Leadership Baton Rouge Announces Class of 2024 

Capital Region professionals comprise latest cohort of future community leaders 

Baton Rouge, LA (January 11, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced the members of its Leadership Baton Rouge class of 2024. The selected participants represent a cross-section of the Capital Region’s business, civic and non-profit communities. 

Members of the 2024 class include: 

  • Judith Anderson – CSRS 
  • Taylor Anderson – Teach for America 
  • Elizabeth Bentley-Smith – Louisiana Board of Regents 
  • Dani Borel – Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP 
  • Luisa Cantillo – Emergent Method 
  • Garrett Chassee – NCBRT 
  • Kimberlee Collins-Walker – Assurance Tax & Accounting Group, LLC 
  • Aareena Dhillon – Baton Rouge Youth Coalition 
  • Mehdi Farasat, PhD – Louisiana State University 
  • Derek Fitch – Centurion 
  • Dr. Raneesha Ford – Baton Rouge General Medical Center 
  • Diana B. Gibbens – 19th Judicial District Court 
  • Louis Gremillion, Jr. – Louisiana State University 
  • Jermaine Guillory – East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office 
  • Ramon Hardy – Baton Rouge General Medical Center 
  • Sherreta R. Harrison – MetroMorphosis 
  • Shermaine S. Haymer – Access Sciences Corporation 
  • Travis Hutchins – Baton Rouge Area Foundation 
  • Justin Hutchinson – ThreeSixtyEight 
  • Roosevelt James Haney, Jr., MS – Performance Contractors, Inc. 
  • Brianna Jeansonne – Criminal Justice Coordinating Council 
  • Lauren Michaud Knotts – McGlinchey Stafford 
  • Glynna Mayers – Dow 
  • Sandy Michelet – Sparkhound 
  • Scott J. Miller – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center 
  • D’Andra B. Odom, MPA – Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center 
  • Gwen Palagi – Baton Rouge Gallery 
  • Jake Polansky – Baton Rouge Area Chamber 
  • Tiffany R. Quiett, Ph.D. – Southern University A&M College 
  • Dr. Lakesha N. Reese-Penn – East Baton Rouge Parish School System 
  • Desiree Robertson – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana 
  • Lauren Rucinski – Kean Miller LLP 
  • Paul Sampson – Thrive Academy 
  • Jasmine Simmons – New Schools for Baton Rouge 
  • Lindi Rubin Spalatin – Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation 
  • Luke St. John McKnight – Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge 
  • Amanda Stanley – City of Baton Rouge/ Employ BR 
  • Lesley Tilley – Our Lady of the Lake Health 
  • Richard “Rich” J. Vath – University of Louisiana System 

Leadership Baton Rouge was founded in 1985 to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. The program’s goals are: 

  • to seek out, train, and promote high achievers for positions of voluntary responsibility in the community; 
  • to provide these developing leaders with practical information concerning community issues and problems; 
  • to establish a communication network among the existing and emerging leaders of the community; and 
  • to challenge these leaders 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 first-hand knowledge of the issues facing the region and the potential for a positive community experience through volunteerism. 
 
The program commences ten months of training in January with an opening retreat. From February to October, the class devotes an entire day each month to lectures, discussions, and practical exercises pertinent to community issues, concluding in November with a closing retreat and graduation ceremony. The program is led by Anita Byrne, MBA. 

About Leadership Baton Rouge 

Leadership Baton Rouge was founded as a BRAC program to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. There are now more than 1,400 graduates of the program, many of whom serve in leadership positions on boards and commissions and hold local, state, or federal elected offices. More information is available at brac.org/leadership

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 brac.org.  

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