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Media Contact: Rebecca Chalin // // 504.304.2311

Liberty's Kitchen Welcomes Four Accomplished Local Leaders to Its Board of Directors Strengthening the Nonprofit's Commitment to Youth Development and Workforce Training

New Orleans, (February 28, 2024) – Liberty’s Kitchen, a leading workforce development nonprofit dedicated to empowering young people in the Greater New Orleans community, proudly announces the addition of four local leaders to its Board of Directors: Nicole Bell, Ann Heslin, Lori Johnson, and Chef Sue Zemanick.

Nicole Bell, currently holds the position of Manager of Provider Relations for LA Medicaid at Humana Healthy Horizons, brings over 18 years of experience in healthcare, patient care outcomes, and strategic community engagement. Nicole's commitment to the New Orleans community is evident through her active participation in several civic organizations, including the Rotary Club of New Orleans, the Junior League of New Orleans, and the Great New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition.

With an Executive MBA from the University of New Orleans underway and a background in social work, Nicole's community-focused approach makes her a valuable addition to Liberty's Kitchen Board of Directors.

Ann Heslin, currently serving as the Director of Stewardship Events at Ochsner Health, brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy and strategic planning. With a background in fundraising and extensive involvement on community boards, Ann is poised to contribute valuable insights to Liberty’s Kitchen’s fundraising program.

Ann holds a Master of Preservation Studies from Tulane University and has held key positions at Ochsner Health, De La Salle High School, and Stuart Hall School for Boys. Her dedication to community service is underscored by her involvement in numerous civic organizations, earning her recognition, including the St. Elizabeth’s Guild Volunteer Activist of the Year.

Lori Johnson, magna cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, brings legal expertise and a commitment to community involvement. Currently serving as a Career Staff Attorney at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Lori's experience includes clerking for federal judges and contributing to legal publications.

In addition to her legal career, Lori is an active volunteer, engaging with organizations such as Edible School Yard New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Kappa Delta Alumnae Chapter. Her passion for community service aligns seamlessly with Liberty’s Kitchen's mission.

Chef Sue Zemanick, a celebrated figure in the culinary world, joins the board as the Executive Chef at Zazu. Recognized as the "Best Chef, South" by the James Beard Foundation in 2013, Chef Sue's culinary journey started at the Culinary Institute of America. Her national acclaim includes being named a "Top Ten Best New Chef" by Food & Wine Magazine.

Chef Sue's commitment to New Orleans is evident through her culinary success at Gautreau’s Restaurant and active participation in local festivals. Her dedication to mentoring young talents aligns seamlessly with Liberty’s Kitchen's mission of professional training and development.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nicole C. Bell, Ann Heslin, Lori Johnson, and Chef Sue Zemanick to our esteemed Board of Directors. Their diverse expertise and unwavering commitment to community service align perfectly with Liberty’s Kitchen's mission. Together, we will strengthen our efforts to provide New Orleans youth with the skills to achieve their vision of success."

Liberty’s Kitchen invites the community to support its Youth Development Program by visiting the cafe located at 300 N Broad Street, open Monday - Friday from 11 am to 2:30 pm. The cafe, run by trainees, offers a unique opportunity to witness the impact of the organization firsthand.


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