2017 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ileana Suquet, President
Community Activist, New Orleans
Ms. Suquet is a well-known and involved community activist who has been on the Greater New Orleans Foundation Board, the Arts Council, the Audubon Nature Institute’s Zoo-to-Do Committee and the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; she currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Loyola University New Orleans and is a member of the Women of the Storm, the Miracle Makers Committee for the Tom and Gayle Benson Cancer Center and the Catholic Women’s Giving Circle. She was born in New York City, but has called New Orleans home since 2006. She chaired the 2009 Azúcar Ball and is a former Vice President of Development of the NOHHF. Ms. Suquet has served on the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2007.
George J. Fowler III, Vice President, Development & Chairman Emeritus
Attorney, Managing Partner, Fowler Rodriguez, New Orleans
Mr. Fowler is the founding and managing partner of the international law firm Fowler Rodriguez with offices in New Orleans, Houston, Miami, Mobile, Bogotá and Cartagena. As a trial lawyer who has written and lectured extensively on private international law he is active in promoting trade and investment for the City of New Orleans. Mr. Fowler works in the field of human rights and is Vice Chairman and General Counsel of the Cuban American National Foundation. He serves on the United States Commission on Civil Rights and has founded and served as Chairman of the Tulane Latin American Law Institute. He is also a published author (My Cuba Libre: Bringing Fidel Castro to Justice), and has served on numerous boards, including the Board of Directors of the World Trade, the Ochsner Hospital-Alzheimer’s Board, the Metropolitan Crime Commission Board, the Executive Board of the Southeast Louisiana Council of the Boy Scouts and the United Way Board. Mr. Fowler is a founding member of the NOHHF and a past President of its Board.
Alex Gershanik, Vice President, Scholarships
Attorney, Educator & Business Proprietor, Power Courses, New Orleans
Mr. Gershanik is the president and head teacher of The Power Courses, an educational consulting company that helps students prepare for standardized tests such as the ACT, SAT, PSAT, LSAT and GMAT. His students have received admissions to the most competitive schools in the country and have been awarded scholarships and other financial aid. Mr. Gershanik received his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University. He sits on the boards of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Bureau of Government Research, Second Harvest and Family Service of Greater New Orleans. He has also served on the boards of the United Way, Catholic Charities, and the Alliance for Children and Families; he is a former president of the NOHHF and is most proud of his twenty-plus years of involvement with the Foundation.
Max Moreno, Treasurer
Banker, Vice President, The Whitney Bank, New Orleans
Mr. Moreno, a long-term resident of the New Orleans area, is a vice president of the Whitney Bank in New Orleans, where he is the International Relationship Banking Manager. A native of Panama and an LSU graduate, he was President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana and is a member of the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Ballet Association. He was also President of the NOHHF and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation since 2002.
Helen Flammer, Secretary
Community Activist, New Orleans
Ms. Flammer is a retired management executive of Delta Air Lines with extensive experience in the airline industry, having worked in management positions in New York, Boston, Atlanta and New Orleans, and having served as New Orleans Reservations Manager and Marketing Director for the Gulf South for the company. She served on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Ballet Association and is currently active in the Ballet Resource and Volunteer Organization and the New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild, as well as with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra volunteers. She also chaired the 2003 Gala fundraising event for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Flammer was born in New York, but has called New Orleans home since 1989. She chaired the 1996 Azúcar Ball and has served on the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2013.
Maricarmen Huelga Aldana
Management Consultant, New Orleans
Ms. Aldana is an Industrial and Systems Engineer and an MBA, specializing in supply chain management and finance. She has extensive experience in the manufacturing industry, having worked in management consulting positions in Detroit, New York and Chicago. With Deloitte she served Fortune 500 companies in the automotive and finance industries. In New Orleans since 2013, she has been very active in the community, volunteering for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Isidore Newman School Parents Association, where her three children attend school. She chaired the 2015 Azúcar Ball and has been a member of the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2016.
Freelance Visual Artist & Community Activist, New Orleans North Shore
Ms. Baker received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans and a teaching certification from Loyola University; she also pursued graduate studies in Studio Art at Tulane University. She has had a long history of exhibiting her work and has won top awards and honors at numerous juried exhibits throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area, including the Louisiana Open Exhibition and several others at the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center. Ms. Baker has taught art at Metairie Park Country Day School, where she developed the school’s Art History curriculum and pioneered the teaching of Computer Graphics in the classroom, having developed and presented workshops at several school conferences in the South. Her work is part of the Pan American Life Center art collection. Ms. Baker has been a member of the Board of Directors of the NOHHF since 1998 and chaired the 1998 Azúcar Ball.
