement, design, and implementation of programs and financing structures using Disaster Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), low income housing tax credits and bonds, New Markets Tax Credits, and other funding sources.
Megan Faunce is the Director of Operations at the Youth Empowerment Project. Previously, Megan has worked with to improve outcomes for justice involved youth in the city of New Orleans and State of Louisiana. She has done this through working to reduce the juvenile prison population, bringing detention reform partners to the table and starting the first stand alone juvenile public defender office. Megan believes that all youth deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and works every day to ensure this is a reality.