The Emerge Foundation

In 2017, the Board of Directors and executive leadership of The Emerge Center completed a three-year Strategic Plan that leverages the history and track record of Emerge to position the non-profit organization for sustainable growth in its services for children with autism and communication challenges.  In 2018, The Emerge Foundation was created to ensure coordinated and streamlined fundraising for both the Center and School.

Our Mission: To provide sustained philanthropic support to The Emerge Center and The Emerge School for Autism, thereby helping to facilitate broad access to therapeutic services and education for individuals with autism and communication challenges in our care.

The Emerge Foundation Staff

Shelton Jones, Executive Director
Shelton Jones has been actively involved in non-profit development and fundraising activities in the Baton Rouge community for the past several years and joined The Emerge Center in August 2017.  Having served as a Capital Campaign Coordinator for Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation from 2011 through 2014, Shelton is excited to return to Emerge.  From 2014 through 2017, Shelton worked at Our Lady of the Lake Foundation, first as a Capital Campaign Coordinator and subsequently as a Major Gifts Officer.  She is a 2015 graduate of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s Annual Madison Institute and received a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University. A native of San Francisco, Shelton and her husband, Ted, have two teenage children.  Shelton takes pride in advancing mission-driven organizations like The Emerge Center that make a life-changing difference for individuals and families.

Julie Chappell, Annual Giving Manager
Julie Chappell is a native of Baton Rouge, LA and has served in the non-profit sector for nearly twenty years. Julie joined our team in July 2013 as Director of Development leads our fundraising efforts. Prior to joining Emerge, Julie served as Director of Development for five years at The Dimock Center, a full service community health center in Boston, MA, where she successfully increased fundraising revenue by 40%. Before moving to Boston, Julie served as the Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center. Julie received her undergraduate degree in Family and Child Studies from Louisiana State University and went on to earn a Master’s of Public Administration. Julie is driven by her passion that every child deserves an equal opportunity to succeed.

Brandi Monjure, Communications and Events Coordinator
Brandi is a native of Covington, LA who received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Louisiana State University in 2011. Since then she has worked in the Event Planning and Marketing industries, including owning her own business. She has planned celebratory, corporate, and philanthropic events, and has managed marketing for companies ranging from restaurants and bars to garden centers. Since 2012, Brandi has assisted Emerge on various fundraising events and projects, and joined Emerge full-time in July 2015 as part of The Emerge Center’s Development team. Although the fundraising world was not something she actively sought out, working under knowledgeable fundraising professionals and learning the Emerge mission motivated her to stay in the non-profit area and develop her skills pertaining to fundraising. She is motivated by the great need for our services and the success stories that come out of our doors.

Kathryn Rountree, Grant Writer
Kathryn Rountree received her B.A. in Mass Communication, as well as an M.A. in History from Louisiana State University. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors in the fields of grant writing, public policy research, marketing and project management. Prior to joining the Emerge team in November of 2017, Kathryn was a Grants Coordinator for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, where she specialized in writing pediatric healthcare grants for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. She is credentialed as a Certified Grant Writer through the American Grant Writers Association. Kathryn is committed to the idea that all children have access to the services they need to lead full, healthy lives.

 Sydnie Rowland, Development Intern
Graduating from Louisiana State University in May 2019, Sydnie will earn her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication – Public Relations. She gained her communication experience interning for Kean Miller Law Firm, The Louisiana Kids Marathon and LSU’s College of Human Sciences & Education, learning the ins and outs of the public relations field and where she could best contribute her talents. While in her undergrad years, Sydnie also served as an LSU Ambassador, orientation leader and student development leader for incoming freshmen. Her dedication to aiding new students with their transition to college translated into a passion for helping people from all walks of life, which is how she found Emerge. Although Sydnie is new to the nonprofit scene, she is excited to join a team that shares her passion for giving children the resources they need to thrive.







2018 Board of Directors

Katie Sternberg, Chairwoman
Colleen Waguespack, Vice Chairwoman
Sherry Spies, Secretary
Will Owens, Treasurer

Steve Cangelosi – Treasurer, The Emerge Center
Ashley Gordon
Nathan Irby
Jean-Paul Perrault – Chairman, The Emerge School
Valerie Schexnayder
Katy Sinor
Andy St. Romain
Kelli Bondy Troutman

Melissa Juneau – CEO, The Emerge Center
Shelton Jones – Executive Director, The Emerge Foundation
Leigh Bozard – Principal, The Emerge School

Annual Reports

2018 Mid-Year Impact Report
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report


The Emerge Foundation is a 501c3 charitable tax exempt organization and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

We are proud to be a Capital Area United Way community partner since 1976.

Donor Privacy Statement:
The Emerge Foundation values its donors as partners in our mission. Donor names, contact information, payment data and information relevant to our fundraising activities are kept secure via a password-protected database management system. We do not share, rent, or sell donor or prospective donor information with any outside party. Donors who wish to update their records or to be removed from our contact list should call 225-343-4232 or send an email to