Staff Directory

Executive Staff

Gordon Wadge  Photo

Gordon Wadge

President & CEO

504-568-9622 x273

For Gordon and his wife Mary there is no better Y moment than watching their 6 grandchildren in swim lessons and dance classes at the Y.

Louis Ogle  Photo

Louis Ogle

Chief Operating Officer

504-568-9622 x270

Louis' Favorite Y Moments: Working directly with children at the Y and being able to include his own daughters in YMCA programs.

Metro Office

Erica Halpern  Photo

Erica Halpern

Development Director & YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program Director

504-568-9622 x276

Why Erica loves the Y: "I feel good knowing that we build lasting partnerships to respond to our community's needs."

Shen Zhou  Photo

Shen Zhou

Director of Finance

504-568-9622 x271

Favorite Y moment: "I love when people flash me a huge smile when they stop by my office and seeing people enjoy their time at the Y."

Julie Belou  Photo

Julie Belou

Program Coordinator


Why Julie loves the Y: "I learned how to swim here! When I was four years old my dad would come and play basketball at the Y and I had swim lessons."

Talia Boninger  Photo

Talia Boninger

Special Projects Coordinator & Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA

(504) 568-9622 Ext. 278

Why Talia loves the Y: "I love coming to work each day knowing that each minute we spend in the office contributes to a greater effort to make New Orleans a healthier and more equitable city for all of its community members. The passion this team has is palpable -- and I'm so happy to be here!"

Rachael Jonas  Photo

Rachael Jonas

Executive Director of Aquatics

504-568-9622 ext. 272

Why Rachael loves the Y: "I love being able to teach people of all ages the lifelong skill of swimming."

Collying Salinas  Photo

Collying Salinas

Director, YMCA Car Seat Safety Outreach Program

504-568-9622 ext. 102

Why Collying loves the Y: "I love the Y because everyone is welcome. I am grateful for having the opportunity to make an impact in the community by educating parents and children on the importance of child seat safety and saving their precious lives."

Bell Chasse YMCA

Jodi Nohra  Photo

Jodi Nohra



Why Jodi loves the Y: "Without the Y, I would have been lost. The Y is a great place to work because it really is a family. I have met so many people and built so many relationships at the Y. It is a place I call home. It has given me a chance to have a safe, healthy and positive place for my daughter to grow up in. She absolutely loves the Y and never wants to leave.

Sissy Stricklin  Photo

Sissy Stricklin

Membership & Marketing Director

504-392-9622 x404

Why Sissy loves the Y: "I love my Y because of the positive impact it has on our children, health, and community.The Y is committed to providing support to our neighbors and opportunities for kids and families to grow everyday!"

Vanessa Paige  Photo

Vanessa Paige

Child Care and Youth Program Director

504-392-8622 x404

Why Vanessa loves the Y: “I love the Y because I love seeing the smiles on all of the kids' faces and watching them grow into young adults.”

Blake Suess  Photo

Blake Suess

Sports & Wellness Director


Why Blake loves the Y: "I love the Y because it’s amazing to see how many people we impact by simply being here and living our mission. Through all of our programs we really touch a lot of peoples lives. I build new relationships every day and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else."

East Jefferson YMCA

Candace Schaedel  Photo

Candace Schaedel

Executive Director

504-888-9622 x103

Why Candace loves the Y: "I love that the Y puts me in a position to actively affect change in my community. The Y movement promotes relationship building and cause-driven leadership, two things I'm truly passionate about."

Masie Tolar  Photo

Masie Tolar

Sports and Wellness Director

Why Masie loves the Y: "I love the Y because of the community. The members at the Y treat each other like family. When you walk into the Y, you feel encouraged and supported to meet any and all of your fitness goals."

Lonnie Carter  Photo

Lonnie Carter

Youth and Family Program Director

Why Lonnie loves the Y: "I love the Y because it never feels like work for me. It's literally my home away from home."

West St. Tammany YMCA

Joseph Roberts  Photo

Joseph Roberts

Executive Director


Why Joey Loves The Y: "The Y provided opportunity and guidance in my early years. Now, I love helping, supporting, and guiding others."

Kakki Taliancich  Photo

Kakki Taliancich

Associate Director


Why Kakki loves the Y: "I love my extended family. I love how they pull together to make things happen during the good and bad times. I love seeing the community building around us knowing that we helped make it a stronger community. I love being part of something so real and meaningful that gives me a sense of purpose. I go home every night (sometimes, really late) knowing that I made a difference in someone's life!"

Krissy Cook  Photo

Krissy Cook

Youth and Family Programs Director


Why Krissy loves the Y: "I love Summer Camp. I enjoy watching the campers grow and learn throughout the summer. I truly believe in the Y's Core Values and enjoy teaching the children in our programs how to incorporate them into their daily lives."

Donna Laiche  Photo

Donna Laiche

Membership and Group Exercise Director


Why Donna loves the Y: "The Y provides our community with what they are searching for to lead a healthier and happier life. It may be a good sweat. It may be sitting down with friends to have coffee. It may be a need to share a special story, a smiling face or just a reason to get out of the house."

Patrick Heisser  Photo

Patrick Heisser

Wellness and Youth Sports Director


Why Patrick Loves the Y: "I love to work out and it's great to help others reach their health and wellness goals."

Plaquemines Partnership

Jennifer Sanger  Photo

Jennifer Sanger

Partnership Director


Jennifer's Favorite Y Moment: I never realized how many children in our community didn't have access to transportation to the city. Once we were on a field trip and a camper spotted a yellow car and became excited to see a taxi cab for the first time. I explained to him the car he saw was not a taxi cab, however, I was able to later show him a real taxi cab. I love being able to see the excitement on children's faces as they experience things for the first time through our programs.

Ashley Lincoln  Photo

Ashley Lincoln

Facility Director, Buras


Why Ashley loves the Y: "Of all the places I've worked, the Y has been by far the most rewarding. What I love most about the Y is the passion it creates in our community; getting to be a part of the positive effect it has on people of all ages is an edifying feeling. Our Y allows everyone to reach their full potential through our mission that focuses on a healthy spirit, mind, and body. Last but not least, I love our Y family which is made up of volunteers, donors, members and staff, who make this place a home, rather than a job."

Buras YMCA

Buras Member Services Coordinator

(504) 934-3775

Rachel Benoit  Photo

Rachel Benoit

Port Sulphur Youth Programs Coordinator



Andrea Gazaway  Photo

Andrea Gazaway

Coordinator of Instruction


Andrea's Favorite Y moment: "Seeing our HISET graduates walk across the stage at the citywide adult education graduation."