Story of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance
The Formation of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance
Over the last 12 years, residents and communities across Louisiana have experienced a series of catastrophic disasters – Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, Isaac, the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, and now the Great Floods of 2016. From north to south, disasters have upended the lives of Louisiana’s residents and stretched the resources and capacity of communities.
These events have tested the philanthropic sector in Louisiana, but have also allowed local foundations to accumulate experience with disaster grant-making, function as engines of community recovery, take risks, forge best practices, innovate, and learn from the challenges of ongoing processes of rebirth and renewal. The entrepreneurial thinking that the philanthropic sector demonstrated during Hurricane Katrina and other disasters has informed recovery programs in other parts of the United States and represents an asset that can be used to raise the bar in each successive community renewal effort.
Yet, efforts to harvest the knowledge situated in the different foundations and share good practice examples was not very successful in the past, due to the fragmented nature of the philanthropic sector in Louisiana. The Great Floods of 2016 shifted this dynamic, creating a desire to collaborate across institutional boundaries and become a collective force for change. The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance was created to support cross-sector collaborative efforts and communication, share knowledge and resources with the goal of improving recovery outcomes and increasing the resilience of Louisiana residents and communities.
This consortium also brings Louisiana’s foundation community together with federal and state government partners including agencies of the State of Louisiana (Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit, Department of Child and Family Services, Louisiana Economic Development) and federal government agencies involved with the National Disaster Recovery Framework – such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Government partners have agreed to work in concert with the philanthropic sector and to inform them about emerging needs and government investments in resilience and recovery, creating opportunities to leverage resources and ensure that any duplication of efforts is avoided. This cross-sector collaboration gives philanthropy a strong voice in the crafting of policy recommendations and the ability to share their unique understanding of culture and context with government partners. The goal of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance is to create positive system-wide change and cooperation that will lead to holistic solutions and sustainable recovery efforts -- building local capacity and strengthening local resilience.
Letter from the Governor
Here is Governor John Bel Edwards' letter affirming the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance.
The Funders of the Alliance
Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana
“The mission of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is to promote the wellness and well-being of Louisianians by supporting health- or education-related causes. We know that real change for our state takes to hearts and hands of thousands of people – and that’s why we fund and promote the hard work of everyday people who dream a making a difference in the lives of others.”
Community Foundation of North Louisiana
“The Community Foundation provides a variety of charitable funds and gift options to help our partners achieve their vision for a stronger, more vibrant community. By bringing together fund donors, their financial advisors, and nonprofit agencies, the Foundation is a powerful catalyst for building charitable giving and effecting positive change in our area. The Foundation serves Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Red River, Sabine, Union, and Webster parishes.""
Foundation for Louisiana
“The mission of the Foundation for Louisiana is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide. We believe in increased access to resources and opportunity strengthens vulnerable communities and improves qualify of life for all residents, that the grassroots wisdom of Louisiana residents is one of our most valuable resources, and individuals and families have the right to maintain their dignity amidst disaster.”
Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation
“Our foundation focuses on human health, creative mind, and ensuring all Louisianans can have access to economic opportunities. We partner with other donors, businesses, government, and most importantly our nonprofit partners - without whom none of our ambitions on any issue can be realized. Our foundation is committed to investing in people, partnerships, and new ideas that solve specific problems, and together ensure a vibrant and sustainable community.”
The UPS Foundation
“Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads UPS’s global citizenship efforts and philanthropy. Our mission is to help build stronger, safer, and more resilient communities around the world. The UPS Foundation's philanthropic approach centers on four focus areas that reflect our mission and UPS's corporate values and expertise: Diversity & Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, Community Safety and Volunteerism. We believe that our approach and investment strategy create shared value for our community, our people and our company.”
W. K. Kellogg Foundation
“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.”
Center for Disaster Philanthropy
“The mission of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy is to transform the field of disaster philanthropy to increase donor effectiveness throughout the lifecycle of disasters through our educational fund opportunities and strategic guidance.”
Lori Jill Bertman, Board President
President & CEO of the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation
Office: (225) 928-8346
Cell: (225) 806-9109
The Baton Rouge-based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation is Louisiana’s largest private family foundation. The foundation gives millions of dollars of grants annually throughout Southern Louisiana and nationally. Ms. Bertman also created the Pennington Disaster Resilience Fund, the first fund of its kind dedicated to proactive disaster philanthropy. She also founded the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the first organization that exists solely to educate donors and philanthropists about effective disaster giving. She has been a private philanthropy advisor to donors and a fundraising consultant for nonprofits for over 15 years, and taught a class on philanthropy for many years at Louisiana State University (LSU). In 2015, The Children’s Health Fund awarded both the Founder Award to Ms. Bertman and the Pennington Family Foundation for her work with the organization following Hurricane Katrina as well as receiving the first Leadership Award from the National VOAD. Share Our Strength honored her with a National Leadership Award of Advocate of the Year for her work during Hurricane Katrina. Ms. Bertman is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Fortune.com.
