"Promoting Cross-Cultural Relationships one handshake at a time."

October 2019
In this issue:
Honorary Consulate General of Albania
Honorary Consulate of Canada in Louisiana
Royal Danish Consulate of New Orleans
Honorary Consulate General of Japan
Honorary Consulate of Switzerland
Honorary Consulate of Ukraine

Laura Plantation
Photo Credit: Frankie Prijatel    Twitter: @PrijFrankie

On September 18 Reagan Charleston of Reagan Charleston Jewelry met with six female entrepreneurs from Burma, Cook Islands, Egypt, Madagascar, Nepal, and Taiwan, who traveled to New Orleans through International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) with the theme “Women and Entrepreneurship.” Reagan shared her best business practices with the visitors including maximizing the vast outreach of social media and opting for sales over consignment. She also discussed challenges of managing her roles as a businesswoman, wife, mother, and reality TV star.

During their stay in New Orleans the delegation also met with:  Ann Marshall Tilton with the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Klassi Duncan of the Urban League: Women’s Business Resource Center; Sydney Gray and Melissa Alba of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation; and Hermione Malone, of Good Work Network. The group also visited Arc New Orleans where they helped sort beads in the Mardi Gras Bead Recycling Center.   

Mr. Gary LaGrange and the Omani Ports and Logistics delegation.
Photo Credit: Brett R. Netto, NOCDC Program Officer

From October 14-18, a delegation of six Ministry of Transport and Communication officials from Oman were in New Orleans to learn about ports and logistics. During their visit, the delegation met with several administrators from the Port of New Orleans, New Orleans Public Belt, and Emergent Cold who purchased New Orleans Cold Storage earlier this year. Their meeting at the port allowed them to tour the facilities and learn about the partnerships between these organizations and others that allow the Port of New Orleans to generate $100 million dollars annually. To finish their day in New Orleans, the delegation met with Mr. Gary LeGrange, who formerly served as the executive director of the Ports Association of Louisiana and as long-time president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans.

The delegation also spent a day in Baton Rouge meeting with the Louisiana Department of Transportation’s Ports and Waterways Division to study the agency's funding and support of the construction, improvement, and expansion of publicly owned port facilities. They also met with Louisiana Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce to discuss its initiatives focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), increasing trade volumes and expanding manufacturing activity within the state.

All of our interns for Fall 2019 are students at Tulane University

Riana Gaudet
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Riana is a Psychology and French double-major. She is fluent in English and French and has studied abroad in France to help with her fluency. During her time as an intern, Riana will be programming an upcoming  project with the theme of entrepreneurship.

Paige Koritz
Paige's family currently lives in San Juan Capistrano, California but she has lived all over including Tokyo, Japan and Toronto, Canada. Paige is a Political Science-International Relations major and is pursuing two minors in Spanish and Business. She speaks English, Catalan, and Spanish fluently. Paige's internship is through Tulane University's Center for Public Service and will be producing an Internship Contribution that will benefit NOCDC long-term.


Frank Zhang
Frank is a Political Economy and Math double-major from China. He speaks Chinese (Mandarin) and English fluently. Frank is also the co-founder and CEO of Commoc Groups, a company that  creates a perfect fusion of art and writing instruments During his internship, Frank will be assisting in the development of an updated website and its content.

Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Tulane University School of Business - Ms. Ann Marshall Tilton, Manager of Community Engagement 

Arc of Greater New Orleans - Ms. Tony Wright, Meeting/Volunteer Activity Coordinator at the Mardi Gras Bead Recycling Center 

Arts Council New Orleans - Mr. Alphonse Smith, Deputy Director 

Ashé Cultural Arts Center - Ms. Carol Bebelle, Co-founder & Executive Director 

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) - Mr. Richard “Rick” Raynie, Coastal Resources Administrator 

Crescent City Lights Youth Theater - Ms.Julie Condy, Founder and Executive Director; Ms. Karen Konnerth, Arts Integration Specialist, Writer, Illustrator, Educator, Puppeteer 

