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Sunday, August 28, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Gerri Hobdy
Director of Partnership Relations Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Louisiana

Gerri Hobdy is the Director of Partnership Relations for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. In that role she serves as the administrator of the Foundation’s disaster relief funds after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. Hobdy provided oversight for response programs including the InCourage Program , a mental health initiative for people impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Hobdy facilitates the Foundation's partnership with the Louisiana Association of Non Profit Organizations (LANO), members of the regional Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster (VOAD) and other non-profits critical in response efforts. Some of the members of the VOAD include the Capital Area Food Bank, Capital Area Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge, the Salvation Army, Louisiana City Year, Capital Area United Way, and Volunteer Baton Rouge!

Hobdy's recent work includes convening non-profits and Faith Based organizations to prepare for future disasters. Following Katrina, Hobdy was responsible for the distribution of Lincoln Center's Higher Ground Fund that assisted over 200 musicians displaced by the Hurricanes and numerous music service organizations.

Hobdy also managed many other disaster funds including the Mercy Corps Fund, the Starbucks Coast Fund that supported community resiliency efforts, and the Avon Disaster Fund that supported domestic violence programs across the Gulf South Louisiana. She served on grant advisory committees for the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps and the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

Hobdy is a founding member of the Greater Baton Rouge Funder's Circle and the Council on Foundation's Literacy Funders Network. Former position's include a 10 year tenure as the Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development and State Historic Preservation Officer in the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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