Our Team



Over six years ago, people of faith convened around an issue facing countless families in the New Orleans community — homelessness. The growing number of people experiencing homelessness increased to 70 percent after Hurricane Katrina. The number of places used to house families in crisis were few compared to the need. After hours of meeting with already existing providers, conducting research around the need and endless hours of consultation, we formed the Hotel Hope nonprofit corporation.

Our vision is clear. Our motivation is the passion for the mission. Our core values affirm our response. To date, progress has been made toward selecting the convent at Blessed Trinity Parish, and with your contributions, the capital and operational budgets can be funded.



Mary Lou Specha, PBVM
Executive Director

a Sister of the Presentation for over 25 years is an experienced nonprofit executive. Sister Mary Lou most recently served as the Executive Director of Café Reconcile. She has a decade of nonprofit leadership and administration and a career devoted to working for systemic change. Sister Mary Lou has experience in fundraising, strategic planning, nonprofit board developmentand fiscal reporting. Sister Mary Lou lives in Central City, New Orleans, and is committed to neighborhood revitalization. Sister Mary Lou believes in the mission of Hotel Hope and is committed to serving families with love and compassion. Email: mlspecha@hotelhope.org


Julie Marsh, PBVM
Director of Hotel Operations

Sr. Julie is the Director of Hotel Operations.  Sister Julie is a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Dubuque, IA.  She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Arts degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri with other graduate work from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.  She has 20 years’ experience with families and young adults which included guidance, teaching and administrative experience. As Director of Hotel Operations, Sister Julie oversees the management of services and facilities as well as assists in developing programs, activities, policies and procedures the guests of the hotel.  She nurtures a spirit of hospitality to all guests, staff and visitors. Email: jmarsh@hotelhope.org


Janice Landry May

Janice Landry May
Case Manager

For over 10 years Janice has worked with the homeless nonprofit community as a Case Manager and Program Advisor, with a commitment to providing the highest level of continuum of care. Janice has served homeless families and single women from all walks of life, helping to empower them to become emotionally and economically self-sufficient. She is known throughout the homeless community for her compassion and love for those in need and has a gift of networking with agencies and organization throughout the city. Janice finds joy in seeing guests stabilize and transition into their own homes, secure jobs and giving back to the community in which they live. She has over 30 years office and administrative experience. Her heart and love for extending the olive branch goes out worldwide but starts at home. Email: jmay@hotelhope.org


Dondra Hills

Dondra Hills
Aftercare Case Manager

Dondra Hills a New Orleans native, studied Criminal Justice and Human Services at The University of Phoenix. After graduating she worked to reduce violence, drug abuse, social competency and gang participation with young people in New Orleans. Dondra continued her education in Psychology to improve self-sufficiency and self-empowerment through intensive case management while maintaining the safety and well-being of individuals in their homes, schools, and within the communities. As life continues to evolve, Dondra believes that it is not uncommon for an individual’s life to unravel when she or he experiences trauma or life stressors, but with the help programs like Hotel Hope a person can be empowered to find a new path. Email: dhills@hotelhope.org

Board of Directors

  • Fred Kirchgraberr (Chairman)                                                                                *Founding Board Member
    Retired Insurance Executive
  • Mary Jeandron (Treasurer)                                                                                         Certified Public Account
  • Karen Kirchgraber (Secretary)
    *Founding Board Member
    Retired Corporate Trainer
  • Clarence Adams
    Executive Director Ozanam Inn
  • Rev. Louis Arceneaux, C.M.
    Spiritual Advisor, St. Vincent DePaul – Southeast Region
  • Byron Chambers
    *Founding Board Member
    Crosby Energy Services
  • Sr. Kathleen Driscoll, D.C.
    DePaul USA, New Orleans
  • Todd Gennardo
  • Mike Hammer
    Principal, Pontchartrain Capital, LLC
    *Founding Board Member
  • Karen Heil
    Human Resources
  • Anita Marshall Jefferson
    Master Social Work
    Registered Social Work
  • Nakisha Ervin-Knott
    Civil District Court Judge
  • Elizabeth McCartney
    Executive Director, SBP
  • Tom McCormick
    Retired Chief Financial Officer
  • Claiborne Perrilliat
    Owner-Packard Truck Lines, LLC & Packard Pipe Terminals
  • Romney Kriedt Richard
    President Kriedt Enterprises Ltd.
  • Sr. Judy Zynda, OP
    Teacher / Director

Board Member Emeritus

Denise Redmann Hoffman
Attorney at Law

Committee Members