Board of Trustees
Neal J. Kling, Chair | firstname.lastname@example.org
Neal is a member of the law firm of Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, L.L.C. His primary practice areas include Finance and Commercial Law. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Tulane Law School, and is active in many bar and professional groups. He currently serves as Chair of the Commercial Finance Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law, and has been elected to the Section’s Council. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Commercial Finance Attorneys, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and a Proctor Member of the Maritime Law Association. He is a frequent speaker at many of the meetings of these professional groups.
A native of Gonzales, Louisiana, Neal attended Louisiana State University, earning both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. He was a member of the Louisiana Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif from LSU’s Law School. He has lived in New Orleans since 1993. Neal and his wife, Suzanne, have two children – Madeline and John. Madeline is a member of the Academy of the Sacred Heart Class of 2019. John is a 2012 Stuart Hall graduate and member of the Jesuit High School Class of 2017. Both children are members of their respective cross-country and track teams.
Neal and Suzanne are members of St. Dominic Parish and are both been active volunteers in the community. Neal served on the Stuart Hall Board of Trustees, including a term as Board Chair. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Spirit of Charity Foundation. Suzanne served as Co-President of the Sacred Heart Mother’s Club, and together they served as members of the St. Dominic Parish Family Advisory Council. In his free time, Neal enjoys golf, fishing, traveling and cooking. Neal looks forward to serving and supporting the goals and mission of the Rosary as Chair of its Board of Trustees.
Patrick D. Hammet, Vice-Chair | email@example.com
Rachelle Albright, Secretary | firstname.lastname@example.org
William R. Galloway, Treasurer | email@example.com
Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ, PhD '70, Ex-Officio | firstname.lastname@example.org
Evans M. McLeod, Past Chair | email@example.com
Byron A. Adams, Jr. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael P. Cook | email@example.com
Lawrence R. DeMarcay III | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Gibbons Favrot '53 | email@example.com
Kathleen Garaudy | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kendall Goodier Hales '92 | email@example.com
Octavio Mantilla | firstname.lastname@example.org
Octavio Mantilla was born in Nicaragua and moved to New Orleans as a child. At sixteen, he got his first job in a restaurant and has worked his way through all the managerial levels. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. Octavio helped open Harrah’s Casino & Hotel in New Orleans and then worked in St. Louis as Harrah’s Director of Food Operations. He has opened numerous fine dining restaurants for Harrah’s nationwide.
Octavio returned to New Orleans to be reunited with his old friend Chef John Besh at Besh Steakhouse at Harrah’s. Octavio joined John as a partner in the Besh Restaurant Group, combining his vast experience in restaurant operations with a passion for customer service. Since becoming John’s partner, the Besh Restaurant Group has expanded to include La Provence, Lüke New Orleans, Domenica, Lüke San Antonio, Borgne, Pizza Domenica, Johnny Sanchez Baltimore, Johnny Sanchez New Orleans, Shaya, Willa Jean, and a newly acquired private events venue, Pigeon & Prince.
In 2015, Octavio and Chef Besh established Our House Hospitality- the hotel food and beverage management arm of the Besh Restaurant Group. Our House Hospitality is responsible for the revitalization of the historic Pontchartrain Hotel which houses four food & beverage outlets including Silver Whistle Cafe, Hot Tin, Bayou Bar, and the Caribbean Room.
Laurie Weiss Nuell | email@example.com
Maureen O'Halloran, RSCJ | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Maureen O’Halloran, RSCJ, is a graduate of Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart and Newton College of the Sacred Heart, which merged with Boston College in 1975. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Suffolk University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School. Sr. O’Halloran taught Middle and Upper School courses for several years at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, NJ. She also taught for six months at the Sacred Heart School in Kalungu, Uganda.
As an attorney, she has served as law clerk to the Justices of the Superior Court of Massachusetts, Assistant General Counsel to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and In-House Counsel to Massachusetts State Colleges. From 2001-2008 she served as Provincial Treasurer of the Society of the Sacred Heart, United States Province. Sr. O’Halloran has served on several boards including Maryville University, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart and Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. She is delighted to join the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Board of Trustees.
Machelle Payne | email@example.com
Beth Lowry Speck | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Lowry Speck is an educator and leader residing in Houston. For 35 years, she served in various roles at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, including teacher, Campus Ministry and Social Awareness program coordinator, Alumnae Director and Director of Admission. She then spent one year as Interim Head of the Early Child and Lower School at Annunciation Orthodox School in Houston and now offers professional consulting services in private education to schools and individuals. Beth currently serves on the Alumnae Board at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston and is a Sacred Heart Associate. She has also served as Chair of the Cenacle Retreat House Governing Board and President of the Associated Alumnae/Alumni of the Sacred Heart National Board. An alumna of Duchesne, she holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and is currently working towards earning certification in Catholic School Leadership. Beth and her husband David have been married for 35 years and have two daughters who are both Sacred Heart graduates.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Beth worked very closely with students relocated from New Orleans to help them find their “Sacred Heart home away from home” at Duchesne. She has also maintained strong ties with the Rosary through the AASH, the national Sacred Heart alumnae organization, and other connections. She is honored to be part of the Rosary’s Board of Trustees, which gives her the opportunity to stay connected to a very important part of her Sacred Heart heritage and to serve a community that she loves and admires.
Julie Prieur Varisco '94 | email@example.com