Our Team

HISTORY

about

Several 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 was 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.

 A two-bedroom house in the Broadmoor neighborhood was purchased in 2016, renovated and sheltered 23 moms and 56 children over a two-year period.  In 2018 Hotel Hope sold the house and purchased a 24 bedroom hotel which provides each guest with safety and security in a gated environment.  The former Cares Center located at Blessed Trinity Parish will be renovated and ultimately serve as an early childhood development center and resource center for homeless women and their children.

STAFF

about2

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 development and 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


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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

 

 

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Chandra Richardson, ABD
Director of Program Services

She has an extensive background in Higher Education along with more than a decade of experience in Social Services. Chandra has a passion for helping others, especially women, children, and families in our community. Her years of counseling experience across a variety of treatment settings include; private practice, inpatient substance abuse, and community-based services. In her role as the Director of Program Services, Chandra will be managing program design and implementation along with oversight of Case Management and housing services. As a leader in her field dedicated to helping individuals and families in need, Chandra is bringing her expertise to help further develop the mission of Hotel Hope. Email: CRichardson.org


 

 

Ms. Bobbie Garner
Case Manager

Bobbie has worked with children and families in various capacities for more than 10 years. In addition, Bobbie’s educational and career paths have consistently focused on her passion for helping others, providing leadership through technology, and building networks through community endeavors. Bobbie is a dedicated professional with an enthusiasm for connecting people to resources and a focus on empowering her clients/customers with knowledge to solve their immediate needs and future goals. In her role as Case Manager, Bobbie will coordinate referrals for Hotel Hope guests to the continuum of care partner agencies, manage HMIS data and reporting, monitor guest progress through the program, and provide outreach and on-going case management to guests after completion of the program.

 

Andrea Chura
Housekeeper

A native of La Paz Bolivia, who moved to New Orleans in 2006 with her H-2B work visa to help with the rebuilding of the city after Hurricane Katrina.
Andrea has worked in the hospitality industry and brings to Hotel Hope her experience and expertise in working in the best hotels in New Orleans.  Andrea is an excellent housekeeper and keeps the hotel in top shape for our guests. Andrea took the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony and complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

 


Dondra Hills

Catherine Kinabrew
Guest Services Coordinator

2016 Catherine Kinabrew retired after almost 40 years as an elementary school teacher. She soon met Sr. Julie Marsh and found out about Hotel Hope. Because Catherine had a deep, abiding question about homelessness, she was delighted to be a volunteer when the Chalet opened. In April 2019 Catherine was hired as the Guest Services Coordinator and loves working closely with the families. She loves being part of Hotel Hope in its earliest stages and is energized by Hotel Hope's mission to bring love, compassion, and empowerment to some of New Orleans' most vulnerable citizens. Catherine and her wonderful husband John are blessed with five children and 7 grandchildren.Email: ckinbrew@hotelhope.org

 

 

 

Sara Wilson
Intern

Shara Wilson was born in New Orleans and vacated to Georgia after Hurricane Katrina. She has now returned to the Crescent city to attain her Childhood and Family Studies degree at Southern University at New Orleans. For most of her high school and college career, she volunteered at local elementary schools and daycares. Shara takes pride in her passion for working with children. She sees the joy of volunteering, teaching, and giving back to students within low-income communities. Ms. Wilson believes in providing children with a fun, fulfilling, and enriched environment. She enjoys sharing her love for the outdoors and creativity/art with the kids. It takes a big heart to shape little minds! 

This email and any files transmitted with it are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521 and are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this email. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this email by mistake and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that disclosing, copying, distributing, or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be illegal.

 

Grace Morris
Intern

Grace is a Master of Social Work student at Tulane University who recently began her first semester as an intern at Hotel Hope. Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, she has experience advocating for mental health recovery and coastal conservation efforts. Grace has spent time developing research projects and working as an educator in Central America in an effort to assist rural communities who are experiencing food insecurity. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in international disaster-related mental health recovery. In her role as an intern, Grace is excited to gain hands-on experience with Hotel Hope! 

This email and any files transmitted with it are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521 and are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this email. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this email by mistake and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be illegal.

 

 

Board of Directors

  • Nakisha Ervin-Knott (Chair)
    Civil District Court Judge
  • Fred Kirchgraber (Vice Chair)                                                                                *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, Ozanam Inn
  • Byron Chambers
    *Founding Board Member
    Crosby Energy Services
  • Mike Hammer
    Principal, Pontchartrain Capital, LLC
    *Founding Board Member
  • Anita Marshall Jefferson
    Master Social Work
    Registered Social Work
  • Elizabeth McCartney
    Executive Director, SBP
  • Romney Kriedt Richard
    President Kriedt Enterprises Ltd.
  • Sr. Judy Zynda, OP
    Teacher / Director
  • Danita Bright
    Certified Sterile Processor
    Education Assistant, Boys Town
  • Krystle Duplessis
    Attorney at Law
  • Sr. Judy Flowers, DC
    Nursing
  • Jennifer Guenard
    Certified Public Accountant
  • Ashley R. Lusk
    Marketing Communications

Board Member Emeritus

Denise Redmann Hoffman
Attorney at Law

Committee Members