Officers and Committees

2017 Officers:

Susan Guillot – President
Rodney Villarreal – Vice President
Angela BowlinSecretary
Gary WheatTreasurer

Board of Directors:

Glade Bilby, Communications
Angela Bowlin, Co-chair, Fund Raising
Gail Cavett, Planning and Historic Preservation
Chris Fransen
René Fransen, Membership
Susan Guillot
Chad Pellerin, Legislative Affairs
Jodi Poretto
Caroline Rosen
Rodney Villarreal, Co-chair, Fund Raising
Gary Wheat, Budget and Fiscal Affairs

Glade Bilby II has been a commercial photographer/director for over 37 years with many advertising, editorial and political clients, including Mignon Faget Ltd. He has been a resident of the French Quarter since 1977. Initially a renter, he has known the “joys of home ownership” for the past 35 years. His first location was in the 600 block of Ursulines Avenue. Twenty-two years ago he moved to an 1834 house in the 600 block of Esplanade Avenue that needed extensive renovations. This has given him a unique perspective to watch the flavor and popularity of the French Quarter neighborhood change in many ways. While it is important to remember the past, it is the present struggle that we fight for. An issue that has plagued the residents of the French Quarter for years, both by the City and its tourists, has been the lack of true awareness of our unique architecture. As the City spends tens of millions of dollars to attract tens of millions of visitors, an effort must begin to raise the level of awareness of the fragility and uniqueness of our neighborhood. All of our various citizens and grass roots organizations are important. With things that are happening to us, we begin to learn that nothing is impossible to solve – just move forward.

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Angela Bowlin attended undergraduate school at LSU in Baton Rouge and law school at Tulane University. She has been admitted to the Louisiana State Bar since 1991 and has been in private practice since that time. She has been involved in civic activities since before college. After law school she joined the New Orleans Junior League and continues to be a sustaining member. She also served on the board of Project Lazarus from 2008 to 2014 and has served on fundraising committees for various charities in New Orleans. In addition, she is a member of Muses and several legal community organizations. When Angela originally moved to New Orleans she lived on St. Charles Avenue, but almost 18 years ago she decided to move to the French Quarter. For the first year she lived on St. Ann near Burgundy, but then moved to the 800 block of Royal Street where she has lived ever since. She has very much enjoyed living in the French Quarter and has no intention of leaving any time soon. She would be delighted to serve on the board of French Quarter Citizens as she is committed to understanding the problems of the French Quarter and making the French Quarter a better place for its residents.

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Gail Cavett grew up in Morgan City, LA, which was like growing up in Mayberry. She was active in high school sports, band, and student activities. She attended LSU in Baton Rouge after which she was a flight attendant for TWA based in New York, where she met and married her former husband, an Entertainment Lawyer in Beverly Hills, California, where she lived until divorcing and returned to Louisiana. Later, Gail took a job in Iran to run an oil service company owned by friends that she had grown up with. She left Iran when the revolution broke out and the Shaw was deposed. She returned to Louisiana and started her own business, La. Gourmet Seafood and Catering, based in Morgan City, which she owned and operated for 25 years. She retired after Katrina. She maintained a part-time residence in the French Quarter for 25 years and has been a full time resident since Katrina. Three years ago she purchased her new home, the Antoine Cruzat House, at 1009 St. Louis Street. Two years ago she received the FQBA Ambassador Award for volunteer work in the Quarter. Currently she chairs the French Quarter Management District Infrastructure Committee, working on initiatives that include the On-Street Bike Corral Pilot Program for the FQ, the development of a Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the FQ, and the FQBA-inspired Vieux Carré Graffiti Abatement Program.

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Chris Fransen was born in New Orleans and graduated from Isidore Newman School. He completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and received his Juris Doctorate from Tulane University Law School. He is a member of the New Orleans and American Bar Associations and the Louisiana Association for Justice. Christopher works at Fransen & Hardin Attorneys and Counselors at Law in New Orleans. He currently sits on the boards of Project Lazarus and Save Our Cemeteries. He has served on numerous fundraising committees for a variety of New Orleans charities including serving as co-chair for the Louisiana Cancer Society’s “Key to the Cure” and patron co-chair for the Ogden Museum’s “O What a Night”. Chris was a lifelong Uptowner until five years ago when he decided to move to his apartment on Bourbon Street. He loves living in the Quarter and is eager to work towards promoting and protecting the French Quarter and its residents.

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René J. L. Fransen is a landscape architect and owner of his firm whose philosophy is that “it can be done.” René has been featured in numerous national publications, included in well-known books on landscape architecture as well as being seen on the HGTV series “Homes Across America” for a garden he created for a Gothic residence on Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans. René’s many travels have helped influence and guide his design work as he creates unique gardens for discerning clients in various environments. In 2005 René was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA) for the quality of his professional work. René has twice served on the Friends of the Cabildo Board as well as being on the Board of Save Our Cemeteries for many years. René is the past President of the Board of Longue Vue House and Gardens, a Trustee of the New Orleans Botanical Garden Foundation and a member of the Steering Committee of Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane. He is a member of a variety of cultural and preservation organizations both locally and nationally. René has been a FQ resident since 1978 and a FQ homeowner since 1985.

