The Ascension Chamber of Commerce recently completed its 28th year of the Leadership Ascension program. Before a crowd of over 100 community leaders, alumni, supporters, and sponsors, the Chamber honored the Class of 2023 graduates in a ceremony, sponsored by Bonfanti Investment Services, at the Clarion Inn & Conference Center.

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 33 participants in this year’s Leadership Class were divided into four groups. Each group was then tasked with developing and implementing a volunteer-based project that would positively affect the Ascension Community. This year’s projects included:

  • Ascension CLIMBERS– Focused on impacting and improving children’s lives in Ascension Parish by volunteering with several local and regional child nonprofits
  • Elevate Ascension– Beautification of Ascension parks
  • SOUPer Servants– Educate, increase awareness, and advocate on behalf of those that are experiencing food insecurity in Ascension Parish and be a connector of resources to all
  • Mission Possible, Agents of Change– Dedicated fundraising and volunteer services to the My Belongings nonprofit agency.

While we consider each team and our Ascension community all winners, our judges could only choose one proposal to be the 2023 Leadership Ascension Project of the Year, and this year’s winners are the SOUPer Servants. The team members are Brandon Dove, Jackie McCreary, Selina Loupe, Rachel Vallot, Brian Henderson, Amanda Simoneaux, Clay Runfalo and Raven LaBiche.

2023 Leadership Ascension Project of the Year: SOUPer Servants


Leadership Ascension Class of 2023

Kelly Bordelon, Rubicon

Brandon Boylan, City of Gonzales

Stacey Breaux, Baton Rouge General

Patrick Carpenter, Ascension Parish Fire District 3

Cameron Cason, REV

Isabella Corona, Parc 73

Kim Cox, Ascension Parish School Board

Leslie Daigle, Ascension Parish Government

Jennifer Delatte, The Relaxation Company at Pelican Point

Brandon Dove, Methanex

Ruble Encalade, Shell Chemical LP- Geismar Plant

Brian Henderson, Hancock Whitney

Amy Huck, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP

Jenna Jackson, Acadian House & Design Renovation

Raven LaBiche, The Arc of East Ascension

Cecilia Li, Domain Architecture

Selina Loupe, Team Smith and the Market Real Estate Company

Brandi McCants, Our Lady of the Lake Physicians Group

Jackie McCreary, CF Industries

Meredith Meliet, Emergent Method

Chelsea Mullins, R.J. Daigle & Sons

Jared Mullins, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office

Lucio Nunez, Terracon

Ryan Plessala, The Lemoine Company, LLC

Alisha Raines, BASF

Nicole Reynolds, LaPorte, APLC

Christina Roudeze, Faulk & Winkler

Clay Runfalo, Ochsner Health

Amanda Simoneaux, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court

Renee Trimble, Adam McCarty State Farm

Rachel Vallot, Pelican State Credit Union

Jackie Walker, B1 Bank

Treasure White, Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area


Thank you to the following for their support of the Leadership Ascension Class of 2023!

Ascension Economic Development Corp
Ascension Parish Assessor’s Office
Ascension Parish Government
Ascension Parish School System
Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Department
Baton Rouge General- Ascension
Bridget Hanna, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court
Bonfanti Investment Services, LLC
CF Industries
City of Donaldsonville
City of Gonzales
Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the House
Crawford Photography
Domain Architecture
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Our Lady of The Lake Ascension
Ochsner Ascension
Percy, Skias & Schutte Attorneys at Law
River Parishes Community College
Representative Tony Bacala
The Leadership Ascension Committee
The Leadership Ascension Foundation

Find more information and submit your application to become part of the Leadership Ascension Class of 2024 here: