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Emeril Lagasse Foundation Announces New President

Emeril and Alden Lagasse and the Board of Directors of Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) announce Brian Kish as new President of the New Orleans-based organization.  As part of a nationwide search, Kish was chosen among a group of competitive and qualified candidates to lead the growth and advancement of the Foundation as it expands its support beyond New Orleans and the Gulf South.  Kish, former Senior Vice President of Development at the University of Arizona Foundation, will join the Emeril Lagasse Foundation staff on September 8.

“When we met Brian, we knew we had found our new leader. He brings a national perspective and a remarkable skill set to build upon the successes of the Foundation’s first 12 years,” said Chef Emeril Lagasse.  “Under his guidance we look forward to furthering our reach and improving more lives.”

Established in 2002 as the realization of Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden Lagasse’s dream to improve the quality of young people’s lives, ELF supports children’s education and non-profit organizations with culinary, nutrition, garden, arts and life skills programs. Since 2003, ELF has distributed $5.7 million in grants for children’s charities. Projects funded by the Foundation include an outdoor classroom, gardens, fresh foods cafeteria and teaching kitchen at Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, an accessible learning kitchen for special needs students at St. Michael Special School, a four-year culinary arts program for high school students at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Hospitality Center at Café Reconcile, and hospitality training at Liberty’s Kitchen for at-risk youth preparing healthy school meals.

The Foundation’s signature fundraising events, Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Boudin, Bourbon & Beer and Carnivale du Vin, return to New Orleans November 7 – 8, 2014.

“To work with Emeril and a group of individuals who are so passionate about making a difference in children’s lives and in the community is thrilling. I can’t wait to be part of it,” said Kish.

Kish, an Ohio native, was a member of the executive management team of the University of Arizona Foundation and oversaw the offices of annual giving, communications, corporate and foundation relations, strategic prospect development and analytics, gift planning, special events, and donor relations.  As a development professional and consultant, he has worked with clients and institutions throughout the world including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.

Kish will make the move to New Orleans in September and will be joined by his wife Nicole and young children Vivienne (6), Presley (4), and Keller (1).