Meet the Board Members
The AMA New Orleans Board Members are a group of volunteer leaders who are impactful visionaries in marketing. They provide insight and guidance to our local community as we work to build an organization that helps you put Answers in Action™.
Learn more about your local AMA New Orleans Board Members and how they have impacted our local marketing business environment.
Mariska MorsePresident Read Bio
Mariska has 25 years of experience in marketing, management, programming, and business development with for-profit and non-profit organizations. Most recently Mariska played a key role in the start-up and growth of Forté, a nonprofit that supports the advancement of women in business. During her 19-year tenure with Forté Mariska led the marketing efforts growing the organization’s brand, membership, and CRM activities. Mariska also served as Forté’s first Corporate Relations Director developing programs that would help recruit and retain top female talent. Today Forte has 110K members and 170 partner schools and companies.
Prior to Forté, Mariska led the Women in Business Initiative at Michigan’s Ross School of Business and also worked for 5 years with two different direct marketing agencies. Additionally, Mariska was a consultant to a variety of organizations including Zehno Cross Media Communications, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, and the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Her consulting work included strategic marketing, business development, account management, program development, and speaker recruitment.
Mariska earned her B.A. degree from Boston College, lives in New Orleans with her husband and three children and is pursuing her master’s degree in gender studies at Tulane University. In addition to school, Mariska serves on the board of the national Coalition for Collegiate Women’s Leadership, is the President of the NOLA Chapter for the American Marketing Association, consults for CENO (Campaign for Equity New Orleans) and sits on the PTSA Board for Lusher Charter School.
Haley PeggExecutive Director Read Bio
Haley PeggExecutive Director
An experienced marketing professional with an expertise in creative strategy and communications, Haley Pegg is a go-getter when it comes to putting her clients on the map. Her current role as Marketing & Communications Director for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce instilled her passion for small business development. Through her current role, Haley has assisted over 1,000 local businesses in marketing initiatives, resulting in increased presence, connections, and sales.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Haley moved down south to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Loyola University New Orleans. She minored in Marketing with a focus in digital marketing, social media, graphic design, and public relations. She has 7 years of experience in search engine optimization and is certified in Google Analytics. Prior to her role at the Chamber, Haley did freelance work as a brand ambassador for various large clients, including AT&T, Jack Daniel’s, LaCroix, Zippo Encore, Verizon, and Comcast.
An avid animal lover since birth, Haley spends her free time volunteering at animal rescue organizations and no-kill shelters.
Robert BaerTreasurer Read Bio
Robert Baer brings over 40 years of banking experience to his role as Fidelity Bank’s Digital Marketing and Community Outreach Manager. His responsibilities include implementing solutions focused on reaching bank clients and prospects utilizing digital solutions focused on meeting their ever changing banking needs. He also leads the banks Community Outreach efforts that focus on delivering Financial Literacy programs to area schools, and support for various community non-profit organizations.
Christine BriedeMembership Chair Read Bio
Christine BriedeMembership Chair
In March 2020, Christine was named Executive Director for the Jefferson Community Foundation. Prior to JCF, she spent three years at LSU Foundation as the Director of Development assigned to the Paul M. Hebert Law Center and two years with the American Red Cross. Earlier in her career, Christine served as president and majority owner of Loubat Foodservice Equipment for over 20 years, selling the business in 2013.
An experienced marketing executive, her key areas of expertise include: conceptualizing tactical marketing plans, formulating key messages and creative concepts, and innovating and executing new business development strategies. She also has experience as a corporate spokesperson handling client, community and media relations.
In the New Orleans community, she serves on the Board of Directors for the American Marketing Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Lambeth House/BSI, New Orleans Planned Giving Council, and the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI). She has served in various roles as a national officer for Kappa Alpha Theta since 2003, her most recent role as a Foundation Trustee. She previously served on the Board of Directors for CASA-Jefferson, the Junior League of New Orleans, and the Women’s Professional Council.
In 1998, Christine was honored as one of Gambit Weekly’s “40 Under 40”. In November 2002 and again in 2008, Mrs. Briede was honored as one of forty “Women of the Year” by CityBusiness magazine. In April 2008, she was recognized as a Top Women’s Business Enterprise in the Nation by WE USA magazine. From 2010 – 2013, she was also honored as “Top 500 Women Businesses” in the U.S. by Diversity magazine.
Christine is a native of Virginia and grew up in Southeastern Massachusetts. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast & Film Communications from The University of Alabama. She is married with two adult daughters and resides in Old Metairie.
April CatarellaCommunications Chair Read Bio
April CatarellaCommunications Chair
With a background in marketing, communications and non-profit management, April brings a diverse set of skills to Gambel Communications clients.
April graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. While attending LSU, April proudly served as a Batgirl for the LSU Baseball program and worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
An avid sports fan, April began her marketing career working in minor league sports. First, for the Louisiana IceGators, a minor league hockey team in Lafayette, and then for the Montgomery Biscuits, the double-A baseball affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays in Montgomery, Alabama. April led both the Fan Entertainment and Community Relations strategies for the Biscuits.
Wishing to return home to the New Orleans area, April later joined the Muscular Dystrophy Association where she served as Executive Director through several years and transitions. Her role included building awareness, executing special events and developing client relationships throughout the state of Louisiana.
April also served as the Communications Manager for Einstein Charter Schools in New Orleans where she aided in branding and communications strategies as the charter network opened three new schools over two years.
April is a member of the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans and graduate of their YLC Leadership Development Series. She is also a Board Member and volunteer for Swollfest Fishing Rodeo which is held in Grand Isle, LA every June and benefits children’s charities and military families.
Outside of the office, you can find April strolling through City Park with her dog Murphy, dancing to live music at every festival or watching LSU and Saints games.
Allison HerreraSocial Media Co-Chair Read Bio
Allison HerreraSocial Media Co-Chair
Allison Herrera, a New Orleans native, is the founder & CEO of Uptown Girl Media, LLC. As an alumna of St. Mary’s Dominican High School, Louisiana State University and Delta Gamma Fraternity, she obtained countless honors from National Honor Societies and recognitions from a handful of organizations throughout her time in school.
After beginning a career in broadcast journalism with Raycom Media (who at the time owned television networks such as Fox 8 in New Orleans & WAFB Channel 9 in Baton Rouge), she fell in love with the idea of using the knowledge & tools she gained in media to help businesses & brands advertise themselves. She then left the news industry with a heavy, but hopeful, heart to pursue her dream – opening a media marketing agency focusing on video for digital advertising. Before launching her own agency, Herrera received experience in sales, advertising, public relations & much more throughout her career & multiple roles.
Herrera is a valuable player in her industry, as she is the first minority owned company that transformed the idea of video advertising in New Orleans. Uptown Girl Media is a media marketing agency specializing in digital advertising. From teaching Zumba at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired to assisting patients at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Herrera is a strong believer in giving back to her community.
In her spare time, Herrera enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones, watching Louisiana sports, reading, trying new dishes around the city and watching movies with her Yorkipoo, Gumbeaux.
Branda JohnsonSocial Media Co-Chair Read Bio
Branda JohnsonSocial Media Co-Chair
Branda Johnson learned at a young age that she didn’t necessarily need to be in front of the camera to fuel her passion for media, fashion and entertainment. From summer programs at The Boston Globe and writing weekly blog posts for Pretty Girls Sweat to Promotions Coordinator at Boston’s iHeart Radio Stations, Publicity Coordinator at Tosser Magazine and Rent the Runway Event Ambassador, she wanted to stay busy.
Her first and favorite big PR moment came when working for Arielle-Wren/ Noelle Elaine during Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Economic Project Summit managing press for the 3-day conference. From there she has continued to work in public relations, event production, social media management and talent booking. Working with a range of clients in a number of industries including music artists, beauty brands, nonprofits, influencers and even in sports, Branda has seen that everyone has a message, story and a passion to share and she is the one to help implement the best plan of action to reach those who will listen and relate.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Branda made the pivot and decision to take on the role of an entrepreneur and started Branda J Communications. She is excited to continue on this journey in helping her clients deepen their relationships with their growing audiences and building brands.
Will MonsonCreative Chair Read Bio
Will MonsonCreative Chair
Will Monson earned his undergraduate degree in Graphic Design from LSU and is currently pursuing his MBA in marketing from LSU-Shreveport. He serves as Marketing Specialist for Ochsner Health where he collaborates with its various facilities to develop recruitment campaigns. In his free time, he is an avid painter, tinkerer, and produces multiple comedy shows throughout New Orleans. He has performed across the country in comedy festivals. When he is not building something out of wood or plastics, he is working on his goal of visiting every national park in the country where his camping skills from earning his Eagle Scout award comes in handy. He is proud to serve alongside the other board members for AMA New Orleans and seeks to develop the organization as the preeminent source for New Orleans marketing.
Michael CookWeb & Digital Chair Read Bio
Michael CookWeb & Digital Chair
Michael Cook has worked in marketing & advertising for 10 years, serving as an account executive at multiple ad agencies in New Orleans and starting his own digital marketing company in 2018. His past experience includes everything from managing full advertising and print marketing campaigns to designing custom WordPress websites. Since its founding, his company Salty Key Marketing has launched over 30 new websites and website redesigns for businesses large and small. Michael enjoys being directly involved with his clients and overseeing the full process of helping companies improving their online profile from start to finish.
