Cristy’s organizational skills and experience working with volunteers made her a perfect fit for HOPE. She began in May 2017 as the Volunteer and Program Supervisor overseeing all the operations of the Client Choice Food Pantry, holiday events and volunteers. Not only does she love working with all the volunteers and clients at HOPE but she is thrilled to work with such a talented and compassionate group of colleagues. Cristy, her husband, Craig, and Zoe are members of First United Methodist Church where Cristy served on the Children’s Council and was involved with Vacation Bible School. They have two spoiled dogs, Lulu and Coco.
As a child, Johanna loved spending time in her father’s law office (located in the old Baton Rouge City National Bank Building) and spent many afternoons and Saturdays “playing office.” Playing office grew into Johanna eventually running her own law office and beyond. From 2003-2006, Johanna served as the Director of Elementary Ministries and Children’s Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge and is thrilled now to be a part of team HOPE as the Office Manager. Her love of how an organized and well-run office is able to more effectively deliver services and products to clients attracted her to being the Office Manager at HOPE and prays that she is able to contribute to further HOPE’s mission to prevent homelessness and promote self-sufficiency and dignity.
Johanna is a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association (BRBA) and Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA). She is a past member of the Family Law section of the BRBA and practiced law in the areas of estate planning, insurance defense, construction litigation, Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act, and Louisiana successions—including contested successions. Johanna has been a speaker for the National Business Institute and has hosted and conducted roundtable meetings in the areas of estate planning, wills and trusts, and Louisiana successions. Through her law firm, Seale & Ross, Johanna has represented families of children with special needs participating in Families Helping Families.
During her decades of practicing law and serving Baton Rouge as a volunteer, Johanna gained a heart for the impoverished. She witnessed courtrooms full of Baton Rouge youth struggling with the ravages of crime and generational poverty giving Johanna even more of a desire to become part of the solution for her community. After she lost a close family member who suffered with addiction, poverty and homelessness, Johanna was compelled to go deeper—that is when she found HOPE Ministries of Baton Rouge and joined their team.
Johanna is married to Kevin Landreneau and has three grown children. She enjoys spending her free time serving as a volunteer in her church and neighborhood community, attending LSU sports events, reading and traveling. Her hobbies include yoga, writing children’s books, blogging, gardening and taking care of her three rescue dogs, Sally Brown, Boone and Charlie.
Elena lives in Walker with her husband, Thadd who is a Nurse Practitioner at North Oaks. They have 2 children, Lucas and Reagan, and are members of Live Oak Baptist Church. Elena also serves as Treasurer for the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association.
In February, 2017 William joined the HOPE team as the Career Coach, using his varied education, work history and life lessons to not only help people find jobs, but realize there is more to life than what their current circumstances reveal.
William is also a licensed and ordained minister, devoted husband, loving father of two young children and a committed servant of his community.
Yulawnda worked with Amandla Crossing and Imani Park, a nonprofit transitional housing program as the Adult Basic Skills Instructor for Making it Possible to End Homelessness (MIPH) in Edison, New Jersey. True to her heart, Yulawnda had the opportunity to help adults in both programs improve their basis skills to take and pass their GED. She also served as a Customer Service Representative for reNewJersey STRONGER assisting clients with who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy to access all the services needed to rebuild.
In 2016, Yulawnda moved to Denham Springs, LA in order to live closer to her oldest daughter. Her successful experience in New Jersey helping people increase their educational outcomes made Yulawnda the perfect match for The Way to Work. Hired as the Success Coach for The Way to Work, Yulawnda meets people daily who need her to help them overcome daily challenges that may be contributing to negative outcomes. She encourages her clients to continue to persevere to self-sufficiency.
Yulawnda is the mother of four daughters and is a member of Beacon Light Church of Walker, LA.
Janet has 32 years of experience in the nonprofit industry both professionally and as a volunteer. In 2004, she began working at HOPE Ministries at their Volunteer Coordinator and subsequently as HOPE’s Program Director and Operations and Social Enterprise Director. In 2006, HOPE began earnestly searching out Earned Income Ventures as a source of additional sustainable revenue. Janet’s business experience was crucial in the development and implementation of HOPE’s Understanding the Dynamics of Poverty six-hour professional development workshop. Since its implementation HOPE has trained over 1200 professionals from 250 organizations and corporations.
In 2015 under Janet’s leadership HOPE launched The Way to Work Sustainable Workforce SOLUTIONS©, a program modeled after Cascade Engineering’s Welfare to Career program in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This evidenced based program increased Cascade’s retention from 34% to 97% saving the company millions in turnover expenses. The Way to Work serves the Greater Baton Rouge community and will hopefully expand to other parts of Louisiana, providing a strong workforce model for the state.
Janet’s passion for the impoverished and the desire to help people move forward began at an early age. She was born and raised in Japan as the daughter of missionaries. She credits her faith as a Christian as the motivating factor in her work.
Janet is a member of South Baton Rouge Presbyterian church and is on the music team. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She will be happy to show you pictures of her grandchildren any time.
After attending the University of Illinois followed by two years of military service he began his banking career in 1968 in Baton Rouge, LA with City National Bank. While at City National Bank he completed their management training program and settled into branch management. Dick managed several branches for this bank and was appointed chairman of the banks newly established Branch Operations Committee. After ten years he left City National Bank having attained the title of Assistant Vice President. In 1978, he assumed an executive management position with Iberville Bank, a Baton Rouge area community bank. Dick completed his career with Iberville Bank in 2007 having risen to the position of Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary. Dick served on the bank’s Loan Committee, Asset / Liability Management Committee, and was chairman of the Marketing Committee. As a member of the bank’s executive management team his primary responsibilities were focused in compliance, training, security, marketing, investments, and assisting human resources with compliance issues. He also acted as the bank’s liaison for legal matters.
In his banking career he has worked directly with numerous state and federal agencies which include the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Community Investment and Economic Development Programs, F.D.I.C., U.S. Treasury, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Louisiana Attorney General and State Treasurer as well as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. Dick maintained his professional accreditations through regular attendance at annual seminars hosted by the Louisiana Bankers Association, The Independent Bankers Association, the FDIC, and other professional organizations. During his career he completed the Executive Bank Management School at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and the Banking School for Supervisory at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He also graduated from Bank Administration School at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and Bank Personnel School at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He has served on numerous boards and committees both professional and civic. These include such organizations as the Louisiana Bankers Association’s Marketing and Security Committees and the Capital Area March of Dimes as well as the Iberville Foundation for Academic Excellence.
In 2013, David was employed as the Community Resource Consultant for the State of Louisiana for the United Methodist Publishing House where he was a team lead for the consultant team. During his tenure with the publishing house he completed the Richardson Consultative Sales training and the Richardson Consultative Sales Coaching training. For two years David’s region received the honor of being “Market of the Year.” David also was the Program Director of the Christian Outreach Transitional Services (COTES) program, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the program serving homeless, recovery and prison re-entry populations. He worked closely with companies’ through-out the Baton Rouge area employing day labor.
In May of 2017 David joined The Way to Work team as the Workforce Training and Development Consultant. With his extensive experience of working with curriculum and sales David brings to the team the necessary skill set to expand The Way to Work in the community.
David is a teacher at heart and loves to help facilitate the trainings. He is an avid gardener, camper and enjoys cooking. David is married and has three children and two grandchildren, two dogs and a fish.