This story appeared in the September issue of PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door nine times a year? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!
The Preservation Resource Center is thrilled to welcome our new Director of Development Michelle Courseault.
Michelle comes to the PRC from De La Salle High School, where she also served as director of development. A native of Miami, her impressive background includes roles in fundraising leadership from several Florida institutions, including the Florida Hospital Foundation, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. With more than $12 million raised so far in her career, Michelle brings fundraising expertise and ease to her new role at the PRC.
“My passion to help others drove me to become a professional fundraiser,” she said recently. “There’s a special moment that happens when I can match a donor’s interest to make a difference philanthropically with an organization’s mission that is making that difference. That moment is why I’m a professional fundraiser — that connection feels really good for everyone involved.”
Michelle holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Central Florida, and has lived in six states. “I’ve traveled the world, and this is the only place I’ve ever come back to repeatedly over two decades,” she said of New Orleans. After first visiting the city in 1999, Michelle came back more than a dozen times before finally moving here 20 years later.
“New Orleans feels more like home than even my own hometown,” she said. “It simply fits me well. There are so many small details of things I’m passionate about, like a mosaic, that shows me it’s absolutely undeniable that this place is made for me, or I’m made for it.”
A personal passion for history and architecture drove Michelle to apply to be the PRC’s top fundraiser. “The PRC aims to share New Orleans’ culture and unique contribution to the world through its mission, and that’s something I’m thrilled to support,” she said.
It also helps that PRC’s headquarters, the Leeds-Davis Building in the Warehouse District, happens to be Michelle’s favorite building in the city. “Not only is it my new home professionally, but its incredible Gothic Revival-style windows are by far my favorite in the city,” she said. She also loves how the building is a perfect representation of how historic structures are valued in this city and are brought to new life in the present day through new uses — as she put it, they have “a new way to shine.”
As PRC’s Director of Development, Michelle will oversee the 46-year-old nonprofit’s major donor giving and annual campaigns; events; memberships; and grants. We’re excited to welcome Michelle into the PRC family as the organization continues to innovate and grow.
Danielle Del Sol is the Executive Director of the Preservation Resource Center.