In Character: Gail Gaiennié

Photo by Jeannie Frey Rhodes


CONSIDERING, she has worked with more than a dozen nonprofits in the area and has stepped in when needed to raise funds, orchestrate events, construct boards and handle the media. She works hard, and she does it all with a joyful spirit.
CONSIDERING, she was influenced philanthropically by her mother, who died when she was a senior in high school. Her mother made an effort to be involved in the Baton Rouge community, and this drives what she does today.
CONSIDERING, she was a marketing account manager for the BellSouth system and retired in 2000 after working for 27 years. Her training and involvement in the fields of health care, finance, media and education equipped her with great knowledge of multiple industries. This is vital to her nonprofit work.
CONSIDERING, she first became involved in the Baton Rouge community through the Junior League. She was part of the first Hollydays marketplace, and she helped launch the first marketing department for the league. She was chairman of River Roads Recipes, and she started the first night River Road Ramblers—a group of league members who entertain in assisted living and retirement homes. “We called ourselves the Night Owls.”
CONSIDERING, she took early retirement from the BellSouth system but eventually missed networking. Instead of looking for another full-time job, she decided to use her training to help nonprofits when needed on an interim basis. “I decided to do what I call ‘jobettes.’ They are all for a limited period of time or for a specific task.”
CONSIDERING, she’s great at planning events. She has orchestrated the Alzheimer’s Memories Luncheon for Alzheimer’s Services; she’s helped coordinate golf events for Mary Bird Perkins; she launched the kickoff event for Heritage Ranch; and she implemented the Benevon Model for a breakfast fundraiser for the YWCA. “I love making a difference in little, under-the-radar ways.”
CONSIDERING, she will take the helm when necessary. She served as development director for Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baton Rouge, coordinator of volunteers for St. Vincent de Paul, development director for Baton Rouge Little Theater, development and marketing director for Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center and director of major gifts for Capital Area United Way. “I’ve gotten to be involved with organizations that were both important to me and offered me a chance to not only contribute, but to learn.”
CONSIDERING, she is on the Geaux Teal Ovarian Cancer committee—a nonprofit that fundraises for Cancer Services of Baton Rouge. Her mother died of ovarian cancer, and she is dedicated to raise money for the cause.
CONSIDERING, she’s a passionate follower of all Lady Tiger sports, she loves crossword puzzles on rainy days and she cherishes spending time with family and friends.
CONSIDERING, she’s a huge believer in the city of the Baton Rouge, a place that she maintains is still small enough that people care—they do more than merely live here. “I haven’t ever had someone that I’ve approached for help say ‘no.’ It’s just a giving and caring community.”