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December Luncheon

The next American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) luncheon on Thursday, December 6th will feature Emily LaBorde is the proprietor of BLEU, a Blowdry Bar. Her presentation is titled “Does she have it all together or is it just the dry shampoo?” 

“You can’t sell beauty looking like the beast” is a funny quote often used by this bayou born Girl Boss but make no mistake about it, putting in the work, believing in the power of you and empowering those around you truly defines her success.

Since opening in September 2013, BLEU a Blowdry Bar has grown to include two locations, has expanded its menu to include On Location services, boasts over 26+ talented BLEU Krewe members and recently unveiled its new rebranding. How does she manage to keep it all together? She doesn’t but will share her success story in hopes of inspiring that you too, can have it all … with the help of dry shampoo of course.

Emily LaBorde is the proprietor of BLEU, a Blowdry Bar –a two location blowout focused hair salon, offering a luxury styling experience without the price, fuss and long lead time found at traditional full service salons. Originally from Marksville, LA Emily received her BA in Public Relations from Tulane University.

Shortly upon graduation, Emily noticed a void in the local market for luxury blowout and makeup services and seized the opportunity to establish a new concept on her own terms. Forgoing the franchise route and in using her own high standards as the benchmark, Emily was able to create a venue and vibe where clientele could go relax, be pampered and look and feel fabulous for any occasion.

Board Of Directors 2018/2019

Christi Felder

Christi Felder

President
Christi Felder
2018-19 President, Crescent City Connections ABWA

A New Orleans native, Christi Felder earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award– the highest honor awarded within the Toastmasters organization– for excellence in leadership and communication as one of its youngest members to receive the award in 2001. Christi then graduated in 2006 with honors from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing while working full-time as Director of Innovative Marketing for Alexander & Hamilton, a Metairie based debt recovery firm. Today she is a Project Manager for Microsoft corporation, supporting large consulting engagements in the secure infrastructures domain.

After experiencing the total loss of her home during Katrina and moving to Baton Rouge, Christi made it her mission to help businesses better capture, manage, and protect critical information as Account Executive for Ricoh, USA. In 2008, Christi joined the Baton Rouge La Capitale ABWA chapter after being inspired by a public service announcement, where she went on to serve as Program Chair and on the Fundraiser Committee, and later receive the Business Associate of the Year award in 2011.

Christi’s passion is to help others succeed personally as well as professionally. After moving back to New Orleans, in early 2014 she was approached by ABWA leaders to spearhead and organize a leadership team to bring the association back to New Orleans following a 9-year post-Katrina absence. So, she was excited to take on the role as Formation Advisor to assist in chartering the Crescent City Connections League on October 9th, 2014. Christi has raised over $15,000 towards the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund for scholarships by taking advantage of Microsoft’s Corporate Give volunteer match and various fundraising efforts. She is the 2018 Woman of the Year honoree as chosen by her peers and is proud to serve Crescent City Connections on the board as President for the 2018-19 year.

Email: ccfbs1@gmail.com 

Cell: 504-715-8148

Amy Landry

Amy Landry

Past-President
Past-President

Amy Landry is Owner and President of a nationwide learning and development company, Fuel Success Academy, LLC, which specializes in training and workforce development. Fuel Success Academy, LLC was awarded a grant funded opportunity from Greater New Orleans Foundation in 2015 for a workforce development program piloted at Children’s Hospital designed to develop entry level employees for career progression. Due to the success of the program, Fuel Success Academy, LLC was chosen again as the training provider for 2017’s expansion of the program throughout all of LCMC Health system of hospitals, which includes Children’s Hospital, Touro, West Jefferson, University Medical Center, and New Orleans East Hospital. Amy is also creator of a maternity reintegration program that transitions working mothers back to work from maternity leave through a seven session training program called BALANCE. The program was implemented at Shell Oil and Gas in 2018 for retention of top female engineer talent.

Landry is a charter member of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Crescent City Connections. Amy has served in several leadership roles and is currently Past-President. Amy created two successful empowerment events with a training mentality to build skills enabling women to be part of the solution. She created a Leadership Conference held at NOLA Motorsports Park and an Equal Pay Day Celebration event held on National Equal Pay Day every year. Both events have become bigger and better each year, raising thousands for scholarship funds and empowering hundreds of women. In 2017, Amy was awarded the prestigious honor locally of ABWA’s Women of The Year.

