The Leadership Ascension Program Graduates Its 25th Class

Gonzales, LA—October 6, 2020—Leadership Ascension, a program of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, was proud to recently graduate its 25th Leadership Class at Clarion Inn & Conference Center.

There were 31 participants in this year’s Leadership Class. As in past years, each member was put on a team with the task of researching and implementing a project that would positively affect the Ascension Community. Despite the challenges of 2020 and numerous class members serving on the front lines, each project team managed to complete an amazing project that will benefit Ascension Parish for years to come.  This year’s projects were Team H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Succeed), a project that raised funds for renovations and the installation of an ADA compliant bathroom at the ARC of Donaldsonville; Ripple Effect, who partnered with Child Advocacy Services and local schools to raise funds to train community members, who work with children, to recognize the signs of sexual abuse and trauma in children; Team Third Row, who resurfaced Kidz Kove Discovery Park and revitalized the park with new equipment; and The Village People built a warm and inviting space filled with children’s necessities and comfort items to support foster families in Ascension Parish.

All projects will undoubtedly benefit the Parish for years to come, but The Village People was chosen as this year’s winner. Winning team members included: Sinead Holleran, Julie Knight, Kent Landacre, Candace Melancon, Michelle Robicheaux, Stacey Stephens, and Kerr Wall.

In addition to benefitting the community, the Leadership Ascension Program has a positive impact on those who participate. This year’s participants included: Graduates Pictured L to R:  Melissa Bourgeois, Bourgeois PT and Sport Rehab;  Sarah Brown, Ascension Credit Union;  Craig Carroll, Garcia Roofing;  Toni Dantonio, OLOL Ascension;  Matt Faubion, Shell Chemical LP;  LeJaune George, Sr., BASF;  Lynn Hathaway, Ascension Public Schools;  Sinead Holleran, Chemical Engineer; Ryan Houston, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center;  Julie Knight, Alzheimer’s Services if the Capital Area;  Kimberly Koehl, GSA Consulting Engineers; Kent Landacre, Jr., Neighbors Federal Credit Union;  Cassidy McFarland, Neighbors Federal Credit Union;  Janet McCrory, City of Gonzales;  Candace Melancon, Ochsner;  Rebecca Mouk, Ascension Roofing & Fabrication;  Morgan Nicolich, Shell;  Vere O’Kelley, EATEL;  Kayla Oubre,  R.J. Daigle & Sons Contractors, Inc.;  LaTonya Prejean, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office; Josh Rhodes, BASF;  Michelle Robicheaux, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court;  Tiffany Robinson, BASF;  Kish Shah, Bourgeois PT and Sport Rehab;  Stacey Stephens,  Attorney at Law; Payne Trichell,  Pelican State Credit Union;  Tony Tureau, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office;  Mark Vincent, Rebel Graphix; Kerr Wall, BASF,  Ingrid Williams, Doman Architecture; Renee Zimmerman, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System;  Liz Laurent,  Class of 2020 Facilitator.

The 2020 Leadership Class, facilitated by Chamber VP of Operations, Liz Laurent, contributes the program’s success to the many sponsors and support committees who volunteer their time and resources.  The chamber would like to recognize  Ascension Economic Development Corp, Ascension Parish Government, Ascension Parish School Board, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, BASF, City of Gonzales, Covalent Logic, Domain Architecture, Lofton Staffing & Security Services, Percy & Mumphrey, Port of Greater Baton Rouge, OLOL Ascension, The Leadership Ascension Committee, The Leadership Ascension Foundation Committee for their support of the Class of 2020.

Leadership Ascension started in 1996 with the mission of preparing emerging community leaders for leadership positions in local government and business. The 10-month program accepts students by application only and offers educational sessions and training covering topics such as Economic Development, Healthcare, Project Management Training, Conflict Resolution, and Cultural Diversity. To apply for the upcoming class or learn more about Leadership Ascension, visit or call 225.647.7487.