REX 2017 is Dr. Stephen Hales. Founder and senior associate at Hales Pediatrics, he's practiced medicine in New Orleans since 1975.
Hales is passionate about his work in the community and his part in the revitalization of New Orleans Charter schools after Katrina.
"Post-Katrina when a really failed school system wasn't going to reopen, people really committed to children of our city including our organization," he said.
Hales is vice-chair of New Schools for New Orleans. His beloved REX Organization also did its part for the worthy cause.
"We started the Pro Bono Publico Foundation after Katrina and made the investment of almost 6 million dollars in public charter schools that now serve our children."
Children have always been his focus. He has practiced pediatrics for more than 42 years in New Orleans. He says he's blessed to have been a pediatrician in a small town. Hales is the father of six sons and he and his wife Nancy have 13 grandchildren. Patients become part of his family.
"It's the greatest joy of my professional life to go in the community and see families that are important to me," he said.
Hales is the REX Organization's archivist, and he's on the board of the Crescent City Carnival Museum.
"We are about to celebrate our 300th birthday and half of that time the REX Organization is interwoven in that history," he said.
"I've watched 35 REX members be Kings of Carnival and I love documenting it and describing it. I never expected to be in that role myself," Hales said.