BRAC invites its investors to engage in its work leading economic development for the nine-parish region. This information provides an overview of the resources and services BRAC offers to businesses and explains opportunities for involvement.

We are passionate about the current and future potential for the Baton Rouge Area. We encourage you to get to know us better and to become involved. Your investment in BRAC will serve to benefit the region, as well as your own business goals.

BRAC Events
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BRAC Ambassadors
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Working Groups
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Councils & Committees
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Councils & Committees

Our investors believe that BRAC plays a singularly important role in leading the region toward the vision of a Baton Rouge Area that is one of the strongest economies and premier business locations in the country. To that end, investors engage with our work by serving on a variety of councils and committees to addresses high-priority competitiveness factors across a range of public policy areas, including education and workforce, small business and entrepreneurship and transportation.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Small businesses make up the majority of businesses in the nation as well as in the region, and they are responsible for a large segment of the area’s economic growth. Through a vibrant small business and entrepreneurship council, BRAC works to continually ensure that the unique needs and policy concerns of the small business community are addressed, and that BRAC’s small business investors are effectively engaged with and informed of BRAC activities. The Council works to enhance the region’s competitiveness and economic development by increasing services to small businesses, and communicating important policy issues impacting job creation.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The nation’s top-performing metros are generally recognized for vibrant economies, quality of life, distinctive brand identity and inclusiveness. In support of BRAC’s aspirations to create an open dialogue on issues related to diversity and inclusion in the Baton Rouge Area, this Committee was created to define what diversity and inclusion means for business and economic competitiveness.

Legislative Committee

BRAC believes that laws and regulations should serve the public without acting as a detriment to business development and growth. The Legislative Committee is tasked with reviewing, developing and supporting issues that promote a positive, proactive economic environment with social progress and enhanced quality of life. This includes working to influence elected officials to establish laws, rules, regulations and policies that will improve the ability of a business to compete in the worldwide economy and continue to generate income and jobs that enhance the Baton Rouge Area.

Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions (CRISIS)*

While transportation infrastructure needs across the state are sizable, the situation in the Capital Region has grown uniquely dire among the state’s metropolitan areas. In response to this, BRAC, the Center for Planning Excellence and the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance joined together to create CRISIS. CRISIS is a regionally balanced, business-led coalition that seeks to provide a leadership voice to address the Baton Rouge Area’s transportation crisis, identifying solutions and advocating for their prioritization and funding.

*Limited access or based on investment

Education and Workforce Issue Council

Education outcomes and workforce development are two sides of the coin that serve as the foundation of a sound economy and economic growth. Rapid gains in these areas are vital to the region’s attractiveness for business investment and talent. Specific topics of interest include increased opportunities for quality STEM education and business/school partnerships throughout the Area, more high-quality school choices, greater access to customized training solutions, and compilation and analysis of regional data related to education and workforce. The Council works to enhance the region’s competitiveness by elevating and communicating important policy issues impacting education and workforce development solutions.

Business Development Advisory Committee*

The BRAC Business Development team is charged with aggressively promoting the Capital Region to increase the number of jobs and payroll within the nine-parish region. This Committee reviews work plans, provides input on economic conditions in the region, offers insight toward the work being done to accomplish goals for the year, and helps to develop strategic planning goals for the following year.

*Limited access or based on investment

Southeast Super Region Committee*

Created as a collaboration of the Boards of Directors of BRAC, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the South LA Economic Council, the Southeast Super-Region Committee is focused on ensuring that southeast Louisiana is economically competitive with similar super-regions across the country, and on a global scale. Their work endeavors to promote and grow our super-region as a coherent economic unit.

*Limited access or based on investment

Working Groups

BRAC’s five-year regional strategic plan, the Think Bigger campaign, outlines four ambitious goals that guide our work. In support of these goals, BRAC invites a variety of business, community and civic leaders to serve on working groups focused on the areas of talent, external image and quality of place.


Greater access to talent and workforce at every part of the talent pipeline is critical for sustainable growth. This working group focuses on:

  • Expanding STEM learning and partnerships in PK-12 public education
  • Aligning regional workforce development systems to meet business needs
  • Attracting and retaining top talent that supports our targeted business sectors
  • Promoting the business case for diversity and inclusion

External Image

It’s up to us to tell our story. A region’s external identity can shape the decisions of people and businesses considering moving to it. This working group focuses on:

  • Articulating the Baton Rouge Area’s value to businesses and talent
  • Advancing formal super-regional efforts
  • Guiding a media relations strategy to target audiences

Quality of Place

Making the Baton Rouge Area a visibly beautiful, thriving place is key to driving business and talent to our region. This working group focuses on:

  • Acting as a change agent on major initiatives and policy reforms that enhance quality of life and economic growth
  • Advocating for transformational quality of place initiatives


BRAC offers a variety of professional programs for development and growth. Following are examples of active programs. Select a program below to learn more and/or participate.

