Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
R. Omar Casimire
R. Omar Casimire is a researcher and nonprofit CEO, and founder of the Katrina National Memorial Museum in New Orleans. During Hurricane Katrina, he was in the National Memorial Convention Center taking the names and contact information of thousands of people displaced by the storm. That list evolved into a book, Katrina List, as well as a vision: The Katrina National Memorial Foundation and Museum. For the past 15 years, he has gathered documentation, interviews, and artifacts related to the hurricane, as well as advocated for displaced persons. In constructing a memorial and museum to commemorate the storm, Mr. Casimire advocates for a seldom-mentioned casualty of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: the history of New Orleans itself.
Executive Board of Directors
Dr. Kim Marie Coleman, COO
Dr. Coleman received her Ph.D. from Howard University. She holds an M.A. in economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in economics from Howard University. Kim Coleman joined the faculty of Dillard University in August 2005 as an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing. In July 2006, she was appointed Chairperson of Economics and Finance. Previously, she worked as a Financial Economist in the Office of Tax and Economic Policy for the Government of the District of Colombia. Dr. Coleman’s research interests are numerous, including urban economics, tax revenue estimation, economic modeling, and local tax policy. Dr. Coleman is on the Katrina National Memorial Foundation Executive Board.
Dr. Athema L. Etzioni, DVM,MS, Dipl, ACVP
Dr. Athema L. Etzioni is a Board Certified Veterinary Clinical Pathologist. She was home schooled and entered college at Xavier University of Louisiana at New Orleans in the Spring of 1994, and received her BS degree in Biology Pre-Medicine in the Spring of 1997. That Fall she was accepted into Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing & Allied Health (Now Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, TUCVM). She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree in May 2001 and Certificate of Internship in Clinical Pathology from TUCVM and went on to complete a Veterinary Clinical Pathology Residency program and Masters degree at Purdue University in 2005. Dr. Etzioni has worked in research, academic, Government, Corporate, and private sectors of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Etzioni is currently, Vice Chair of the Katrina National Memorial Foundation.
Jody McAfee Richardson, CNHP, Consultant, Katrina Memorial Museum Designer, Lecturer
Jody has spent the last 45 years in the Art and Design world as well as teaching Natural Lifestyle. The
intersection of Design and Nature is Eco-conscious Community Architecture, such as the Katrina
Memorial Museum Project, a place of education about our responsibility to the natural world. Mrs.
McAfee Richardson is on the Katrina National Memorial Foundation Executive Board.
Donna Pilot-Miller, M.S. Architecture, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, LEED AP
Mrs. Donna Pilot-Miller is an experienced construction manager skilled in implementing and managing portfolios of new construction or rehabilitation projects; which includes planning, cost estimating, code review, and schedule analysis inspections. She has done independent consulting work with architectural and construction management firms, construction companies and government agencies. Projects included Public Building Commission of Chicago’s school development program, finalizing construction closeout documents, final inspections, obtaining permits and certificates of occupancy. She has also coordinated ADA/504 upgrades in dwelling units at senior apartment complexes. Mrs. Pilot-Miller is on the Katrina National Memorial Foundation Executive Board.
Deeply interested in working towards community goals, Zé has committed many unpaid hours to organizations ranging from Recycle for the Arts to the Katrina National Memorial Park Foundation. Utilizing skills such as grant researching and writing, internet research, graphic design, photography, website design, and networking, she has helped build and fund non-profits as well as worked at the basic levels of volunteering (for example, literacy tutoring).
Her interests also lie with the arts, and she has been a member of many arts organizations, ranging from the board of the Louisiana Crafts Guild to the just-for-fun New Orleans Fiber
Artists. She has been a member of the Mission Utopia Community Garden since 2002 and enjoys the fruit (and vegetables) of her labor.
Always interested in local politics and community issues, she is a past Vice President of the Bywater Neighborhood Association and regularly comments on important neighborhood issues.
Zé’s passion is people, and her ability to support and work with others is well-known by her friends and fellow project participants. She is equally comfortable being devoted to one task as
she is working towards multiple end goals. The most important thing for Zé is to feel that her energies are being spent on worthwhile tasks, things that will make a difference in the world.
Geisha’s skills include space planning, color coordination, furniture procurement, and project management with a focus in contract interiors. She has over 20 years experience in designing
the interiors of restaurants, retail spaces, offices, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and residences. Incorporating “green” design principles to each project, Geisha looks for
opportunity to implement sustainability while keeping the project budget at the forefront. Her keen business acumen contributes to the success of each project — insisting on the delivery of
a quality design plan, augmenting form and function with aesthetic, regardless of the project scale.
Favorite project: Essence Magazine’s Los Angeles offices
“…When you enhance an environment, you enhance life.”
Kimberley Richards, Ed.D - Interim Executive Director, Core Trainer/Organizer and National Organizer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
Kimberley served as Executive Director of Southwest Gardens Economic Development Corporation until 2006. Southwest Gardens Economic Development Corporation is a neighborhood organizing, community-based organization in Farrell, PA. Kimberley Richards is a graduate of Clark College, where she studied education and theater. She received a Masters degree in education from Westminster College, PA. Richards completed a doctoral program of study in Education at the University of Pittsburgh as a Lilly Endowment Fellow in 1995. Kimberley Richards has studied education and theater arts and in London, England, and fabric arts in The Gambia, West Africa. As a classroom educator, Dr. Richards has worked with children and their families in Atlanta, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Farrell, PA. Currently, Kimberley Richards resides in Picayune, Mississippi.
Kimberley has been involved and serving the The People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond since 1989. She began as a participant in the Undoing Racism (URW) workshop. Richards became an organizer of URW trainings during the time she served as director of the MAC Education Fund in New Orleans. Kimberley, then, became a board member and in 1997 she earned her position as Core Trainer. Dr. Richards’ interests are reflective practice and assessment, as well as documentation and evaluation from a humanistic and anti-racist approach. She is, now, Interim Executive Director and Core Trainer/Organizer at The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Katrina National Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation committed to honoring and serving the memory of the victims and families of Hurricane Katrina.
When you make a tax deductible donation, we cherish the trust you’ve placed in us. Our mission is to do good whether through performance, raising awareness of Hurricane Katrina and it’s devastation, or providing much needed service and education to children interested in learning more about Green energy all over the globe through our Katrina National Memorial Museum.
Regardless of the size of your contribution, we hope you’ll join us in remembering those who were great contributors to the culture of our great city.