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Chamber Hosts Women's Professional Mentoring Event at Chalmette High

Chamber Hosts Women's Professional Mentoring Event at Chalmette High

Professional women from an array of backgrounds and careers spoke with and mentored over 50 female students when the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce and Chalmette High recently hosted the 6th Women’s Professional Network Mentoring Event. The mentors sat with small breakout groups, listening to each girl’s goals for success and imparting practical and encouraging advice on how to achieve them. 


The morning started with an introduction from St. Bernard Parish Hospital CEO Lani Fast, followed by a Q&A with panelists Lara Schultz, Katrina Weber, Katherine Lemoine, and Rebecca Robb with Jamie Richardson guiding the session. The insightful discussions highlighted the significance of resilience, mentorship, and the need for ongoing guidance and encouragement. Lemoine, an Associate Vice Chancellor at Nunez Community College, said reaching out and connecting with a mentor helped guide on her own professional journey. “I am so glad I reached out and asked for help, guidance, and advice from my mentor,” she said. “Having that support at that time was really invaluable.”


Fellow panelist Katrina Weber reminded the students about the importance of persistence. “You have to be tough. Sometimes doors are going to slam, and you have to kick them back open. Sometimes they’ll slam and you’ll need to walk away and find a window.”


Lemoine and Weber were two of the over twenty mentors at the event, representing over 15 industries and careers including: 


  • Wanda Alcon, State of Louisiana

  • Samantha DaLuz, Nunez Community College

  • Michelle Daussin, University of New Orleans Teacher Education Program

  • Kim Ellender, St. Bernard Hospital/Ochsner Health Systems

  • Lani Fast, St. Bernard Hospital/Ochsner Health Systems

  • Jeanne Ferrer, Crescent River Pilot

  • Brittany Fontana, Turn Services, LLC

  • Millie Harris, JCFA Charter Schools

  • Elizabeth Borne Kott, Tabary & Borne, LLC

  • Lisa Laird, Persistence Benefits

  • Cherie LaRocca, Nunez Community College

  • Katherine Lemoine, Nunez Community College

  • Andre’ Meyers, St. Bernard Hospital/Ochsner Health Systems

  • Jessica Reab, Brewster's

  • Jamie Richardson, Community Center of St. Bernard

  • Rebecca Robb, Career Think

  • Britney Ruiz, Associated Terminals

  • Kayla Santiago, OH K Consulting

  • Lara Schultz, Reve Realtors

  • Jeanne Fernandez, Los Islenos

  • Carmen Sherman, Associated Terminals/ Turn Services

  • Katrina Weber, Community Center of St Bernard


The CHS students who participated said they felt heard and appreciated the candor of the mentors.


Chalmette High Junior Lizeth Erazo said she also enjoyed the camaraderie.  “I was very engaged in the conversation, and I simply enjoyed being around so many wonderful women who can relate to what us women are going through.” 


Her classmate, Kasey Hughes, said she appreciated the personal connection the event provided. “I think my favorite aspect of the event was speaking face to face with my mentor and being able to hear the valuable perspectives on different issues that affect women pursuing professional careers.”

Superintendent Doris Voiter said this annual event is an important one.

“I really enjoy hosting this event on our high school campus,” she said. “Seeing all of these professional women and community leaders engaging with our students is really gratifying.  We are grateful for everyone who shared their time and talents in making the mentor event possible. This gathering truly celebrates a legacy of learning.”