Gian Durand, J.D., Board President is a community activist, philanthropist, attorney, and successful entrepreneur whose diverse portfolio is founded on the principle of service to the people and businesses of her native New Orleans. Durand is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Loving Hearts of Louisiana, a community-based behavioral and mental health social service and personal care assistance organization. As CEO, Durand has amassed an expert team of mental and behavioral health professionals to provide the highest quality therapies and programs in South Louisiana. She oversees mental and behavioral programs as well as physical services for the disabled population, and most recently developed an integrated educational model for area youth. Durand's professional experience also includes work in the environmental/energy sector and the food service industry as Founder and Owner of both D.P. Global Solutions, LLC, and Durand Food Services, respectively. Her philanthropic work includes serving on boards for numerous nonprofits, mentoring young women and giving them resources to become successful businesswomen. Additionally, Durand provides seminars and workshops to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Hannah Kreiger-Benson Board Secretary is the Coordinator of Research and Programs for the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans. She has been involved in MaCCNO from its very first meeting. Her areas of focus and research include the cultural economy of New Orleans, the ways the cultural landscape is shaped by legal and power structures, and the history of Frenchmen Street. She is also a full-time working musician on piano, trumpet, and vocals, as well as a music director for the all-female supergroup N.O.B.A.B.E. She is a board member of the Musicians' Council on Fair Wages, a Camel Toe Lady Stepper, and the cultural-sector representative on the Regional Sustainability Council.
Mariska Morse has 23 years of experience in marketing, management, programming, and business development with for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Since 2001, Mariska has played a key role in the start-up and growth of Forté, a nonprofit supporting women’s advancement in business that boasts more than 100,000 members and 130 sponsor schools and companies. Mariska continues to lead Forté’s marketing efforts, growing the organization’s brand, membership, and CRM activities. In addition to marketing, Mariska also served as Forté’s first Corporate Relations Director, developing programs to recruit and retain top female talent. Prior to Forté, Mariska led the Women in Business Initiative at Michigan’s Ross School of Business and also worked for five years with two direct marketing agencies. Mariska has consulted to a variety of organizations, including Zehno Cross Media Communications, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, and the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Her consulting work included strategic marketing, business development, account management, program development, and speaker recruitment. Mariska earned her B.A. from Boston College, lives in New Orleans with her husband and three children, and is involved in a variety of philanthropic and community activities.