Export Business Proprietor, President, American Overseas Trading Co., New Orleans
Ms. Bonilla is a business owner and President of American Overseas Trading Corporation, based in New Orleans, where she has dedicated her professional life to international trade. She was born in Honduras, but has called New Orleans home for over 50 years. Ms. Bonilla enjoys working with nonprofits, charitable and civic organizations and has served on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Ballet Association and many other local boards. She is particularly proud of her involvement with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, where she has served as President and chaired the 1997 Azúcar Ball and where she plans to continue to contribute her efforts in the future.
Community Activist, New Orleans
Ms. Caputto is a real estate developer in the U.S. and Argentina, where she was born. She has called New Orleans home since 1973. She presently serves on the Board of Directors of Casa Argentina where she served two terms as President. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Touro Hospital Auxiliary, where she was responsible for curating the collection of Touro Hospital’s Art Department, and where she remains in charge of the “Artist Corner”. She continues to be active in the art community and supports various organizations, volunteering for the New Orleans Ballet Association, the New Orleans Ballet Theatre, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Orleans Museum of Art. As a board member of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation since 2008, she serves on the Scholarships Committee and is the Chair of the Cultural Committee.
CEO & President, First American Title Insurance Company of Louisiana, New Orleans
Mr. Casbon is the Executive Vice President of First American Title Insurance Company and the CEO and President of First American Transportation Title Insurance Company. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the IBERIABANK Corporation and serves on the Board of the Business Council of New Orleans. As a community leader he founded the New Orleans Police Foundation in 1995 for the purpose of linking the local business community with the local police department. His intimate knowledge of the New Orleans community and his desire to help it has made him the recipient of numerous awards, including the FBI Director’s Community Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award and the Medal of Honor from the Mayor of New Orleans, among others. He also serves as Chairman of the Louisiana Chapter of the World Presidents Association and Director of the State Police Foundation, as well as on the board of the American Land Title association. Mr. Casbon has been a member of the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2015.
Elena del Valle Countiss
Educator, International School of Louisiana, New Orleans
Ms. Countiss is an educator who was born in Havana and grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana. She graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican College in uptown New Orleans with a B.A. degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and subsequently attended the Sorbonne, in Paris. She has taught at Holly Name of Jesus in New Orleans and, more recently, at the International School of Louisiana. She is a member of the Junior League of New Orleans and a past chair of the local Boo-at-the-Zoo event. Ms. Countiss chaired the 2011 Azúcar Ball and has been a member of the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2008.
Carmen L. Duncan
Realtor Associate, RE/MAX New Orleans Properties, New Orleans
Ms. Duncan is an established real estate and project development businesswoman in New Orleans with a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She has been a New Orleans realtor since 1986. She sits on the Executive Committee of the Women of the Storm, and is a member of the Junior League of New Orleans, Trinity Episcopal Church and the New Orleans Botanical Foundation Board. Ms. Duncan chaired the 2011 Azúcar Ball and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the NOHHF since 2010.
Artist and Professional Curator, Mandeville, Louisiana
Ms. Flores is a renowned artist, a professional curator and an avid advocate for the arts, which she studied under several well-known Mexican masters. She has received numerous awards and special recognitions and participated in domestic and international shows, exhibits and conferences. She has been associated with the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans in various capacities and is currently seeking an Art Education Degree at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Ms. Flores has been a member of the Board of Directors of the NOHHF since 2016.
Community Activist, New Orleans
A dedicated community activist for many years, Ms. Fowler is one of the founding members of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and has made innumerable contributions to the Hispanic community in the New Orleans area over the years. An LSU graduate, she worked at Tulane University’s library and likes to spend time nowadays with her five grandchildren. Ms. Fowler chaired the first Azúcar Ball back in 1991 and has been a member of the NOHHF Board of Directors since 1993.
Restauranteur, New Orleans
Mr. Henríquez is a seasoned restaurateur and a former director of operations of the Kirkendoll Management Restaurant Division and the Dickie Brennan & Company, both in New Orleans. A Brother Martin High School graduate and a Louisiana State University graduate, he has also been appointed to the Vieux Carre Commission of New Orleans. Mr. Henríquez has been a member of the Board of Directors of the NOHHF since 2015.
