The Crowley Chamber of Commerce and OneAcadia has announced the completion of a merger of the two organizations into the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce.
After several months of discussions, this merger is the final step in formalizing the relationship between the business groups.
The merger was approved by a vote of the OneAcadia membership in May, and by a recent vote of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
The Crowley Chamber has nearly 300 business members representing 5,000 employees in Acadia Parish. Since 2014, OneAcadia has grown the economic development efforts in Acadia Parish. Communities like Jeff Davis Parish, Lake Charles, and Lafayette all have combined chambers of commerce and economic development organizations.
“The board of OneAcadia, along with its members, remain proud of all the organization’s accomplishments, most importantly, representing and promoting economic development and the promotion of Acadia Parish,” said OneAcadia Chairman Pat Bordes. “We are excited to merge with the Crowley Chamber of Commerce and unify as one voice, pulling together all of our resources and become an even stronger voice for our parish, Acadia Parish, as the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce.”
Heading up the Crowley Chamber since 2011, Amy Thibodeaux will continue to serve as president & CEO of the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce, along with staff members Megan Malmay Duhon and Kathryn Shea Duncan.
“Helping businesses thrive is a passion I have found through my work at the Chamber. I could not be more pleased to continue these efforts on a larger scale, for all of Acadia. With Megan and Kathryn on our team and an outstanding board of directors, I am fully confident that our organization is capable and prepared to grow the business & economic development activities across Acadia.”
“Aligning the strategic resources of the two organizations better positions our efforts to attract new jobs and grow existing companies,” said Trenton Leonards, chairman of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce. “The organizations’ shared goals of economic vitality and success for Acadia Parish will only strengthen as we move forward in building a better future for our workforce.”
The Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce will lead economic development efforts for Acadia Parish including business retention, expansion and attraction as well as growing the number of available sites for development. They will also continue successful Chamber activities like small business development, Leadership Excel, networking and learning opportunities, in addition to business advocacy.The Chamber will have their offices in the Enterprise Center in downtown Crowley. Thibodeaux said the team will be looking at future office space.
Both boards of the organizations have combined and are planning an upcoming planning session.
Current board members include: Christine Benoit, Farmers State Bank; Claire Benoit (Secretary/Treasurer), Rayne Building and Loan; Ricky Bonin, Rayne Guest Home; Pat Bordes, Fezzo’s Seafood and Steak House; Angelique Credeur, Elder Outreach; Glenn Dailey, Acadia General Hospital; Kelli Dore, Lamm Family Care; Kyle Gordon, Gator Custom Graphix; Chance Henry, Keith Henry Insurance; Lee Lawrence, PL3 Associates; Trenton Leonards, One Acadiana (Past-Chairman); Jackie Loewer, Loewer Brother Farms; Melinda Malmay, Home Bank (Chairman); April Mixon, Acadia Parish School Board; Danny Nugier, Southwest Real Estate (Vice-Chair); Jeremy Patin, First Investment Services; Rep. John Stefanski, Edwards Stefanski Zaunbrecher; Tom Trahan, Bank of Commerce; and Tracy Young, T-Shirts Etc.