Ms. Ariel Wilson-Harris serves as the President and Founder of The Orchid Society. Born and raised in New Orleans, she is the daughter of Ms. Elaine Rader Wilson and the late Attorney Douglas P. Wilson. She is an honors graduate of St. Mary's Academy and later received her Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from the University of New Orleans. Harris is a senior-level communications professional whose career has spanned across industries from oil and gas to healthcare. She's now the Public Information Director for Metropolitan Services District, a local governing entity that provides mental illness, addiction and disability services to the tri-parish area.
Ariel is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and African American Women of Purpose and Power. She enjoys helping others, traveling and spending time with her husband, L. Kasimu Harris, daughter Liori and “bonus” son, Grayson.
Ms. Amanda Aiken
Amanda L. Aiken is the Chief External Relations Officer for the Orleans Parish School Board and the Founder and President of A.Leigh Solutions, an educational consulting group. Previously Aiken served as the Senior Director of Schools for New Orleans College Prep (NOCP) Charter School. Aiken is known for her turnaround leadership as the Principal of Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep, a member of the NOCP Charter Network. In her first year as Principal, Amanda - along with her incredible team of educators, catapulted Crocker College Prep from being ranked the lowest performing school in the city of New Orleans to the most improved school in the city. In addition to her leadership with the school district, she is an Adjunct Professor with Relay Graduate School of Education. She serves as an Internship Coach with the Summer Principals' Academy with Teachers College, Columbia University.
Aiken’s service to children has been honored by The Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies, The Crescent City Chapter of The Links Incorporated, The Millennials Award in Education (New Orleans), The Urban League of Greater New Orleans, and The NOLA Black Professionals. In addition to these awards, Amanda was featured in The Change Makers documentary series produced by Teachers College, Columbia University.
Aiken is an active member of the community through her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Beta Omega Chapter, The Orchid Society Mentoring Organization, The National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, New Orleans Chapter, and the Crescent City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
Aiken is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Spelman College, where she earned her BA in Child Development/Teacher Certification. She obtained her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Ms. Tiffany Willis was born in New Orleans and raised in Slidell, LA/Las Vegas, NV. She moved back to New Orleans in August 2005 to attend Xavier University of Louisiana (3rd generation). She currently holds a BA in Mass Communications: Public Relations, a minor in Spanish, and a Masters of Art in Teaching in Special/Elementary Education. Tiffany worked in public relations with The Hawthorne Agency from 2009 - 2012. During this time she worked with engineers and city officials on specific projects that consisted of major road work. As she worked in this role, she co-founded The Black Professional (formerly Nola Black Professionals), a online networking source for black professionals within the city. In 2012, Tiffany began teaching special education and is currently the Education Services Coordinator at International School of Louisiana.
Tiffany is the daughter of Peter and Gwendolyn Willis, and sister to Ashley Willis and Peter Willis, III. Tiffany resides in New Orleans East, in the cutest house on the block. She enjoys TV and movies, cooking, black and white photography, and playing with animals.
Mrs. Amber Davis-Prince was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. She holds a BA in Speech Communication from Berea College and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. Amber has worked at Berea College, The Walt Disney World Resort, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and most recently at Xavier University of Louisiana. Upon graduating from Berea College, Amber knew that working in a position that affirmed cultural identities and upheld the academic experience of African American students was the space that she was professionally and personally connected to. And, after increasing minority enrollment to 25% at Berea College, she decided to refocus her efforts to the retention and student development of students as the Director of the Black Cultural Center for Berea College. Here, Amber was able to engage with students and accommodate their unique needs as students of color as well as create a voice and space for them. Amber was able to continue this work when she moved to New Orleans and began to work for Xavier University of Louisiana as the Director of the Office of Campus Activities. Much like her work at the Black Cultural Center, this position acknowledges the need for programming and focus to be diverse in order to adequately serve this student population the university is serving. As conversations surrounding the necessity of HBCUs gain momentum and frequency, Amber was selected as a Fellow for the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.). H.E.L.F. selects administrators working in Higher Education at HBCUs that are passionate about strengthening these institutions and focusing on the specific needs of students. Amber is dedicated to increasing awareness and uplifting the work of HBCU professionals as well as providing support to young women in the New Orleans community. She is committed to ensuring that young women in New Orleans have the opportunity to have positive role models and self-empowerment.