Blanca Rosa Maldonado
Physician, New Orleans
Dr. Maldonado is a physician with Ochsner Medical Foundation in New Orleans and Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi. She is the CEO and the owner of real estate investment company Maldonado LLC, in New Orleans, and a partner in real estate investment group Grupo Obando, in Guatemala City. In New Orleans since 1995, she has written many articles in Pathophysiology and received a National Institute of Health Doctoral Trainee award. She also received a degree in Master in Health Administration from Tulane University. In 2015 she received the Champions of the American Dream Entrepreneur Award from Dillard University in New Orleans. She is one of the founders of HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Latin Arts) and UNISAL (Unified Salvadorians of Louisiana). Dr. Maldonado is also a board member of UNISAL, HOLA and the Hispanic Medical Association of Louisiana as well as the Hispanic Medical Association of Louisiana Auxiliary. She has served on the Board of Directors of the NOHHF since 2011.
Gilda (‘Cuqui’) Moore
Community Activist, Metairie, Louisiana
Ms. Moore is a long-time community activist in the New Orleans area. Educated by the Ursuline nuns both in New Orleans, where she was born, and in Havana, she is a Eucharistic Minister at St. Francis Xavier Church, in Metairie, and president of the St. Vincent De Paul Society. She chaired the 2008 Azúcar Ball and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the NOHHF since 2008. She is also part of the annual committee that is put together every year to organize the annual fundraising event of the Foundation. Ms. Moore was a Founder and Director of the Patient Relations Department of Ochsner Hospital, as well as Director of International Affairs at Ochsner. She is currently a member of the Executive Board of the SVDP of the New Orleans Archdiocese and a volunteer of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Restaurant Business Proprietor and President & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, New Orleans
Ms. Pineda is a local business woman and President & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana where over the years she has worked tirelessly to develop strong and long-lasting business relationships between Louisiana and the Hispanic Community and Latin America. She is a former Consul General of Honduras in New Orleans, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama; and was named one of the Women of the Year by the New Orleans CityBusiness publication. In addition she has been the recipient of the Leadership Award by the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the High Achievement in Compliance by Subway Corporation and an Honoree of Men and Women of Fashion/Prix de Elegance, as well as SABAA Business Woman of the Year, in New Orleans, and Personality of the Year by Que Pasa Festival, also in New Orleans. Ms. Pineda is a former President of the NOHHF (2008-2011) and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation since 2000. She is also a current and active board member of the National Association of Subway Franchisees, the International Hospital for Children of New Orleans, the New Orleans City Park Board, the Jefferson Economic Development Board, the Cerro de Plata Tegucigalpa Foundation of Honduras and the Jefferson Parish Diversity Board.
Physician, CEO, International Services, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans
Dr. Quinlan is Chief Executive Officer of Ochsner International Services and Executive Director of the Ochsner Center for Wellness and Health Policy. He is on the Ochsner Board of Directors, serves as Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee, and is a member of the St. Anne and the Ochsner West Bank Boards. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Quinlan completed his dermatology residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is Board Certified in Dermatology. He earned a Masters degree in Health Administration from the College of St. Francis in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Quinlan has been named the number one most powerful physician executive in the nation by Modern Physician magazine and selected as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine. He was also voted a Healthcare Hero by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine. He currently serves on the Board of the Pan American Life Insurance Group, the Health Care Solutions Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Advisory Board of IBERIABANK Corporation. Dr. Quinlan has been a member of the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2015.
Physician, Medical Director, Cardiology Center LLC, Marrero, Louisiana
Dr. Rodríguez-Fierro is the medical director for the Cardiology Center and practices interventional Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine, and clinical and diagnostic Cardiology since 1992 in the New Orleans area. He is a graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Medicine where he completed his residency and Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine. He has been in the clinical faculty at Tulane and LSU. He is also past president of the Jefferson Parish Medical Society, West Jefferson Medical Center, American College of Cardiology Foundation, and the Hispanic American Medical Association of Louisiana. He is immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for St George’s Episcopal School. Currently he is the founder and president of Doctors to the Rescue and the president of the Jefferson Physician Foundation. Dr. Rodriguez-Fierro has organized medical missions in Nicaragua where he helped organized the first open heart surgery and did interventional Cardiology. Born in Ecuador, he grew up in New York City and Miami. He is a proud father of six children and has been an active board member of the NOHHF since 2008.
