Board of Directors
Gerard W. Barousse Jr.
Chairman of the Board
As a founding member of the Bayou District Foundation, Gerry Barousse serves as the organization’s Chairman of the Board. A native of New Orleans, Mr. Barousse is President of Monarch Real Estate Advisers and is a well known innovator in both civic and business arenas, with 25 years of commercial real estate and property development experience. Mr. Barousse also serves on the board of several local philanthropic and business development groups and is an alumnus of Washington & Lee & Tulane University.
Brian received a B.A. in Economics from Nicholls State University in 1974, where he also competed on the golf team. Brian has been owner and chairman of several offshore marine transportation companies supporting the oil and gas exploration industry. He has been involved with New Orleans PGA TOUR and charities since 1980. He served as the 2000 Chairman of the PGA Compaq Classic of New Orleans. He also has served and held office on numerous boards including Louisiana Museum Foundation, Tiger Athletic Foundation Executive Board, Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), Argent Bank, Fore!Kids Foundation, and Lafourche Chamber of Commerce. He is also an avid collector of old Louisiana duck decoys, where his passion for their history led him to write “Louisiana Lures & Legends”, a historical account of Louisiana duck hunting.
Mike Rodrigue is a founding member of the Bayou District Foundation, President and CEO of RODCO Insurance and the owner of the ACME Oyster House chain of restaurants. An alumnus of Tulane University, Mr. Rodrigue has been involved with Fore!Kids Foundation and other New Orleans civic and philanthropic initiatives for more than twenty years. Mike was Chairman of the Board for Fore!Kids Foundation from 1998 to 2006 and has extensive contacts throughout professional golf.
Gary Solomon Sr.
Another of the founding members of the Bayou District Foundation, Gary Solomon is a venture capitalist with holdings in Crescent Bank and Trust, a restaurant chain and a shipping company. Mr. Solomon devotes more than half of his time to non-profit organizations throughout Louisiana and has led civic efforts with the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, New Orleans Business Council and St. Michaels Special School. Gary is also extremely involved in the reform and rebuild of Public Education in the City of New Orleans.
Greg Bensel, Senior Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, is the team’s official spokesman, overseeing all internal and external communications and being the primary liaison between the club and national and local media. In addition to overseeing all communications/broadcasting and digital media efforts for the Saints, Bensel also serves in the same role for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. Bensel also manages the communications’ efforts of Owner Tom Benson’s community giving and business enterprises. He also serves as general manager of Tom and Gayle Benson’s thoroughbred racing enterprise, GMB Racing. Prior to joining the Saints, Bensel was director of media relations for the Super Bowl XXXI Host Committee and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. A New Orleans native who graduated from Tulane University, Bensel started his professional career as a media relations administrator for the PGA of America in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Stuart Hall School for Boys, he is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Preservation Resource Center, Board of Directors for WYES TV- New Orleans and Board of Directors for the Newman Athletics Green & White Club.
Nolan Marshall Jr.
Director, Advisory Board Chair
A community leader for over 25 years, Nolan Marshall has been involved in numerous efforts to improve public education most notably in his role as President of the Friends of McDonogh 35 High School. A Gentilly resident and graduate of St. Augustine High School; Nolan is also involved in a effort to bring better infrastructure, schools and health care to his still recovering community.