The Vestry is the governing board of the church. With the Rector, this board, through prayer and reflection discern the direction of the parish. The Vestry is composed of nine members of the church who are elected at the parish's annual meeting. These members serve three year terms, with three new members being elected each year. The Vestry is led by the Wardens (Guardians) who are elected by the Vestry members following the annual meeting.
If you have questions for the Vestry, please email here to be connected with Allen Chighizola .
Sandy Brown is a, proud mother of 4 fantastic kids, wife to an amazing husband, teacher to 100's and new Vestry member to all of you. She so happy and honored to be here as part of this team.
Sandy has been involved in education, the church, and Christian community development for all of her adult life, starting in Chicago and now here in New Orleans.
Sandy loves children, teaching, drinking good wine, Mardi Gras, her family, and the many great friends who share these things with me.
Sandy's goal is to meet all the people who are part of St. Andrew's and represent them well while on the Vestry.
Allen Chighizola (Senior Warden) is the very proud father of two fine young adult men. Being a father has been the thing he have been most proud of and passionate about in his life. Second to that would be his education and career. Allen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Specialist degree in School Psychology and an MBA in Healthcare Management. His career has spanned 31 years of working first in the school system and then in the healthcare system for the past 19 of those years. Allen's passion in work has always been with helping others. However, last year he found himself feeling lost in that passion and realized he was no longer doing what his heart felt was right. Allen resigned from my management job to focus on what he wanted to do where my passion would grow.
Allen decided to return to school to earn yet another degree. He is currently working toward a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. His goal is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and work toward a private practice specializing in working with the marginalized people and communities of our city (LGBT, disabled, etc). Allen's path to the Episcopal Church and to St Andrew’s has been a long and wandering journey. Allen grew up on the Westbank of New Orleans and was raised in the Catholic Church. In his early adult life he was highly involved in his church. He became a Eucharistic minister and a peer minister. Allen later became a youth leader. He loved what he was doing but there was something missing. As a gay man, I did not feel that I could ever truly be myself and feel accepted. He finally left the church in 2007.
Not very long after Allen returned to New Orleans in 2010, he ended up attending mass at Trinity Episcopal church where Fr Jim was preaching. For the first time in his life he felt like he fit in and belonged in a church environment. When Fr Jim moved to St Andrew’s, it seemed natural to follow him here as Allen was excited to see him steer his new church into the future. Since that time, he has been an active church member of St Andrew’s and has volunteered for various tasks as well as with the annual pumpkin patch. Allen very moved into the neighborhood where he is just a short walk away and can play a more significant role.
Dr. Jim Briscoe's taught 40 years at Butler University in Indianapolis, both music history and the honors curriculum. He directed two course studies abroad in France with national groups of teachers and students, and he's a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ministry of Culture of France. He earned his PhD In Musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill. From Decatur, he earned a cello major at UA-Tuscaloosa, and he sang tenor soloist at Christ Episcopal for 4 years there.
In Indianapolis, he and his wife, Anna raised two daughters, whom they adore, and they are nuts over their granddaughter Genevieve. They participated actively as members of North United Methodist for 30 years in Indy, where Jim enjoyed serving in choir and on several committees, including that leading to a Reconciling Congregation. Now they look forward to a rich retirement in New Orleans (just a little warmer than Indianapolis!) and certainly to serving St. Andrew's however possible.
Nicco Caridi is a proud member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church because, "I love the welcoming qualities of the congregation". Nicco is a Deputy Sheriff for Orleans Parish Department of Corrections. Nicco is the youngest member of our vestry and brings a fresh perspective to to the St. Andrew's experience.
Nicco has been a member of St. Andrew's since 2016 and demonstrates his commitment to paying forward the hospitality of St. Andrew's serving as our Head Usher, which involves organizing our members to put this welcoming spirit into action!