Ms. Samantha Archie was born and raised in New Orleans and Slidell. She attended Ursuline Academy and Xavier University where she received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English in 2003. Samantha has also received a post Baccalaureate degree in Digital Design from Tulane University. She currently works as a patient liaison at Ocshner Health Systems, while she hones her passion for digital design from her 9 to 5. Having always had love for New Orleans and it’s residents, Samantha has a strong desire to elevate her community, and draws a deep connection with the youth of the city. She is passionate about the need for well rounded balance that can be provided through mentoring programs and other creative outlets to help foster a continual cycle of rebirth for the youth of New Orleans.
Dr. Kelli Jordan was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a BA in Psychology from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia in 2004, a Masters degree in Applied Educational Psychology in 2008 and a Ph.D. in School Psychology in 2010 from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Jordan moved to New Orleans to work for St. Bernard Parish Public Schools where she served as a certified school psychologist from 2009-2013. She is currently the Director of Citywide Education Initiatives for Orleans Parish School Board. Her passion is ensuring kids with special needs never go unnoticed or under served. Kelli is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In her free time, Kelli enjoys reading, watching sports, shopping, dining out, traveling and watching movies.
Mrs. Jacquelyn C. Harris is the daughter of Dr. Cornelius A. Castain and Mr. & Mrs. Steven P. Ancar. She is a proud New Orleans native who loves food, family and fellowship. She attended St. Mary's Academy and the University of New Orleans where she earned her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Communication and Master's in Business Administration. During her graduate studies, Jacquelyn worked for one of the top ranked student housing property management companies in the nation, Campus Living Villages. She was recognized as the "Marketing Coordinator of the Year" in 2007. Jacquelyn has worked tirelessly building relationships, increasing market share and raising millions of dollars for several Fortune 100 and 500 companies. During her time working in the CPG industry, she received the 2011 "Spirit Award" for community outreach and mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga, TN. She currently works as a District Manager for Automatic Data Processing, LLC (ADP), one of the largest business outsourcing companies in the world. Jacquelyn is the oldest of 4 siblings, A'shante, Karmen, Steven and Kailyn. Jacquelyn was fortunate to grow up surrounded by several mentors. She understands that the opportunity to pour into the lives of young people is a serious responsibility that is the cornerstone of improving the city of New Orleans.
Mrs. Jovan Bell-Walker was born in New Orleans in 1982 to her loving parents. She attended Xavier University Preparatory High School and graduated in 2000. After, graduation she went on to attend Clark Atlanta University where she received her B.A. in Criminal Justice.
Upon, her return home she enrolled at Loyola University. She received a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently employed as a Management Development Analyst with the City of New Orleans. Jovan has 6+ years of experience in city government. She is married to Christopher Walker and they have 2 children, London and Reggie.
Jovan enjoys spending time with her family and friends, shopping, and wardrobe styling consultation. Jovan is committed to making a difference in her community through the mentorship of young girls. She is extremely devoted to making her city a better place.
Ms. Amanda Isaacs is a native of Tacoma, Washington where she resided until relocating to New Orleans, LA for college in 2005. Amanda attended Xavier University of Louisiana where she obtained degrees in Education and Spanish. While in college Amanda discovered her love of service. Her initial service began with Teaching Young Children (TYC), a volunteer organization that tutors and mentors students after school, there she was twice honored as Volunteer of the Year. Her desire to serve continued to grow after being inducted into the illustrious Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated. While attending Xavier Amanda also found her love for travel and the Spanish language while getting the opportunity to travel Central America on a study abroad program. Amanda has dedicated the past 8 years to service. She spent time teaching middle school in Guinea, West Africa. She volunteers with The Ties That Bind Project and a member of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. She currently teaches fourth grade math at Lake Forest Charter School.
Amanda is the proud daughter of Tony and Kimberly Isaacs, sister to older brother, Dereke Isaacs, and identical twin, Susan Isaacs. She enjoys traveling, working out, cooking, and being of service to others.
