Board Members and Governance

Ozone Music Education Foundation

Governance Statement

The Ozone Music Education Foundation is a Louisiana-based, federally tax exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As a public charity, the Ozone Music Education Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors, comprised of officer and non-officer roles. This nonprofit organization is governed by Corporate Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest Policy formerly adopted by the board through unanimous consent. For more information about governance, our standing as a public charity, for general inquiries, or offers of support, please contact us.

Board Members

Greg Barnhill, President +

Originally from New Orleans, Barnhill has been writing and performing his entire life. Artists from Etta James, Martina McBride, and Jessica Simpson to Chicago, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, Leona Lewis and many in between have sung his songs. “Walkaway Joe,” recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley, was a significant milestone to his career. The song went on to earn him a Grammy nomination as well as the respect of his peers that follows him to this day. Barnhill also had a crossover smash with “House of Love” for Amy Grant and Vince Gill.Other hit songs include “Same Ol Love”, “99.9% Sure I’ve Never Been Here Before”, “She’s Taken’ A Shine” and “Never Been Kissed”. He garnered critical claim with the 2014 single, Gary Allan's" It Ain't The Whiskey" which got rave reviews for its bold take on the issue of addiction.

While Barnhill’s chart successes are impressive, he has also recorded, written, and produced a number of TV themes and jingles. In 2007, Greg earned an Emmy nomination for his hit “It’s A New Day” for ‘The Today Show’. You can also hear his work on “CNN”, “Fox and Friends,” “The View,” “Baywatch,” “Growing Pains,” “Murphy Brown,” Crown Royal, Tennessee Titans (NFL), Nashville Predators (NHL), Atlanta Braves (MLB) and other national and regional sports teams, businesses and television programs.

In April of 2009, Greg co-wrote and co-produced the new theme song for CBS The Early Morning Show “A Lot Happens Early”. Later in 2009, Barnhill was nominated for his second Emmy for the NASCAR theme “Be There”. In 2010, Greg Barnhill was nominated for his third Emmy and won for ‘Best Original Song’ for the Today Show theme “Your Day Is Today”. He has written and performed in the New Orleans Saints video / theme song “Big Thang”. In 2011 he had the song “I Know Who I Am” recorded by Leona Lewis for Tyler Perry’s latest movie “For Colored Girls” in the movie as well as, on the Atlantic soundtrack. It was also used to promote the movie "The Butler". Also in 2011, three of his songs were used on the HBO series "TREME", and in 2014 his song "How It Really Is" was used on the CW network's "Hart of Dixie", and in 2015 you can hear his production chops on ME-TV's

Latest promotional campaign, as well as CNN tonight and CNBC's Shark Tank Nation promos
Greg is one of Nashville’s first call master vocalists. He performs around the world with other prominent artists and songwriters. You can also hear Greg’s voice on the recordings of Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, just to name a few. “ I’ve always loved the skill of songwriting even over singing, because a great song is a great song in any time period... and I’m always listening and learning. I stay current, because that’s how you stay in the game.” And from the sound of things, it’s a formula that’s been serving Barnhill well.

Michael Blache, Vice President +

Michael is the Regional Director for 985 Trade based in Mandeville, La. He has been in sales for over 25 years in a variety of fields to include work for a national Sign Company, 10 years as a Realtor, and several years with Qwest Communications. He also owned and operated a restaurant in Old Mandeville for 12 ½ years. His other experience includes over 10 years as a Planning & Zoning Commissioner for the City of Mandeville. He is presently the vice-president of the Ozone Music Education Foundation whose mission is to host an annual festival to raise money to purchase musical instruments for underprivileged children. He is also a member of the Northshore Songwriters Association and an avid songwriter.

Growing up, my parents struggled to purchase my first drum so that I could pursue my fascination with music. This represented a true burden for my family and I know there are other children today whose family’s would like to give the lifelong gift of music to their children but simply cannot. I want to help those children.

