Home HEALTH Mind + Body: June 2017

Mind + Body: June 2017


Collaboration for Better Lives: A new public-private partnership leads to innovative solutions to disaster recovery and resilience issues across the state.


The newly created Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance aims to build more resilient communities by bringing Louisiana’s philanthropic community together with federal and state government partners. As if Hurricane Katrina wasn’t bad enough, Louisiana also has had to respond to other catastrophic disasters including the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, the Great Floods of March and Aug. 2016, and the tornadoes that hit New Orleans East in Feb.

These events have uprooted the lives of many Louisiana residents, while stretching the resources and capacity of communities. In order to find new solutions for the future, the LDRA has created a Joint Fund for Recovery & Resilience, which will prioritize long-term, sustainable disaster recovery, resilience and climate change adaptation models that address the needs of vulnerable communities in Louisiana.

For starters, the LDRA has created a Donor’s Guide to the 2016 Floods. It provides information for philanthropic organizations so they can better target assistance to non-profits involved in continued recovery efforts. There is also the Resource Guide to the 2016 Floods, which provides a view of non-profit resources available to support vulnerable populations and individual households with unmet needs. The LDRA is also working to develop a GIS-based tool that will identify populations with high social vulnerability and unmet needs in order to improve the targeting of non-profit disaster assistance.

The public-private partnership includes founding member organizations such as the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, the Foundation for Louisiana and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, plus the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Office of the Governor of Louisiana, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (among others). Public sector partners have agreed to work in concert with the philanthropic sector and to inform them about emerging needs and government investments in resilience and recovery.

The LDRA is seeking additional philanthropic partners interested in joining the Alliance or supporting its work. louisianarecoveryalliance.org


Women’s Weekend: FestiGals returns to New Orleans with an exciting schedule of events.

The 7th annual FestiGals leadership conference, taking place June 22-24 at the JW Marriott, is best known for its goal of inspiring, connecting and celebrating women, while supporting causes important to their well-being. This year’s theme is Passion, Purpose & Power. In that vein, local “Songbird of New Orleans,” Robin Barnes has been named the Grand Diva of the event, and she will lead the annual Stiletto Stroll through the Vieux Carre and across Canal Street for a fabulous After-Glow party. (Proceeds of fundraising marching krewes and newly formed groups will be donated to the New Orleans Family Justice Center, which helps families and individuals suffering from domestic violence.) She joins the ranks of past Divas, such as Angela Hill and Irma Thomas.

Taking center stage as the headliner of the Women’s Leadership Conference June 23 is Linda Alvarado, president and CEO of Denver-based Alvarado Construction, Inc., and the first Hispanic owner of a Major League Baseball franchise. As an owner of the Colorado Rockies, her role is also significant because it was the first time that any woman was involved in a bid for ownership of a Major League Baseball team. She is a nationally recognized speaker and advocate for business issues, and she has been a commissioner of the White House Initiative for Hispanic Excellence in Education.

The event also features seminar tracks on professional development, personal enrichment and New Orleans culture. Sessions include topics such as Negotiations, Next Generation of Leaders; Communicating Better, Smarter, Faster; EatFit FestiGals; New Orleans Ladies of Burlesque; and the Growing Louisiana Beer Culture & the Women Tapping into the Market.
Featured speakers will include Intentional Kate, Propeller’s Andrea Chin, acclaimed attorney Kim Boyle, local fitness pro April Dupree and other notables. There will also be FestiTalks (rapid-fire, dynamic presentations on a variety of topics); a keynote luncheon during which key women in the community will be honored for their contributions in various fields; and the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Brunch and Auction (proceeds benefit The Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, Inc.). Individual tickets, $150; Ultimate Diva Package, $399 (includes added perks such as a Culinary Demo/Dinner with Chef Sam Carroll at Sac-a-lait, private home tours and an opening reception at the Louisiana State Museum’s Presbytere). festigals.org


Maria’s Pick — Pick-Me-Up: A recent study ranks New Orleans in the top five cities for coffee drinkers.

SmartAsset, a company that uses software and data to provide simple, easy-to-understand answers to complex financial questions, recently released a study that proves we love our cuppa joe here in the Crescent City. Whether its pour overs or flat whites, we flock to our local coffee shops for our daily dose of java. The study found that New Orleans is home to the fourth most coffee manufacturers out of the 100 largest cities in its analysis, and the city ranks in the top 20 for its high number of coffee shops per 100,000 residents. New Orleans also has seven roasters local to the city, so getting the fresh, flavorful coffee beans is as easy as pie.

Other key findings show that Seattle still ranks as No. 1 when it comes to coffee fanatics. Per the study, the Emerald City has the third-most coffee places per capita and 31 percent of its coffee shops have been rated a minimum of 4.5 stars by Yelp users. Coming in second is San Diego, followed by Honolulu, Portland and New Orleans. Rounding out the top 10 list are Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Oakland; San Francisco; and Denver.

“As New Orleanians, we are unique in many ways,” says Maria Muro, publisher of New Orleans Living. “When it comes to coffee, we like to mix in a bit of chicory for added flavor. But no matter how you take it, coffee is high on our list of priorities.” smartasset.com