Flozell Daniels Jr., Board Vice President
Executive Director of the Foundation for Louisiana
Office: (225) 383-1672
Flozell leads the Foundation for Louisiana (formerly the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation), as a public policy and community engagement strategist with expertise in community development, resilience building, legislative strategy and leadership development. With a focus on building successful coalitions that increase success in expanding economic opportunity for all, Flozell is accomplished in expanding capacity and outcomes in areas that include community development finance, criminal justice reform, coastal/environmental policy, transit equity and asset development. Flozell has led more than $50 million of award-winning community investment strategies while at the Foundation. Vice-President & Executive Director of State and Local Affairs for 9 years. Before that, he cut his public policy and community engagement teeth as an Urban Policy Specialist & Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Mayor, Division of Federal and State Programs for the City of New Orleans.
Executive Director of The Community Foundation of North Louisiana
Office: (318) 221-0582
Paula serves as the Executive Director of The Community Foundation of North Louisiana. In this capacity, she is responsible for the Foundation’s leadership, management, strategic planning and development. She also serves as a convener of citizens, nonprofit organizations and governmental entities around issues affecting our community. Prior to coming to the Foundation, Paula practiced law in the area of trusts and estate planning. She served as chairman of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s section on Trusts, Estates, Probate and Immovable Property Law. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the Estate and Tax Planning Council. Paula has always been involved with service to her community. She has volunteered her support for numerous organizations, including the Providence House; Glen Retirement System; Centenary College Planned Giving Council; Volunteers of America; Shreveport Symphony, the Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier and KDAQ. She is a cofounder of the VOA LightHouse. Paula’s career extends more than 30 years with a passion for excellence in making positive impact in every facet of community life. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama.
Mark Stewart, Board Secretary & Treasurer
Manager - The UPS Foundation
Office: (504) 460-7131
Mark is a senior manager for the UPS Customer Solutions Group. With over 35 years of supply chain experience, he uses that knowledge to assess, recommend, and optimize supply chain operations for UPS customers using best in class strategies based on their operations, resources, and capabilities. For the last 5 years Mark has supported a group of US retailers located in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi as a Solutions Development Resource. Mark traveled to Hong Kong in 2013 to oversee a project for one retailer that contracted with UPS to analyze their Asia Supply Chain and provide a look into the future by modeling scenarios for alternative flows in the region. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mark offered logistics expertise and support to the St. Bernard Project. This non-profit organization based in New Orleans has been instrumental in the rebuilding of over 500 homes in Southeastern Louisiana with a mission to help local families in need get back into their homes. Mark’s efforts include the implementation of an internal tracking solution for their high-value tools, consulting on warehouse processes, enhancing the relationship formed with the UPS Foundation, and the administration of formal mentoring sessions that paired SBP partner companies with SBP staff with an objective to facilitate self-discovery and growth. Mark earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He received the Logistics Professional Certificate from the Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech in 1998. Mark values family life and considers his children his proudest accomplishments. Residing in the New Orleans area with his wife Mary Beth, who teaches 4th grade English, they have raised 2 children - Meagan, a public interest attorney living in St Paul MN, and Matthew, an internal auditor in the technology practice area working in New Orleans, LA.
President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
Office: (225) 297-2849
Michael Tipton began as President of the Blue Cross Foundation in June, 2015 after having served as Executive Director of Teach For America – South Louisiana from 2007 until early 2015 and after having founded Tipton Consultants which worked with non-profit organizations on talent recruitment, strategic representation and expansion across Louisiana. Michael is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of LSU with degrees in political science and history. He earned a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in New York while teaching high school English and History in the South Bronx through Teach For America. Michael is a graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Leadership Baton Rouge and the Council for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana programs, was named to the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Top 40 under 40 list in 2007 was LSU’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 2013 and received the John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in 2012.
Christy Wallace Slater
Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Christy Wallace Slater is a program officer for the New Orleans team with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich. In this role, she helps develop programming priorities; reviews and recommends proposals for funding; manages and monitors a portfolio of active grants; and designs and implements national grant initiatives, place-based work and multi-year projects that affect systematic change and program strategy in New Orleans. Prior to joining the foundation, Slater served as the director of economic opportunity at the Foundation for Louisiana, served as program officer at ECD/Hope Community Credit Union, and as public investment project manager at the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development in New Orleans. She holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University.
CEO/President of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Office: (202) 595-1026
Robert G. Ottenhoff, a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship, is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). Prior to joining CDP, Bob spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. While there, Bob developed a sustainable business model which supports free and fee-based services to more than 10 million users. He also led efforts to build partnerships with more than 150 leading U.S. and community foundations, and oversaw the development of www.guidestar.org into a nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.5 million nonprofits. Bob has more than 25 years of management experience in public broadcasting and high-tech companies, including nine years as chief operating officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Bob is known for his entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and quest to make an impact on the world. In addition to his role at CDP, he serves on the board of Inspirit Foundation (formerly Vision TV); Link TV; and Write on Sports. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Netherlands-America Foundation. He previously served on the board of the Grameen Foundation, USAAAFRC Trust for Philanthropy and the e-Philanthropy Foundation. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a master’s degree in planning from Rutgers University. He frequently writes and comments on nonprofit and philanthropic issues, and has been quoted in a variety of media, including television, radio and print publications such as NPR, the New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.
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