BRAC Ambassadors actively participate in BRAC’s work as event volunteers, supporting retention and recruiting new businesses to become involved. Ambassadors enhance the investor experience through personal outreach, networking and growing the investor base.

Leadership Baton Rouge  was founded as a program of BRAC to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. There are now over 1,000 graduates of the program, many of whom serve in leadership positions on boards, commissions, and hold both state and local public offices.

InternBR, a BRAC Talent Development program, consists of services designed to better connect area employers with millennial talent. Intern programming includes an annual fellowship program focusing on communication and leadership skills. Employer programming includes resources and workshops designed to help area employers start or expand internship programs within their companies.

Program Overview

BRAC’s Ambassador Program is designed to allow company representatives to actively build relationships with BRAC investors and business leaders while serving as advocates of BRAC’s work. Ambassadors promote BRAC’s mission and educate investors about the benefits and resources available to them.

Ambassadors will assist in the following ways:

  • Lead generation
  • Retention efforts
  • Event networking
  • Promotion

If you are interested in participating in the BRAC Ambassador Program, please submit an application.


Lead Generation
Ambassador involvement is crucial in aiding lead generation. BRAC Ambassadors work in tandem with the Investor Relations team to identify businesses that can benefit from the knowledge, services, access and advocacy BRAC provides investors.

Retention Efforts
Personal outreach is key for retention efforts. Ambassadors are assigned businesses to connect with throughout the year. During outreach, Ambassadors share their positive, personal experiences as BRAC investors and provide resources that their assigned companies can utilize to maximize their investment.

Event Networking
Networking is consistently reported as the most valuable aspect of BRAC events; however, initiating a conversation in a crowd can be difficult and intimidating. BRAC Ambassadors attend monthly lunches, larger BRAC events, and grand openings to engage attendees, provide business resources, and facilitate connections.

BRAC provides valuable economic development information and news on a weekly basis. Ambassadors are included in BRAC’s press release distribution list to stay up-to-date on regional business news and to share relevant information with their assigned business and personal contacts.

Ambassadors are encouraged to invite business and personal contacts to BRAC events through social media outlets and direct outreach.

Program Benefits

  • Ability to expand business contacts by cultivating personal relationships with BRAC investors
  • Complimentary event attendance while volunteering at BRAC events
  • BRAC Ambassador nametag
  • Recognition at a BRAC monthly lunch
  • Recognition on BRAC’s website
  • Quarterly appreciation lunches
  • Invitation to attend a BRAC board meeting

To learn more about the BRAC Ambassador Program, contact the Investor Relations team.

Current Ambassadors

Adam Fontenot, Capital Area United Way

Anna Schexnayder, Hannis T. Bourgeois

Blythe Johsnon, WRKF

Brandon Ratcliff, Northwestern Mutual

Brian Varner, Vantage Health Plan

Brinkley Maginnis, Lyceum Historic Meeting & Event Center

Brooks Lawley, NAI Latter & Blum

Chelsea Borruano, MESH

Chelsey Gonzales, IT Inspired

Dan Doran, N2 Publishing

Danielle Gueho, LSU- The Cook Hotel & Conference Center

Dustin Puryear, PuryearIT

Ellen Diedrich, Guaranty Media

Eric Richard, The Advocate

Francesca Shreve, Lofton Staffing

Glynna Mayers, Jones Walker, LLP

James Fontenot, HR Solutions

James Treuting, Gallagher

Jessie Morgan, iHeart Media

Katie Redding, N2 Publishing

Kent Landacre, Neighbors FCU

Larry Dents, Trufund

Laura Siu, Laura Siu Planning & Events

Luke Breard, Vantage Health Plan

Luke Simpson, Gallagher

Maryanna Haynes, Attorney at Law

Matt Hernandez, Brown & Brown Insurance

Miguel Castro, Coldwell Banker

Meredith Davis, OLOL Foundation

Nick Moore, General Informatics

Pamela Bounds, Berente Companies

Rachel Powell, WGMB/FOX44

Regina Leingang, Baton Rouge General

Renee Shortress, WGMB/FOX44

Robert Reynolds, Primerica- Shannon Bernard

Shawn Fisher, Crump Wilson Architects

Sheryle Nsangolo, WGMB/FOX44

Tapper Patrick, Gallagher

Tiffany Tuminello, The Cottonport Bank

Tyler Litt, New Schools for Baton Rouge

William Phelps, Vantage Health Plan


Class of 2020 Applications

Applications are now closed for the Leadership Class of 2020.

The following are the retreat and session dates for the Leadership Baton Rouge 2019-2020 program. Attendance is required at the opening and closing retreats. More than twelve (12) hours of absences from the monthly sessions will result in withdrawal from the program.  All sessions from September to April run approximately 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

August 1, 2019 | Announcement Breakfast (optional but highly encouraged!)
August 22-23, 2019 | Opening Retreat
September 17, 2019 | Leadership Styles & Diversity
October 15, 2019 | K-12 Education
November 19, 2019 | Higher Education
December 10, 2019 | City & State Government
January – February | One non-profit agency visit
January 21, 2020 | Arts & Culture
February 11, 2020 | Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice
March 10, 2020 | Healthcare & Social Concerns
April 7, 2020 | Economic Development
April 21, 2020 | Hold day for potential makeup session
April 30 – May 1, 2020 | Closing Retreat
June 2, 2020 | Graduation Dinner (optional but highly encouraged!)
Other Activities: anytime | Attend 1 Metro Council & 1 School Board meeting – required

For more information, contact Emily Stich at or (225) 284-8484.

History & Overview

Leadership Baton Rouge was founded as a program of BRAC to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. There are now over 1,000 graduates of the program, many of whom serve in leadership positions on boards, commissions, and hold federal, state and local public offices.

BRAC initiated Leadership Baton Rouge in 1985; since that time the program has been an excellent resource for community leaders as well as organizations seeking capable board members.

Because Leadership Baton Rouge focuses on key areas of concern (e.g., education, cultural and personal diversity, city and state government, healthcare and social concerns, economic development, the arts and culture, the criminal justice system & law enforcement), graduates leave the program with first-hand knowledge of the issues facing our region and the potential for a positive community experience through volunteerism. Recently, the curriculum has been expanded to allow participants to collectively develop and implement a class project relating to their learning experiences.


Nominees are accepted from public and private agencies, corporations, civic and other organizations, and individual nominators. Applicants are accepted on the basis of demonstrated leadership ability through career or community achievements, concern for the future of the Baton Rouge Area and commitment to the program. Every summer, a selection committee of Leadership alumni recommends 34 to 40 candidates, based on a cross-section of the community in terms of occupation, gender, race, age and affiliations.


The Leadership Baton Rouge class kicks off nine months of training with a two-day opening retreat in August. From September to April, the class devotes an entire day, monthly, to presentations from subject matter experts, discussions, field trips and practical exercises pertinent to community issues. To conclude the program, a two-day closing retreat is held in May followed by a graduation dinner in June.


The curriculum for Leadership Baton Rouge is designed to use a variety of resources and learning techniques. The topics are chosen based on key components inherent in the daily lives of the people of the Baton Rouge area.

The curriculum is designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • To seek out, train and promote high achievers for positions of voluntary responsibility in the community
  • To provide these developing leaders with practical information concerning community issues and assets
  • To establish a communication network among the existing and emerging leaders of the community
  • To challenge these leaders to increase their involvement in community affairs


Graduates of the program are encouraged to stay involved in the community and the Leadership Baton Rouge Alumni group. More information on the alumni group can be found at

InternBR, a BRAC Talent Development program, consists of services designed to better connect area employers with millennial talent. Intern programming includes an annual fellowship program focusing on communication and leadership skills. Employer programming includes resources and workshops designed to help area employers start or expand internship programs within their companies.

History & Overview

Attracting and retaining top talent in the Baton Rouge Area is one of the core objectives of BRAC’s strategic plan. The intern-focused programming, founded by BRAC in 2016, is an exciting step toward cultivating the millennial talent in our region, introducing them to all that Baton Rouge offers, and providing a network for them to launch professional careers after graduation.

In 2018, BRAC launched employer-focused programming designed to provide area employers with resources needed to start or expand internship programs within their companies. The workshops are made possible through partnerships with the career services teams from Baton Rouge Community College, Southern University and LSU.

Intern Programming


Applications for the 2019 InternBR fellowship program are now closed.


Participants’ requirements include:

  • Internship must be for a company in the Baton Rouge Area
  • Internship must take place in the Baton Rouge Area
  • Interns must be enrolled in a college or university
  • Interns must have permission from their employer to participate in the breakfast meetings each Friday of June and July

Participants are recommended by a selection committee, based on a cross-section of the community in terms of major or intended career path, gender, race, age and affiliations.


The curriculum of the InternBR program is designed to provide area interns with professional communication and leadership skills needed to excel in their current internship and as they launch their career in Baton Rouge.  The curriculum is designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • Provide student interns with professional communication and leadership training
  • Provide student interns with the opportunity to network with other area interns
  • Provide student interns with the opportunity to further engage with their community through philanthropic and social activities
  • Increase and further develop the talent pool for area employers

Employer Programming

BRAC offers workshops throughout the year to help area companies further connect with millennial talent via internships. Workshop topics include – internship basics and best practices, internship job descriptions, recruiting, feedback, and a Q&A session with area experts. For more information, contact BRAC’s director of talent development.