Our Team

Friends’ team is comprised of staff members, our Board of Directors, Advisory Committees, community engagement teams, and hundreds of volunteers

   
  
Sophie Harris VorhoffExecutive Director
Email Sophie
Sophie Harris Vorhoff is Executive Director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, a nonprofit organization working to build, program, and promote New Orleans’ Lafitte Greenway as a great public space. Sophie joined Friends of Lafitte Greenway in 2012 as a board member, and has served as the organization’s first Executive Director since 2014, where she leads strategic direction, public programming, marketing and communication strategies, design and advocacy, financial administration, and development. Under Sophie’s leadership, Friends of Lafitte Greenway developed an innovative public-private partnership with the City of New Orleans. Prior to working with Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Sophie coordinated special projects and community development for Providence Community Housing on a Fox Leadership Fellowship through the University of Pennsylvania. Sophie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Urban Studies and Political Science. She currently serves on the High Line Network Steering Committee, NOLA Parks for All's Board of Directors, and the Complete Streets Coalition.

 

Nellie Catzen, Program Director
A big believer in the power of community, Nellie Catzen joined the Friends of Lafitte Greenway team as Program Coordinator in 2015. She directs our health promotion, environmental education, and community building programming and events on the Greenway. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Grow Dat Youth Farm. Before joining the Friends of Lafitte Greenway team, she worked as Special Projects Coordinator for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, where she focused on strengthening the agency’s services to refugees and immigrants. Nellie holds a degree in Environmental Health from the University of Pennsylvania, and is passionate about healthy food, community organizing, and live music.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
027A0069.jpgTayler Harrison, VISTA Design and Engagement Coordinator
Tayler Harrison is an AmeriCorps VISTA member and serves the Friends of Lafitte Greenway as the Design and Engagement Coordinator. She is a New Orleans’ native, and is proud to serve her community through planning vibrant, healthy, and culturally rich spaces. Tayler is an artist and writer with a background in architecture. She received her Bachelor’s of Architecture from Louisiana State University in May of 2020 where she was awarded the 2020 Architectural Research Centers Consortium King Medal. Tayler is passionate about artistic and cultural expression and she is rooted in the enrichment of Black communities through art and design.

 

NoneJazmin Castillo, Fitness Coordinator
Jazmin is rejoining the team as a Fitness Coordinator for the Get Fit the Greenway program. She previously completed a term of service as a Community Outreach Coordinator through Serve Louisiana at Friends of Lafitte Greenway from 2018 - 2019. She has a background in Landscape Architecture and is thrilled to spend more time outdoors while building community through fitness.

 

 

 

 

Taylor Macon, Fitness Coordinator
Taylor Macon is a Cecilia High graduate originally from New Orleans. She spent four years on the majorette team at her school. Her sophomore year she became a majorette/dance coach at St. Martinville Junior High. After graduating she moved back to New Orleans and now attends Delgado Community College. Aside from being a fitness coordinator with Lafitte Greenway she works as a Camp Counselor/Dog Handler at Camp Bow Wow.

 

 

Board of Directors

1. Emily Bullock - Board Term: Jan 2020 – Jan 2023

Emily Bullock is a Principal with Spackman Mossop Michaels landscape architects. She has experience designing open space projects and leading community engagement efforts in dynamic and diverse communities across New Orleans, Detroit, Chattanooga, and many others, including a youth-inclusive design process with middle school students at Paul Habans Charter School in Algiers focused on stormwater management, and a bilingual neighborhood green infrastructure engagement plan in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Emily has enjoyed following the development of the Greenway since its early planning stages and looks forward to contributing to the momentum and continued success of the Greenway.

