As Director of Finance and Operations, Lavonzell Nicholson manages the financial operations for the Taylor Center, serves as the liaison to Tulane’s Office of Human Resources, and oversees space use and operations at the Center’s uptown location in Howard-Tilton Memorial Library as well as the two downtown locations in The Shop and Taylor Warehouse. Nicholson works closely with Taylor’s Executive Director Kenneth Schwartz on the administrative management of the Center and special projects such as the Warehouse.
Nicolson has almost two decades of experience managing businesses, people, and projects including as founder of PLAYNOLA Sports, a thriving sports and recreation business in New Orleans. In nine years, she successfully grew the organization to nearly 6,000 annual registrations and executed a diverse range of corporate and nonprofit events. As PLAYNOLA’s Director of Operations, Nicholson recruited, trained, and managed staff and cultivated critical partnerships with sponsors, local government, and community agencies. In addition to creating programming for adults, she managed and executed a multi-year “NOLA For Life” Midnight Basketball Initiative serving over 800 youth annually. Under Nicholson’s leadership, PLAYNOLA earned Gambit’s Best of New Orleans consumer award in 2016.
Before founding PLAYNOLA, Nicholson served in various roles in the nonprofit sector including as Executive Director of Each One Save One, a nonprofit organization that connects volunteer mentors with youth to empower them to create positive social change. Within two years, Nicholson led her team to increase the Each One Save One mentor pool by 50% and increase organizational revenue by 40% through grant acquisition, donor cultivation, and special events execution.
Nicholson holds a B.A. from Nicholls State University and an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland.