Baton Rouge Area Leadership Marks 31 Years, Graduates Class of 2017

Baton Rouge, La. (June 7, 2017) — The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) concluded its 31st year of the Baton Rouge Area Leadership program on Tuesday, June 6, graduating 41 participants from the 2017 class into its alumni base of more than 1,000.

The program focuses on key areas of concern such as education, diversity, 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 first-hand knowledge of the issues facing the Capital Region and the potential for a positive community experience through volunteerism.

Participants are accepted from public and private agencies, corporations, civic and other organizations, and individual nominators. Participants 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.

The graduates of the 2017 class are:

  • Brian D. Adams, Teach for America
  • Sarah Olcott Allen, AT&T
  • Leslie M. Austin, H.R. Solutions
  • Johnnay S. Benjamin, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
  • Susan A. Blackburn, Ochsner Medical Center
  • Chelsey Laborde Blankenship, SoSis / An Online Boutique
  • J. Ashley Mitchell Carter, Louisiana State Senate
  • Chad M. Cathey, Our Lady of the Lake
  • Donald R. Chube, Jr., Louisiana Lottery Corporation
  • Kevin L. Colomb, ExxonMobil
  • Lillian W. Derouen, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Carroll Devillier, Jr., Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson
  • Elizabeth B. Eaton, The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics of Louisiana
  • Stephen A. Feazell, SSA Consultants
  • Melony B. Fields, CI Group
  • Zelma M. Frederick, McGlinchey Stafford
  • Jessica Tate Gagliano, Junior League of Baton Rouge
  • Hunter B. Geisman, LSU Athletics
  • Tameka G. Hartzog, Cox Business
  • Terrance M. Hinton, ExxonMobil Refinery
  • Courtney M. Holbrook, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
  • Lauren Crapanzano Jumonville, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Mathew J. Laborde, ELIFIN
  • Phillip M. LaFargue, Emergent Method
  • Blythe B. Lamonica, BASF Corp.
  • Alexander C. Mahon, Iberia Bank
  • Danielle Matthews, Campus Federal Credit Union
  • Sherry Smith McBeath, Rotary Club of Baton Rouge
  • Meghan R. Parrish, Baton Rouge General
  • Brian D. Rodriguez, Gatorworks
  • Lynnel B. Ruckert, Louisiana Department of Treasury
  • Wendy W. Singleton, Woman’s Hospital
  • Todd L. Sterling, Alpha Media and Public Relations
  • Melissa M. Terito, Faulk & Winkler
  • Angelle Lavergne Terry, WHLC Architects
  • Laura P. Thomas, Antares Technology Solutions
  • Kelli Bondy Troutman, LUBA Workers’ Comp
  • AJ Walker, LED
  • B. Trevor Wilson, Jones Walker
  • Robert E. Wise, ITinspired
  • Karen Zito, Baton Rouge Area Chamber

About the Baton Rogue Area Leadership Program

The Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program was founded as a program of BRAC to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. There are now more than 1,000 graduates of the program, many of whom serve in leadership positions on boards, commissions, and hold local, state, or federal elected offices. More information is available at

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at


Morgan is the Marketing Manager for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. In her role, she manages writing organizational publications and materials, oversees BRAC’s social media and blog, and coordinates timelines for all internal marketing projects.

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