Officers and Committees
Susan Guillot – President
Rodney Villarreal – Vice President
Angela Bowlin – Secretary
Gary Wheat – Treasurer
2018 Board of Directors:
C. J. Blanda
Glade Bilby, Communications
Angela Bowlin, Co-chair, Fund Raising
Gail Cavett, Planning and Historic Preservation
Chad Pellerin, Legislative Affairs
B. B. St. Roman
Rodney Villarreal, Co-chair
Gary Wheat, Budget and Fiscal Affairs
2018 Board of Directors Biographies
C.J. Blanda is a native of New Orleans, who graduated from Jesuit High School and Tulane University. C.J. retired after 42 years in the insurance business. He has lived in the French Quarter since 1951, and purchased and remodeled his present home in 1966. A founding member and President of the Esplanade Avenue Improvement Association and the Lower Quarter Crime Watch, C.J. Blanda has served on the board of VCPORA and served as President and a board member for 50 years of New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association; served as President and board member for 7 years’ of Patio Planters, and served for several years on Vieux Care Commission.
Glade Bilby II has been a commercial photographer/director for over 38 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 25 years. His first location was in the 600 block of Ursuline Ave. Twenty-two years ago he moved to an 1834 house in the 600 block of Esplanade Ave. 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 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.
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 is committed to understanding the problems of the French Quarter and making the French Quarter a better place for its residents.
Gail Cavett grew up in Morgan City, LA which was like growing up in Mayberry. She attended LSU in Baton Rouge after which she was a flight attendant for TWA based in New York. There, she met and married her former husband, an entertainment lawyer. She moved to Beverly Hills, California until divorcing and returning to Louisiana. Later, Gail took a job in Iran to run an oil service company, and left Iran when the revolution broke out and the Shah 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. Four years ago she purchased her new home, the Antoine Cruzat House, at 1009 St. Louis Street. Three 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 Bile Corral Pilot Program for the FQ, the development of a comprehensive transportation plan for the FQ, and the FQBA-inspired Vieux Carre Graffiti Abatement Program.
Adrienne Collela, the James W. McFarland Distinguished Chair in Business, has served as a professor of management at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business since July 2005. Prior to joining the Freeman School, she was a faculty member at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and the Department of Management at Rutgers University. She received her PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from The Ohio State University. Professor Colella is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. She is a past-President of SIOP and is currently a trustee of the SIOP Foundation. Professor Colella has published extensively on treatment issues regarding persons with disabilities in the workplace, workplace accommodation, justice, and employment discrimination, as well as other topics related to human resource management. She has edited two scholarly books on employment discrimination and has authored a popular textbook on organizational behavior. She sits on numerous editorial boards. Dr. Colella is currently the chair of the faculty diversity committee and sits on the President’s Task Force for Race and Tulane Values, as well as serving other service roles at Tulane. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Family Service of Greater New Orleans (FSGNO) for ten years, and has chaired various committees. Dr. Colella served as the board chair of FSGNO from 2014-2017.
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 he 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 Streeet. He loves living in the Quarter and is eager to work towards promoting and protecting the French Quarter and its residents.
Susan Guillot is a full time resident of the French Quarter. She and her husband Albin, a New Orleans native, own a residence on the 1100 block of Dauphine. Susan received a Bachelor’s degree and an MBA before obtaining a law degree from the University of Houston where she lived for over 20 years. After relocating with her husband to New Orleans, Susan was admitted to the Louisiana Bar where she is now a practicing attorney. Susan has been active in French Quarter Citizens since 2004, serving on the board and as its current President. She believes French Quarter Citizens is an invaluable resource on many levels and that the quality of life in the French Quarter can be best served by maintaining its historical integrity while allowing it to function as the living, breathing neighborhood it has always been.
Annie Jones, Communications Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, moved to the French Quarter after graduating from Tulane University. Annie was born in St. Louis, MO and graduated from Tulane University in May 2009 with double major of Art History and Communications. Annie experienced New Orleans for the first time in 2003 to visit Tulane as a prospective student. “My parents and I stayed at The Royal Sonesta. During our trip I had a rainy afternoon to myself and I remember wandering the Quarter and thinking “I’m home.” August 2004, Annie was enrolled in Tulane and became a staff writer for the Tulane Hullaballoo, interned at Big Easy magazine. Spent Katrina semester of 2005 at American University in Washington, D.C. and In December 2005, was a Special Maid in the Court of the Veiled Prophet of Khorasan (an organization founded in St. Louis in 1878.) Since graduation, Annie worked at various occupations to stay in New Orleans, from the film business to non-profits. Annie Jones was named Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans “5-Star” employee of the year 2016. Annie has lived in the Quarter for seven years and is looking forward to working to improve quality of life for residents as well as visitors.
Chad Pellerin completed a sociological study of the art community in the French Quarter obtain her graduate degree at LSU. She worked for the Health Department as 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 start agencies as an Assistant Attorney General. Chad has resided in the French Quarter for 46 years and resides in a home owned by her family since the 1940s.
B.B. St. Roman grew up in Kentucky, obtained a B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis then moved to New York City in 1969. There she became a sound recordist for documentary films, leading to 15 years of adventure in over 30 foreign countries. Some of her most memorable and influential life experiences occurred while meeting and filming Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, tribal chieftains in Africa and primitive shamans in the Himalayas. In the early 1980s, she switched gears and became the road manager for New Orleans musician Dr. John, spending the next 10 years on the road with his band. Frequent trips to New Orleans during those years convinced her that the French Quarter was the ideal spot to eventually settle down, so she made that move in 1991. The warmth and friendliness of New Orleans led her out into community activity, becoming a Board member of French Quarter Citizens from 1995 to 2009, the coordinator of a Neighborhood Watch group from 1995 to present, and a founding member of the police-supportive non-profit COPS 8 in 2002. Noting her dedication to police-community relationships, the NOPD hired her full-time in 2004 to run their newly-formed Homeless Assistance Unit. Since then, B.B. and her 10-passenger police van have been crisscrossing the city 5 days a week, assisting homeless people and transporting them to the services most helpful to them.
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.
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.