Executive Assistant, JW Marriott, New Orleans
Ms. Simon is a seasoned Executive Assistant at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel and has extensive experience in the hotel business management industry. She is a former Secretary of the NOHHF and has served on the NOHHF Board of Directors since 2003. Ms. Simon enjoys working with local nonprofits organizations and is an avid supporter of the arts. She is on the Board of Directors of the Haitian Association for Human Development, the Alliance Française of New Orleans and the Moscow Nights organization, also in New Orleans; and she belongs to other local and national organizations such as the Women of Fashion, National Smart Set and The Carrousels, Inc.
University Administrator, Loyola University, New Orleans
Ms. Thompson is Associate Director of the Office of Financial Aid at Loyola University New Orleans. She has a Master Degree of Elementary Teaching from Loyola, a B.S. degree in Economics from Tulane University, and a B.S. degree in Psychology from Loyola. Due to her own Jesuit training she has long ago recognized the necessity and importance of an education and has worked tirelessly to assist others, at Tulane, Loyola and in the local Hispanic community. Originally from Nicaragua, she has been in New Orleans since 1979. Ms. Thompson chaired the 1993 and the 1996 Azúcar Ball events and is a former President of the NOHHF. She has been an active board member of the NOHHF since its inception in 1989.
María León Vallejo
Community Activist, New Orleans
Ms. Vallejo is a graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans and the University of New Orleans, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Logistics. She has lived in Houston, where she worked for the Cy-Fair Independent School District as a teacher to immigrant students in Grades 1-6 as an English language reading and comprehension enrichment teacher, and where she served on the Board of Directors of the Strake Jesuit College Preparatory Mother’s Club. In New Orleans Ms. Vallejo has served as Secretary of the NOHHF and has been on the NOHHF Board of Directors on-and-off since 1995. She has also served on the boards of St. Mary’s Dominican High School Parents Club and the Citizens for a Clean & Beautified Westbank of Jefferson Parish. In addition she currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sociedad Española and the Cuban Club of New Orleans. She has been awarded the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans Role Model Award in Environment, the Westbank Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow Award, the Jefferson Parish Council Certificate of Merit for Community Service, and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Westbank Council All Star Award for Community Service.
Raúl V. Fonte
Executive Director, New Orleans
Mr. Fonte is a registered patent attorney with a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from LSU and a Law Degree from Loyola University in New Orleans. He also finished the Harvard University Law School Business Program for Lawyers. Mr. Fonte has practiced patent and trademark law for 40 years at Freeport-McMoRan, Crescent Technology and the Jones Walker law firm, specializing in the mining, metallurgical and chemical areas of intellectual property law and technology transfer. He is also a registered chemical and environmental engineer in the State of Louisiana and a certified environmental and safety auditor. His association with the NOHHF goes back to 1993. He has served the organization in various capacities (board member, Treasurer and President) and provided assistance, guidance and leadership to it. He has been the Foundation Executive Director since 2013.
Azúcar Ball Liaison: Elsa Baker
Azúcar Ball Sponsors Committee: George Fowler (Chair) and Ileana Suquet
Azúcar Ball Venue Committee: Maricarmen Aldana and Helen Flammer (Chair).
Cultural Committee: Lucia Abramovich, Maricarmen Aldana, Luz Caputto (Chair), Marcela Correa, Elena Countiss, Millie Kohn, Belinda Flores, Blanca Rosa Maldonado, Carlos Rodríguez-Fierro, Jacqueline Simon, and Maria Vallejo
Gálvez Cup Committee: John Casbon, George Fowler (Chair) and Ileana Suquet
Marketing Committee: John Casbon, Carmen Duncan (Chair) and Belinda Flores
Mentoring Committee: Cristina Fowler, Alex Gershanik, Carlos Rodríguez-Fierro, Ingrid Rodríguez-Fierro Ileana Suquet, Carolina Thompson and Ramón Vallejo (Chair)
Scholarships Committee: Maricarmen Aldana, María Bonilla, Marilyn Bonilla, Luz Caputto, Elena Countiss, Cristina Fowler, Alex Gershanik (Chair), Max Moreno, Mayra Pineda, Carlos Rodríguez-Fierro, Ileana Suquet, Carolina Thompson and María Vallejo