Board of Directors
Tung Bach Ly, Interim Chairman
Minh Nguyen, Head Board Member
Tom Costanza, Board Member
Mimi-Cristien Nguyen, Board Member
Joel Waltzer, Board Member
FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Minh Nguyen is the Founder and Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans, Board Member of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadian, Second Vice Chair of the Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans, and 2013 Inaugural Fellow of the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute. Since 2006, Minh has dedicated his life to building a new kind of home for New Orleanians, one that honors that right and power of local residents, young and old, to determine the future of their own neighborhoods. As the Executive Director of VAYLA, Minh has dedicated his work to creating space and leveraging resources to build the capacity of youth, their families, and supporting community members to lead and influence policies, practices and procedures within the public education and health sectors. Through his leadership, Minh has successfully brought together African-American, Vietnamese, Latino and Caucasian community members to take collective action and determine and the future outcomes of their community. His long-term advocacy and organizing efforts have invigorated political energy of New Orleanians through uniting residents under the common goals of taking local control over their schools and city governance structures.
Minh graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a double major in management and marketing. His leadership as a student includes his services as the External Vice President of the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Association (UNAVSA) and the Executive Director of the UNAVSA Fourth Annual North American Vietnamese Student Conference.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR &
Daunyea Pierre first came to VAYLA New Orleans in 2008 as a new youth, and became a member and volunteer of VAYLA in 2009. Since then, he has dedicated his life to the support and service of the community of VAYLA. The organization that supported his own growth and development, inspired him to do the same for others. Whether supporting through action and using his own voice to advocate for others in programs like the “Raise Your Hand Campaign’ (RYHC), or giving time to support the other programs of the organization, he loves helping in any way he can. Over the span of his years at VAYLA, he has put in countless hours of volunteer time, in support of the organization’s mission and vision. Under the mentorship of Minh Nguyen, Huong Nguyen, Jacob Cohen, and a series of other staff and friends, he has come to be a part of VAYLA’s daily operation as much as during events.
Daunyea became a staff member in June of 2018. As VAYLA’s Program Support Coordinator, LGBTQ program Coordinator, and AmeriCorps Worker - he fulfills his role as a general support volunteer at a staff capacity, to insure that the organization and its programs have the support that they need to continue to work efficiently, while working to ensure that our community’s LGBTQ youth have a safe and comfortable space to interact with each other and speak/work on their passions.
Daunyea has studied at Dillard University, with a major in BioMedical Engineering and at Delgado Community College with a major in Criminal Justice with hopes to finish his career. He loves hanging out and interacting with the youth, and is passionate about making sure that they enjoy their time at the Center and get whatever support they need.
DEPUTY AND ADMIN DIRECTOR
Huong Nguyen became a volunteer and member of VAYLA New Orleans in 2006 and became a staff in 2008. She was born and raised in New Orleans East, Louisiana. She graduated from the University of New Orleans, where she majored in Business Marketing.
She is the Founder and Program Coordinator of the Young Womyn’s Leadership Program (YWLP), which seeks to provide a safe space for young womyn that supports the development of healthy coping skills, enhanced self esteem and increases their intellectual, civic, and social skills. She initiated the first young womyn’s flag football team in New Orleans East.
Huong was awarded:
- 2017 Most Notable Vietnamese Women
- ‘Seeds of Hope Award’ in May 2011
- ‘Most Valuable Player – Womyn’s Flag Football Award’ in July 2009
- 2nd Runner Up in the 2009 ASPIRE Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.
- 2009 Service Leader/Youth Ally Change Maker Award from the Gulf South Youth Action Corps
Huong enjoys sharing her food favorites, pomegranates and homemade kale chips, with the young people.
Carlos joined VAYLA New Orleans as a sophomore in 2014 and in the Summer of 2015 became a Reproductive Justice Leader. In 2018, Carlos became the Reproductive Justice Coordinator and a Staff at VAYLA New Orleans.
He was born in Queretaro, Mexico and moved to New Orleans in 2006.
Carlos is currently studying Business Administration at the University of New Orleans.
CIVIC ENGAGMENT COORDINATOR
Dynisha Hugle is the Civic Engagement Coordinator of VAYLA's Civic Engagement/GOTV campaign.
VAYLA's Get Out The Vote (GOTV) work consists of strategic coordination of robocalls, community canvassing, voter registration, trainings/meetings, poll monitoring, and provide transportation for voter mobilization.