The 25th class of the Leadership EXCEL program kicked off a new year with a two-day retreat held at the First Baptist of Crowley on Thursday, January 17th & Friday, January 18th. Twenty participants from the parishes of Acadia and Jeff Davis were previously chosen to participate in the year-long program.
Advisory Board Chairman, Keith Simpson, welcomed the new class. “The participants of the Leadership Excel Class of 2019 represent the 25th anniversary of this enduring community enterprise and leadership program. This rich legacy has created over 500 Leadership EXCEL graduates from Acadia and Jeff Davis Parishes. These past, present and future leaders will continue their careers with a deeper understanding and appreciation of our region’s economic development, business climate, government structure, and social challenges. Each year and each class helps Leadership Excel build a community of Leaders!”
Brent Henley, president of the Pyramid Group, conducted the Orientation Session which included team building activities and the community simulation, SIMSOC, a highly participative simulation reflecting the challenges of society. Participants created their own community complete with political parties, industries, and economic classes. According to Henley, participants learn about each other through activities, demonstrate their ability to work as a team, and experience community leadership through the simulation.
Leadership EXCEL stands for Experience in Community Enterprise and Leadership. The program is designed to prepare emerging leaders to meet the future leadership needs of our community. Through the exchange of viewpoints and experiences, participants are exposed to the challenges, opportunities, and vital issues affecting Acadia and Jeff Davis parishes. The EXCEL program is hosted by the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Jeff Davis Chamber of Commerce. This program would not be possible without the generous support of its sponsors: Acadia Parish Farm Bureau, First National Bank, Encore Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Bank of Commerce, Dugas, Soileau & Breaux CPA Firm, Acadia Parish Assessor, Jim ‘Jimbo’ Petitjean, Rayne Building & Loan Association, Farmers State Bank, E.L. Habetz Builders, Carmichael’s Cashway Pharmacy and Jennings American Legion Hospital.
Front: Kai Seah, Darnall, Sikes, and Fredrick CPA Firm-Eunice; Shelia Charles, SLCC-Acadian Campus; Cassidy Stoma, Core Realty; Heather Deshotel, Dugas, Soileau & Breaux CPA Firm; Melissa Schatzle, Carmichael’s Cashway Pharmacy; Skyler Hebert, Jeff Davis Electric Co-Op
Middle: Jeremiah Meck, Acadia-St. Landry Hospital; Kylie Yeager, JD Bank – Jennings; Tiffany Gates, Home Bank – Crowley, Nancy Lyon, Rayne Realty Company; Rachel Savoy, Rayne Building & Loan Association; Christi Batiste, JD Bank-Jennings
Back: Josh Faul, Jennings American Legion Hospital; Jarreytt Johnson, Anytime Fitness-Church Point; Brandon Ned, Acadia General Hospital; Buffina Crouchet, Hampton Inn & Suites-Jennings; Henry McManus, Acadia General Hospital; Loretta Kebodeaux, Bank of Commerce-Iota