 

2. Kevin P. Centanni - Board Term: Jan 2019 – Jan 2022

Kevin is an entrepreneur, inventor, and hobbyist. For over 25 years, Kevin and his company, Controlled Entropy, have designed and produced hundreds of interactive experiences, museum exhibits, tradeshow displays, and electronic gadgets for clients worldwide. Kevin grew up in Metairie but lived in New York City for most of his adult life. He returned to New Orleans in 2010 and now lives next to the Lafitte Greenway. In 2014, Kevin bought the historic but abandoned 10th Precinct Police Station located on the Greenway. He is currently working with Susan Spicer to open a restaurant in the space. Kevin's personal interests include industrial archaeology, New Orleans history, pinball, trains, and infrastructure.

 

3. Debbie de la Houssaye - Board Term: Jan 2020 – Jan 2023

For over 25 years, Debbie de la Houssaye was Artistic Attaché in New Orleans for the Government of France, bringing visual and performing artists to New Orleans and facilitating exchanges for local artists in France.  With degrees in Romance languages from LSU and UNO, she recently returned to LSU for a degree in social work, subsequently establishing and coordinating the Helpline at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Currently she works part-time in the field of social work, serves on the board of New Orleans Jazz Celebration, and volunteers for Compost Now through the NO Public Library. Debbie and her husband, Lake Douglas, were founding members of Friends of Lafitte Corridor and have actively supported the Greenway since its inception. She aspires to share her interest and expertise in gardening, biking, climate concerns, and the community at larg

 

4. Foster Duncan - Board Term: Jan 2019 – Jan 2022

Foster has more than 30 years of senior corporate, private equity, and investment banking experience. Mr. Duncan is an Operating Partner of Bernhard Capital Partners, a private equity fund focused on investing in industrialized energy services. Mr. Duncan also serves as a Senior Advisor to EHS Partners in New York, a management consulting firm focused on improving operational effectiveness, earnings, and growth. Previously, Mr. Duncan was a Managing Director at Advantage Capital, Managing Member of KD Capital L.L.C., Executive Vice President and CFO of Cinergy Corporation, Chairman of Cinergy’s Investment Committee, and CEO and President of Cinergy’s Commercial Business. Foster has also held senior management positions with LG&E Energy Corp., Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold, Howard Weil, and Edison Electric Institute. He graduated with Distinction from the University of Virginia and later received his MBA degree from the A. B. Freeman Graduate School of Business at Tulane University. Foster serves on the Boards of Directors of Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT) in Boston, Massachusetts and Greentech Capital Advisors in New York, a firm focused on M&A services and general strategic advisory services for Sustainable Infrastructure companies and projects. Mr. Duncan is active in a number of civic organizations including in New Orleans the Board of Directors of the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital Foundation, The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, and Parks for All and in Charlottesville, Virginia the National Advisory Board and Selection Committee of the University of Virginia Jefferson Scholars Program and Co-Chairman of the Jefferson Circle, which promotes the preservation of the Rotunda and historic Grounds. 

 

5. Ellen Frischhertz - Board Term: Jan 2018 – Jan 2021

Ellen is a resident of the City Park neighborhood, frequent user of the Lafitte Greenway and has been an active community volunteer for over 40 years. In 2016, she received the Alma Mater Award from Jesuit High School, recognizing her extraordinary contributions of volunteer time and talent supporting the school. In addition to experience as a social worker, Ellen is an advocate for healthy, active lifestyles, currently serving on the board of Liberty’s Kitchen, and looks forward to bringing her passions and prior nonprofit experience to help Friends of Lafitte Greenway carry forward the community's vision for the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space.

 

6. Misty Frye - Board Term: Jan 2020 – Jan 2023

Misty Frye is the happy and proud wife of Abiram Frye Sr., and their union is blessed with four children Abiram Jr., Abria, Abrian, and Abron. Misty Frye is currently the General Manager for the Historic Carver Theater. Under her leadership at the Historic Carver Theater, she has established many relationships within community and businesses as an initiative to revitalize this historical landmark. She has also implemented new programming under the Historic Carver Theater Foundation. Misty currently operates and manages a Permanent Supportive Housing Unit (PSH) for the New Orleans Family Justice Center. She is a Realtor with Frye & Melancon Realty. She comes with twelve years of experience and calls herself the “Real Estate Queen”. She also shares ownership of Top Job Cleaning Services with her husband, which provides residential and commercial cleaning services. Their business motto is “Your Perception Is Our Reality”. Misty’s educational background consists of receiving Associates in Business Management, Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, and her Master’s in Public Administration. She attends Holy Faith Temple Baptist Church “The Treme Church”. Her favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

