Guest Speaker – Kyle Burks, Ph.D., Audubon Zoo and Park

By GNoEaRocks! | Published October 18th, 2018

Dr. Kyle Burks joined the leadership team at Audubon Nature Institute in July 2017. Trained as an animal behavior researcher, Kyle has dedicated his career to the zoo, aquarium and conservation profession for more than 26 years.

Originally part of the Zoo Atlanta Research Department while in graduate school, Kyle later finished his PhD while part of the opening team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In 2004, Kyle shifted his focus away from more than a decade of studying elephant and gorilla behavior to help manage organizational strategy for the four Walt Disney World theme parks. Knowing that he wanted to return to non-profit, conservation-focused organizations, Kyle left the Walt Disney Company in 2008 and served as the Chief Operating Officer at Denver Zoo and as the Executive Director & CEO of the Sacramento Zoo before joining the Audubon Team.

With a life-long love of New Orleans and the Audubon Zoo, Kyle and his fiancé were thrilled to relocate here where he serves as the Vice President & Managing Director of Audubon Zoo & Park and the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.


Guest Speaker – Robert Leithman

By GNoEaRocks! | Published October 3rd, 2018

Robert Leithman

SVP Sales and Customer Experience

Uniti Fiber (Nasdaq UNIT)

Mr. Leithman has over 30 years of technology and financial management experience with several successful companies. The company he founded in 1987 is now an important part of a large publicly traded telephone company. After merging his company (IDS) in 1999 Robert continued to serve as a C-level executive in the combined business through multiple mergers and acquisitions. As CIO and later as CTO he was responsible for the technical direction, systems architecture and executive management of the combined company. He was an executive member of the M&A team through multiple 8 and 9 figure mergers and acquisitions. The management team he was a part of grew the company to provide telecommunications services to sixteen Mid-Atlantic and Southern states with thousands of employees and tens of thousands of customers. Mr. Leithman left (IDS/Universalcom/NewSouth/Nuvox) now Windstream (Nasdaq WIN) and helped establish Hunt Telecommunications where he served as president until its sale in 2017. Hunt Telecommunications was acquired by Uniti Group (Nasdaq UNIT) in 2017, and he continues to serve the combined company in a senior management role.

Over the years, Robert has accumulated considerable M&A experience, he has worked on both the buy and sell side on over 30 transactions. Many of these transactions involved complex capital structures and complicated deal terms. Several of the transactions he worked on were well over 9 figures.

Robert is active in the community. He serves on non-profit boards, volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America, and is a former School Board President. Robert also coached many playground sports teams over the years. He served as a member of Jesuit High School (New Orleans) advisory council and currently serves on the board of the New Orleans Startup Fund.


September 25, 2018 – Guest Speaker – Walter J. Lane, Ph.D.

By GNoEaRocks! | Published September 26th, 2018

W. J. LANE, Ph.D. Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance; Freeport McMoRan Professor of Economics; Director, MS Program in Health Care Management and MS program in Finance at the University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, 1978).

Professor Lane is a specialist in Microeconomics and Health Care Economics. He has 40 years of teaching experience at five different universities. His current teaching duties range from freshman Microeconomics to Masters-level Health Care Economics and PhD-level Microeconomic Theory. He has published in leading Economic, Finance and Law Journals. He also serves on the Board of Commissioners for Slidell Memorial Hospital. He also frequently appears on Fox8 TV and WWL radio as a commentator on Economic issues.

Guest Speaker – David Blotnick, International Executives Association

By GNoEaRocks! | Published June 12th, 2018

David Blotnick joined Consult PR in mid-2015 as a CEO. He brings over 25 years of top-level managerial experience in business development, finance, leadership, and goal-setting to his team.

David is a member of the Executives Association of Palm Beach which is a member of the International Executives Association. He is on the Board of Directors & Technology Committee for the International Executives Association (IEA).

IEA has a long history of uniting business leaders, empowering professionals and fostering profitable relationships. The first Executives Association began in 1916 in San Francisco with the purpose of creating an elite business networking organization to share confidential business leads and information among member firms.

Guest Speaker – Amy Goll – “Medicare 101”

By GNoEaRocks! | Published May 24th, 2018


Yesterday we had the pleasure of having Amy Goll as our guest speaker. Her program focused on “Medcare 101”.

After a 15-year career in recruiting and human resources, Amy Goll had a major life change. At 39 years old, she and her husband became parents to twins. Because of this, Amy needed a more flexible career. This led Amy to Medicare Insurance sales. She is an independent agent working under Fussell & Goodyear Insurance Advisors. Amy received her BS and MA from Louisiana State University.


Guest Speaker – Stanton F. McNeely III, Ed. D, President of LAICU

By GNoEaRocks! | Published May 9th, 2018

Stanton F. McNeely III, Ed. D. is President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (LAICU). LAICU is a nonprofit association which represents Louisiana’s 10 regionally accredited nonprofit private colleges and universities: Centenary College, Dillard University, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, Louisiana College, Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Saint Joseph Seminary College, Tulane University, University of Holy Cross, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Guest Speaker – Sarah Callais, Gillis, Ellis & Baker

By GNoEaRocks! | Published March 21st, 2018

Thank you to our Guest Speaker Sarah Callais, Safety & Loss Control Manager at Gillis, Ellis, and Baker for a wonder program on the ALICE Training Program.

Visitation at Messina’s The Terminal Lakefront Airport

By GNoEaRocks! | Published March 14th, 2018










Today we were pleased to hold a Visitation at Messina’s The Terminal Lakefront Airport and our speakers were Hank Tatje, Argote, Derbes, Graham, Shuffield, & Tatje and Parke McEnery, The McEnery Company.


Hank Tatje is Vice-President & Partner at Argote, Derbes, Graham, Shuffield, & Tatje, Inc. For over 25 years, Hank has been active in real estate appraisal. He has worked on various types of properties, including single and multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, and vacant land as well as many special-purpose properties and consulting assignments. Hank, while having extensive expertise in and around New Orleans, has particular expertise in the River Parishes located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, including St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles parishes.

Parke McEnery is the Chief Operating Officer of The McEnery Company, and is a sponsoring real estate broker and lead project manager. Parke has over 14 years of experience in the real estate industry and developed a unique working knowledge and understanding of nearly all real property classes, as well as a keen familiarity with a broad geography of markets. Having provided on-site real estate consulting services in all states fronting the Gulf of Mexico and New Mexico, he has proven the ability to quickly understand new market dynamics critical to delivery of necessary solutions to any real property assignment.

Guest Speaker – Peter Ricchiuti, A.B. Freeman School of Business

By GNoEaRocks! | Published January 24th, 2018

Peter Ricchiuti is the business professor you wish you had back in college.  His humor and insight have twice made him the school’s top professor.  Peter’s teaching delivery was recognized as “best on the planet” by Reimagine Education, besting competition from nearly 500 universities representing 43 countries.

Guests Speakers – Special Panel – Lower Mississippi Port Authorities

By GNoEaRocks! | Published December 13th, 2017



























Today GNOEA was proud to a special panel of Port Directors from the Lower Mississippi River.  Together Making the Largest Port Complex in all of the World.   These Port Directors informed us on how they work together for the betterment of Louisiana. 


Distinguished Guests:

Michelle Ganon

Vice President, Public Affairs, Port of New Orleans







Jay Hardman

Executive Director, Port of Greater Baton Rouge






Paul Aucoin

Executive Director, Port of South Louisiana






Sandy Sanders

Executive Director, Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District