Mrs. Abrielle Laurent is a New Orleans native. She attended Mount Carmel Academy High School and Xavier University of Louisiana College. While at Xavier she earned her Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. She has been dedicated to serving the youth of New Orleans for over 10+ years. She was a lead Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at Martin Behrman Charter School from 2009-2017. In 2017 Abrielle was the Leadership Development teacher at the NORD Teen Career Camp through Pleasant Zion Baptist Church. She was asked back the following year in 2017 to serve as the Site Director. Most recently she co-founded the business “Little Gym and Jam” which is a mommy and me music, movement and literacy class for infants and toddlers. She’s served in many volunteer capacities throughout the city of New Orleans through Girl Scouts Louisiana East, Habitat for Humanity and STEM Nola. Abrielle has a a strong passion for inspiring the youth of New Orleans and hopes to continue to serve young people and to positively impact our future generations.
Ms. Victoria McDowell was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received a swimming scholarship to Florida A & M University where she studied for two years before transferring to the University of New Orleans, where she received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2008. She went on to complete the physical therapist assistant program at Delgado community college in 2010. Victoria is currently a practicing clinician at Ochsner Therapy and Wellness, as well as working PRN in the home health and nursing home settings. She is currently a board member for the Louisiana Physical Therapy Association, serves on the Delgado PTA advisory board, and has served with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. To broaden her depth of knowledge and experience outside of the PT world, most recently Victoria has started studies at Tulane University to complete a Masters in health and wellness management. She is passionate about providing others with the encouragement and tools they need to succeed. Victoria feels very blessed to be able to use her passion and purpose to drive change and to pour into the lives of others. In her free time, Victoria enjoys spending time with family/friends, reading, working out, traveling, watching movies, and sports.
Ms. Genesis Parker graduated from University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Sciences. Through employment with Kingston Academy, as a residential counselor, and her volunteer work with Safe Families for Children, her passion for working with underprivileged youth was ignited. In 2013, she relocated to New Orleans to work with City Year, as an academic interventionist, in a high needs school. She simultaneously pursued her graduate degree at Xavier University. Through hard work, dedication, and perseverance she accomplished her goal of obtaining a graduate degree while gaining hands-on experience as a teacher. Genesis is currently the Director of Student Support Services at Mildred Osborne Charter School. She is also a behavioral support interventionist for Prism Project of Greater NOLA, an active alumni board member and board chair of City Year-New Orleans, a fellow of the Special Education Leader Fellowship (SELF), and graduate of the Urban Leaders for Equity and Diversity Leadership Program (ULEAD).
Ms. Morgan Valerie is a Houston, Texas native and graduate of Xavier University in Communications, she has extensive experience in marketing research, community outreach and an impressive history managing public relations campaigns.
At The Ehrhardt Group (TEG), Morgan has been a key contributor for the firm’s Focus Group Testing division as director, where she coordinates and moderates market and focus group research for local, regional and national corporations and organizations. During her time at TEG, Morgan coordinated media relations and served as an assistant public information officer during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. Her work with BP officials and the nation’s top media corporations led to a seamless flow of information on the one of the world’s most covered and publicized disasters.
Before beginning with TEG, she worked in production and entertainment with Festival Productions on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and NFL Kick-Off and with GeChar Productions for the Essence Empowerment Series.
In 2012, Morgan and four fellow Mass Communications students from Xavier University of Louisiana started NolaBlackProfessionals.com (NOBP), a platform for black business owners and professionals to come together to build stronger relationships in the Greater New Orleans community. As a co-founder, she writes for the website and social media outlets and coordinates the organization’s events. From 2014-2016, Morgan was asked to be a guest blogger for Essence Festival using NOBP as an online platform. In a recent effort to garner national awareness and media attention, the group has rebranded the organization to what is now known as The Black Professional.
Morgan currently serves as secretary on the Mass Communications Advisory Board at Xavier University of Louisiana and as President of the Insight’s Association’s Southeast Regional Board.
Morgan enjoys mentoring high school and college students about their future, in addition to speaking at youth programs throughout the city. In 2014, Morgan developed and taught a Speech Communications and Career Development course at the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission’s (NORDC) New City Leadership Camp. She was a 2012 fellow in the New Orleans Institute of Politics and was also selected as an honoree for the 2011 March of Dimes Spotlight on Success. Morgan also served as a professional advisor for Xavier University’s Public Relations Student Society of America from 2012-2014 and Treasurer of the Marketing Research Association’s Atlanta/Southeast Regional board from 2015-2017.
The Orchid Society Charter Members