Covenant House New Orleans is thrilled to introduce eight new members joining our board of directors as of January 2021: Mr. Eric Alexander, Dr. Marc Behar, Judge Paula Brown, Mr. Gregor Fox, Ms. Thelma French, Ms. Karyn Noles Kearney, Dr. Jake Kleinmahon, and Mr. Peter Wilson, Jr.
Learn more about our new board members in their bios below, and please join us in welcoming each of them to the Covenant House family!
Mr. Eric Alexander
Eric is an insurance advisor at Marsh & McLennan Companies, specializing in governmental agencies. Originally from Texas, he received his bachelors of interdisciplinary studies and a master’s in business administration at Louisiana State University on a football scholarship, winning a BCS National Championship under head coach Nick Saban. He subsequently played professional football as a member of the New England Patriots for 6 years, winning Super Bowl XXXIX under head coach Bill Belichick.
Eric currently serves as Secretary for the NFLPA Former Players New Orleans Chapter and on the board of Community Works of Louisiana. He also appears regularly as an LSU game-day analyst for Cox Sports Television. Eric enjoys traveling and working out. One of his greatest accomplishments was training for and finishing the Boston Marathon. He and his wife Brandi have one daughter, Ellison.
Dr. Marc Behar
Marc moved to New Orleans in 1987 and opened his Algiers office, American Chiropractic Clinic, where he continues to practice and serve as director.
Marc has been active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations throughout New Orleans, serving on or chairing many boards over the years, including Forum for Equality, New Orleans Human Relations Commission, Alliance For Good Government, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Pride NOLA, Temple Sinai and Avodah. He is the developer of Pride Prom NOLA and since 1992 he has been consecutively elected to 8 4-year terms on the Orleans Parish Executive Committee.
Marc resides in New Orleans with his longtime partner, Jeff Sbisa.
Judge Paula Brown
Judge Brown was elected to the State of Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit on March 25, 2017, and was re-elected without opposition on July 20, 2018. She was formally a judge at Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, where she served for 7 years. A native of Oceans Springs, Mississippi, Judge Brown attended Tulane University on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management from the A.B. Freeman School of Business. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center.
In 1993, as a young lawyer, Judge Brown began to hone her skills by serving as a judicial law clerk for the former Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Bernette J. Johnson, in Civil District Court and again at the Supreme Court. Her vast experience led her to an appointment as Judge Pro Tempore for Orleans Civil District Court in 2004.
A Louisiana Bar Foundation Fellow, Judge Brown’s board service includes the A.P. Tureaud American Inn of Court (President), Louisiana Green Corps (executive board), Louisiana Appleseed, Louisiana Heat Foundation, I.N.S.P.I.R.E., RR, Inc. (Vice President), and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (New Orleans Affiliate). As a breast cancer survivor, and a person living with trigeminal neuralgia and multiple sclerosis, Judge Brown is passionate about promoting awareness for these diseases.
Judge Brown truly believes to whom so ever much is given, much is required.
Mr. Gregor Fox
Gregor was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He came to New Orleans in 1990 to attend Tulane University. After falling in love with New Orleans during college, he decided to dedicate his life to this city.
After Tulane, Gregor started a lifelong career rehabilitating properties in New Orleans. For the first 20 years he concentrated on renovating historic houses uptown, doing most of the work himself. For the last decade he has been developing commercial properties in the historic Marigny neighborhood.
In addition to real estate development, Gregor has experience in financial management and philanthropy. He has a keen understanding of financial markets, asset allocation, and investing with an eye to preserving capital and liquidity. In philanthropy he has experience working with his family foundation, as well as serving on the boards of YaYa and the New Orleans Ballet Association.
In addition to being a lover of New Orleans cuisine, culture, and history, he is a father of three and a dedicated family man.
Ms. Thelma French
Thelma is the President/CEO of Total Community Action, Inc., the city’s federally designated anti-poverty agency, and Head Start grantee. As a champion and advocate for early childhood development, quality and equitable education and employment opportunities, Mrs. French serves as the Secretary of the Board of the Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN), and a member of the Steering Committee of the New Orleans Early Care & Education Network (NOEEN) and a board member of BENOLA.
Her public administrative experience includes serving as Director of Board Operations and Intergovernmental Relations for the Orleans Parish School Board, Executive Assistant for Federal and State Programs for former mayors Marc Morial and Ray Nagin. Ms. French has also served as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Her community and board service includes the National Community Action Partnership, the Alliance for Children and Families, the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, the New Orleans Workforce Development Board, the Association of Community Action Partnership of Louisiana, Orleans Parish Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Black Education for New Orleans, Providence Community Housing, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Thelma’s proudest achievements are her children, daughter, Nia Danielle Harris French, son, Gerard Norbert French, and grandchildren, Cairo Gerard, Reese Bailey, and Reagan Danielle.
Ms. Karyn Noles Kearney
Karyn serves as the Director of Communications and External Affairs at Intralox, a global manufacturing company headquartered in New Orleans. She was the Global Marketing Manager for Intralox, an Executive Vice President at Audubon Nature Institute and Managing Director of the Audubon Aquarium for 13 years. Her board service includes an eight-year term as a Commissioner for the Downtown Development District and a term with the National Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
After Katrina Karyn worked tirelessly as a founding member of Citizens for One Greater New Orleans and to rebuild and reopen the Audubon Aquarium. She was president of the Young Leadership Council and is a co-founder of the New Orleans Proud to call it home campaign. She was honored by City Business as a Woman of the Year. Karyn is a two time sleeper for Covenant House. She received her BA from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She has lived in New Orleans with her husband Bill and has two sons, Jackson and Pierce.
Dr. Jake Kleinmahon
Jake is the medical director for pediatric heart transplant, heart failure and ventricular assist device programs at Ochsner Hospital for Children. He also has advanced training in taking care of infants and children with pulmonary hypertension and runs a clinic dedicated to taking care of patients with pulmonary hypertension. He trained in pediatrics at Tulane University Hospital and Ochsner Hospital for Children before completing fellowships in pediatric cardiology and pediatric heart transplant and heart failure at Children’s Hospital Colorado. While in Colorado, he was awarded the Colorado Chapter of the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association’s Doctor of the Year award in 2017. He was also elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society as a resident.
Jake is active in the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and has been asked to present multiple times at their annual conference. He is also active within the pediatric heart transplant study society. He is the principal investigator of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study and Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network (ACTION) at Ochsner. His interests include taking care of children with heart transplants and pulmonary hypertension. He resides Uptown with his husband Thomas and their two young children.
Mr. Peter Wilson, Jr.
Peter is an associate at Roth Law Firm, primarily practicing in the areas of project development, private equity investment, and associated financing, with a special emphasis on historic rehabilitation and community development real estate transactions. Since joining Roth Law Firm in 2017, he has represented developers, lenders, and investors in structuring, negotiating, and documenting a broad range of commercial transactions.
Peter earned a dual MBA and Juris Doctor from Tulane University and a B.A. from Wofford College. He and his wife Rosalind reside Uptown.