Dr. Sonia Fanguy Clarke is the wife of Dr. Robert William Clarke and is a new Vestry board member. Sonia grew up in Houma Louisiana and was the oldest of two girls. Sonia is involved in Louisiana League of Nursing, Louisiana State Nursing Association, Louisiana Council of Administrators in Nursing Education
and Alpha Beta Iota Nursing Honor Society as well as St. Andrews Alter Guild. Sonia moved to New Orleans in December of 2019 and started a brand-new Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. Sonia began her Nursing career as an associate degree nurse in Houma Louisiana in 1992 and worked as a Cardiac Care Nurse for several years. Sonia has since graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from
Nicholls State University in 1999, Masters in Nursing Systems Healthcare Management in 2008 and in 2014 obtained her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Loyola University. Sonia has practiced as an acute care nurse for 17 years before transitioning to higher education in 2009. Sonia previously was the Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at Fletcher Technical Community College for 9 years before transitioning into the BSN Program Chair position at Herzing University 5 years ago. In her free time she loves to enjoy the New Orleans culture filled with Food and Music, spending time with her two Chinese
crested rescue pups and traveling to new places.
Oliver Francis -- comes to us at St. Andrew’s as a special gift with unique perspectives. His kind, quiet and humble demeanor, are reflected in his behind-the-scenes work at the church, helping to prepare the Sunday Bulletins, as well as volunteering as an usher and lector.
Prior to joining St. Andrew’s several years ago, he attended the Church of the Transfiguration, which is a community of Episcopalians connected in ministry at Angola Prison. Through St. Andrew’s participation in Prison Ministries, and thanks to the efforts of parishioner and attorney Hampton Carver, Oliver was released from Angola in 2018. During his time at Angola, he received his A.A. and B.A. in Christian Theology at the Baptist Theological Seminary on the prison grounds.
As a Eucharistic Minister there, he brought communion to other prisoners’ cellblocks, including those on Death Row. He also served as a re-entry mentor and counselor to other inmates. Oliver represents St. Andrew’s, with Fr. Jim, in our membership in the Together New Orleans citywide initiative of churches and nonprofits.
Mike Lanaux was born and raised in New Orleans. He has been married for nearly 40 years to his wonderful wife Lindsay. Mike is fortunate to have three wonderful children, my son Ellis, my middle child Clare and my youngest Isabel.
He has been a member of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church for over 25 years. He is an avid LSU fan and outdoorsman.
Mike serves St. Andrew's as our Treasurer.
Mark Roth grew up in Thibodaux as the youngest of seven children and was raised Catholic. His mother was Catholic, and his father was Presbyterian. Since his father’s Church was directly across the street from their home, Mark participated in many of the Presbyterian church events as well. Mark left Thibodaux in 1987 to attend University of Houston. He quickly realized that Houston was too big of a change from small town Thibodaux living and after a year moved to New Orleans to finish Pharmacy school at Xavier University. Growing up, Mark’s sister lived in New Orleans, so he spent many weekends there and knew that was where he wanted to be. After completing pharmacy school, Mark worked as a pharmacist for a few years and then moved into pharmaceuticals as an HIV pharmaceutical consultant for Boehringer Ingelhiem. After the drug he represented for 13 years went generic, he joined Avita Pharmacy and works as business development representative in a multistate territory.
While traveling to Jackson, Mississippi for work, he met his partner, Charles and they have been together for almost 10 years. During his free time Mark is an avid runner and completes a few half marathons each year. While training for a half marathon, Mark ran by the St Andrew’s church and saw a group huddled around the fire pit on the front church walkway. The group greeted him on his way up Carrollton and again on his way back. He had been church shopping, so he decided to check out St. Andrew the following Sunday. After mass he ran into a former customer, Jane Martin and she introduced me to a few of the other parishioners. With the welcome by Jane and the other church members, Mark knew he had found the church that he had been looking for in St. Andrew's.
Dr. Emily Straub (Junior Warden) is a proud native of New Orleans and has her roots planted firmly in the community of St. Andrew’s.
She was baptized in an ecumenical baptism with both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal priest sharing in the ceremony. She attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal School from Pre-Kindergarten to her graduation in the 6th Grade. Emily received the Sacrament of Confirmation here at St. Andrew’s.
Later Emily studied at Newman High School and then at Marquette University in Milwaukee. She finished as Doctor of Physical Therapy. Emily worked as an Acute Physical Therapist at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York for 10 years and for the past 5 years at Ochsner’s Hospital. Currently Emily is focusing on helping those with physical therapy in the Ochsner Cancer Center.
Emily faithful attends our 6pm Sunday Eucharist. Almost every Sunday Emily leads the community in the Prayers of the People and has recently signed up to serve as a Eucharistic Minister.