Our Board

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Henry L. Coaxum, Jr.

Chairperson

As president of Coaxum Enterprises, Inc., Henry L. Coaxum, Jr., is the owner/operator of three McDonald’s restaurants in New Orleans.  Coaxum is the founding and emeritus chairman of the New Orleans Business Alliance, the city’s first-ever public-private partnership for economic development.  He also serves on the City’s Hospital Service District Board that oversaw the redevelopment of the New Orleans East Hospital.

He is a member of the boards of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Audubon Nature Institute, the National World War II Museum, the University of New Orleans Foundation, and New Orleans & Company; is a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the Committee of 100 Louisiana and is Secretary of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region.

Coaxum was recognized by the Neighborhood Development Foundation with The Leadership Award; is a Laureate of the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of the McDonald’s 365Black Award.  Coaxum and his wife Karen are the recipients of the United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Award -- the highest honor bestowed by the United Way; and share the distinction of being selected as Role Models of the Young Leadership Council.

Coaxum, a graduate of Talladega College, was recognized by the college with a Regional Outstanding Alumnus Award.  The Talladega College National Alumni Association selected Coaxum as its 2015 Hall of Honor recipient, presented by the UNCF National Alumni Council.  At the 2016 Talladega College’s commencement ceremonies, Coaxum received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.  

He is a recipient of the New Orleans Council for Community Justice’s Weiss Award.  As an individual who has been an influential leader within economic development, Coaxum received the 2017 Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). 

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Una Anderson

Vice Chairperson

Una Anderson has over 20 years of experience in public service, non-profit management and real estate development.  She graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1989 and returned to New Orleans.  Upon her return, she served in City Hall for five years as a legislative aide in the Council District encompassing downtown New Orleans.  In this position, she assisted many businesses find their way through City bureaucracy to successful operation.  Una was elected to the Orleans Parish School Board in 1998 and served for nine years, four of those years as the Board’s Vice President.  During her tenure on the School Board, she oversaw a $500 million budget and led reform through the recruitment of a nationally recognized reform superintendent, creation of a district-wide reform plan and the championing of charter schools.

In 2000, Una become executive director of Harmony Neighborhood Development and grew this nonprofit to a leadership position in affordable housing production and neighborhood redevelopment in New Orleans.  Harmony, in partnership with McCormack, Baron, Salazar, successfully redeveloped the CJ Peete Public Housing site in Central City New Orleans into the 460 unit, mixed- income Harmony Oaks Community.  At the same time under Una’s leadership, Harmony Neighborhood Development built over 75 homes for first-time, low income homebuyers and created and implemented a financial fitness training for prospective buyers.  As of today, not a single family has defaulted on a Harmony home.  Today, due in large part to these efforts, Central City offers more stability and opportunity for its residents.

Because of her community redevelopment successes, Una was chosen to serve on Capital One’s Community Advisory Board. She spent four years seeing banking innovation at a high level and giving feedback from her grassroots experience to Capital One’s top management.

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Dr. Russell Russo

Secretary / Treasurer of the Board

Dr. Russell Russo is a double board certified orthopedic surgeon in general orthopedics as well as sports medicine. Dr. Russo trained at LSU then completed fellowship at Houston Methodist where he worked with professional sports teams such as the Houston Texans, Rockets, Astros, and Dynamo while also serving NASA at the Johnson space center. Dr. Russo returned to his home town to be able to provide professional sports medicine care to his own community as well as New Orleans East where there was a paucity of orthopedic care following Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Russo's experience with professional sports teams and NASA led him to also become an entrepreneur in the field of advanced nutritional supplementation and commercial posture garments. After starting a few local businesses along with his internal medicine wife, Dr. Kimberly Dao, Dr. Russo was asked to join the VIZ bank team along with his wife. Given the mission statement of VIZ bank, Dr. Russo has been happy to be one of the first on board at VIZ bank given how the strategic and moral vision of VIZ bank aligns with his own ideals in business.

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Allison Young

Allison Young is an experienced healthcare CEO seeking to transition to a corporate board portfolio that will draw on her leadership and information technology skills.

She is a results-oriented executive with ability to translate mission and vision into measurable, attainable goals.  Allison recently retired as the CEO of the Louisiana Community Plan, a 440,000-member health plan with $2B in revenue, at United Healthcare.

