March Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Meredith LaBorde
Occupation: Leadership Gifts Officer
Organization: Baton Rouge General Foundation
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I was raised on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, but I spent most of my weekends here whether it was through church, sports, or family visits. I left town for college to experience a different scene but was excited to return after graduation. My Baton Rouge story has been filled with surprises. I’ve worked in fashion, government, and nonprofit fundraising and have loved the opportunities each job has offered me to see Baton Rouge in a different, better way.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
As the Leadership Gifts Officer for Baton Rouge General Foundation, I am tasked with increasing the Foundation’s annual unrestricted giving. My job allows me to personally engage with the Baton Rouge community by bringing awareness of the state of the art healthcare occurring at Baton Rouge General.
I am an active member in both Forum 225 (formerly Forum 35) and Junior League of Baton Rouge and I sing in my church choir. I have also served as a mentor for the Boys & Girls Club of Baton Rouge. I’m especially grateful for the opportunities and growth I have experienced due to my involvement in all of these organizations.
In my five-year involvement with Forum 225, I have served as Service Committee Co-Chair, Barton Leadership Program Co-Chair, Board Member at Large, and I currently serve as VP of Leadership. Forum 225 helped open my eyes to all Baton Rouge has to offer not only on a personal level but professional as well.
I am currently in my second active year with Junior League of Baton Rouge and serve as the Assistant Chair for the Kids in the Kitchen committee. I enjoy this placement because it allows me to leave a positive impact on children in Baton Rouge by empowering them with the knowledge of how healthy food can be fun and easy to make.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
It’s difficult to pick just one thing to be my favorite. I do love its history. There’s always something to learn about Baton Rouge. For example, Huey P. Long. Whether you love him or hate him, he’s fascinating to read about. I love visiting his exhibit at the Old State Capitol.
I also love that there is always something to do or see. Whether it’s a museum or festival, there’s always a place to go and meet people. I feel like the social scene has amped up its game in the last year or so with the addition of Electric Depot, BLDG 5, and Mid City Beer Garden just to name a few. It’s been fun to experience. Oh, and of course the food.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
To continue to push forward. I feel like we are on the right path to being more progressive and owning our spot on the map. If we continue to have the right leaders, I know we can continue pushing forward to make Baton Rouge better for everyone here and those to come.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
We don’t settle for mediocre. I think the young professionals in BR are determined to make this city as great as it can be. There are so many game changers in different fields. It’s been exciting to watch how if we all get a seat at the table or get behind the same mission, we can truly make a lasting impact.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Be open to it. Give it a chance. There’s so much to love, and if you love it, it will love you back.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Overpass Merchant
- Place to hang out: LSU Lakes or in the spring, I like to buy 3 pounds of crawfish from Tony’s and have lunch on the levee.
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: Old State Capitol
- Place to people watch: Live After Five
- Place to network: I feel like anywhere and everywhere.
- Way to give back: I enjoy giving back in a variety of ways. I donate to BRG Foundation because I see first-hand the impact on our community. Through Forum 225’s Service Committee, my favorite event is Bags of Hope with St. Vincent de Paul where you prepare to-go bags for the lunch guests, so they are guaranteed to have a meal once they leave. I also love working with JLBR and Kids in the Kitchen with our monthly events with the Farmers Market and Front Yard Bikes. Teaching kids how to make healthy meals and have fun with it is truly rewarding.
- Event: Any LSU sporting event. Geaux Tigers!
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.