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Political Stars Shine In New Orleans With Alliance For Good Government Gala
Written by  // Monday, 19 September 2011 13:36 //

Victory BellesThe political stars were shining bright Saturday night as The Alliance For Good Government honored Legislators of the Year, Honorees of Excellence and the Civic Awards at its annual award banquet at the World War II Museum.

Those honored for Legislator of the Year Awards were Gene Bellisario (St. Tammany), George Cavignac (St. Bernard), Walt Legier (New Orleans) and Julie Quinn (Jefferson Parish).

 The Civic Awards were awarded to Ken Thompson (St. Tammany), Patrck Sullivan Burtchaell (St. Bernard), Happy Johnson (Orleans) and Woody Oge (Jefferson).

Jamie Balser of Jefferson Parish was awarded the  Alliance Commendation of Excellence

The Gala was the brainchild of Alliance Board Members Nikki Lescale-Smith and Shannon Sims, was moderated the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Charles Imbornone.  The museum’s banquet hall was jam packed with elected officials and politicians in what is now considered to be a “must-do” event for those people involved in government and politics.  Attendees were treated to an inspiring performance by the very talented trio, the Victory Belles.  The dinner buffet was prepared under the direction of Chef John Besh. 

Below is a video of the event prepared by Althea and Stephen Sabludowsky, co-publishers of Bayoubuzz.com and photos taken at the gala.

Here is the list of Award honorees:

Legislator Of the Year Awards:  

     St. Tammany:     Gene Bellisario - Presented by St. Tammany Board Member Mike Early

     As Parish Councilman, District 9, with a perfect attendance record, Mr. Bellisario has worked for the successful completion of the Comprehensive re-zoning of St. Tammany, established a strong network of communication for direct citizen input by means of monthly community meetings and frequent e-mails, and has obtained several million dollars for infrastructure improvements his District.  He also helped write the language for the St. Tammany Home Rule Charter.

     St. Bernard:        George Cavignac - Presented by St. Bernard Board Member Jared Guerra

     As councilman of District B, George Cavignac helped organize four neighborhood associations in his district, authored legislation governing taxi laws, helped improve safty for Juveniles, helped spearhead the new St. Bernard Parish Hospital, serves as Vice-Chair of the Hospital Service District Board, helped develop the start-up financing and oversee all issues to move the hospital project to construction and eventual completion, delivering a badly needed first class medical facility to St. Bernard and creating over 500 jobs with an estimated 60 million dollar yearly economic impact.

     Orleans:             Walt Leger - Presented by Orleans Board Member Robert Moffett

     Walt Leger is a Louisiana State Representative for District 91.  He serves on the Appropriations Committee, Criminal Justice Committee and the Judiciary Committee.  He has previously served on the Education
Committee and focuses on strategic spending and investments, making our communities safer, smarter and more livable.

     Jefferson:            Julie Quinn - Presented by Jefferson Board Member Ramona Fernandez

     State Senator Quinn has one of 12 leadership positions in the Senate, Chairman of Senate Judiciary A, which handles more bills than any other committee in the Legislature.  It includes oversight of the Entire Judicial System.  She is also a member of the Senate's Insurance Committee, Education Committee, the Louisiana Judicial Council and the Louisiana Law Institute.

Alliance Commendation of Excellence:     Jefferson Parish Chapter President Jamie Balser - Presented by Chairman of the Board, Charles Imbornone

     Ms. Balser has given unselfishly of her time, effort and heart.  She has been a moving force in her Chapter.  As the newly elected President, she has taken control of her Chapter and is continuing its path in a positive direction. 

Civic Awards.

     St. Tammany:     Ken Thompson - Presented by St. Tammany Chapter President Michael Oster

     Mr. Thompson managed the funding, purchasing and installation of the 14 ft. clock in the Slidell City Hall Complex, Rotary Club President, Ambassador for ShelterBox USA, Chairman of the Slidell Heritage festival, involved with the Kairos Prison Ministry, as well as many civic, religious, educational and community organizations.

