Photo by Debbie Fontenot Photography.

The Ascension Chamber of Commerce was proud to honor its 27th Leadership class at the Graduation Ceremony, sponsored by Bonfanti Investment Services, Thursday June 16, 2022 at the Clarion Inn & Conference center before a crowd of over 100 community leaders, alumni, supporters, and sponsors.

Leadership Ascension, like similar programs nationwide, is designed to develop responsible and informed community leaders. Recognized and emerging leaders in the community are selected to represent the diverse demographic of the Ascension Parish Community. Since its inception in 1996, Leadership Ascension has graduated over 800 individuals, from business owners to community leaders, to government officials.

The Team Projects
The 33 participants in this year’s Leadership Class were divided into four groups and tasked to develop and implement four projects that would positively affect the Ascension Community. This year’s projects included:

  • The D’ville Shooting Stars transformed the Lemann Center in Donaldsonville, LA into a high-quality gymnasium facility open for public use where underserved youth in the community can participate in activities.
  • The Sunshine Express collaborated with Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre to fast track the WAG Center renovation to house a new Early Child Development Center in Donaldsonville.
  • UMatter Ascension teamed up with the Ascension Parish Government to create an app and website that will be a resource to increase mental health access and awareness with a directory of resource providers and educational information.
  • The Yak Pak partnered with the City of Gonzales to build a community Kayak Launch, conveniently located in the heart of the city at the Jambalaya Park, complete with a kayak vending machine.

While we consider each team and our Ascension community all winners, our judges could only choose one proposal to be the 2022 Leadership Ascension Project of the Year: The D’ville Shooting Stars! The team members include: Kara Anderson, Ann Booth, Milton Cayette III, Debra Gaudin, Joshua Guitreau, Wes Moreau, III, Melissa Pourciau, and Rhonda Turner.

Photo by Debbie Fontenot Photography.

Leadership Ascension Class of 2022
Kara Anderson, Weichert Realtors-Villar & Company
Bruce Bentley, BASF Corporation
Ann Booth, BCBS of Louisiana Medicare Team
Danielle Bordelon, BXS Insurance
Irene Carney, Methanex
Milton Cayette, III, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office
Amy Cheek, Trublue Water
Veronica Claiborne, Demco
John Dearmond, III, Wash N Roll Carwash
Kirk Delatte, The Relaxation Company at Pelican Point
Aarika Dorsey, River Parish Community College
Debra Gaudin, City of Gonzales
Maci Gauthier, Gauthier Amedee, APLC
Michelle Guidry, Guidry Group Properties
Joshua Guitreau, Shell Chemical
Chris Haik, OLOL Physicians Group
Dr. Latatia Johnson, Ascension Parish Schools
Briaon Landry, Creative Xpressions Artistry
J.K. Lockhart, Raising Canes Chicken Fingers
Wes Moreau, III, Essential Federal Credit Union
Vanissa Murphy, Quality Engineering & Surveying, LLC
Melissa Pourciau, Grace Hebert Curtis Architects, APAC
Amber Randal Jones, Westlake Chemical
G. Milton Robbins, Ourso Funeral Home
Courtney Rowe, Neighbors Federal Credit Union
Julie Ruffner, Ochsner
Louis Saab, CSRS
Kirstie Schexnayder, Domain Architecture
Thomika Segar, FMOL Health System
Matthew Stevens, B1 Bank
Taylor Stringfield, Glencoe Aviation
Rhonda Turner, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court
Brian Villenurve, REV

Thank you to the following for your support of the Leadership Ascension Class of 2022!
Ascension Economic Development Corp
Ascension Legislative Delegation
Ascension Parish Assessor’s Office
Ascension Parish Clerk of Court
Ascension Parish Government
Ascension Parish School Board
Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Department
Bonfanti Investment Services, LLC
City of Gonzales
Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the House
Debbie Fontenot Photography
Domain Architecture
Lofton Staffing & Security Services
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Our Lady of The Lake Ascension
Pelican State Credit Union
Percy & Mumphrey, Attorneys at Law
Port of Greater Baton Rouge
River Parishes Community College
The Leadership Ascension Committee
The Leadership Ascension Foundation

Find more information and submit your application to become part of the Leadership Ascension Class of 2023 here: