BRAC’s Tonnisha Ellis Wins Forty Under 40 in Chamber of Commerce Award 

BATON ROUGE, La. (December 13, 2023) — The Baton Rouge Area Chamber today announced that its Senior Manager of Education and Workforce Policy and Research 

Tonnisha Ellis has been honored as a recipient of the 2023 Association for Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)’s Forty Under 40 Award, created to recognize 40 of the industry’s top emerging leaders who have demonstrated success in their careers and made significant contributions to the communities they serve. 

“Tonnisha’s dedication to education and workforce alignment to prepare our students for meaningful, successful careers in the Capital Region is admirable, and we are excited that she was recognized for her efforts,” said Trey Godfrey, BRAC senior vice president of policy. “Through her leadership, we have seen education and business come into partnership through BRAC’s Talent Action Collaborative, she created the Career Immersive Experience for high school students, and most notably, her work led to launching a high school internship program in East Baton Rouge Parish with the school district. Her unique skillsets and passion for education are an asset to our entire region.” 

ACCE developed the annual award to recognize and support the most talented professionals in the chamber industry. Winners range across C-suite executives and staffers of various levels of experience and organization size. The award acknowledges the sheer creativity, hard work, and decisive vision of each of the winners, along with their commitment to their respective communities. 

“I am inspired by these talented professionals who are making a difference in their organizations and the communities they serve,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Their passion and dedication not only foster positive change in their regions but also shape a promising future for those they impact.” 

As the senior manager of education and workforce policy and research, Tonnisha is the staff lead for education and workforce development, focusing on programming and initiatives from cradle to career. A member of the BRAC team since 2021, Tonnisha also engages in advocacy activities with local and state elected officials and administrative staff on BRAC’s education and workforce policy agenda. Recently, she was an integral part of launching a $1 million, multi-school district truancy-reduction pilot, aiming to address chronic absenteeism, and also spearheaded legislation that led to a House Resolution Study on internship tax credit.  

Eligible chamber professionals must be nominated by their chamber’s president/CEO, direct supervisor or board chair. Candidates must demonstrate meaningful involvement in the advancement of their community and proven professional success within their chamber. 

For more information on the 40 Under 40 awards program and this year’s winners, visit  

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber  

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at


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