The 27th class of the Leadership EXCEL program kicked off a new year with a retreat held at the First Baptist of Crowley on Thursday, January20th. Nineteen participants from the parishes of Acadia and Jeff Davis were previously chosen to participate in the year-long program.
Advisory Board Chairman, Jeremy Leleux, welcomed the new class. “The participants of the Leadership Excel Class of 2022 represent the 27th 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!”
Dr. Steve Fowler 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 Fowler, 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: First National Bank, Home Bank, Acadia Parish Assessor, Jim ‘Jimbo’ Petitjean, Acadia Parish Farm Bureau, Acadia Parish Police Jury, Bank of Commerce, Dugas, Soileau & Breaux CPA Firm, Edward Jones, Encore Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Fezzo’s, Landmark of Rayne, and Rayne Building & Loan Association.
Tuesday, February 15th the class continued their SIMSOC Wrap-Up Session with Dr. Steve Fowler at Rice Palace in Crowley. The participants reflected on the session and discussed what they learned about themselves and their communities.