     St. Bernard:        Patrick Sullivan Burtchaell - Presented by St. Bernard Chapter President Hilton Preau

     Patrick Burtchaell, a 15 year old Eagle Scout, is a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout, is home schooled, trained with the St. Bernard Aquatics, replaced 200 ft of old fencing and replaced it with new wooden fencing along with 12 others constituting over 300 hours of community service, presented the premiere of the Public Service announcement "Bottles" shown at Earth Day 2011, a member of a 10-man BSA team from across the country working together to promote scouting, a member of the BSA Camp Staff, Vice-Chief of Administration for Scouting's National Honor Society, a local food pantry worker, Year Book photographer for his Homeschool Association and an Altar Server.

     Orleans:             Happy Johnson - Presented by Orleans Chapter President Mark Vicknair

     Raised by his grandmother until her death when he was 10, Happy Johnson went on to become Co-Captain of the Golf Team and President of his High School, wrote a monthly column for New Expression Teen Newspaper, hosted a Community Empowerment Television Show, twice elected Youth Mayor by citywide High Sigh Students and has been an important part of the city's recovery since Hurricane Katrina.  He currently coaches basketball at Lafayette Academy, co-hosts GO-NOLA-TV, is a member of the MLK Holiday Planning Commission, New Orleans Jazz Institute advisory Board, Gerogetown University Alumni Admissions Program, founder of TEAMHAPPY.ORG and authored a children's book.

     Jefferson:            Woody Oge - Presented by Jefferson Chapter President Jamie Balser.

     Mr. Oge is responsible for all functions at Northrup Grumman Shipyard in support of ship construction and all community, local, state and federal business relations as they relate to the Avondale Operations.  He is on the Board of Supervisors for the LA Community and College System, serves on the Department of Education's Tier 1 Committee on High School Redesign and their business and Industry roundtable.

If you need any other information, Steve, please do not hesitate to call me.  And thanks again.

Charley Imbornone

     St. Tammany:     Ken Thompson - Presented by St. Tammany Chapter President Michael Oster

     Mr. Thompson managed the funding, purchasing and installation of the 14 ft. clock in the Slidell City Hall Complex, Rotary Club President, Ambassador for ShelterBox USA, Chairman of the Slidell Heritage festival, involved with the Kairos Prison Ministry, as well as many civic, religious, educational and community organizations.

     St. Bernard:        Patrick Sullivan Burtchaell - Presented by St. Bernard Chapter President Hilton Preau

     Patrick Burtchaell, a 15 year old Eagle Scout, is a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout, is home schooled, trained with the St. Bernard Aquatics, replaced 200 ft of old fencing and replaced it with new wooden fencing along with 12 others constituting over 300 hours of community service, presented the premiere of the Public Service announcement "Bottles" shown at Earth Day 2011, a member of a 10-man BSA team from across the country working together to promote scouting, a member of the BSA Camp Staff, Vice-Chief of Administration for Scouting's National Honor Society, a local food pantry worker, Year Book photographer for his Homeschool Association and an Altar Server.

     Orleans:             Happy Johnson - Presented by Orleans Chapter President Mark Vicknair

     Raised by his grandmother until her death when he was 10, Happy Johnson went on to become Co-Captain of the Golf Team and President of his High School, wrote a monthly column for New Expression Teen Newspaper, hosted a Community Empowerment Television Show, twice elected Youth Mayor by citywide High Sigh Students and has been an important part of the city's recovery since Hurricane Katrina.  He currently coaches basketball at Lafayette Academy, co-hosts GO-NOLA-TV, is a member of the MLK Holiday Planning Commission, New Orleans Jazz Institute advisory Board, Gerogetown University Alumni Admissions Program, founder of TEAMHAPPY.ORG and authored a children's book.

     Jefferson:            Woody Oge - Presented by Jefferson Chapter President Jamie Balser.

     Mr. Oge is responsible for all functions at Northrup Grumman Shipyard in support of ship construction and all community, local, state and federal business relations as they relate to the Avondale Operations.  He is on the Board of Supervisors for the LA Community and College System, serves on the Department of Education's Tier 1 Committee on High School Redesign and their business and Industry roundtable

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