Susan Russell, Treasurer +

Susan Russell, Executive Director for Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB), the state’s leading non-profit providing training, education, resources, programming and awareness for a cleaner and more beautiful Louisiana. Russell comes to KLB after 23 years specializing in non-profit program development, management, marketing and fundraising for Keep Mandeville Beautiful, Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans and Louisiana Special Olympics.
As a member of the Ozone Music Education Foundation Board of Directors, Russell’s belief in the need for the Foundation is a very personal one.
“The festival’s goal is to raise money to support music education for young people while highlighting local, regional and national songwriters. As a board member, I believe in this organization because I think it fills a much-needed void. My daughter is a 16-year-old budding singer/songwriter. She has had years of piano and guitar lessons, and she has been in the St. Tammany Parish Talented Music program since she was in 2nd grade. This training has been invaluable in shaping her music talent and ambition, but the focus has been mainly on performance. There are no preparatory programs for young people who aspire to be songwriters, producers, music engineers and promoters. Basically, there is a whole other world of the music industry that young people are not being exposed to. The Foundation, through funds raised from the festival, aims to change that by providing workshops for students, exposing them to the entire music industry,” explains Russell.

Buzz Jackson, Secretary +

Buzz has been playing the guitar and writing songs for over 35 years. He lived in Nashville for 18 years and relocated to Covington, LA in 2010.

Shortly after returning to South Louisiana, he founded the Northshore Songwriters Circle to share his songwriting experience with others interested in writing and performing their own original songs.

The Northshore Songwriters Circle has more than 150 active members and is still going strong after eight years.

Christine Barnhill, Director +

Christine Barnhill Tramel is President of BillBar Construction, Inc and Treasurer of Ozone Music Education Foundation. She is excited about the Foundation’s potential impact on our music community and is honored to be a part of the Foundation Board. Providing education and opportunity to adults and youth is near and dear to her heart and she looks forward to the Foundation and it’s Songwriter Festival being a driving force in providing both to our super talented Parish and Region!

Other professional and community organizations Christine is involved in: National Association of Women in Construction; Slidell Little Theatre; Habitat for Humanity; Slidell Women’s Civic Club; Mystick Krewe of Perseus; Krewe of Mona Lisa Moon Pie and the Northshore Gumbo Cook-Off.

Erica Bernadine Ise, Director +

Erica has been an artistic entrepreneur for over 25 years having worked on projects for The Times Picayune, The New York Times, various community organizations and as a Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) performing artist.

She is a graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans with degrees in Marketing and International Business.

Erica has received design awards for her work from the Society of Newspaper Design and the Louisiana Associated Press and earned a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Louisette Leonard Scott AICP, CFM, Director +

Louisette Scott recently retired from the City of Mandeville where she served as the Director of the Department of Planning and Development. With over 35 years’ experience in city planning, she served as the administrative support to the Planning & Zoning Commissions, the Historic Preservation District Commission and Parks and Parkways Commission.

Louisette is now enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle, pursuing interests in organizations such as the Ozone Music Education Foundation & Songwriter Festival and the Louisiana Master Naturalist Association, where she can enjoy and advocate for music, culture and the natural world.

John West, Director +

Originally from England, John arrived in the United States in 1994 to complete a major software implementation for AT&T network systems in Columbus, OH.

He moved into IT systems, becoming an executive at Sterling Commerce, where he was responsible for the deployment of ~$80M of IT projects to 11 countries in 4 years.

Moving to the New Orleans area in 2004, John became an entrepreneur, launching several businesses including a multi-website online retail business that acquired over 24,000 customers which he sold in 2013.

He now works as a consultant helping organizations build software products and acquire customers.

John has a passion for original music which—as a performing singer / songwriter—he channels into both his own songs and into his role as Technology Director for the Ozone Music Education Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Through both his music and his work for Ozone he aims to inspire and support grassroots talent on the Northshore and the Greater New Orleans area.

Maureen O'Brien, Board Member-at-large +

Maureen O’Brien, M.Ed., a former teacher, is a three term member of the St. Tammany Parish Council, representing District 10, running unopposed in her second & third term. Maureen was named as the 2016 Alliance for Good Government St. Tammany Parish Legislator of the Year. She is also currently serving her third term on the St. Tammany Republican Party Executive Committee. A strong fiscal conservative, O’Brien wants honest, ethical government and more transparency. She firmly believes that the public should have open access to the business of government.

