200 for 200: Celebrating the people, places, history, and heritage of Lafayette Parish

Phyllis Coleman Mouton’s mother wanted to expose her daughter to new experiences at a young age. One was helping integrate Mount Carmel Academy in Lafayette when she was a teenager.

It set the stage for a life of accomplishments. Mouton became vice president of workforce and economic development at Baton Rouge Community College from 1997 until her retirement in 2017, when she was named Distinguished Retiree.

She was also the first Black woman to be named president of the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, the fourth-largest club in the world with more than 500 members. She was also the first Black person to be named interim CEO of the Capital Area United Way.

Read more: Phyllis Coleman Mouton to receive Trailblazer Award at Women Who Mean Business ceremony

She is founder the Women of Wisdom, a Lafayette-based group with a goal of being a voluntary organization that strives to improve the quality of life for women, children and families.

“I have always looked for ways to use my voice to open doors to positive change and success, especially success for Black girls and Black women,” Mouton once said.