Past Lunch & Learn Guests
JoLena Ann Broussard, MBA is the Corporate Affairs and Communication Advisor at Cornerstone in Metairie, Louisiana. In her role, JoLena is responsible for managing internal and external communication activities. This includes corporate affairs, community relations, media relations and advertising. JoLena develops and executes strategic communication plans for external stakeholders (community, media, government officials, civic leaders); manages Cornerstone's digital presence and social media strategy; coordinates sponsorships, charitable giving and external events; and works with executives, managers and leadership teams to deliver communication services.
JoLena graduated summa cum laude with College Honors from LSU with her Bachelor of Arts in mass communication. She also graduated with her Master of Business Administration from the LSU Flores MBA Program. During JoLena's college career, she maintained a 4.0 GPA, studied abroad in the United Kingdom, visited more than 20 countries, won six National PRSSA awards, received more than $100,000 in scholarship funds, and obtained more than 10 internships. JoLena is a native of New Iberia, Louisiana.
Luke JohnsonLuke is a 2012 graduate of the Manship School of Mass Communication. He has covered the Saints for the last two seasons, most recently for the New Orleans Advocate | Times-Picayune, whom he joined last October. Though he is a Wisconsin native, Luke has made a home in Louisiana since moving here for college and has covered sports for various publications along the I-10 corridor in south Louisiana. Prior to attending LSU, Luke spent four years in the United States Marine Corps as an artilleryman.
After building a career in the haircare industry in both Dallas and New York, Caitlin Picou moved back to Louisiana in 2012 to begin working on her beauty brand, Kismet Cosmetics.
Since launching her first product in 2013, Picou has been on Season 2 & 3 of CNBC's Billion Dollar Buyer and named one of LSU's Fastest Growing Businesses in 2019 along with numerous other press coverage. She has built a boutique cosmetic brand that competes with big named brands on the market.
Picou has varying marketing strategies, one of which includes creating custom lip colors for collegiate dance teams. The first of which was her Alma Mater, the LSU Golden Girls. Kismet currently produces the customer lip color for LSU, Ole Miss, ULL, SLU, WVU and Texas A&M.
Caitlin graduated from LSU in 2007 with a degree in Mass Communication with a focus on Public Relations.
After spending almost a decade in California, Boneno returned to her home state of Louisiana and joined Zehnder Communications.
Jennifer came to Zehnder from San Diego where she worked as an Account Supervisor for one of San Diego’s top agencies – meadsdurket, formerly a division of Campbell Mithun.
Jennifer brings over 20 years of experience in strategy, account management, creative and digital media. Jennifer‘s account work includes: Union Bank of California, The World-Famous San Diego Zoo, Origin Bank, Visit South Walton, Omni Hotels, Walmart, and more.
As Vice President of Client Development and a Shareholder at Zehnder, Jennifer leads new business development, strategy and client retention for the agency.
Jennifer graduated from LSU in 1995 with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in business. She is currently on the LSU Manship Alumni Board.
Farrah Reed is an executive producer at WAFB and leads the team of the top-rated morning show in Baton Rouge. She graduated from LSU in 2013 and is an alumna of the Manship School of Mass Communication. She worked as a news producer in top 50 markets including KENS-TV in San Antonio and WXIA-TV in Atlanta. She also had a stint as an Assignment Editor/Producer at CNN Newsource in Atlanta. In that role, she generated and distributed content for hundreds of affiliate stations across the country.
Farrah’s career highlights include producing coverage for the death of Alton Sterling, the deadly police officer ambush and historic flooding in Baton Rouge. In 2016, she was a part of the WAFB news team that won Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence and Continuing Coverage. During her time at LSU, she was awarded the Louisiana Association of Broadcaster scholarship and the Women In Media's Jean Wheeler Memorial Scholarship.
Laura Vinsant is the executive director of Teach for America South Louisiana. She began her career with Teach for America as a 2007 South Louisiana corps member, teaching second and third grade in North Baton Rouge. Now, she leads the South Louisiana region and is committed to ensuring every student in South Louisiana has access to the excellent educational opportunities they deserve. Teach for America recruits outstanding and diverse leaders to become TFA “corps members” who commit to teaching for two years in a low-income community where they are employed by local schools. In addition to her work for Teach for America, Laura is also a college mentor for the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition which prepares high-achieving, under-resourced high school students to enter, excel in and graduate from college.
Robert MunsonRobert Munson is a Baton Rouge native and a veteran communications strategist who joined LSU Athletics in September of 2017. He leads the athletic department’s communications, marketing and brand engagement teams including overall brand strategy, strategic communications, sports information, marketing, promotions and fan-experience, creative and digital services and overseeing in-venue and live media productions on television, video and radio. With nearly 20 years in strategic communications, marketing, advertising and creative content, his work has spanned multiple industries including sports, politics, government and business. In addition to his own strategy firm in Baton Rouge, Munson previously served as Executive Director of Sports Operations for SSG Sports, a division of Sanderson Strategies Group in Washington DC for which he also served as a Senior Advisor. SSG Sports represents Major League Baseball, multiple individual MLB teams, professional athletes, sports executives, leagues and collegiate athletic programs. He is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a degree in journalism.
Riley CazesRiley Cazes is the Social Media and Marketing Manager at JuJu’s Boutique, a Louisiana-based women’s clothing boutique. She manages all branding, marketing and outward communications across the boutique’s three locations, including overseeing all social channels, advertising, promotional events and the boutique’s website. In her role, she designs and creates all branding and marketing materials, including the conceptualization, planning and execution of photoshoots that are critical to building the brand’s image. Within months of joining JuJu’s, she executed a full rebranding campaign and designed an e-commerce site in order to reach a broader consumer base. Riley is a 2015 alumna of the Manship School of Mass Communication and a Distinguished Communicator of LSU’s Communication across the Curriculum. While still a student, she was chosen to represent LSU along with the university’s stock horse team by the American Quarter Horse Association to travel to Austria, Czech Republic and Slovenia to teach western stock techniques to over 100 horsemen.
Paul Dietzel II is founder and CEO of Anedot fundraising platform based in Dallas, TX. Anedot builds fundraising tools for ministry, politics, and education to raise more money with less effort. Paul leads product development and strategic planning at the company.
David Carter serves as Director of Special Projects and External Relations in the Office of the Secretary at Louisiana Economic Development (LED). He is responsible for managing issues and communications with economic development organizations, the governor's office, elected officials, LED staff and other stakeholders on behalf of LED Secretary Don Pierson. David also advises executive staff on communication strategy, public and media affairs and organizational effectiveness.
Julie Laperouse is an expert trainer and facilitator with an impressive track record of training high-performing professionals. In her role as Emergent Method’s director of training, Julie leads efforts to grow the firm’s suite of training and development services, particularly those involving leadership development, supervisory skills, soft skills, and team building.
Sevetri Wilson is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of two companies, Solid Ground Innovations, and, most recently, Resilia, a New Orleans-based tech startup that simplifies the creation, management and compliance processes for tax-exempt and for-profit entities. She’s a graduate of LSU’s Manship School.
Double Manship alumna (Bachelors and Masters in Mass Communication) Stephanie Cargile serves as ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge Public and Government Affairs manager, where she leads a team that oversees governmental, media, community and neighbor relations, corporate charitable giving, communications activities, crisis communications, and issue management.
Emilia "Emi" Gilbert
Manship alumna Emilia “Emi” Gilbert serves as the senior vice president of investor development for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber or BRAC. In this role, Emi oversees the organization’s fundraising efforts and cultivates relationships in support of BRAC’s five-year strategic plan, Think Bigger. She graduated from the Manship School with a BA in Public Relations. Her work trajectory emphasizes the important role of fundraising to support the various activities of non-profit organizations.
Manship alum Otey White is the president and owner of one of the largest advertising agencies in Louisiana, Otey White Advertising & Public Relations, which specializes in retail and image advertising, sports marketing, web site design, digital/social media and does work in more than 30 states, including branch offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Dover, Delaware.
