Marketa Garner Gautreau
Marketa Garner Gautreau, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, has led Louisiana's child abuse prevention efforts for the past seven years. The organization has grown rapidly under her leadership with the opening of seven regional offices across the state and a budget increase from slightly over $400,000 in 1996 to $1.7 million in 2003. With her guidance and supervision, prevention programs have grown in communities throughout Louisiana, providing services to children and families, public awareness and media campaigns, as well as the statewide parenting support line, Kidline. Ms. Gautreau has worked diligently to raise the level of advocacy efforts on the part of Louisiana organizations. A well-respected voice at the Capitol as she advocates on behalf of children, she serves on numerous government appointed task forces and commissions in addition to the Children's Cabinet Advisory Board. As a result of the advocacy efforts of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, under Ms. Gautreau's leadership, 67 child protection worker positions were saved in the last fiscal year budget cuts. For the past year, Ms. Guatreau has led the organization in its effort to create a Louisiana Platform for Children and Youth for the upcoming Governor's race. This is the first platform ever produced centered solely on the issues surrounding areas of child welfare. The project has been a statewide effort and culminates with a debate between the candidates in the fall. The 2003 race for Governor has drawn over one dozen candidates. With no formal statewide voice or lobby group for the well-being of children, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana has stepped up to speak for the 1,219,799 Louisiana children and youth who cannot vote in the election. A grassroots effort engaging all regions of the state, the Louisiana Platform has received tremendous response in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Gautreau's vision, courage, and bold leadership serve as the cornerstone for such unprecedented work on behalf of Louisiana's children. Her tireless dedication offers Louisiana's children hope for a brighter future.