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Panelist Bio


Katherine Martin
Executive Director, O'Brien House

Katherine Martin has been the Executive Director of O’Brien House since 1995. O'Brien House was established in 1971 to serve adult recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. This halfway house is named after Paul S. "Pat" O'Brien, who spent 53 years of his life working with alcoholics and educating the public about the disease of alcoholism. Her expertise includes such positions as Development Director, CEO and Consultant for non-profit organizations in Louisiana, parts of Mississippi and Tennessee. Ms. Martin’s experience includes the administration of substance abuse facilities, public relations and professional fund-raising with a broad background in development management for non-profit organizations, communication, program management, leadership and community support. She is the former Chair of the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless and Regional Director of the Association of Halfway House Alcoholism Programs of North America, Inc. In 2006 she received the John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Non-profit Management Award through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. During her tenure at O’Brien House, the agency has achieved the LANO Standards of Excellence and has expanded its physical facilities to serve 110 individuals. Recently Ms. Martin was named one of Baton Rouge Business Report's 2010 Influential Women in Business.

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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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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Coming Soon!


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

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06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


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