2019 Mercy & Me Luncheon Speakers & Award Recipient

The Mercy values modeled by Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy have inspired leadership among women at Mount St. Mary Academy for 168 years. This year’s Mercy & Me luncheon will celebrate Mercy leadership – past, present and future – and honor its impact throughout our community.


A new addition to the Mercy & Me luncheon this year, the Mount St. Mary Academy Women’s Leadership Award has been established to recognize exceptional women with ties to Arkansas who have demonstrated outstanding professional or service-oriented leadership within their community.


Keynote Speaker


Mary C. Sullivan, R.S.M., is professor emerita of language and literature, and dean emerita of the College of Liberal Arts, at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.  Said to have an “unparalleled knowledge” of Catherine McAuley, Sister Mary has authored numerous works on the Sisters of Mercy founder, including: A Shining Lamp: The Oral Instructions of Catherine McAuleyThe Path of Mercy: The Life of Catherine McAuleyThe Correspondence of Catherine McAuley, 1818-1841; and Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy.


Sister Mary joined the Sisters of Mercy of Rochester, now part of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, in 1950.  She spent almost 40 years in higher education, teaching and in administration, in addition to serving as author or editor of many books and journal articles on Catherine McAuley and other figures and topics.  She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in theology from the University of London.


Special Remarks By


Lisa Griffith, R.S.M., is the executive director of the Mercy Education System of the Americas.  A Sister of Mercy since 1984, she has ministered in education for more than 30 years at schools including Mount St. Mary Academy, where she worked a total of 21 years, Mercy Academy in New Orleans, and St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, Georgia.  Sister Lisa holds a master’s degree in counseling from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and certification in educational leadership for secondary school administration from the University of Dayton in Ohio.


Inaugural Women’s Leadership Award


Laura R. Landreaux is the inaugural Women’s Leadership Award recipient.  Laura serves as president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest electric utility.  She was named to the leadership role in July 2018 and is the first woman to lead the company, which serves more than 700,000 customers across Arkansas.  Her previous roles at Entergy Arkansas include finance director, vice president of regulatory affairs and senior counsel.


A native of Little Rock and Class of 1991 graduate of Mount St. Mary Academy, Laura is an active member of the Arkansas non-profit community.  She currently serves as vice chairman of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce board of directors and is the chairperson of Junior Achievement of Arkansas’ 2019 Legacy Award Luncheon.  Laura is also a board member for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business, the Arkansas Research Alliance and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, as well as a founding member of Arkansas Women in Power.


Laura earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville. Prior to joining Entergy in 2007, she was an attorney for Salt River Project, a water and electricity utility in Phoenix.  Laura and her husband, John, have three children: Patrick Landreaux and Catherine and Libby Raffaelli.  Libby is enjoying her freshman year at Mount St. Mary Academy.