Landry is Co-Founder and Project Leader of COP NOLA, a project created in the YLC, Young Leadership Council, 2016 Leadership Development series. The program has grown to garner more than $20,000 in funding the first year and is now under the umbrella of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation working directly with the NOPD recruitment. COP NOLA is a free educational workshop series that prepares local citizens to successfully become NOPD officers.

Landry is Founder of a 501(c)3 non-profit Juno Work Balance, Inc. that supports working mothers by providing workforce reentry program through its Workforce Reentry Bootcamp program and its Baby Steps Business Development workshops.

She is very active in the community and is a 2017 alumni of EPNO, Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans, a 2017 inaugural Economic Ambassador through NOLA Business Alliance, and member of POW (Power of Women) Business Network group, and a NOLA Chamber of Commerce Member.

Landry serves on the board for the NOLA SHRM, Society of Human Resources Management’s board as Director of Professional Development.

Amanda Polkey

Amanda Polkey

President Elect
Amanda Polkey, CSP
VP of Gulf Coast Operations, NST
Founder/Coach/ Consultant, BCT
Amanda is a dynamic Sales and Operations Manager; mother, homemaker and entrepreneur. She has 20 years of experience in Staffing Operations, successfully assisting businesses with growth and stability during their most transitional periods.  With a “good to great” mindset Amanda has excelled in organic growth; aligning team and developing individuals and operations to meet business goals.  Her innate passion for consulting and energetic spirit has contributed to the successful launch and profitable growth of businesses in various industries.
Amanda believes in steady, consistent and transparent communications to efficiently connect client opportunities with the skill and chemistry of career professionals. Respect, trust, and a partnership mindset are held with high regard as the building blocks needed to thoroughly understand organizational challenges and positioning. Honest communications are critical to stabilizing an internal foundation, and ultimately to achieving the client’s end goals.
“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there” has been Amanda’s motto to keep moving, remaining open in communications, always available for internal staff, clients, and talent – always exceeding the expectations set forth.
Mckenzie Ellis

Mckenzie Ellis

VP Of Marketing & PR

VP of Marketing/PR

Mckenzie Ellis is the Owner and Founder of Low Salt Kitchen, a food blog devoted to sharing resources and recipes for a low sodium diet. A ten-year experienced Marketing and Sales Professional turned food blogger, Mckenzie is an accomplished, results driven marketing professional highly skilled in the area of developing corporate and brand initiatives that enable the sales process resulting in significant revenue growth. Accustomed to working in fast-paced environments required for 50%+ year-over-year revenue growth in a rapidly changing marketplace. Comfortable communicating and presenting results and progress to executive level stakeholders. Experienced manager with proficient project management skills and global integration experience.

Mckenzie holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Spanish from Merrimack College. When Mckenzie is not in the kitchen, you can find her and her husband running around with their two little kiddos.  Mckenzie enjoys anything outside hiking, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, and being at the beach.

Lori Jackson

Lori Jackson

VP of Finance

Lori Jackson is a Financial Educator and Coach who helps empower individuals through financial literacy to reach their fullest potential. Before starting a business dedicated to financial competence, Lori worked as a Financial Advisor as well as a Supply Chain Analyst. Lori developed a unique skill set while building client wealth: creating retirement plans, providing financial advice, negotiating contracts, and managing inventories. These skills allow Lori to think outside the box, combining her love of helping others with her analytical mindset. Lori now teaches others the importance of money as it relates to all areas of their lives. She also provides individual coaching to help her clients reach specific monetary goals. Lori uses her passion, knowledge, and skills to guide her clients to financial success.

Becky Kostik-Livaudais

Becky Kostik-Livaudais

VP of Membership

Becky Livaudais embodies a multitude of artistic, creative and journalistic talents that have been developed and nurtured over her entire life. Along with her in-depth exposure, education and experience to the printing and media world she brings to her clients the confidence of a person who will lead them to success in marketing and printing.

As a child, when she wasn’t at school, she spent her time watching her mother dress the mannequins in the latest fashion at Krauss Department store in New Orleans. If she wasn’t watching her mother she was setting letters, inking them and making signs for her own room. Her intense interest in the marketing and photography area was enhanced tremendously in high school and college when Becky spent her time working with a talented commercial photographer and photojournalist, setting up lighting and sets for art directed ads and various print publications with intense artistic orientation. It was inevitable that Becky’s career would encompass Marketing, Advertising, Graphic Design, Photography and Print, in each of which she has proven her mastery of the subject in diverse products and frequent praise from her customers..

Today she helps clients with marketing solutions, incorporating print, direct mail and social media. She is always searching for providing her clients the best possible return for their investment in her talents. Her current position that takes advantage of her many talents is sales director at Pel Hughes Print and Direct Mail.

Becky’s time away from her professional life is spent in several pursuits. Of primary interest and importance is her work as a volunteer for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, spearheading the 50 Faces of the Irritable Bowel Disease photo essay and developing ways to bring awareness to these Diseases at the annual Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Take Steps Walk.

Becky’s freetime is spent with her husband, son and their beagle and kitty enjoying living the New Orleans lifestyle.

Cindy Osmer

Cindy Osmer

VP Of Communications

Graduating from LSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Cindy Osmer never imagined that she would wind up with a career in banking, but ten years after attaining her degree, Cindy decided to return to college and earned an MBA, with an emphasis in e-Business.  That decision would change her entire career path.

Twenty years later, Cindy has experience at local, regional and national bank levels.  Starting as a teller, then customer service representative, Treasury Management is really where her heart is.  She has been a Treasury Management Sales Consultant at Hancock Whitney Bank for 9 years and worked in Treasury Management at JP Morgan Chase prior to that.  As a TM Consultant, Cindy works with business customers as small as sole owner proprietorships to the largest businesses and public funds in the New Orleans Metropolitan area.  Her primary focus and passion is consulting with those businesses on how they can more effectively gain control over their cash cycles.  In 2017, Cindy was named to the Hancock Whitney Chairman’s Club for top sales in the company. For the past 12 years, Cindy has also helped to manage her son, Ronnie’s, automotive racing career as President of Roulette Racing, LLC, a company with which she manages with her husband, Cliff.  Roulette Racing has provided Cindy with plenty of on-the-job training in marketing, mechanics and strategy.

Cindy serves on the Advisory Board at Pope John Paul II High School, in Slidell, and as an Advisor for ACER, LLC, an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility with multiple locations throughout the South Louisiana region.  She has served as a committee member for the ABWA DRIVE Conference for two years and, in 2018, acted as Co-Chair for the DRIVE Conference.  She has been awarded the ABWA Protégé Award and recognized as a candidate for the ABWA Crescent City Connections Woman of the Year in 2017.

Liz Broekman

Liz Broekman

VP of Programming

AVP, Director of P.O.W.E.R.

Liz works to provide financial tools, business resources and networking opportunities to women business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the region. Liz holds a BA Degree in Art Education from Louisiana State University. At Fidelity Bank, Liz is known as our “Girl on the Geaux” as she is involved in numerous local nonprofits and events in New Orleans. In addition to her career at Fidelity Bank, Liz is a proud woman business owner of GoGo Booth, a local photo booth rental company. Liz has over 12 years experience in event planning working on countless events. Liz also is the wedding director at Holy Name Of Jesus Church and a proud member of ABWA, NAWBO and the Mystic Krewe of Muses.  She serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and the Advisory Board for the New Orleans Opera.

Holiday Toy Drive

ABWA is collecting toys and donations appropriate for preteens at the November and December meetings for Sidelines Pass! Please bring unwrapped toys to the November and December Luncheons! Please contact Liz Broekman with any questions.

Equal Pay Day 2019

ABWA’s 4th Annual Equal Pay Day
Save the Date – April 2nd 2019
Celebration Benefiting Scholarships for Business Women

A New Orleans Women’s Business association, ABWA, will champion the Equal Pay discussion for a a fourth year in a row! All proceeds will go to benefit scholarships and professional development for business women.

Please email info@abwaneworleans.org if you are interested in being a corporate sponsor!