Our Board | Agenda for Children

Meet our Board Members

Board MemberRoleBiography
Ana GershanikChair

Born in Rosario, Argentina, Ana Gershanik has lived in New Orleans for the past 42 years and is a longtime community advocate who has served on numerous nonprofits boards in the greater New Orleans region. Currently, she serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Anti-Defamation League, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Puentes New Orleans, United Way’s Women United and Young Audiences.

She also serves on the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans’ Community Relations Council and the Advisory Committees to Loyola University School of Humanity and Sciences, Tulane Cancer Center and WLAE. For 29 years, she was the writer of the “Nuestro Pueblo” weekly column for The Times Picayune.

John MortonVice Chair

John Morton is the Senior Vice President in the Private Wealth Management Group at Hancock Whitney Bank. Previously, John held various leadership roles with his previous employers – IberiaBank (SVP and Team Lead, Commercial Banking and Private Banking); Capital One / Hibernia National Bank (Director and SVP, Private Banking and Commercial Banking); and First Commerce Corporation / Bank One Private Banking (VP, Private Banking).

John has served in various roles with several community organizations, including Treasurer, annual fund chairman, property chairman, youth teacher, and planned giving committee chairman for St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church; Board of Trustees, Alumni Board, Major Gifts Chair, and Alumni Association President for Metairie Park Country Day School; President of the William & Mary New Orleans Region Alumni Club and a fundraiser for the College of William & Mary; Treasurer and Board of Directors for NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts) Institute; Treasurer, Board of Directors, and fundraiser for Trinity Episcopal School; Agency Relations Committee for the United Way; and volunteer soccer coach for Carrollton Boosters and Louisiana Fire. He is a native New Orleanian.

Edward “Ted” GeorgeTreasurer

Edward “Ted” George is a Partner in the New Orleans office Chaffe McCall who has advised clients in a variety of industries in connection with acquisitions and divestures throughout the United States and in South America, Europe, and Australia. He has served as General Counsel to publicly traded and private companies and has negotiated transactions in a wide variety of business contexts. In addition to his work in mergers and acquisitions, Ted advises corporate clients regarding litigation, regulatory compliance, finance, and human resource issues. He also advises individual clients on estate planning and other tax issues. He has served on or advised the boards of several community and non-profit organizations.

Sonjia JosephSecretary

Sonjia Joseph is the Owner and Executive Director of Clara’s Little Lambs Preschool Academy, a childcare center founded in 1986 to serve infants through Pre-Kindergarteners with a quality learning experience at an affordable rate. Having formed partnerships with the Recovery School District (RSD), Louisiana State University Human Development Center (LSUHDC) as well as Crescent City Schools, Clara’s Little Lambs has stayed true to that mission now expanding to three sites and over 200 children. Sonjia has her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, has studied business at the University of Phoenix, and is a graduate of both the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program and the Louisiana Economic Development CEO Roundtable. She previously served on the NOEEN Steering Committee.

Linetta GilbertPast Chair

Linetta J. Gilbert serves as Managing Partner of Gilbert & Associates. A respected leader in the philanthropic community, Linetta provides consulting, coaching and network-building support to foundations, large and small non-profits and emerging thought leaders. Her areas of practice include strategy development/planning and technical assistance for advancing organizational and community wide racial equity outcomes; board development; strategic planning; leadership development; and group facilitation. She also co-founded Agenda for Children in 1984 with a group of community activists.
Linetta has held leadership positions with The Ford Foundation, where she invested, monitored and leveraged $1 billion in resources dedicated to transforming and strengthening community-based philanthropic organizations worldwide over nearly a decade. A significant portion of her career has focused on the influencing the reach into Black and other communities of color as donors and leveraging their leadership on critical national and global issues.

In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Linetta helped guide decisions on philanthropic investments that would help to rebuild infrastructure and increase capacity in government, resident leadership, non-profit organizations and the business community and transition the region from recovery to transformation. She served as a place-based consultant in New Orleans to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for its Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. As the former Vice President of Programs for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Linetta designed and implemented grant-making and programs for this regional foundation, expanding its programmatic reach to include critical issues such as housing and community development; workforce development; violence prevention; neighborhood resident engagement; faith-based economic development; and rural development initiatives. She has also served as a national consultant on public policies in the fields of early learning/education, health, housing and child welfare services.

Linetta actively uses her years of development experience to help improve her community and currently serves on the boards of Agenda for Children, the Amistad Research Center and the Old Algiers Main Street Corporation, The Solutions Project. She is the immediate past Chairman and founding member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Louisiana, a statewide public charity that invests in people and practices working to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities.

In 2019, she was recognized for her achievements in philanthropy by being selected as the 29th James A. Joseph Lecturer by the Association of Black Foundation Executives. Linetta is a member of Christian Unity Baptist Church and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She and her family consider New Orleans home.

Vanessa Brown-ClaiborneBoard of Directors

Ms. Claiborne is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Chaffe & Associates, Inc.   She specializes in business valuation services primarily for estate and gift taxes, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), GAAP fair value reporting, financial reporting, corporate planning, business interruption claims, litigation support including expert testimony, exit planning, and shareholder transactions and restructuring. She serves on the boards of Newman, BGR, Newcorp Inc, and the Red Cross.

Bernadette D’SouzaBoard of Directors

Judge D’Souza received her Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University School of Law in 1992. Upon graduation she dedicated her legal career to public interest law; for more than 18 years, she represented indigent clients in family law, domestic violence, and housing cases, many of them as a Managing Attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Judge D’Souza has spent over a decade promoting awareness to domestic violence issues, educating and supervising students from law schools across the country, and serving as adjunct professor at Tulane Law School. She is an active member of numerous public service and professional legal organizations and has won several prominent awards for her professional and personal commitment to the community. Judge D’Souza currently serves as a Mayoral appointee on the Board of Total Community Action.

Dayna PriceBoard of Directors

Dayna attended Nicholls State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in December of 1998 and a Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling in 2005. Dayna obtained her LPC licensure with the state of Louisiana in October of 2008. She is also a Louisiana LPC-board approved clinical supervisor. She is the supervisor of the Functional Family Therapy (FFT) program and has been so since its inception at Options in January of 2009. Dayna is also a national consultant for Functional Family Therapy, LLC. Dayna has been employed with Options for the past 17 years working with youth and adults in various programs, but she has been a supervisor with the agency for the past 10 years.

Pamela SteegBoard of Directors

Pamela Steeg is a longtime community advocate who has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the greater New Orleans region. She currently chairs the Planned Parenthood Louisiana Leadership Advisory Council, and sits on the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Board and the Ochsner Health Foundation Board. She has also served as the Board Chair of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation Pediatric Board of Councilors, a board member and the Board Treasurer of Agenda for Children, a member of the Women of the Storm delegation to the US congress advocating for Louisiana wetland protection, and a member of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Task Force on Youth and Families.

Koneca WestBoard of Directors

Koneca West has been with the Ochsner Health System for over seven years in a variety of financial positions. Prior to Ochsner, she was the Business Operations Manager at Barling Bay, a Financial Consultant at H2 Performance Consulting and Verizon. She has a bachelor’s of business administration and finance from Georgia Southern University. She is a certified project manager.

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