New Orleans, Louisiana—Link Stryjewski Foundation is happy to announce the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. Businessmen Gary Solomon and Scott Rodger are joining current board members Heather Lolley, Humberto Suazo, Bill Hammack and Julia Reed, who have served since the foundation’s inception in 2015. The non-profit organization was created by Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in our city.
“This group of New Orleans business leaders and philanthropists embodies the spirit of community we all embrace, and shares a common passion for education and the welfare of our youth,” states Chef Link. “We are fortunate to have them share their talents—each brings unique skills and perspective to the board.”
Gary Solomon, along with his wife Martha, manages a venture capital group with more than 25 years of diverse entrepreneurial endeavors, including New Orleans Original Daiquiris, Semolina Restaurants, franchise locations of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Movietime Video, PHL Leasing Systems, Unishippers, and numerous real estate developments. The primary business operated by the Solomon’s today is Crescent Bank and Trust, which employs 625 employees in 25 states. His philanthropic and civic work expands across New Orleans and across decades, earning him The Times-Picayune Loving Cup for 2014.
Scott Rodger, originally a musician, ventured into management through his friendship with Bjork. Today, he is an entertainment manager for Maverick Management. He manages world-renowned artists, including Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire, Shania Twain, Andrea Bocelli and David Blaine.
The remaining Link Stryjewski Foundation board members also bring a depth of experience to the table. They include, along with founders Link and Stryjewski: Heather Lolley, currently the Director of Restaurant Operations for Link Restaurant Group, following a number of years as the General Manager of both Cochon and Herbsaint; Humberto Suazo, a CPA with an MBA from Loyola who serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Link Restaurant Group; Bill Hammack, a trained journalist who spent the bulk of his career as an entrepreneur and is actively involved in The Link Restaurant group as an owner/partner, and started and built a number of successful ventures in publishing and internet software; and Julia Reed, who is a contributing editor at Elle Décor and Garden & Gun magazine, where she writes a regular column, “The High & Low,” while also contributing to The Wall Street Journal, where she writes a food column, and she is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has authored seven books.
The Link Stryjewski Foundation’s first fundraiser, Bal Masqué, held in January 2016, raised $150,000 for its mission. The next Bal Masqué is scheduled for January 6th & 7th, 2017.
The Link Stryjewski Foundation was created to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in our city. The Link Stryjewski Foundation provides support to organizations that directly work to end this cycle. The mission of the Link Stryjewski Foundation is to help nourish and educate the youth of New Orleans, allowing them to realize their potential and become active positive members of our community. For more information about the Link Stryjewski Foundation and its beneficiaries, visit www.linkstryjewski.org.