February Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Brian Melancon
Occupation: Assistant Director
Organization: Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I came to LSU in 2001 and never wanted to leave. I love the people, culture, atmosphere, and opportunities Baton Rouge has to offer. I have met some amazing people throughout my years here who have introduced me to so many different foods, music, events, art, races, organizations, and initiatives. All with Baton Rouge being the medium. As someone from a small town, I appreciate Baton Rouge’s approachableness, which is why I enjoy calling it home. I met my wife here, have lifelong friends here, and truly believe Baton Rouge is a great place to live.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
I have been part of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center family since 2007. During my time here, I have been part of several large projects aiming to improve the health and healthcare of those living in Louisiana. I have a sense of pride being part of a mission that helps my fellow Louisianans. I also serve as a board member for Keep Louisiana Beautiful, a member of Forum 35, a member of the 2019 John W. Barton, Sr. Leadership Development Program class, and work with other non-profits in the area. Being a part of these organizations only deepens my sense of pride of living in Baton Rouge.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
My favorite thing about Baton Rouge is its ability to give you whatever you want at any time. Interested in the Blues? Baton Rouge has it. Interested in Vietnamese cuisine? Baton Rouge has it. Talk directly with a Sommelier? Play a round of golf? Move your career to a different industry? Watch world famous artists perform? Continue your education? Baton Rouge can offer so many different things to an individual or family. Baton Rouge is not just one thing.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
I believe Baton Rouge has the opportunity to be the center of change – a shift in our ways of thinking – when it comes to how Louisiana approaches its health. Baton Rouge may never out pace a Houston or New York, but it does not have to. Baton Rouge has the opportunity to come together and drive transformation in Louisiana. With our diverse population, our access to policymakers, the multiple health systems, and downright smart people, Baton Rouge has the ability to come together with one voice in health improvement. We deserve it.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
Current young professionals are driving social and environmental movements, which have always been present, but may have taken a back seat to other priorities. Putting a renewed interest in these initiatives is bringing back the importance of the triple bottom line, which includes social and environment achievements in addition to the financials. Young professionals are putting priorities in these areas, which is in turn driving businesses and communities to also focus on them. Holding to the triple bottom line only improves our lives and the lives of others around us.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Baton Rouge is not New Orleans, or Lafayette, or Lake Charles, or Shreveport, or Houston, or Austin, or any other city. But what Baton Rouge IS, is everything you can find in all of those other places.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Overpass Merchant
- Place to hang out: Olive or Twist
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: Downtown on the levee
- Place to people watch: Live After Five
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to lay their roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these young Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.