2023 Spirit of Scouting Honorees

Karen Nabonne Coaxum

Director of Marketing at Coaxum Enterprises

Coaxum is a proud native New Orleanian. She grew up in Pontchartrain Park, and is an honors graduate of St. Mary’s Academy High School, where she served as editor of the school’s newspaper and yearbook. At Loyola, she was a writer on the university’s newspaper staff. Before receiving her bachelor’s degree in three years, she was hired by New Orleans’ daily newspaper, The Times-Picayune, as a staff reporter. She later joined the public affairs staff of the Ochsner Medical Institutions where her duties as director of communications included editing the employee newsletter, handling media and community relations and acting as spokesperson for the institutions. She has served as director of public relations for Mercy Hospital, the Downtown Development District, New Orleans General Hospital, the Good Neighbor Clinic and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana. Her work in the media included her role as community affairs director at the NBC-affiliate WDSU-TV where she produced a weekly public affairs show. Her career includes serving as director of marketing of Medfirst Health Plans, vice president of marketing of the Orleans Private Industry Council and as executive director of the Gulf South Minority Supplier Development Council. Now, as director of marketing of Coaxum Enterprises, she oversees the marketing programs and activities of three McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by her husband, Henry Coaxum.

Jaqueline “Jackie” Brechtel Clarkson

Former Louisiana State Representative and New Orleans Council President

No one brings greater passion to the New Orleans political, business, and cultural communities than Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson.  Jackie and Arthur “Buzz” Clarkson, her husband of 70 years, have raised five successful daughters. They have 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

After attending Tulane University, Ms. Clarkson embarked on a 50-year career in Real Estate, during which she owned or managed three major firms, including her own firm, Jacquelyn Clarkson Realtors. She earned the Graduate, REALTOR Institute (GRI) designation and holds the CRB and CRS certifications. Her most cherished honor was serving as the second female President of the Louisiana Realtors Association.

As an elected official, Ms. Clarkson served the citizens of New Orleans for over 24 years. She is a proven leader, with a strong record of taking a stand on tough issues, tackling big projects and bringing about real change.  Ms. Clarkson was elected to represent City Council District “C,” which encompasses one-fifth city, including the French Quarter. 

In 1994, Ms. Clarkson was elected to the Louisiana Legislature as a State Representative. As a State Representative, Ms. Clarkson was recognized for her leadership, championing landmark legislation that focused on women’s health and safety and child protection. In 2002, Ms. Clarkson returned to the New Orleans City Council. She was elected Councilmember-at-Large in a special election in 2007, and she was re-elected in 2010. In this role, she served as both President and Vice-President of the New Orleans City Council.

Ms. Clarkson also has been a strong and active member of numerous civic organizations. She serves on the University of New Orleans Board for Business and Higher Education, the Catholic Cultural and Heritage Center of New Orleans Board, and the Overture to the Cultural Season Board. She is a Member of the New Orleans Military Advisory Committee, the New Orleans Federal Alliance for Federal City, the LSU/Tulane Cancer Research Center Consortium, and the Audubon Institute.

In 2013, Ms. Clarkson received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College.  She was inducted into the Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business Hall of Fame in 2015, for her leadership among women.   

Throughout her career, Jackie has received numerous awards and honors, including State Realtor of the Year and the Philippi St. Pe’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2022, the World War II Museum honored her with the American Spirit Medallion for demonstrating “extraordinary dedication to the principles that strengthen America’s freedom and democracy” and exemplifying “the highest standards of integrity, discipline, and initiative while making unselfish contributions to their community, state, or nation.”

In 2013, CityBusiness honored Ms. Clarkson as “Woman of the Year,” and she was inducted into their Hall of Fame. In 2011, the LSU School of Medicine named her “Honorary Alumna” for her stalwart support for the school and women’s healthcare initiatives. And the Breast Center of Ochsner Hospital also honored her with a special award.

Bronwyn Corcoran

Former Scoutmaster, St. Pius X Educator

Mrs. Corcoran started out in scouting when her oldest was in 1st grade as a Tiger Cub.  Her teaching habits came in very handy and since she taught most of the boys at St. Pius X, she knew how to handle them.  It became very evident that the leaders enjoyed the help.  When her second son was in a Tiger Cub, she joined in as an Assistant Leader.

That fall, Katrina hit, taking with it her home as well as many homes in our community.  Her friends and scouts were scattered.  When St. Pius X reopened in January of 2006, a new family became part of scouting, the father, an Eagle Scout himself.  It was then Ms. Corcoran found her mentor for the next 12 years.  Ken Klemm became scoutmaster, made her a den leader, and started training her to follow in his footsteps.  We had a goal to bring back the Fleur de Lis District Day Camp for our Cub Scouts.  Mrs. Corcoran and another mother attended Cub Scout Day Camp Leader training and spearheaded 5 years of successful day camps.

As her sons continued through the scouting program, Mrs. Corcoran became the Assistant Scoutmaster of the Troop as well as Cubmaster for the Pack.  Under her guidance, the Pack grew to over 100 boys.  Duty to God is an important aim of the scouting program. Mrs. Corcoran became part of the Catholic Committee on Scouting and began attending these meetings and events as well.  Life became very busy! Planning was essential…Fail to plan, plan to fail!  

Mrs. Corcoran is the mother to 3 Eagle Scout thanks who joined the Troop leadership team. She has served as Scoutmaster for 6 years. Covid proved difficult, but thanks to an amazing council, the scouts continued virtually. In January of 2022, Mrs. Corcoran retired from her scouting roles.  Her 20 years of scouting leadership as impacted hundreds of youth in the most rewarding ways.

For More Information:

Contact Adrienne Roth, District Executive
SELA BSA 4200 S. I-10 Service Road W, Metairie, LA 70001
Boy Scouts of America (EIN #72-0408954) is eligible to receive tax deductible
contributions, under section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code