Maureen was also a radio talk show host during her first term, creating The MO Show. The goal of the show was to inform the public about Northshore and Regional issues. The show covered government, politics, business, sports, local talent and community events. Her desire was, and is, to keep people informed, hoping to get more people involved in government, and present the best of St. Tammany and our region.

Maureen is also a member of The Three Rivers Arts Festival, Community Action, and Ozone Music Festival boards, along with various other political, civic, and business organizations. She has previously been a member of various other boards and organizations, always wanting to be involved in the community she loves. MO’s favorite job is as mom to her two grown boys & daughter-in-law and grandma to a beautiful new granddaughter and two step grandsons.

Randy Russell, Director +

Randy Russell served in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1984-1990, attained a B.A. in Economics in 1990 from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Juris Doctorate in 1995, from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He is a practicing attorney and certified mediator, with over 22 years of experience in a diverse practice, the last 13 years of which have been with his firm, The Law Office of Randy P. Russell, LLC, which has been located in Mandeville and focused on serving the Northshore community since 2005. Randy previously served as Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Civil Law & Litigation Section and has been a lecturer at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Tulane Law School and Southeastern Louisiana University.

Randy and his wife, Susan Russell, have resided in Mandeville since 1997, where they have raised their three daughters, all three of whom have attended St. Tammany Parish public schools in Mandeville and excelled in the arts during all of their school years, one in dance and two in music. Their youngest daughter, Grace, is a junior at Mandeville High and an aspiring songwriter/performer, passionately pursuing her art. Grace, like her older sister, Amber, have had the benefit of Mandeville High’s talented music program, for which Randy and Susan are deeply appreciative. Along the way, Randy has had the privilege of witnessing the incredible pool of extremely talented musicians enrolled in the program throughout St. Tammany Parish. Given the abundance of talented students in St. Tammany Parish, it has always been Randy’s firm belief that prosperous St. Tammany Parish should afford these talented students with a pre-professional arts training center similar to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (“NOCCA”), which provides intensive instruction in the arts. Unfortunately, NOCCA is presently the only such option available to talented musicians and other artists in St. Tammany Parish. The Ozone Music Education Foundation, however, aims to change this, in part, by connecting professionals within the music industry with students who aspire to pursue career paths within the music industry, whether as musicians, singers, songwriters, producers or otherwise. This mission of the Ozone Music Education Foundation, which will enrich the lives of St. Tammany Parish students and ultimately, the entire St. Tammany Parish community, is the reason for Randy’s commitment to and support of the Foundation, who sums it up by stating: “It’s my sincerest hope is that the Foundation ultimately leads to the development of a NOCCA-like program and facility located in St. Tammany Parish, that it fosters the development of local music professionals and the local music industry in St. Tammany Parish and that the Ozone Songwriter Festival makes St. Tammany Parish an annual destination for music lovers far and wide.”

Ricky Windhorst, Director +

Ricky Windhorst is a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame for his songwriting and vocal contributions to the eponymous J.J. Muggler debut CD. Along with songwriting on various projects, he also fronts the popular local band Four Unplugged.

Since his musical journey began in 1972, he has been performing and writing music including the production of several CDs of both original and cover tunes. Next Best Thing to Heaven ( St. Tammany USA), co-written with Christian Serpas, was adopted by the East St Tammany Chamber of Commerce. Ricky also served on the board and as Production Manager for the Mandeville Seafood Festival. He currently can be seen performing all over the New Orleans area with Four Unplugged, the original J.J. Muggler Band, the Tchefuncte River Band and other side projects. He is a proud member of the Ozone Songwriter Festival and supports its mission to help educate and promote local songwriters. Ricky resides in Madisonville with his wife and keyboardist extraordinaire, Jan, and their two dogs, Corkie and Roxie.

Ozone Music Education Foundation, Inc
P. O. Box 23, Mandeville, LA 70470
A 501(c)(3) Public Charity • EIN: 82-3537465
Copyright © 2021 • All Rights Reserved