7. Susan Guidry - Board Term: Jan 2019 - Jan 2022

Susan is a native of New Orleans and is recently retired from the New Orleans City Council, where she served for eight years as the District “A” representative. Her professional career also includes working as a teacher and a civil litigation attorney. Susan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Loyola Law School. As Chair of the Council’s Criminal Justice Committee, Susan was committed to reforming our criminal justice system.  Susan also served on the City Council’s Utility Committee, where her agenda focused on growing our green industry and energy efficiency, including spearheading the implementation of the Council’s award-winning Energy Smart program.   

Susan and her husband Hervin have been members of Friends of Lafitte Greenway for many years.  Upon inauguration to the City Council, Susan announced the Greenway as her top priority capital project.  Susan worked to push through the first contract for design and construction management and oversaw the Greenway citizen’s advisory committee.  She has remained involved both as a Council member and a Friends member. Susan has served on the boards of Parkview Neighborhood Association, the City Park Improvement Association and the New Orleans Museum of Art and presently serves on the board of the LA/SPCA.

 

8. John Hopper - Board Term: Jan 2018 – Jan 2021

Hopper has over twenty-five years of non-profit management experience, ran an operating foundation at the American Red Cross National Headquarters with a $93 million endowment, served as the Executive Director of the Young Leadership Council for seven years, and has overseen the successful implementation of scores of grants. He served as the Chief Development Officer and Director of Public Affairs at New Orleans City Park and was been instrumental in raising over $130 million for the park after Hurricane Katrina. He has a B.S. in Management with a Specialization in Spanish and an MBA. He served in the United States Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. He has and continues to serve on a number of non-profit boards. 

   

9. Stosh Kozlowski - Board Term: Jan 2018 – Jan 2021

Stosh currently serving as the Principal Transportation Planner with Transdev in service to the Regional Transit Authority. Formerly, he was a Senior City Planner with the City of New Orleans, City Planning Commission as well as the Department of City Planning with the City of Atlanta. He has years of experience working with diverse communities throughout the south, focused on the advancement of comfortable, safe and effective multi-modal transportation networks. His expertise includes the development of complete streets, pedestrian safety, transit-oriented development and transportation planning. Before pursuing his career in Urban Planning, Stosh worked in the New York City film industry as a Location Scout and Location Manager. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Georgia State University and resides in New Orleans with his wife, Meredith, and daughter, Pia.

 

10. Melissa Lee - Board Term: Jan 2020 - Jan 2023

Melissa, a resident of Mid-City, co-leads an integrated team of planners, designers and technical experts in the completion of community engagement, planning and facilitation activities at Concordia. As an experienced urban redevelopment professional and solutions-focused administrator with a comprehensive background in neighborhood economic development, community organizing, and urban planning, Melissa has shepherded socially innovative programs from inception to completion across multiple U.S. cities. Her previous work experience includes serving on executive teams to advance program strategy and project implementation related to Federal Disaster Community Development Block (D-CDBG) investment initiatives; the facilitation of walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods through design; the development of a unified, City-lead neighborhood economic development investment strategy and agenda; and the Lower Manhattan Small Business and Workforce Retention Program aiding in the September 11th recovery. Melissa envisions equitable planning and development more than buzzwords. She is committed to making planning more responsive to the quality of life demands of all populations, developing new tools for understanding how social and economic conditions affect access across racial and socioeconomic disparities, and diversifying the involvement of those participating in planning processes.

