James E. Kuhn made history this July by becoming the first member of the AOH from outside of the New Orleans Area to serve as President of the State Board…and he brings a good deal of energy and vision.
Born and raised in a family of nine children in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, Judge Kuhn is married to the former Cheryl Aucoin and has twin children, Jimmy and Jennifer. He has two grandchildren, Ethan James Kuhn and Zoe Grace McFarland.
Brother Kuhn graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University and Loyola Law School and served in the Army National Guard from 1969-1974. Now a retired Judge from the First Circuit Court of Appeal, Brother Kuhn began his public service as an assistant district attorney until his election as District Judge in 1990. He was elected to the Appellate bench.
In 2010 he was awarded the Southeastern University College Alumnus of the Year for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. As a Hibernian, Judge Kuhn was instrumental in establishing the Republic of West Florida Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians for the Irish of Tangipahoa and Western St. Tammany Parishes.
John Fitzmorris IIIFINANCIAL SECRETARY
Brother Fitzmorris is a regular fixture among the Hibernians—a rather large fixture. Serving his first term as State Secretary, “Big John” has been with the Hibernians since its re-chartering in 1988. Since then, he has served in a variety of positions and now currently serves as President of the Archbishop Hannan Division. He received his Major Degree at the Hibernian Biennial Convention in New Orleans in 2008.
Born the oldest of five to Hibernian John D. Fitzmorris Jr., Big John’s connections throughout the Order run deep as he is also the nephew of Hibernian Judge Jim McKay and brother and cousin to several Hibernians. He is a graduate of LSU, Loyola’s Graduate School, UNO’s Graduate School, and will receive his Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern Mississippi in the spring of 2016.
When he is not working with the Hibernians, Brother Fitzmorris works as an Instructor of History and Interim Undergraduate Adviser at the University of New Orleans and is also an Adjunct Instructor at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. He also is heading the committee planning the Inaugural 2015 Lakeview Veterans Day Parade.
As Secretary, Brother Fitzmorris will help coordinate Hibernian communications among the State divisions, and he will be responsible for maintaining and upgrading the State Hibernian website and publishing the newsletter.
One of the Hibernians who have come from Ireland in the recent decades to add to the flavor of the Crescent City, Brother Kennedy was born in Galway, Ireland in 1962.
He attended the National University of Ireland in Galway where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce.
Brother Kennedy emigrated to the United States in 1991 and then passed his exams to become a Certified Public Accountant in 1993. He has been a member of the Hibernians for more than five years and currently serves as Gibbons Division Treasurer in addition to his duties as State V-P.
He and his wife Carmel, also a native of Galway, now reside in Kenner; and his daughter Jennifer is currently a Junior at LSU. He has worked in the community coaching Soccer for many years at both Lafreniere and Lakeview playgrounds.
Has worked primarily in Healthcare since coming to the States, focusing on Operations and Finance. He currently works at Peoples Health, but also worked for many years at Egan Healthcare Services.
As Vice-President, Brother Kennedy brings a fresh perspective and will serve in a variety of capacities—especially in helping recruit new membership and retaining current membership.
Bernard J. “B.J.” EckholdtTREASURER
Brother Eckholdt now begins his fourth term as State Treasurer. First elected in 2009, Brother Eckholdt has been a stalwart member of the Hibernians and has capably maintained the books for the State Board.
He attended St. Theresa of Avila Parochial School, Holy Cross High School, and Loyola University where he majored in Accounting. Now retired, BJ has served as a plant accountant, controller, chief information officer, and general manager. He devotes a good deal of his time to his two biggest passions—charitable work and golf. In addition to his AOH duties, he is the treasurer of the Belle Terre Senior Men’s Golf Club, the Friends of St. Alphonsus, Art & Cultural Center, and the Louisiana Hibernian Charity.