Leadership Baton Rouge, BRAC Program

Program Overview

Leadership Baton Rouge was founded as a BRAC program in 1985 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. 

Because Leadership Baton Rouge focuses on key areas of concern – 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. The program is an excellent resource for organizations seeking capable board members.


The curriculum for Leadership Baton Rouge is designed to use a variety of resources and learning techniques. 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 

Apply for Program

We find ourselves in unprecedented times, and such times demand unprecedented flexibility. Like so many local organizations, Leadership Baton Rouge is making necessary adjustments to its programs and operations in light of COVID-19 to ensure a safe environment for participants, speakers and volunteers.

To that end, applications for the LBR Class of 2021 are being suspended until the science and governmental guidelines allow. Creating opportunities for meaningful social connection and experiential learning is at the heart of what we do. Leadership Baton Rouge will take a temporary hiatus until the Class of 2021 can be afforded these same opportunities.

So many of our alumni represent the area’s first responders, healthcare professionals, social services agencies, and businesses at the front lines providing necessary aid to our community. We wish to express our appreciation and admiration for your strength, compassion, and preparedness.

2020 Class Schedule

Leadership Baton Rouge 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. 

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

Selection Process

Nominees are accepted from public and private agencies, corporations, civic and other organizations, and individual nominators. Applicants are accepted based on 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 Baton Rouge alumni recommend 34 to 40 candidates based on a cross-section of the community in terms of occupation, gender, race, age and affiliations.

Current Class

Jason R. AndreasenExecutive DirectorBaton Rouge Gallery - Center for Contemporary Art
Tasha N. Bergeron ParmsDirector, Population HealthBlue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana
Erin H. BlakeDirector of Enrollment Services/RegistrarBaton Rouge Community College
Crystal H. BlanchardAccount ExecutiveBlue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
Anita M. ByrnePartnerSSA Consultants
Joseph J. CefaluPartnerBreazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.
Ryan M. CrossDirector of CommunicationsOur Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
Summer L. DannExecutive DirectorEBR Career and Technical Education Center
Rory A. DenicolaCommunications CoordinatorExxonMobil
Tonnisha N. EllisProgram CoordinatorLouisiana Board of Regents
Andrew V. FitzgeraldSenior Director of Business IntelligenceBaton Rouge Area Chamber
Sarah C. GardnerProject ManagerBaton Rouge Area Foundation
Nenette L. GrayFounder & CEOLemonade Creative Marketing, LLC
Letrece R. GriffinMarketing & Communications SpecialistKnock Knock Children’s Museum
Deon A. GuilloryEvening News AnchorWVLA Local 33
Angela B. HammettCommunity Education ManagerWoman’s Hospital
Laura B. HawkesDirector of Operations and RecruitmentBaton Rouge Youth Coalition
Teddi H. HessburgSenior Director of EventsOur Lady of the Lake Foundation
Jason C. HughesOwnerCapital City Collision
Raushanah S. HunterDevelopment DirectorCity Year Baton Rouge
James J. Jefferson IIISergeantLouisiana State Police
Johnathan A. LandorDirector of Environmental ServicesWoman’s Hospital
Melvin R. LandryLouisiana Restoration Area LeadDepartment of Commerce - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Michael K. LeachmanPartnerJones Walker LLP
Regina B. LeingangLeadership Development ConsultantBaton Rouge General
Chrislyn M. MaherDirector of Marketing and CommunicationsTiger Athletic Foundation
Steven J. MalikEnterprise Solutions ManagerTurner Industries Group
Na’Tisha NattPublic Affairs DirectorLouisiana Housing Corporation
Christina P. PersaudPrincipal and Director of Brand ManagementMESH
Robert W. Powell, IIIPartnerCardinal Capital/University of Arkansas
Oscar Reed RichardAssistant SuperintendentBREC
Dana P. SalisburyDirector of Learning SystemsProductive Dentist Academy
Laura A. Siu-NguyenDevelopment and Marketing CoordinatorGardere Community Christian School
Todd W. SmithManaging Partner/Marketing ConsultantDubb Hubb Marketing Group LLC
Dianne P. TealChief Nursing OfficerOchsner Health System
Linda M. ThompsonDirector of OperationsSt. Joseph’s Academy
Stephanie W. TomlinsonExecutive Assistant to the CommissionerBoard of Regents
Tiffani B. TraupmanDirector, Quality & ComplianceChoices of Louisiana, Inc.
Jessica M. TrepagnierManager, Marketing and Community OutreachAetna Better Health of Louisiana
Monica M. Vela-VickAssociatePhelps Dunbar, LLP
Rachel C. VeronDirector of AnalyticsLSU Foundation
Matthew L. WallaceVice President- Strategic Initiatives and  PartnershipsEasterseals Louisiana
Tracy N. WhiteSenior Public Affairs Specialist  PartnershipsCox Communications
Chloe WileyInitiatives Program ManagerBlue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
Marcus J. WilliamsProgram DirectorCSRS, Inc
Jared C. WilliamsDirector, Marketing and CommunicationsTeach For America
Scroll to Top