East Baton Rouge Housing Authority (EBRHA) - Mr. J Daniels, Chief Executive Officer 

Eden House - Ms. Susanne Dietzel, Ph.D., Executive Director 

Federal Bureau of Investigation New Orleans Office - Mr. Robert Thibault, Counterintelligence Special Agent 

Fleurty Girl New Orleans - Ms. Lauren LeBlanc, Big Chief

Free NOLA (New Orleans Dream Center) - Ms. Diane Amos, Director 

Goodwork Network - Ms. Hermione Malone, Executive Director 

Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force - Ms. Leanne McCallum, Task Force Coordinator 

Healthy Gulf - Mr. Matt Rota, Senior Policy Director 

Honorary Consul of South Africa - Mr. Keith Doley, Practicing Attorney & Honorary Consul of South Africa 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - Ms. Robin G. Chapman, DSW, LCSW, Victim Assistance Specialist; Ms. Laurie Daniel, Special Agent; Mr. Jason Whitehead, Group Supervisor

LaHouse Resource Center - Ms. Claudette Hanks Reichel, Ed.D., Professor and Extension Housing Specialist 

LaunchPad NOLA - Ms. Cassandra Damascus, Community Manager 

Laura Plantation - Mr. Joseph Dunn, Marketing & Public Relations 

Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development - Mr. Randall Withers, P.E., Ports and Waterways Director 

Louisiana Division of Archaeology - Dr. Chip McGimsey, State Archaeologist and Director 

Louisiana Economic Development Office of International Commerce - Ms. Jessica Steverson, International Program Manager 

Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region (LSBDC) - Ms. Haritiana “Tina” Langlois, International Trade Consultant 

Louisiana State and Fusion Exchange (LA-SAFE) - Mr. Derek Sentino, Deputy Director; Mr. Daryl Davis, Cyber Unit Deputy Director 

Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) - Mr. Gary Young, Assistant Warden 

Louisiana Water Science Center - Mr. Todd Baumann, Hydrologist; Mr. John Lovelace, Reports Specialist;  Mr. Christopher Swarzenski, Hydrologist/Ecologist 

Loyola University College of Law, Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social  Justice - Ms. Hiroko Kusuda, Clinic Professor and Director of Immigration Law Section 

Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law - Mr. Hector Linares, Esquire, Associate Clinical Professor 

LSU Law Center: Climate Change Law and Policy Project - Dr. Edward Richards, Faculty; Dr. R Eugene Turner, Faculty

Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance of Baton Rouge - Ms. Marlee Pittmann, Community Building & Engagement Manage

Mississippi River Commission (MRC) - Dr. Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., UNO Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 

New Orleans Business Alliance - Ms. Dana Alsen, Marketing Communications Manager 

New Orleans & Company - Ms. Kim Priez, Senior Vice President 

New Orleans Museum of Art - Ms. Susan Taylor, Executive Director

New Orleans Redevelopment Authority - Ms. Brenda M. Breaux, Executive Director; Mr. Seth Knudsen, Director of Real Estate Development & Planning 

New Orleans U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) - Mr. John Henry Jackson, International Trade Specialist

NOLASec - Mr. Stephen Tullos, Cyber Security Consultant; Mr. Sonny Smith, It Security Consultant 

New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice - Ms.Sabrina Trejo, Esquire; Ms. Mary Yanik, Esquire, Staff Attorney & Liman Legal Fellow

Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation - Ms. Emily Ford, Founder 

Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association - Ms. Carole Bebelle, Board Member 

Port Association of Louisiana - Mr. Gary LaGrange, Retired Executive Director 

Port of New Orleans - Ms. Ana Menes, Commercial Officer; Mr. Matt Greshman, Director of External Affairs; Mr. Joseph Swartout, Commercial Manager 

Preservation Hall Foundation -  Ms. Ashely Shabankareh, Outreach Coordinator

Preservation Resource Center - Ms. Sarina Mohan, Director of Education and Outreach 

Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation - Ms. Sydney Gray, Senior Director of Impact and Operations); Ms. Melissa Alba, Program Coordinator 

Reagan Charleston Jewelry - Ms. Reagan Charleston, Owner 

Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West - Mr. Nick Cali, Chief of Operations 

The COOL Cooperative - Mr. Kirby Voss, Executive Director 

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development - Mr. Ernest Gethers, Business Services Director 

The New Orleans Business Alliance - Ms. Alejandra Guzman, Vice President of Program Development and Strategy 

Tulane School of Architecture - Mr. John Stubbs, Senior Professor of Preservation Practice & Master of Preservation Studies program 

Tulane University Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering - Dr. Mead Allison, Faculty; Dr. Ehab Meselhe, Faculty; Mr. Mark Davis, Director of the ByWater Institute & Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy

UNO Cyber Security Program - Dr. Vassil Roussev, Canizaro-Livingston Endowed Professor in Cybersecurity & Director, Greater New Orleans Center for Information Assurance 

Urban League: Women’s Business Resource Center -  Ms. Klassi R. Duncan, Director 
Dr. Alla Rosca & Dr. Ed Chervenak hosted dinner for two guests from Japan and the Philippines who visited New Orleans to better understand global economic cooperation. They also hosted two guests from Egypt and Taiwan during their respective stays in New Orleans to learn more about women and entrepreneurship. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dale and Jeannie Biggers hosted three guests from Thailand for dinner during their visit to Louisiana to learn about means of combating trafficking in persons. 

Ms. Danielle Burrell hosted dinner for three guests from Australia, Palestinian Territories, and the United Arab Emirates who came to New Orleans to educate themselves further about global economic cooperation.

Ms. Ellen Barker hosted two visitors from Laos for a hospitality dinner during their stay in New Orleans to learn more about water data management. 

Ms. Susannah Coolidge & Mr. Fred Diegel kindly hosted a hospitality dinner with two visitors from Thailand and Vietnam during their stay in Louisiana to learn more about water data management.

Mr. John and Mrs. Cynthia Dubberley hosted two visitors from the Cook Islands and Madagascar during their visit to Louisiana to learn more about women and entrepreneurship.

Ms. Karen Konnerth, Ms. Erica Rogers, & Mr. Vic Shepherd kindly hosted two visitors from Burma and Nepal for a hospitality dinner during their stay in Louisiana to learn more about women in entrepreneurship. They were also kind enough to host dinner with guests from the Palestinian Territories during their visit to New Orleans to learn about positive community engagement through cultural organizations. 

Mr. Robert Freeland hosted dinner for two visitors from Mexico and Morocco who traveled to Louisiana to learn about global economic cooperation. Mr. Freeland also attended dinner with two guests from Cambodia during their visit to learn more about water data cooperation. 

Ms. Donna Lednicky and Ms. Ellen Barker hosted two visitors from Laos for a hospitality dinner during their stay in New Orleans to learn more about water data management

Mr. Thomas & Mrs. Barbara Sands kindly hosted dinner with two visitors from Thailand and Vietnam during their visit to New Orleans to better understand water data cooperation.

Mr. Walter Wolf III hosted dinner with three guests from Thailand during their stay in Louisiana to learn about means of combating trafficking in persons.


Keith Twitchell, President

Diane Mercer,
Vice President

Robert Gray Freeland, Treasurer

Cynthia Dubberley
Machelle Lee Hall
Greg Lambousy
Nancy Maveety
Alexandra Mora
Alla Rosca
Walter F. Wolf, III

Mayor LaToya Cantrell
Hon. Jay Dardenne
Patricia Denechaud
Edward T. Hayes
Herbert Larson
Jim Letten
Echo Olander​
Susannah Coolidge, Executive Director

Kelley Ponder, Program Manager

Brett Netto,
Program Officer

Riana Gaudet,
Tulane University

Paige Koritz,
Tulane University

Frank Zhang,
Tulane University
New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council
 1215 Prytania Street, Suite 203 New Orleans, LA 70130
 504.529.1509 | office@nocdc.org

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