Jon Skvarka Executive Director
Jon Skvarka is originally from rural Pennsylvania, but wanting to dedicate a year of service after college to New Orleans, he chose to work with Rebuilding Together New Orleans as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2007. During his time as an AmeriCorps member he wrote several proposals for and played a vital role in several successful large scale volunteer events after the storm. Proving himself as a leader, Jon was promoted to Program Manager, Assistant Director and then Director in February of 2012. While Director, he managed an average annual budget of $3 million and fifteen staff and AmeriCorps service members. He successfully managed several million dollar grants, developed new, strategic programs and partnerships, and coordinated large scale volunteer events for the likes of the Starbucks Coffee Company, The Home Depot Foundation, and the National Basketball Association. Jon pairs his fundraising and nonprofit management experience with his passion for New Orleans and the outdoors to lead LOOP NOLA’s development and strategic vision for the future.
- Wilderness First Aid Certified
Heather West - Program Director
With a strong background in experiential education and outdoor adventure activities through her work with Outward Bound, Heather West brings a passion for challenging students and providing urban youth with positive outdoor experiences to LOOP NOLA. A native of New Orleans, Heather moved to Tennessee following Hurricane Katrina. After graduating with a BA in Psychology and Youth Ministry from King College, Heather began working for Outward Bound. For the past five years, she served as an Instructor and Course Director with Outward Bound in Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, and Maine. During this time, she took groups of students on three to four week expeditions that included activities like flat-water canoeing, white-water canoeing, rock climbing, backpacking, teambuilding challenges, and high/low ropes courses. As Program Director, Heather will use her experience and belief in the power of the outdoors to create the curriculum, lead students in outdoor adventure programming and secure partnerships with local schools and summer camps.
Adult and Pediatric CPR/First Aid Certified
ACCT Certified Level 2 Ropes Course Instructor
Certified Wilderness First Responder
ACA Flatwater Levels 1 and 2 Canoe/Kayak Instructor
Outdoor Recreation Specialist
Outdoor Program Assistant
Outdoor Program Assistant
- ACCT Certified Level 1 Challenge Course Instructor
- Adult and Pediatric CPR/First Aid Certified