David C. Coons, Chairman
David C. Coons is a commercial litigator in the New Orleans office of Adams and Reese LLP. He handles contract negotiations and business disputes in a variety of industries. He also advises clients on economic development projects.
David helps the board of directors fulfill its fiduciary duties by ensuring adherence to governance best practices. Elsewhere in the community, he provides pro bono legal aid at the St. Joseph Rebuild Center and coordinates two service projects for HUGS (Hope, Understanding, Giving, and Support), the firm’s philanthropy. David received his J.D. from the LSU Law Center after graduating from Wake Forest University.
Founded in 1986 as a division of the judiciary, CASA Jefferson transitioned to its own 501(c)(3) organization in 2013. I am humbled to serve CASA Jefferson as it diversifies its funding model and guarantees continued advocacy for abused and neglected children.”
Angela Lacour, Treasurer
Angela M. Lacour is a certified public accountant and is senior managing director of Financial Services for Service Corporation International where she manages the New Orleans headquarters. Service Corporation International acquired Stewart Enterprises in December 2013. Prior to the acquisition, she was the senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer of Stewart Enterprises where she served on their Senior Executive Committee. She held various financial and accounting positions since joining Stewart in 1997, including controller, assistant corporate controller and director of external reporting. Prior to that, she was with KPMG Peat Marwick, an international accounting and consulting firm. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Louisiana Certified Public Accountants. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans.
I am very proud to be a part of CASA Jefferson and all of the great work they do focused on the needs of the children of our parish. One thing I have learned while working with the Board is that the children always come first. It is so rewarding to be part of an organization where everyone is motivated for the common goal of protecting these children and giving them a voice they would not otherwise have without our program.”
Heather Songy, Secretary
Heather Songy has served on the Board of CASA Jefferson since 2014. Before her board service, she was an advocate for five years. In addition to her service to CASA, she holds a Board position with Bridge House/ Grace House and has co-chaired one of their major fundraisers for the last five years. Heather has a degree in Finance from the University of New Orleans and completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. She has been in banking for 15 years and is currently a Commercial Lender at First NBC Bank. Heather is the mother of a 20-year-old son who is currently serving in the U.S. Military and a 17-year-old daughter that will be a senior at Benjamin Franklin High School.
Michael Jones, Board Member
Michael Jones is Manager in the audit practice at Ernst &Young in New Orleans. Michael is a certified public accountant and has been with Ernst & Young for the entirety of his professional career. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Louisiana Certified Public Accountants. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University and a Master of Accounting from Tulane University. Michael is recently married.
Ronald White, Board Member
Ronald White is the Chief Financial Officer for the Plaquemines Parish School Board and has served in that capacity since 2010. His responsibilities include the management of all financial and business matters for the school system. Prior to that, he practiced public accounting in the New Orleans area, performing and managing audits of governmental agencies and non-profit entities. He has also worked as an accountant for a private company and has practiced law. Ronald is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of numerous school business and governmental associations. He received a Bachelors degree in Accounting from the University of New Orleans and a J.D. from Loyola University. Ronald’s father, Ronnie, is a CASA Jefferson advocate.
Susan Chapman, Board Member
Susan Chapman began her career in non-profit administration in 2000. She currently serves as Chief of Staff at the International School of Louisiana, a public charter school that educates children in grades K-8 through full immersion in either Spanish or French. Ms. Chapman works with ISL’s Board of Trustees on issues of governance and compliance, and she supervises the work of the departments and staff within the Head of School’s office: Data and Admissions, Education Services, Target Language Materials and Assessments, and Circus Arts. Ms. Chapman attended Arkansas State University as a Trustees’ Scholar, graduating from the Honors College with a BA in Philosophy. Her graduate education was completed at the University of Illinois, where she earned a Master’s degree in Philosophy with an emphasis on the Philosophy of Law.Ms. Chapman is committed to work that empowers vulnerable groups and individuals; previous endeavors have included work with adolescent sexual assault survivors, childhood injury prevention campaigns, and animal welfare organizations. In her spare time, Ms. Chapman enjoys music, painting, and fishing with her family.
Corey Thomas, Board Member
Corey Thomas has been a Board Member of Jefferson CASA since April 2013. In addition to this, she serves on the board of STAIR (Start the Adventure in Reading) and is a Sustaining member of the Junior League of New Orleans. Originally from Kansas City, she moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University and began working for State Farm Insurance shortly after graduating from the A.B. Freeman School of Business. She spent over 23 years at State Farm, working primarily in Human Resources, focusing on Talent Identification, Talent Management and Employee Retention. Following a company restructure, she moved to Valero Energy in November 2016 and is currently a Lead Human Resources Specialist. She holds both the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resource Management SHRM-CP) designations and is an active member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Outside of her career and volunteer commitments, Corey enjoys running, spinning, group fitness and spending time with friends and family; especially her goddaughters Stella and Audrey.
Rick Conway, Board Member
Rick Conway is the CEO/Founder of Blue Water Business Advisors, a leading advisory firm focusing on helping businesses with operational issues and opportunities, executive mentorship, talent acquisition. Rick previously served as President for Frantzen Voelker Investments, LLC and Chief Operating Officer for Gifted Healthcare. Rick is active in the Metropolitan New Orleans community serving on board of directors for NORLI (New Orleans Leadership Institute), Mount Carmel Academy High School, Louisiana Children’s Museum, Light House for The Blind, University of New Orleans Athletic Foundation and New Orleans College Prep Charter School.
"I have a personal objective of trying to help kids, especially those that have experienced hardship at an early age, to succeed in life,” says Rick. “Serving as a CASA Board Member will help me accomplish my objective. "
Derek Bardell, Board Member
Derek D. Bardell is a veteran educator in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area who currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration and Teaching & Learning at Delgado Community College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management/Urban Studies and Public Policy from Dillard University and a Master of Liberal Arts in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and a Master of Arts in Civic and Cultural Management both from Tulane University. Professor Bardell is certified by the Louisiana Department of Education as an Educational Administrator and Supervisor of Instruction and by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance as a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). His research interests lie in the areas of higher education management and organizational development and his experience in education spans over two decades at the K-16 levels where he has served as an instructor, administrator, consultant and policy maker. Derek also serves as Chairman of the Delgado Community College Care and Development of Young Children Board of Advisors and is the former Chairman of the French and Montessori Education (FAME) Board of Directors which governs Audubon Charter School.