- Families & Volunteers
The Girl Scouts Louisiana East council began its Women of Distinction recognition program in 2012 during the Girl Scout Centennial. The council’s Women of Distinction are nominated from across the council’s 23-parish jurisdiction and are selected based on their remarkable achievements as business, community and civic leaders dedicated to supporting leadership opportunities for girls.
While not every Woman of Distinction was a Girl Scout growing up, each one is dedicated to making our community a better place, demonstrating Girl Scout values in all she does.
Nearly 260 Girl Scout friends, community members, and supporters of Girl Scouting gathered for the council’s 2014 Women of Distinction luncheon and champagne reception at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans on November 7. This was third year the council recognized some extraordinary women for their leadership and service to others. The four 2014 Women of Distinction were: KiKi Baker Barnes, Director of Athletics, Dillard University; Gayle Benson, Philanthropist and First Lady of New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans; Mionne LaShe Gooch, Nuclear Field Electrician’s Mate First Class (SW), United States Navy; and Sally-Ann Roberts, Co-Anchor, WWL-TV, and Co-Founder, Each One Save One.
Event co-chairs were board members Stephanie Osborne and Betsy Stoner, and presenting sponsor was Winn Dixie. Other sponsors included Gold Sponsors: Albemarle Foundation, The Gayle & Tom Benson Charitable Foundation, Valero; Silver Sponsors: First NBC Bank, Peoples Health; Bronze Sponsors: Linda Law Clark; Louisiana Lottery; Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, President, Dillard University; Louisiana Lottery; Northwestern Mutual Financial; Total Graphics & Printing, Inc. and Whitney Bank.
Sponsors and honorees were charmed by a strolling stilt walker disguised as a tree who walked among the guests during the VIP champagne reception that preceded the luncheon.
Event Co-Chair Stephanie Osborne and Master of Ceremonies Brett Bauman welcomed the guests as the program officially began with the flag ceremony conducted by members of New Orleans Cadette Troop 40787 and the invocation by Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
Brett Bauman was assisted by Girl Scout alumna and Tulane student Phoebe Coughlin who introduced each of the four honorees, all of whom shared a little of their journey and the people who had supported them throughout their lives.
“Being here today with a group of smart, talented and generous women is very humbling,” said Gayle Benson. “I very much appreciate being included as a Woman of Distinction.”
Girl Scout-themed table centerpieces of live plants, many with camp related themes, were created by various Girl Scout troops from across the New Orleans area. A special gift for all guests was a Terrance Osborne 16 x 20 Print of Gardenias and Mardi Gras beads, one of them sporting a Girl Scout trefoil token.
Brett Bauman ended the program with a live auction which included a Kendra Scott Statement Necklace and Stud Earring Set, a framed 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest poster, numbered and signed by Terrance Osborne which was won by former Woman of Distinction, attorney Linda Law Clark; and an autographed game basketball signed by the New Orleans Pelicans team and autographed Eric Gordon basketball cleat which was won by former Woman of Distinction, United States Marshall Genie May.
Brenda Leroux Babin, Ph.D.
Linda Law Clark
Julie Rose, Ph.D.
Christy Valentine, M.D.
Mary Jane Becker
Margaret Jo Borland Beckwith
Sheila Smith Kimbro
Andrea Phelps McKey
Karen St. Cyr
Ann Forte Trappey
Margie Loud Zeno