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.”
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.
Andy Hammer, Board Member
Bio and picture will be posted shortly
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.
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.