Diane Amos is the founder of Free NOLA, a faith-based non-profit serving the Gulf Coast region in the fight against human trafficking. Prior to Free NOLA, Diane served as the Executive Director of the New Orleans Dream Center, which currently serves the population of New Orleans with free health care services; such as medical visits, dentistry, chiropractic, pregnancy care, and veterinary services. Diane’s passion for serving others garnered her the 2010 Dr. Edward B. Shils Award for outstanding humanitarian of the year, a worldwide award presented annually to one individual. This same drive is what Diane brings to Free NOLA today with a desire to “set the captives free.” Free NOLA founded in 2013 to raise local awareness and bring human sex trafficking to the forefront in New Orleans, alongside Super Bowl 2013. Through Diane’s leadership, over 53,000 people were trained to recognize and report human trafficking. Over 341 hotels/motels were personally contacted and provided with information packets and coded soap. This is when and how Diane became passionately involved in fighting human sex trafficking. Free NOLA has now grown into a non-profit through Diane’s vision and leadership. She and her team continue to set captives free through awareness, education, outreach and victim rescue, one life at a time.
Gayle is a gifted entrepreneur. Previously she operated the Image Center at the Ochsner Health Clinic in New Orleans. In that capacity, she worked directly with plastic surgeons, dermatologists, oncologists and infectious disease patients; making each patient feel and look beautiful. Currently, she owns beauty salons, with locations throughout the area. Gayle became passionately involved with the K-Bar-B Ranch for troubled girls. She taught them dignity, self worth and how to present a beautiful godly image to the world. When the facility closed, Gayle turned her attention and time to the Louisiana United Methodist Children’s Home. Gayle’s passionate heart for troubled and displaced youth has motivated her to dedicate herself to protecting those less fortunate from falling victim to human trafficking.
Victoria “Tori” Mergist is a small business bookkeeper, wife to Louisiana National Guardsmen who served 9 years active duty, as well as a mother of two beautiful children. Tori has been involved with Free NOLA working on the Gala committee for the last 2 years. She was called to help in any way possible, especially through media reach out. After growing up on the Southshore, and spending time traveling the world with her husband, returning home and seeing the real need for education, awareness, and the rescue of those being caught in the horrifying sex trafficking world. Her heart was called to be someone who was part of the change and stand in the fight to “Set the Captives Free.”
“Elizabeth “Beth” Hinman is a self-employed small business bookkeeper residing in St. Tammany Parish since 2002. Beth has been involved with Free NOLA and the anti-human trafficking initiative for over six years in various capacities, making her an invaluable team member. Her servant heart shows itself in many different ways, but always with a spirit of excellence. Beth’s passion for the Free NOLA’s mission has inspired her to always be ready and available to help in whatever capacity is needed and providing new ideas and initiatives to help “set the captives free”.
Philip’s innately creative mind and business acumen is proving to be a valuable asset; offering much needed direction to Free NOLA. Fortunately, Philip has never gone through the horrible experience of any childhood abuse. He has, however, been able to experience some of those issues through his wife’s eyes. The constant reminder of the long-term effects it has on a woman’s life, has led him to be an incredible advocate on behalf of women. Free NOLA welcomes his input as he creatively advises on everyday issues. His input has proven to be a guiding light on the issues of human trafficking.
Angel Daigle was born and raised in Luling, LA and now resides in Raceland, LA. She is a 2003 graduate of Nicholls State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management. Angel works at Mulberry Baptist Church as the Ministry/Administrative Assistant and Financial Secretary. Angel has been a volunteer with Free NOLA since 2013. Her goal is to help educate families on the dangers of sexual exploitation via social media and help search for missing children at high risk of sex trafficking. In her spare time, she serves in church and loves spending time with her family and friends.