Introducing New Friends and Fresh Leadership

The new year brings some new faces to Friends of City Park. We are pleased to introduce our new Board President, Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE, our four new members of the Board of Directors, Jeffrey Birdsong, Damon Carraby, Sudie Sutter Joint, and Ron Stone, and we welcome new Membership Manager, Raegan Buckley to our staff. These community leaders and activists cover a range of unique skills from communications and nonprofit law, to finance and nonprofit development. This powerful group of experts in their fields offers Friends of City Park a wealth of knowledge and resources that will make a great impact in shaping the future of City Park. Please join us in welcoming them to Friends of City Park!

Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE – President, Friends of City Park | Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE is Vice President for Philanthropy at Ochsner Health System. Shon leads the Ochsner Philanthropy Team in connecting donors to the health system’s world-class care and educational programs through strategic philanthropic outreach. With more than a decade of experience leading development strategy and comprehensive fundraising activities for healthcare organizations, she assists Ochsner’s efforts to lead the nation in quality patient care and life-changing discoveries. Shon recently received the Ochsner Health CEO’s Game Changer award recognizing the impact she has had on the Philanthropy Department and the health system. 
Shon earned a B.S. from Campbell University, M.A. from the University of Holy Cross, and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Her research interests include examining the impacts of transformational donations on the mission of healthcare systems, female philanthropic leadership, and feminist philanthropy. In addition to her professional endeavors, Shon volunteers her time and expertise. She is a former member of the Board of Dress for Success New Orleans, is former Vice President of the Board of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and a former board member of the Junior League of New Orleans. Shon was named 2018 Healthcare “One To Watch” by the Baton Rouge Business Report, a 2017 Top New Orleans Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine, and was named a 2015 New Orleans City Business Healthcare Hero. Committed to the community, Shon has chaired many of New Orleans’ favorite fundraisers including the Young Leadership Council’s Streetcar Named Desire Gala, the Preservation Resource Center’s Julia Jump, Friends of City Park’s Martini Madness, Friends of City Park’s Lark in the Park, Dress for Success’ Suits and Salads Luncheon, Le Petit Theatre’s Curtain Call Ball and Firstline School’s Edible Evening.

“More than 40 years ago, an incredibly committed group of people dedicated themselves to helping protect the future of City Park and created Friends. That essence of trailblazing still permeates every trail and bayou in City Park.”


Jeffrey Birdsong – Board Member At-Large | A native New Orleanian, Jeff Birdsong lives in the Mid-City area neighboring City Park. He is an attorney at Liskow & Lewis, APLC in New Orleans practicing tax and nonprofit law. Jeff attended Louisiana State University for both his undergraduate studies and law school. After law school, Jeff attended New York University School of Law where he obtained a Tax LL.M. Outside of his legal practice, Jeff spends his time serving on numerous local and national nonprofit boards and enjoys frequenting the city’s best cocktail bars.

My favorite parts of the Park are the Wisner walking paths, the Couturie Forest, and the Discgolf course.  I have been playing Discgolf in the Park since it was located on the Southside of I-610 and I try to play at least a few rounds each week.


Damon Carraby – Board Member At-Large | Damon P. Carraby is a native New Orleanian and is a graduate of Dillard University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies, with a focus on Public Policy. Professionally, he serves as the Director of Corporations and Foundations at City Year. Damon is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He currently serves on the board of the Young Leadership Council, HandsOn New Orleans, Lycée Francias School, and Global Shapers. He also volunteers with Son of a Saint and the Urban League.

“I am excited to serve on the board for Friends of City Park because I see how important it is to connect individuals and community partners to create meaningful opportunities for the betterment of City Park.”


Sudie Sutter Joint – Board Member At-Large | Sudie holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Louisiana State University and she is a Certified Public Accountant. She started her career at KPMG, LLP where she completed compliance attestation audits for one the firms largest advisory clients. She furthered her career at Capital One Bank and Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank where she assisted with regulatory testing and developed analytical skills related to compliance. Currently, she works for Lawrence J. Jacobi CPA managing tax returns, tax compliance, payroll, and bookkeeping. She is a member of the Louisiana State Board of CPAs and AICPA. She currently resides in Old Metairie with her husband, Richard, and two children, Hazel (6) and Sutter (4). She loves City Park and all of the activities it has to offer. Prior to joining the board, Sudie donated her time to Chair Friends of City Park’s Martini Madness.

“I love City Park and all of the activities it has to offer including Ghosts in the Oaks, Celebration in the Oaks, and beignets at Café du Monde.”


Ron Stone – Board Member At-Large | Ron Stone is an External Relations Advisor, Deep Water Gulf of Mexico for Shell in New Orleans. He began his career with Shell in 2011 holding a variety of global and regional communications roles. Prior to joining Shell, Ron was a television news reporter, then a writer-producer with a Houston-based corporate communications firm. Ron is a Texan, born and raised in Houston, but got to New Orleans as quickly as he could! He received his B.A. in History from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. Ron is the proud father of two daughters.

“I love long walks among the beautiful oaks with my fiancée, Susan and our dog, Louis.”


Friends of City Park is thrilled to welcome our new board members and staff. Together they bring many assets, talent, and fresh perspective to this organization. Their knowledge, experience, and expertise will continue to add to the impact that Friends of City Park has made over the last 40 years. 

Friends of City Park is a regional, non-profit organization whose mission is to maintain and increase the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation and education for the public. 

For additional information about this or Friends of City Park, please contact or (504) 483-9376. 

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