The Advocate

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has chosen 46 business, civic and nonprofit leaders for its Leadership Baton Rouge Class of 2020.

The program aims to provide these developing leaders with practical information concerning community issues and challenges and challenge them to increase their involvement in community affairs.

The program focuses on topic areas such as education, diversity and inclusivity, city and state government, health care and social issues, economic development, the arts and culture, and the criminal justice system. Graduates leave the program with firsthand knowledge of the issues facing the Capital Region and the potential for a positive community experience through volunteerism, according to a news release.

The program commences nine months of training with a two-day retreat in August. From September to April, the class devotes an entire day each month for lectures, discussions, field trips and practical exercises pertinent to community issues. To conclude the program, a two-day retreat is held in May, followed by a graduation dinner in June.

Members of the 2020 class are:

  • Jason R. Andreasen, executive director of the Baton Rouge Gallery — Center for Contemporary Art
  • Tasha N. Bergeron Parms, director of population health for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Erin H. Blake, director of enrollment services and registrar for Baton Rouge Community College
  • Crystal H. Blanchard, account executive for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Anita M. Byrne, a partner in SSA Consultants
  • Joseph J. Cefalu, a partner in Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP
  • Ryan M. Cross, director of communications for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
  • Summer L. Dann, executive director of the East Baton Rouge Career and Technical Education Center
  • Rory A. Denicola, communications coordinator for ExxonMobil
  • Tonnisha N. Ellis, program coordinator for the Louisiana Board of Regents
  • Andrew V. Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Sarah C. Gardner, project manager for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Nenette L. Gray, founder and CEO of Lemonade Creative Marketing LLC
  • Letrece R. Griffin, marketing and communications specialist for Knock Knock Children’s Museum
  • Deon A. Guillory, evening news anchor for WVLA Local 33
  • Angela B. Hammett, community education manager for Woman’s Hospital
  • Laura B. Hawkes, director of operations and recruitment for the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition
  • Teddi H. Hessburg, senior director of events for the Our Lady of the Lake Foundation
  • Jason C. Hughes, owner of Capital City Collision
  • Raushanah S. Hunter, development director for City Year Baton Rouge
  • Sgt. James J. Jefferson III of the Louisiana State Police
  • Johnathan A. Landor, director of environmental services for Woman’s Hospital
  • Melvin R. Landry, Louisiana restoration area lead for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Michael K. Leachman, a partner in Jones Walker LLP
  • Regina B. Leingang, leadership development consultant for Baton Rouge General Medical Center
  • Chrislyn M. Maher, director of marketing and communications for the Tiger Athletic Foundation
  • Steven J. Malik, enterprise solutions manager for Turner Industries Group
  • Na’Tisha Natt, public affairs director for the Louisiana Housing Corp.
  • Christina P. Persaud, principal and director of brand management for MESH
  • Robert W. Powell III, a partner in Cardinal Capital/University of Arkansas
  • Oscar Reed Richard, assistant superintendent of BREC
  • Dana P. Salisbury, director of learning systems for Productive Dentist Academy
  • Laura A. Siu-Nguyen, development and marketing director for Gardere Community Christian School
  • Todd W. Smith, managing partner and marketing consultant with Dubb Hubb Marketing Group LLC
  • Dianne P. Teal, chief nursing officer with Ochsner Health System
  • Linda M. Thompson, director of operations for St. Joseph’s Academy
  • Stephanie W. Tomlinson, executive assistant to the commissioner of the Louisiana Board of Regents
  • Tiffani B. Traupman, director of quality and compliance for Choices of Louisiana Inc.
  • Jessica M. Trepagnier, manager of marketing and community outreach for Aetna Better Health of Louisiana
  • Monica M. Vela-Vick, an associate with Phelps Dunbar LLP
  • Rachel C. Veron, director of analytics for the LSU Foundation
  • Matthew L. Wallace, vice president of strategic initiatives and partnerships for Easterseals Louisiana
  • Tracy N. White, senior public affairs specialist for Cox Communications
  • Chloe Wiley, initiatives program manager for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
  • Marcus J. Williams, program director for CSRS Inc.
  • Jared C. Williams, director of marketing and communications for Teach For America.