Prior to joining United, she served as Senior Vice President of Benefits Administration for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) where:

Her division had $80M operating budget that supports Claims, Customer Service, Membership and Billing TheFederal Employee Health Benefit Program, Blue Card Inter Plan Claims; and Coordination Of Benefits.
She led the business transformation centered on the $75 M implementation of Facets, a packaged claims adjudication and core operating system that replaced the 30 year-oldmainframe legacy systems.
She had a staff of over 1000 (nearly 50% of company) where she trained the management team in Lean Six Sigma
Her teams ranked in Sherlock’s 25th percentile for efficiency while remaining among the top 10 for operational quality.
She reduced operations staff by 20% as the company grew by 50%.

BCBSLA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the largest private corporation in the state of Louisiana.

Currently, Ms. Young serves as: Vice Chairman of the Southern University System Foundation; and is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for Next Health, an analytics software company.

Allison brings skills in executive management, change leadership, large IT system implementations, IT infrastructure, and IT applications development.  

Allison is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Tufts University in Medford, MA and has had additional training in Total Quality Management, Lean Six Sigma, Covey Leadership, Blue Ocean Strategy, Enterprise Architecture and Innovation through Information Technology.

Ms. Young has made presentations at numerous professional meetings on topics such as: Disruptive Innovation, Leading in Times of Change and Transformation, IT Outsourcing, and Managing Your Career in Turbulent Times.  Ms. Young was featured in the regional supplement to the “100 Most Powerful Women” Issue of Forbes Magazine in September 2011 and 2012.

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Richard  (Dick)  Gephardt

Richard Gephardt is President and CEO of Gephardt Group, a privately held labor relations and government affairs firm. He provides strategic advice and hands-on consulting for clients on an array of government and labor relations issues. Mr. Gephardt has brought successful resolution for clients on issues related to negotiations, crisis management, and strategic communications. He represents a broad array of Fortune 100 clients and has served as a public spokesperson on coalitions to bring about policy solutions to healthcare reform and climate change.

Mr. Gephardt served for 28 years in the United States House of Representatives (from 1977 to 2005), representing Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District, home to his birthplace St. Louis. In his first year in Congress, he was appointed to both the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. He was elected to serve as House Democratic Leader for more than 14 years, as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995, and Minority Leader from 1995 to 2003. In his role as Leader, Mr. Gephardt emerged as one of the leading strategists of the Democratic Party’s platform and chief architect to landmark reforms in healthcare, pensions, education, energy independence and trade policy. Mr. Gephardt ran as a Democratic candidate for U.S. President twice, in 1988 and 2004. Mr. Gephardt currently serves on the boards of Centene Corporation and Spirit Aerosystems. Most recently, Mr. Gephardt was a member of the Board of Directors at Ford Motor Company, CenturyLink and U.S. Steel Corporation. In addition, he was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is the Founder of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at Washington University in St. Louis.

Widely known for his advocacy for international human rights, Mr. Gephardt served as Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, a private, nonprofit organization that endeavors to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts, from 2009 to 2013 and was Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Scripps Research Institute, a private, non-profit research organization engaged in basic biomedical science. Mr. Gephardt began his career in public service in 1968 as a precinct captain for St. Louis’ 14th Ward, and from 1971 to 1976, served as its Alderman. In 1976, he was elected to the Congress, succeeding 24-year incumbent Leonor Sullivan. Mr. Gephardt earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 1962 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1965.

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Dr.  Bradley  Bartholomew

Dr. Bradley Bartholomew is a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal neurosurgery. Dr Bartholomew is a lifelong resident of the greater New Orleans area. He attended Tulane undergraduate and then attended Tulane medical school. While at Tulane medical school he rose to the position of president of Phi Delta Episilon , a medical service fraternity, and then the position of Undergraduate Regional Coordinator for the Gulf South region. In his final year of neurosurgery residency at Tulane he was appointed chief resident. He also was asked to be and served as the Acting Clinical Director of Charity Hospital on call nights.

Since completion of his training he has been in private solo practice. Despite the time commitment to this he has risen to the position of Associate Clinical Professor In the department of neurosurgery at Tulane through his donation of time to teaching the residents.
He has also served as chief of surgery at multiple hospitals, along with being on the hospital board at multiple hospitals.

Being in solo private practice he has learned not only the necessary business skills to run a small business, but also has learned how important banks are to the functioning of small businesses in our community.

Dr Bartholomew has started and manages multiple medical related businesses in addition to having been a part owner and board member of Omega Hospital in Metairie Louisiana.

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Paul  D.  Connick,  Jr.

Paul Connick, Jr. was born in New Orleans on June 3, 1954.  He is one of eight children.  He is married to the former Giselle Dutrey, and together they have five children and four grandchildren.

Paul graduated from Loyola University in 1976 and received a law degree from Loyola Law School in 1979.  From 1980 to 1988, he was an Assistant District Attorney in Jefferson Parish.  After leaving the District Attorney’s office he became a senior partner in the private law firm of Connick, Wimberly & deLaup.

Prior to being elected District Attorney, Paul served as a member of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana from 1992 to 1996.  This commission oversees the ethical conduct of state judges.  He was Chairman of the Commission in 1995.

Paul was elected District Attorney of Jefferson Parish on November 5, 1996.  Upon taking office, he implemented many policies and programs designed to make the office more professional and proficient.

He developed a nationally recognized high school student drug testing program and has been invited to speak on that topic by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.  He has also developed and participated in several programs which provide alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenses.  Paul has served on several state and national associations, boards and commissions and is past president of the Louisiana District Attorney Association.

Paul is in his 4th term as District Attorney in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.  He and his wife Giselle currently reside in Metairie, Louisiana.

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Dr.  Kimberly  Dao  Russo

Dr. Kimberly Dao Russo is an internal medicine physician in New Orleans East, specializing in care of the Vietnamese population. She trained in medicine in New Orleans at LSU and joins the VIZ bank board with her husband, Dr. Russell Russo. Dr. Dao Russo joins her father in practice as some of the few Vietnamese speaking physicians in the region who cater to an underserved population struggling to find primary care. On top of her medical practice, Dr. Dao Russo is an entrepreneur who developed Smitten Kitten activewear which has been widely successful since its launch. After successful local business ventures, Dr. Dao Russo was asked with her husband to support the VIZ bank team and become one of the first board members along with her husband. Dr. Dao Russo works closely with her husband who is chairman of the respit care charity, Angel's Place. VIZ bank aligns the goals of successful business planning with moral and ethical leadership which is why she has taken a seat on the board to be a part of this great endeavour.

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Andrew Cobb

Andrew Cobb started his lifetime career at age fourteen (14) working part time for World Ship Supply, Inc. based in New Orleans, LA. He began working full time after graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Accounting. Mr. Cobb worked as manager for approximately five (5) years. At this point (1989), he was offered ownership and the opportunity to open the expansion office in Houston, Texas. Mr. Cobb served as President of World Ship Supply (Texas), Inc. It was very successful and became the largest ship supply company in North America. He personally feels he had a super team that achieved this success. For the next 20 years Mr. Cobb and his team opened branches in Corpus Christi, TX, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, New York, NY, Jacksonville, FL and Mobile, AL. They started several other companies that assisted their ship supply business. They also purchased many Real Estate properties to support their businesses. In 2009, we sold all assets, etc. to Wrist Ship Supply, an international company based in Aalborg, Denmark. Mr. Cobb continued with Wrist for an additional six (6) years under contract as Sales Manager. At that point, he retired from the ship supply business, and is now focused on managing investments and real estate.

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Dr.  Srinivas  Kata

Dr. Srinivas Kata is a Family Medicine Physician who has been practicing Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care since 2006. Dr. Kata completed his training from Baton Rouge General.

Several years later Dr. Kata was able to build and establish his first urgent care facility. While working and managing the facility, Dr. Kata was able to understand and develop his business knowledge. With the passion of medicine and business, Dr. Kata grew the company into five urgent care facilities. Dr. Kata also has a lot of interest in developing real estate along with his father, Dr. Rao Kata. Dr. Kata is blessed with a wonderful wife and two beautiful children.

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Robert  L.  Vaughn

Robert L. (Bob) Vaughn is a businessman, investor, philanthropist and restaurateur. Principal of Ocean Steamship Agency, Bob has provided principally sales and marketing consultancy services to the international oil and gas industry. During the course of his career, he has lived in Southeast Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi before moving overseas. He lived in Cameroon, Nigeria, Singapore and France, covering West Africa, Southeast Asia and global responsibilities.

Bob retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Colonel following a career as a fighter pilot, and Transportation, Supply and Logistics commands. He and his wife CJ own and operate Acropolis on Freret, a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant.