In 2010 Kim Winston Bigler started what would eventually become James Samaritan out of the trunk of her car in California. Over the last 5 years (after moving back to Louisiana), she has built an organization which has an incredible impact on the Louisiana foster care community. She has grown James Samaritan by building relationships with the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), local churches and an army of community volunteers. Her contributions to the foster care system have received statewide recognition. She has been recognized for her impact on changing how we care for our most vulnerable. Kim has been recognized by many of the top organizations in Louisiana for her service to children and families. These organizations include LFAPA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation Angel Award, YMCA St. Tammany West Hometown Hero Award, Together We Can Conference, Linda Christmas Award, Louisiana Institute of Children and Families, Angel in Adoption Award, First Lady Edwards Louisiana Fosters, Governor Edwards, Louisiana Institute of Children in Families, and many more.
Karl Zollinger has been in the banking industry for over 30 years. He also provides consulting services in the areas of Debt placement, federal and state tax incentives programs and real estate development. Mr. Zollinger has held various management positions in commercial and real estate lending as well as business banking. He is a director of the publicly-traded companies Biloxi Marsh Lands Corp,Lake Eugenie Land & Development, Inc. and Terre Aux Boeufs Lands Company, Inc.
He is a co-founder of 4D Products and Services, LLC (a certified Native American Small Business) which provides consulting in the Native American Community. Mr. Zollinger is a former board member of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI), St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation, West St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity (Treasurer), St. Tammany West Leadership Foundation, Louisiana Children’s Museum (Secretary), Goodwill Industries, Volunteers of America National Housing Corporation and its affiliates and the Northshore Housing Initiative, Inc. (President).
Serving as Director of Finance and Investor Relations with New Orleans Equity Partners, based in Covington, LA, Sharon’s primary focus includes Land Investment, Fossil Fuels Investments and Real Estate Development. She works closely with local leaders and influencers in the markets she is invested in to ensure success in those markets. Her knowledge and experience with acquisitions and structuring of successful projects bring many creative ideas to enhance profitability. Her active participation in the marketplace has enhanced her ability to make a difference locally and to stay connected in a constantly changing and emerging marketplace. Sharon partners with some of the most experienced people in the Real Estate Industry and brings a management team with over $1 billion dollars of Real Estate development experience. Sharon helps to navigate through the complexities of zoning, design, environmental, finance and execution of Real Estate development projects.
Pam Abide is Managing Partner of New Orleans Equity Partners. Her extensive network of contacts has allowed Pam to partner with some of the most respected and experienced people in the real estate industry, producing more than $1 billion dollars of real estate development experience. Pam and her business partners successfully collaborate to manage the complexities of real estate developments. Her vast knowledge of finance, design, environmental, zoning and execution has made her a recognized leader in leader in the business community. Additionally, Pam is a Managing Partner of Paragon Business Capital, which is a firm that provides alternative financing, commonly known as Factoring, for small and mid-size businesses who want to increase business revenue and profitability. Pam believes in nurturing strong business relationships that create a win-win for all parties involved. As a confident, driven professional who reacts quickly to opportunities that produce yield high returns, Pam focuses on project development and acquisitions.
Aliyah Zeien is an alumni of the Louisiana foster care system. She prides herself in being a social worker with Louisiana Methodist Children & Family Services working directly to deliver services that enhance the quality of life and promote normalcy/permanency for youth in foster care. She has become a powerful legislative advocate working to transform the child welfare system. In 2018, Aliyah testified in front of the Louisiana Senate to assist with the passage of Senate Bill 109 which officially extended foster care in the state of Louisiana. She is the current Communications Officer for the Louisiana Youth Advisory Board. She also regularly works with DCFS policy makers to reshape foster care policies, and shares her experiences at conferences such as Together We Can with child welfare professionals across the state. Her purposeful passion is advocating on behalf of youth in foster care and ensuring their voice is heard.
David Richard has 30 years of insurance, IT, and executive level business experience. He began his professional career after graduating from LSU and becoming a full-time EMT-Intermediate Paramedic at East Jefferson General Hospital. He then joined the insurance services firm his father started, assuming information technology roles in the growing company. As a former software developer, systems engineer, manager, division president, CTO, CIO, and now Sr. VP for a tech company in Texas, David has worked at the senior executive level of a large, multi-national company (more than 5,000 employees). His past volunteer efforts have been on local and state-wide election campaigns, helping 2016 flood recovery and victims, past president of the SELU CS/IT Advisory board, Education Travel and Culture (edutrav.org) and the Visiting Pet Program.
Mr. Cook is a Commercial Sales & Leasing Executive for Stirling Properties and serves as the President of The Realtor Land Institute’s Louisiana Chapter. He is a Mandeville High School graduate and received his Bachelorette and Master of Science from Louisiana Tech. He is a strong local advocate for the special needs community as the Program Director for the iCAN Sports League and a Board Member for Special Olympics LA. He also serves as an active Board Member for James Storehouse and the Youth Service Bureau that champion foster and youth services.