Julie Stokes is CEO of Flame Consulting, CFO of Stokes & Associates, Founder of Ellevate Louisiana, and Co-Founder of the Cancer Advocacy Group of Louisiana. She is a CPA, a nonpartisan policy advocate, a civic leader, and a speaker.
Over her seven years of service in the Louisiana Legislature, Julie Stokes gained a reputation as a passionate advocate for comprehensive, non-partisan fiscal policy. Julie was able to share her knowledge as a CPA, as well as gain significant legislative experience, with the Louisiana budget, comparative state tax policy, oversight of legislative audit, Louisiana’s economic development incentives, and Louisiana’s Department of Health policies.
Having received numerous accolades for her work in the Legislature and leaving public life behind in 2020, she has opened Flame Consulting to continue supporting projects that she is passionate about, like cancer advocacy and helping worthy causes and organizations with strategic planning, fundraising, and management consulting.
As part of her work through Flame Consulting, Julie founded Ellevate Louisiana. Ellevate Louisiana’s purpose is to empower women leaders throughout Louisiana by connecting and educating them on the challenges impacting our State with data-driven, non-partisan solutions to make a better future for Louisiana.
In their first few months of operation, Ellevate Louisiana has sixty members from around the state. Ellevate Louisiana is in the process of holding symposiums in key areas of state policy-making. These monthly symposiums are supported by weekly videocasts with policymakers that are hosted by Julie Stokes. The group plans to use these symposiums to create a policy agenda for which to advocate when the legislature convenes in 2021.
Julie also serves as CFO of Stokes & Associates, where she provides the financial leadership that has grown the company from two employees in 1998 to well over thirty employees today. Stokes & Associates was recognized in 2020 as one of UNO’s Top 25 Alumni-Owned businesses and is one of the most respected vocational rehabilitation firms in the state of Louisiana.
Julie was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and after a nine-month battle, she was declared and remains cancer-free. She turned her personal fight with cancer into a legislative mission by becoming an advocate for patients and survivors; she believes that we should never place a patient’s life in jeopardy because of bureaucracy.
As part of her work with Flame Consulting, Julie co-founded the Cancer Advocacy Group of Louisiana to advocate for legislation promoting a high standard for patient care in the State of Louisiana. The Group is composed of leaders from cancer-related foundations and nonprofit entities in the state of Louisiana. In the 2020 Legislative Session, the group crafted and advocated for SB204 to expand patient’s access to precision medicine oncology. The bill successfully passed and is now law. The Cancer Advocacy Group is currently planning its future legislative agenda.
During her time in the Louisiana Legislature, she chaired the Legislative Audit Advisory Council and the Sales Tax Streamlining and Modernization Committee. She was a very active member of the Ways & Means and House Health & Welfare Committees. She also served on House Labor, Capital Outlay, and was an interim member of the House Appropriations Committee. She traveled Louisiana with the Committee of 100, the Public Affairs Research Council, and the Committee for Better Louisiana as one of the lead speakers on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform in 2015 and 2016.
Nationally, she was very involved with the National Council of State Legislatures, having served on the Executive Committee, as Co-Chair of their Budget and Revenue Standing Committee, and being an active member of its Executive Task Force on State and Local Taxes. She was also part of Governing Magazine’s 2020 “Women in Government Leadership Program,” a group that included a diverse collection of women leaders all around the country.
Julie is currently part of the 2020 Leadership Louisiana class. She is currently Chair of the GNO, Inc. Policy Committee and actively involved with the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the University of New Orleans Alumni Association, the Louisiana Society of CPA’s, Women United, and other groups. She is a frequent speaker to groups on the subject of fiscal policy as well as on inspirational topics such as finding your voice, making a difference in this world and fighting back against all kinds of adversity and overcoming it.
Julie resides in Kenner with her husband Larry and their two children, Brandon and Taylor. She has lived in Jefferson Parish her entire life, being educated in the Jefferson Parish Public School System, and attending the University of New Orleans on a full scholarship where she received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude.