Chair of the 74th
Washington DC Mardi Gras
Congresswoman Julia Letlow represents Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the state’s first Republican woman elected to Congress. Julia took office in April 2021 after receiving 65 percent of the vote in a special election to win the seat previously won by her husband Luke, who passed away from complications of COVID-19 just days before taking office.
Julia serves on the House Committee on Appropriations, holding seats on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
A native of Monroe, Julia is a mother and professional in education who has dedicated her life to promoting and advocating for higher education in Louisiana.
Congresswoman Letlow has selected Fred Heebe as King and Virginia Grace Mills as the Queen of the 2023 Washington DC Mardi Gras Ball. Please read more about them below.
King of 2023
Fred Heebe is an owner of River Birch Renewable Energy, which is at the forefront of alternative fuel development. Under Fred’s leadership, River Birch has become the nation’s second-largest producer of green energy from landfill waste. Fred’s innovative program for converting landfill gas to pipeline quality, high-BTU gas prevents the release of more than a million tons of carbon dioxide yearly—the equivalent of removing 250,000 cars from the roads annually. River Birch and its related companies also focus on solid waste collection across Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi, earning accolades for modern and efficient service from residents and political leaders alike.
As the owner of Shadowlake Management, Fred has built thousands of residential rental units across metropolitan New Orleans. His designs and modern amenities have garnered numerous regional and national awards.
Fred’s philanthropy has focused primarily on education, both at home and abroad. Fred is especially proud of his family’s founding and development of The Maia School in Guatemala, whose mission is to educate indigenous girls.
Fred is a graduate of Sam Barthe High School in New Orleans. He received a B.S. in political science from Tulane University and a J.D. from Tulane Law School. After law school, Fred clerked for United States District Judge Earl Veron in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Fred is married to the former Jennifer Sneed, who served in the Louisiana Legislature and on the Jefferson Parish Council. Fred and Jennifer have twin daughters, Anna and Sarah, who are 17 years old. Fred treasures spending time in Louisiana’s great outdoors as an avid fisherman and duck hunter.
Following last year’s tradition of charitable donations in lieu of gifts to the King, King Fred Heebe has selected two very worthy causes for commemorative donations.
Virginia Grace Mills
Queen of 2023
Virginia Grace Mills is the daughter of Catherine and Carter Mills and the granddaughter of Dianne and James Davison, all of whom live at Squire Creek in Lincoln Parish.
Born in New Orleans to parents from Monroe and Ruston, her Louisiana roots are deep. The Davison Family has been in the Ruston area for five generations. The Mills Family has predominantly resided in West Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes since the late 1700s.
After moving to Ruston from New Orleans, Virginia Grace attended Cedar Creek School. For high school, she joined her older sister at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, where she was captain of the varsity tennis team and a member of the varsity squash team.
Presently, Virginia is a senior in the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is pursuing a major in finance and another major in organization and strategic management. She also studies piano and is pursuing a minor in German.
Virginia Grace is a member of Temple Baptist Church in Ruston and has served in youth missions.
In high school and college, she participated in study-abroad programs in Switzerland and throughout Germany, most recently matriculating at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in business as an analyst and consultant. She has accepted a position with Capital One in McLean, Virginia, in its analyst training program.
Virginia Grace is honored to have been chosen by the Chair and Senior Lieutenants of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians to serve as Queen of the 2023 Washington D.C. Mardi Gras and is proud to represent her home state.
While no gifts are expected, the Queen has also chosen two organizations that she cares deeply about and to which she would be honored and grateful for any donations to be made.
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