 

11. Mike Leitzinger - Board Term: Jan 2020 - Jan 2023

Michael is a mechanical engineer and Mid City resident. Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Michael fell in love with and moved to New Orleans over a decade ago. He developed a passion for volunteerism from an early age. With the help of his wife Emily, Michael has spent the past 10 years giving back whenever and wherever possible. Michael works as the Manager of Mechanical Engineering department at Infinity Engineering Consultants, LLC. He oversees several engineers in the development and management of projects. When he isn’t volunteering or working, Michael rides with the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi entertaining Parade goers during carnival season. Michael looks forward to supporting the Friends of Lafitte Greenway and promoting the great thing the Greenway has to offer.

 

12. Seth Levine - Board Term: Jan 2020 – Jan 2023

Seth is a business lawyer, with a degree in finance, and licensed Louisiana real estate broker with a decade of experience guiding clients through commercial transactions that are often complex and crucial to a company’s success. A partner in the New Orleans office of Jones Walker LLP, Levine works with exploration and production, hospitality, real estate development, and manufacturing companies as well as national and local lenders. A member of the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources practice in the firm's New Orleans office, his practice involves a wide range of energy matters and he has extensive experience in project financing, land acquisitions, servitude acquisitions and all other real estate matters, including all aspects of real estate due diligence and title matters, hydrocarbon processing, handling and transportation agreements, master service contracts for offshore and onshore oilfield services and equipment, and energy infrastructure projects, including LNG facilities, pipelines, storage facilities and floating production systems. Seth has served on the board of Friends of Lafitte Greenway since 2017.

 

13. Montgomery (Monty) Lunn - Board Term: Jan 2019 - Jan 2022

Monty Lunn is the Interim Chair of Friends of Lafitte Greenway’s Fund Development Committee, where he has been a leading member since 2016. Monty serves as Managing Partner of Atlas Greenway Partners, a New Orleans-based real estate development company. He is a licensed agent with eXp Realty with an extensive background in management and legal consulting while working with Deloitte & Touché, Huron Consulting and Thomson Reuters. Monty and his wife Kathleen are native New Orleanians, and have lived, worked and traveled around the country. A passion for the City of New Orleans brought them home, and both are deeply engaged with both the public and private sector initiatives and community service. Monty holds a BA Magna Cum Laude in Philosophy from Mount St. Mary’s.

 

14. Nolan Marshall III - Board Term: Jan 2019 - Jan 2022

Nolan Marshall III moved back to New Orleans in 2018 with his wife and son, and intentionally chose to live near the Greenway. Nolan is the Vice President of External Affairs and Policy with the New Orleans Business Alliance - the official economic development agency of the City of New Orleans.  Prior to joining NOLABA, Nolan served as the President and Executive Director and Uptown Dallas Inc, and has held positions with the Downtown Development District, Tulane University's Cowen Institute, and Common Good at Loyola University, in addition to being an entrepreneur.  Nolan has also been an active civic leader, serving as Chair of the City Planning Commission, President of the Young Leadership Council, Treasurer of the Bio District, Board Chair of Einstein Charter School, and serving as a member of numerous other boards and commissions that serve the community.

 

15. Demetric M. Mercadel - Board Term: Jan 2020 – Jan 2023

Demetric has served as a board member of Friends of Lafitte Greenway since 2017.  Demetric has several passions, but her top three include family, community service and political  activism. Demetric has more than 40 years of experience in the accounting, finance and planning fields with responsibilities ranging from basic operations, administrative accounting, preparing variance analysis reports and special projects. Demetric recently retired from Entergy New Orleans, LLC. In her public affairs role, she developed working relationships with the City of New Orleans and with the New Orleans delegation of the state legislators and supports strategic regulatory, energy efficiency and energy policy initiatives. Demetric is a proud New Orleanian–born and raised in the 7th Ward–who has worked with numerous community organizations such as past president of the board of directors of the French Market Corporation and of the Upper Pontalba Building Association, current president of the Corpus Christi-Epiphany Catholic Church Pastoral Council and completed the coordination and development of the Corpus Christi- Epiphany Neighborhood Community Center in the 7th Ward; board members of Significant Educators Charter School System; past president of the board of directors of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.; former president and now vice-president of the board of directors of St. Augustine High School, currently serving as board secretary; former board member of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and much more.

