Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was home to six active ABWA chapters, which unfortunately never reestablished themselves once the city was rebuilt.
Then, in the spring of 2014, members of the highly successful Baton Rouge LaCapitale Chapter, along with the organization’s national leadership, and local business women, came together to charter a new ABWA Express Network for the Greater New Orleans area.
Christi Felder, a New Orleans native and current ABWA LaCapitale member, was displaced after Katrina. She helped to form the committee leading the charge for the New Orleans league. “Before Katrina, I had a good job, and was three weeks from graduating college. After the storm, like so many people, I had to start over. Luckily, I found ABWA in Baton Rouge. They were such a unique group, with a real focus on professional development, support, and networking. I can tell the New Orleans group is full of high achievers striving to continue the legacy of this sixty-five year old organization.”
The formation committee, led by its chair, Charlotte Piotrowski, worked through the spring and held its official hick-off event in July. As momentum grew and the required tasks were completed, the league’s charter date was set for October 9th. At that time, the league was officially chartered, the Charter Members were inducted, and the formation chairs were installed as the league’s current officers by ABWA Executive Director Rene Street. The Crescent City Connections Express Network continues to grow, and currently boasts 70+ members.