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Susan Guillot is a full time resident of the French Quarter. She and her husband Albin own a residence on the 1100 block of Dauphine. Susan received a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters of Business Administration, before obtaining a law degree and is now a practicing attorney. After earning her JD, Susan specialized in general business litigation. After relocating to New Orleans from Houston, Texas she was admitted to the Louisiana bar. Susan is active in French Quarter Citizens, Patio Planters, and Friends of the Cabildo. Susan served previously on the Board of French Quarter Citizens as Chair of the Legal Committee from 2009 through 2011. She has donated time to VCPORA in an effort to address the issue of distressed properties on Decatur Street. She believes the French Quarter is an invaluable resource on many levels and that the quality of life in the French Quarter can be best served by achieving balance that solidly maintains historical integrity while allowing it to function as the living, breathing neighborhood that it always has been.
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Chad Pellerin completed a sociological study of the art community in the French Quarter to obtain her graduate degree at LSU. She worked for the Health Department as a state health planner while attending Loyola Law School. She clerked at the Supreme Court for Chief Justice Frank Summers and Harry Lemmon. After many years in private practice she accepted employment to investigate ethical complaints against attorneys for the Louisiana Disciplinary Board. For the last 20 years she defended law suits against the state agencies as an Assistant Attorney General. Chad has resided in the French Quarter for 45 years and resides in a home owned by her family since the 1940’s.

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Jodi Poretto is an art dealer and native New Orleanian passionate about the Quarter. Visits to the French Quarter were a special part of her young life. She graduated from of Loyola University majoring in French and attended the Universite Catholique de l’Oeust in Angers, France for post graduate studies in French, while studying art as well. She has worked at several French Quarter art galleries including Kurt Schon Galleries, Manheim Galleries, and Dyansen. While working in the Quarter, she lived in the 600 block of Royal St. and the 600 block of St. Phillip. In that time she experienced the Quarter’s quality of life changes. In 1995 because of the crime in New Orleans, Jodi moved to New York and developed Jodi Poretto Fine Art LLC. Her first apartment in lower Manhattan was in extraordinary Greenwich Village near Washington Square, the well-preserved Vieux Carré of New York with its origin in the 17th century, kindred to the French Quarter. She lived on beautiful Central Park South for 5 years where you have the lovely smell of the horse and carriages, just like in the French Quarter. While developing the art business of 19th century French paintings, Jodi worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center in historic lower Manhattan, the financial district.  After September 11, 2001 she moved to Paris, France full time to develop her art business. She managed art and antique collections, travelling in France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and New York, buying and selling art at auction, with dealers, and experts. It was interesting to see how these centuries-old cities of Europe maintain a high quality of life where people live in medieval buildings in the 21st century.  In Paris, she lived in the 14th arrondissement in a 19th century home. There did not seem to be the crime problems we face in the French Quarter in Paris or New York because there is a police presence and enforcement of the law.

Always enjoying the French Quarter on visits home, she settled in the 800 block of Bourbon Street in 2004 and was shocked to see how the quality of life in the French Quarter had changed. She would like to help preserve the French Quarter as a neighborhood, not an amusement park. Jodi is a Member of the Alliance Francaise, French American Chamber of Commerce, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Caroline Nabors Rosen has been in love with the French Quarter for as long as she can remember. Caroline’s family took yearly trips to the French Quarter and vowed to one day make it her full time home much like her maternal great-great-uncle, William Spratling, had decades before. Caroline attended Tulane University where she met her husband, Brent Rosen.  After living out of state for six years, Caroline returned to New Orleans to join the John Besh Foundation as Executive Director. Caroline is well known in the national food and beverage world. Caroline served as National Marketing Director for Mountain Valley Spring Water. She also served on the Board for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Caroline founded a pop-up dinner group called Eat Easy MGM and was honored to be a featured speaker at the Montgomery TedX talk in 2013. Most recently Caroline was recognized as one of Southern Living‘s “Top 50 People Changing the South”.  Caroline loves to travel and eat but lives to spend time with family and friends in her home on Bourbon Street. With New Orleans continuing to change Caroline wants to make sure that the French Quarter will still be a magical neighborhood for generations to come.

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Rodney Villarreal was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He moved to Houston, Texas to study Interior Design at the Art Institute of Houston, and later trained under two well known interior designers, Richard Holley (Houston, Texas) and James Isola (New Orleans, Louisiana). Mr. Villarreal has owned his own design business for the past thirteen years, and his work has been published in local and national publications. Five years ago, Mr. Villarreal moved from the Central Business District to the French Quarter. With all the historic beauty and benefits of living in the French Quarter, he soon also realized many of the issues that strain the French Quarter. It was at that point he decided to take action and joined VCPORA and French Quarter Citizens to work toward preserving the integrity of this national historic neighborhood. One of Mr. Villarreal’s personal interests is fundraising for non-profit organizations, which include St. Michael’s Special School, Immaculate Conception Church, and numerous others. He has been involved in fundraising for the past 12 years and is currently serving as Chair of FQC’s 20th Anniversary Gala Committee.

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Gary Wheat was born and raised in Baton Rouge, graduated from LSU and worked for the State of Louisiana for most of his professional career. After retiring, he moved to the French Quarter and lived in the 700 block of Barracks Street for 1.5 years. For the last 2.5 years he and his partner Craig Guidry have lived in the 1000 block of Esplanade. They enjoy traveling, entertaining friends, LSU and Saints football, and of course eating their way through the great and small restaurants of NOLA. Now, after 4 years of FQ living, Gary is ready and willing to get more involved and lend any skills and time that he can offer to FQC to help guard and promote the quality of life here. He is 59 years old, retired from a 30-year career of government service, and currently works from home on a part-time basis as a legal assistant for 2 of his long-time friends, Lewis and Reed Attorneys, whose offices are at 1005 Governor Nicholls. Gary’s professional skills include an understanding of governmental processes and insight into the areas of situation analysis, conflict resolution, problem-solving, along with a working knowledge of office-oriented computer programs.

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