The Acadia Parish Chamber is excited to announce the resumption of the 2020 Leadership EXCEL Program. Due to COVID-19, the class adjourned their year in March of 2020. The class resumed their programming on January 24th with an Arts, Culture & Tourism Focus.
The day began at the beautiful Grand Opera House of the South with a tour of the historic building. From le Grande Hall to the backstage area of the Opera House were many notables graced the stage in the early 1900s. The class then heard from program Alum and trained Opera singer, Chad Boudreaux of the First Baptist Church of Crowley who left the group with some memorable entertainment. Sam Oliver, Director of the Acadiana Center of the Arts, made a trip down to the Opera House to address the group on the importance of the arts and what his organization is doing to preserve them in Acadiana. Preceding lunch, Angie Manning, Director of Communications at Visit Lakes Charles gave an update of the arts and tourism industry in Lake Charles post two devastating hurricanes and mid-pandemic. Ronnie Petree, Chairman of the Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development Board and program Alum addressed the class over lunch giving them a brief overview of all things going on in Jeff Davis Parish.
Harold Fonte, curator of Le Vieux Presbytere kicked off the afternoon with Museum updates and upcoming plans for the Town of Church Point. The class then made their way over to the Acadia Rice Arena. Taylor Henry with Cadien Toujours met the class there to educate the group on the importance of preserving culture and what Cadien Toujours is doing to do so. She gave them a brief overview of what they do throughout the year to foster the pillars of arts and culture in Acadia Parish. The class then had a visit from Jeff Davis Parish’s Magnolia the Gator. Magnolia made her way over from the Gator Chateau in Jennnigs, LA. The day concluded with a Cochon de Lait and some Cajun Music arranged by the Leadership EXCEL Advisory Board.
This year would not be possible if it weren’t for the program’s generous sponsors: The Bank, Acadia Parish Assessor – Jimbo Petitjean, Acadia Parish Farm Bureau, Bank of Commerce, Rayne Building & Loan, Dugas, Soileau & Breaux CPA Firm, JD Bank, Encore Healthcare & Rehabilitation and Kolder, Slaven & Company.
Leadership EXCEL is an eleven month leadership program that is conducted by recognized leaders whose decisions affect the region in areas such as economic development, business, labor, human services, education, law and justice, government and the media. The program content is designed to give each participant training in leadership skills and increase their knowledge of the community and state, while encouraging participation in study groups to transfer the skills learned to actual community application.
Standing, Left to Right: Billy Vincent, Acadian Ambulance; Chuck LeJeune, Church Point Community Developement Corp.; Connie Tregle, JD Bank; Jena Pevost, C.J. Prevost Insurance/ Rayne Realty Co.; LeAnn Cormier, Home Bank; Mark Woods, Bank of Commerce; Jonathan Murphy, City of Church Point; Jerad Langley, Southwind Healthcare and Rehab: Kyle Gordon, Gator Custom Graphix; Crystal Broussard, Encore Healthcare & Rehab.
Sitting, Left to Right: Stephanie Martinez, Dugas, Soileau & Breaux CPA Firm; Brooke Hornsby, Jennings American Legion Hospital; Carnishia Davis, JD Bank; Jessica Landry, Parish Realty; Jennifer Charlie, Darnall, Sikes & Fredric; Joann T. Blair, Registrar of Voters; Heather LaBouve, The Bank; Shelly Reiners, Ochsner Acadia General Hospital; Nichole Broussard, Kolder, Slaven + Company; Celeste Dolan.