What about New Orleans inspires you? New Orleans has a spirit unlike any I have ever been around. It's a spirit of resilience and resolve that has been forged by tough times followed by victory. One cannot spend time in this region without sensing that spirit and being motivated by it. New Orleans draws you in in a way that is difficult to explain. It is not utopia and sometimes people do not get along. But the idea of family extends far beyond bloodlines and includes a variety of people from different backgrounds who truly care about each other. I always tell people, “This is the only city where strangers will bring food to your door to welcome you to the neighborhood.”
What advice would you give your twenty-year-old self? You don't have to be perfect. You will only reach your full potential if you are willing to take risks. Do not fear failure. Your worth is not dependent on your success in your profession.
Favorite meal and where to get it: Gumbo and potato salad, at home, Kirsten's Kitchen
Describe your charitable work or favorite causes: Our foundation is called One More and has a mission to share the love and hope of Christ to 'one more' soul. We do this in a variety of ways including benefits, grants and donations and international trips to support various causes. For the last 10 years we have hosted yearly events providing gifts and household items for victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and poverty. Our latest cause has been combating sex trafficking domestic and abroad. Our desire is to give our time talent and treasure to causes that promote kindness, justice and righteousness.
Favorite snowball stand: Sal's
Name something about New Orleans that always puts you in a good mood: Seeing people dance. One game day I was arriving at the Superdome and stopped at the light on Poydras. I looked down at the people tailgating and saw a man dancing to music while others clapped and cheered him on. I already had my game face on but this made me smile. That image encapsulated so much of what New Orleans represents. Pain, pride, laughter mixed together and expressed through music and movement.
Favorite thing to do here to relax: Take a rare nap (we have 5 going on 7 kids!)
Describe what you see as our future: I am not a native New Orleanian so I am still learning about the city's history and current state. My ultimate desire is that residents, which vary ethnically and economically, feel like they have equal opportunity to achieve the success they desire for themselves and their families. I would like to see homelessness decline, employment rise, and school age children learn how powerful their minds are from teachers, mothers, and fathers who are devoted. My vision includes a criminal justice system that treats the poor and wealthy with even scales. I truly believe that this city's greatest days are ahead of her.
What book are you reading now? Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Favorite hotel: Four Seasons -- anywhere
A song that defines your coming of age: "Real Love" by Mary J Blige
Favorite destination: Dubai
Three items always in your fridge: Blueberries, almond milk, and sparkling water
This interview has been condensed and edited.