Camille Ivy O"Donnell
A 2015 almuna of Manship's Masters in Mass Communication program, Camille Ivy-O'Donnell serves as the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry's Communications Manager. In this role Camille uses the skills and knowledge she gained through her Manship degree to execute comprehensive communications strategies, manage online engagement for LABI, and oversee websites, email marketing and social media channels to inform audiences and build effective partnerships for change. She also oversees the visual branding of all LABI’s channels, across the website, print materials, digital campaigns, videos, etc. and serves as the primary media contact for the organization.
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Camille started her journey with Manship in Political Communication in 2013, where she divided her focus between legal communication, media effects, strategic communication, public relations, bipartisanship, international media and government structures and public perception of the energy industry. She obtained her M.M.C with a focus in Political Communication in 2015.
Chelsey Laborde Blankenship
Join Manship alum Chelsey Laborde Blankenship for lunch and conversation on her trajectory from Manship PR major to small business owner. Chelsey works full time for her own business, an online women's boutique called SoSis (shopsosis.com), and her new consulting firm, CLB Consulting, through which she provides digital marketing consulting to small businesses. After graduating from the Manship School with a concentration in public relations, Chelsey Laborde Blankenship started her career in the nonprofit world at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge as their resource development/marketing associate, where she first volunteered as a communications intern while still a Manship student. Prior to starting her own company, Chelsey also spent four years at FUSE, an advertising agency, where she became an account manager working with brands like Rotolo's, Community Coffee, Lee Michael's Fine Jewelry, and others.
Mass communication jobs open to Manship grads aren't limited only to content creation. Join Chelsea Costanza, an alumna of the Manship School of Mass Communication, to learn about her alternate career trajectory. Chelsea graduated with a B.A. in Advertising in December of 2012 and currently works in underwriting at WRKF Public Radio, where she solicits and manages corporate sponsorships. Her experience at the Manship School gave her a fundamental understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of advertising. With this knowledge, she tailors her approach to each client using data to underpin the conceptual aspects of message design and audience appeal.
Rebekah Allan & Andrea Gallo
Join local journalists Rebekah Allen and Andrea Gallo, reporters for The Advocate, for lunch and conversation. Learn about the trajectories that took them from their Manship degrees to their professional reporting roles!
Jeremy is a successful independent journalist, most notably as the publisher of LaPolitics, Louisiana’s go-to, weekly political resource for elected officials, lobbyists, campaign professionals, journalists. He also produces the weekly Tuesday Tracker briefing, and the LaPolitics Report podcast. His syndicated news and opinion columns run in 25 newspapers and magazines throughout Louisiana and he produces a political news feed for television stations in the Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lafayette markets.
Terri Broussard Williams
Terri Broussard Williams currently serves as the Vice President of Government Relations for the American Heart Association-SouthWest Affiliate, which covers Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming. In her current role, she is responsible for managing thought-leadership, industry trends and fighting heart disease and stroke through public policy. Terri leads a team staff lobbyists, grassroots organizers, contract lobbyists and volunteer advocates in her region.
Excellent communication skills, including the rare but essential skill of breaking down complex topics for a wide variety of audiences, are one of the greatest advantages Manship graduates take with them into a variety of career trajectories.
Chip Castille is proof of the Manship degree’s value and versatility. In his career he leveraged the communication skills he gained through Manship to get his start in the financial market. He later expanded these fundamental skills with the expertise of an MBA.
Chip’s visit provided a unique opportunity for Manship students to benefit from his experiences pursuing a less-conventional career trajectory.
Cornerstone Government Affairs
Camp Kaufman, Gabrielle Kees, & Nial Patel
Cornerstone Governmental Affairs is a public affairs, lobbying, strategic consulting, advocacy, and marketing services firm with offices in Washington D.C. and nine states. Camp Kaufman acts as Principal & Managing Director of State Government Relations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Washington. D.C.