 

16. Larissa Muetzel - Board Term: Jan 2018 - Jan 2021

Larissa is originally from a small town near Moscow in Russia. Larissa moved to the United States in 2001. She received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Russian State Agrarian University in Moscow. In 2010 Larissa successfully completed Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) program.  In 2014 Larissa became a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and currently provides accounting services for various organizations. She is the Treasurer for the International School of Louisiana Board of Trustees. Previously Larissa worked as the Director of Finance & Administration for the Young Leadership Council (YLC) and as CFO for Ernst Café, Inc. Larissa resides in the Irish Channel with her husband, Brandon, who works for a local non-profit organization, Energy Wise Alliance.  Together they enjoy traveling and entertaining friends and family at their home.

 

17. Michael Ricks - Board Term: Jan 2020 - Jan 2023

Mr. Michael Ricks has served as District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2004, first in Alabama and currently serving Louisiana since 2008.  Prior to joining the SBA, Mr. Ricks served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer, a Program Manager for Advanced Technology and Production Readiness projects for the U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, DC, and as a Defense Acquisition Officer in early Program Concept Development for the Army Infantry Center at Fort Benning, Georgia as Chief of the Information Systems Division. As an active duty and reserve infantry officer, Mr. Ricks completed numerous overseas combat and hazardous duty deployments. He was medically retired from active service and is a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Mr. Ricks is a former small business entrepreneur and operated a consulting company in Florida which advised on software development, business processes, electronic manufacturing, and information systems technology. Mr. Ricks earned a bachelor’s degree in Technology from the University of Houston. He also holds a graduate degree in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, California, as well as an MBA from Troy University in Alabama. Mr. Ricks was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, where much of his extended family still resides.

 

18. Darby Shields - Board Term: Jan 2020 - Jan 2023

Darby is an avid biker and regular user of the Lafitte Greenway Bikeway. He is a member of the Friends of the Lafitte Greenway since 2015 and has supported many activities. Mr. Shields started an aerospace engineering company in 1982, sold the business and moved to New Orleans in 2015. He has served on boards for the Boys and Girls Club and the High Street Theater Foundation in California, with experience as President and Treasurer and raising funds for 501c organizations. He has a special interest in expanding the bike path to City Park and insuring safety on the cross streets. Darby has served on the board of Friends of Lafitte Greenway since 2017 where has performed as Secretary.

 

19. Philip Stelly - Board Term: Jan 2019 - Jan 2022

Philip Stelly has extensive experience in journalism and corporate communications. He is currently the public information officer at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office where he is responsible for media relations and community engagement.  Previously, Stelly served as a senior communications advisor at Florida Power & Light Company. Prior to that, he was a staff writer for several trade and general interest publications in New Orleans and Miami. Stelly has served on the board of directors for Ride New Orleans as well as Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Florida Chapter, including one year as chapter president. He is an occasional yoga practitioner, a frequent user of Blue Bikes, and an avid wine buff.


20. Charles Stewart - Board Term: Jan 2018 - Jan 2021

Charles Stewart is a Loan Officer at Iberiabank in downtown New Orleans, where he helps clients with consumer and commercial financing across various industries. In April 2018, Charles will help open a new Iberiabank branch in Mid-City, blocks from the Lafitte Greenway. Charles began working for Iberiabank in 2016 after graduating from LSU. Born and raised in New Orleans and a graduate of Jesuit High School, his hobbies include working out, running, and spending time with friends and family. He loves the outdoors and believes that he can give back to New Orleans by volunteering with Friends of Lafitte Greenway.

 

21. Leonetta Terrell - Board Term: Jan 2019 – Jan 2022

Leonetta was a founding Board member of Friends of Lafitte Greenway and remains an active member of the Community Engagement Committee. A longtime residents of the Tremé neighborhood, Leonetta  got involved with the Greenway to be a voice for Tremé. She works professionally as social worker. Leonetta is an active member of St. Peter Claver Church.