September Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Jessica Keasler
Occupation: Environmental Department Manager
Organization: Terracon Consultants, Inc.
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I came to Baton Rouge for grad school, found a job here, and stayed. As I developed into my current role as group manager in Terracon’s Baton Rouge office, I saw a need to get more plugged in to what was going on in the community to stay connected from a business perspective. At the same time, I had an urge to find ways to give back and volunteer, something I have always enjoyed doing. I found Forum 35, and was able to fulfill both professional development/networking needs and volunteering in my community. Now, I consider Baton Rouge my home, and love being part of this community.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
I am heavily involved in Forum 35. I am currently serving as President, but have served on multiple committees, the board and executive committee in various roles for the past few of years. Forum 35 has introduced me to numerous organizations which I am starting to get involved in, such as The Baton Rouge Blues Foundation, Of Moving Colors, and The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. I’m also involved with the Greater Baton Rouge Alumnae Panhellenic Association, The Louisiana Water Environment Association, Women’s Energy Network, Capital Section of the American Planning Association, Louisiana Brownfields Association, and Spanish Town Ladies Auxiliary.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
All the festivals and events. Baton Rouge has some amazing events that I’ve come to look forward to every year, like Dancing for Big Buddy and the Blues Festival, but new events/activities are happening all the time. I love checking them out and supporting local initiatives.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
A truly collaborative community (#WeAreBR). There are a lot of separate groups that are striving for the same or similar outcomes. I think collaboration between these groups could have such a large impact.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
I believe people like me are creating change by voicing their opinions and acting on them. I find our “this is a problem, let’s fix it” conversations always result in small changes we can make. We share those changes with others, and then we get this snowball effect that makes a huge impact.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Do it. Baton Rouge has a little something for everyone, take the leap and find your forever community.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Anywhere with a brunch menu. I’ve been known to Sunday Funday Brunch at Olive or Twist, The Overpass Merchant, and The Londoner, to name a few.
- Place to hang out: Merchant District – so many fun places to eat great food, talk with friends, and cheer on LSU sports
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: I’m not actually on Instagram, but think Bluebonnet Swamp is the perfect hidden gem to catch great pictures.
- Place to people watch: All the festivals and events downtown attract a diverse crowd. I enjoy watching other people enjoy these activities as I do.
- Place to network: Forum 35 events. I’ve met so many people in different industries with different passions.
- Way to give back: Don’t want to sound like a broken record, but Forum 35 Service events. I’ve been able to volunteer for so many different organizations/events this way. My favorite giving back activity with Forum 35 is with St. Vincent De Paul. I also participate in a Golf Fundraiser for CASA that Terracon hosts every year.
- Event: Can’t choose just one, but any event with a theme that I can dress up for makes it to the top of my list.
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.