Ascension Parish community photo gallery for Jan. 1, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by Liz Laurent -- Gathering in December at the Ascension Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Social are, from left, Sue Knight, St. Elizabeth Hospital; Sherrie Despino, president and CEO Ascension Chamber of Commerce; Matt Pryor, Pujol, Pryor and Irwin, Attorneys at Law; Bridget Hanna, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court; and Kendal Matassa, Regions Bank.

Ascension Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 board chairman handed over the leadership reins during a December Christmas Social to 2015 chairman Kendal Matassa.

Matt Pryor, with Pujol, Pryor and Irwin Attorneys at Law, received a plaque for his service and praise from chamber members, a news release said.

The Ascension Chamber has a membership of more than 500 businesses and is led by a staff with Sherrie Despino serving as president and chief executive officer.

Through Despino’s and Pryor’s leadership, the chamber enjoyed a memorable year, the release said.

Throughout 2014, the chamber has worked on improving its mission of strengthening the business community by implementing new strategies and increasing involvement with its members including the creation of a 2014 theme, “Ascension Now,” which Pryor decided on at the beginning of his term to encourage chamber members to consider local vendors when doing business.

“The chamber is extremely thankful for Pryor’s unfaltering commitment and is confident that positive changes in the organization will continue through the leadership of 2015 Chairman of the Board Kendal Matassa,” the release said. “Matassa’s immense involvement in the community through organizations such as Leadership Ascension Foundation and East Ascension Rotary Club make him an ideal, well-rounded candidate to continue to move the chamber forward.”

For information on how to become a member or get more involved, call the chamber office at (225) 647-7487 or visit its website at