To honor standout board members, community leaders, and ambassadors, BRAC distributes annual awards to its investors. This year, award recipients were announced in early April.
BRAC’s D. Jensen Holliday Award was bestowed on Cheri Ausberry this year, customer service manager for Entergy Louisiana. The D. Jensen Holliday Award is presented to a member of the BRAC board of directors for his or her extraordinary leadership and exemplary service to BRAC. Individuals honored with the award demonstrate selfless service to the economic growth of the Baton Rouge Area.
When she isn’t working for Entergy Louisiana, Ausberry can be found bettering the Capital Region through her involvement with BRAC. In addition to serving on BRAC’s Board of Directors, Cheri served as Chair of BRAC’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee for three years from 2017 to 2019. She has also been involved in many other community efforts, which landed her as a 2020 Influential Woman in Business by the Baton Rouge Business Report.
In 2018, Ausberry was asked to co-chair BRAC’s Canvas Trip to Cincinnati where she was inspired by the Cincinnati Chamber’s success with its Small and Minority Owned Business Development Platform. She wanted to create that same success in Baton Rouge, so with the help of many members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Baton Rouge Procurement Opportunity Program was created. This public-private partnership was designed to assist the development and growth of Baton Rouge-based veteran, women, and minority-owned small businesses.
During her time as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Ausberry also established the Diversity Star award designed to recognize regional business successes in implementing diversity and inclusion practices.
“She’s passionate, determined, and the consummate consensus builder,” said Michael DiResto, executive vice president of BRAC. “Cheri has been the inspiration and driving force behind so many of BRAC’s efforts to promote the importance of diversity and inclusion to businesses across the region. She’s made a lasting impact.”
Ausberry believes that supporting local economic development efforts is key to making big changes in your own community.
“It’s important that we advocate for and support the economic development efforts of our chamber because it allows one to join with others and work collaboratively to cultivate change and champion business development in our community – especially small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Ausberry said. “We all prosper and do well when we encourage and promote business growth in all sectors of our economy.”
Ausberry knows how important involvement is when it comes to adding value to the work of a company.
“Never stand on the sidelines; don’t be a witness, be a change agent,” Ausberry said.
As the marketing intern at BRAC, Whitney assists the marketing team in developing marketing material while also managing social media accounts and writing content for BRAC’s blog.