Associated Image:Welcome to the Lighthouse

Welcome to the Lighthouse

Welcome to the Lighthouse

Welcome to our newest staff members.

Valerie Riley, Human Resources Director

Native New Orleanian Valerie Riley brings 15 years of personnel experience in various industries to her new position as Lighthouse Louisiana’s Human Resources Director. She graduated from the University of New Orleans in 2008 with a B.S. in Business Administration/Human Resource Management and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resource Management Association’s (HRMA) New Orleans Chapter.

Riley loves to read books authored by indigenous people from the 19th century.  She also exercises her creative side as an artisan, designing and creating jewelry from resin and recycled materials, such as broken jewelry pieces, metal scraps, Mardi Gras beads, and other odds and ends. Although she is on a brief hiatus as she settles into her new job, you can typically find Valerie selling her jewelry at the St. Roch Market on Saturdays.

Margaret Shepherd, Occupational Therapist, Early Intervention Specialist

Margaret Shepherd, LOTR, joins Lighthouse Louisiana to kick off her career working with a population she truly enjoys—young children. She will be an Early Intervention Specialist with the EarlySteps program, a state-sponsored program serving children from birth to age 3 with developmental delays. As final steps are being made for Shepherd to represent Lighthouse Louisiana in the program, she is building her skills and familiarizing herself with Lighthouse’s adult clients.

“I am proud to provide OT services to kids, primarily those who are vision-impaired, and likely those who are hearing-impaired and children with other types of disabilities,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd graduated in May 2023 from LSUHSC-New Orleans with a master’s in occupational therapy. She obtained a B.S. in exercise science with a minor in psychology from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. When Shepherd is not teaching dancing to children and teens, she can be found working out in the gym. She is from New Orleans, has a cat named Pigeon, and is a Taylor Swift fan, recently returned from Swift’s New York City concert.

Renita Johnson, Information & Referral Specialist/Front Desk Receptionist

Renita Johnson has worked in an office setting for more than 20 year. She spent much of that time at Children's Hospital, I’m so happy to join lighthouse Louisiana. I have worked in an office setting for over 20 years. I spent many of those years working for Children’s Hospital, as as a Guest Services Representative, assisting parents with ill kids in any way possible. A job that gave me great gratification. 

"I’m honored to represent the front desk at lighthouse Louisiana."

I am the parent of two kids Jade and Robert. I am an avid reader but my passion is baking. I enjoy watching sports, shopping, and spending time with my husband, eating at different restaurants in the city.

Kelvin Jones, Shipping & Receiving Clerk

A new position as Shipping Clerk at Lighthouse New Orleans was not the only reason Kelvin Jones was lured away from his hometown of Carthage, MS. His girlfriend lives in the city, and the food was a huge draw, especially the beignets and fresh seafood he couldn’t get back home. An art enthusiast, Jones is also inspired by the canvas that is New Orleans, an art exhibit in and of itself.

Jones graduated in 2020 with a B.S. in Mass Communications from Jackson State University. He brings more than two years of shipping experience and a past career as a Scott County police officer. He loves his job, and the unique and interesting people and workplace. In his free time, Jones stays active playing sports, especially basketball, golf, and football. He looks forward to the upcoming football season and attending games at his alma mater.

Scott Lawrence, Director of Manufacturing

The Lighthouse welcomes Scott back to the State Street campus. Scott previously spent three years as Production Manager. Before coming to the Lighthouse, he lead production in the eyeglass industry for many years. He spent 10 years leading charitable vision clinics and manufacturing projects for the charity OneSight. The nonprofit delivers vision exams, eye heath referrals and new glasses to people in need all across the country and all over the world.  

Scott has been married for 30 years and has two adult children and enjoys any opportunity to spend time with his family. He also enjoys home renovation projects, Jeeps and motorcycles.