Irene Wambui MuchaiBusiness Partnerships Co-Chair Read Bio
Irene Wambui MuchaiBusiness Partnerships Co-Chair
Irene currently works as the Business Development Director at Online Optimism. Her role consists of supporting Online Optimism by gaining new leads and following up with current ones. She is responsible for ensuring that new clients receive custom proposals and she helps in proposal meetings to present Online Optimism’s services to them. She also manages our Business Development team, ensuring they’re all on track with their various tasks.
Irene meets with lots of new clients and asks them questions about their business needs while ensuring that our team remains up-to-date with what new clients are looking for. When we gain new clients, Irene helps with scheduling and preparing onboarding meetings where we go through the project scope and discuss everything necessary to make their campaign successful. Irene also helps with client reporting and internal lead tracking.
Irene grew up in London, England, and moved to New Orleans in 2018. Whilst back in London, she worked in the e-commerce branch of a major electronic retailer. Irene loves cooking and listening to music and she tries to fly back to London as often as she can.
Sam OlmstedBusiness Partnerships Co-Chair Read Bio
Sam OlmstedBusiness Partnerships Co-Chair
Sam Olmsted is an experienced marketing professional who specializes in building integrated and holistic marketing campaigns across a wide field of industries. Sam brings an analytical approach to his marketing efforts, looking at trends in data to create impactful campaigns that lead to higher online visibility for his clients. He couples that with a creative approach to content, with years of experience holding company-wide workshops and brainstorms to establish insights that lead to meaningful written and visual content.
As the New Orleans Managing Director at Online Optimism, a locally-based digital marketing agency, Sam oversees the company’s headquarters and meets weekly with the directors of the Social Media, Search Engine Marketing, Search & Content, and Design departments to ensure they are producing thoughtful, well-researched, and revenue-driving campaigns and projects. Sam works with clients in varying industries, from cryptocurrency to healthcare to any business sector that needs more exposure on the web.
Sam graduated from Tulane University and double-majored in finance and entrepreneurial management. After working in real estate, SaaS, and hospitality, Sam garnered the experience required to offer holistic marketing solutions to his clients.
Sam is also both a content creator and a content curator in his free time. Sam manages multiple social media accounts that feature original hand-drawn cartoons or well-edited photos of dogs and generate well over 10,000 impressions a week.
Adrienne FolseMarketing Partnerships Chair Read Bio
Adrienne FolseMarketing Partnerships Chair
Owning, growing, and managing a digital marketing agency while mothering 2 children and serving in a variety of volunteer roles doesn’t seem like it would be easy, but that’s what Adrienne has been doing for 20 years. Upon graduating from LSU with a BFA, she started with a large trade show display company designing display concepts using 3D animation software to create the large displays and animated flythroughs for clients. After a year, she was made art director and project manager of a new firm (Huye Long Design) that was formed by some of her coworkers.
In November of 1998, Adrienne decided to focus more on print media design and expand into web development, so she started her own company with the assistance of her husband and Marketing Director Robert Folse. A pioneer of early web site and e-commerce development (with the help of Jack Reiner), Design The Planet offers clients complete brand marketing and management so they can more effectively compete for business. Design the Planet, from a one room home-office startup to a thriving brand marketing company, services clients regionally and nationally in a variety of industries. Adrienne believes in creating WOW work, traveling, and adventuring with Rob, and is always on the lookout for the next great rebranding opportunity.
Charique RichardsonDEI Chair Read Bio
Charique RichardsonDEI Chair
Charique L. Richardson, MBA is the founder of Digital Innovation Media Group. Her company helps small business owners and organizations stand out online, generate more leads, and increase traffic to their websites without sitting on the computer all day. her company specializes in web design, website redesign, search engine optimization, and social media management.
Charique works primarily with small business owners, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. Her clients rave about getting booked for interviews, being noticed online, and converting more clients to their businesses. They especially love the personal attention, coaching, and encouragement they receive from Charique and her team.
She started her company after 25 years of working in marketing and sales with leading companies like Pfizer and Duke Hospital. Charique also speaks to professional associations and loves sharing her knowledge with her audience.
Charique has been an advocate for workforce diversity during her time working in the corporate setting. She’s a former member of the Duke School of Medicine Council on Diversity and the Duke Cancer Institute Diversity Council.
Charique is currently serving on the American Marketing Association’s New Orleans Chapter’s Board of Directors as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair. She is also a member of the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Fidelity P.O.W.E.R., and Business Network International. She resides in New Orleans, LA with her husband and 3 sons.
Charique received her Bachelor in Business Administration and her Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry.