Leadership Ascension graduates 19th class _lowres

Photo provided by Ascension Chamber of Commerce -- Gathering June 19 for the Leadership Ascension graduation ceremony are, first row from left, Kim Decoteau, Tracy Browning, Melissa Tullier, Beth Broadway, Lisa Le, Jennifer Boudreau, Dawn Caballero, Donna Duplessis, Lindsey Duplessis, Mollie Burke and Amy Hathorne-Lambert; and second row from left, Jason Verdigets, Layne Salvant, Jenn deFrances, Larry Schexnaydre, Chad Lynch, Jacob Balfantz, Nate Gautreau, Chris McDowell, Beau Diez, Chris Wilson, Michelle Hyatt, Kesslie Carbo, John McGee, Shane Sedotal, Crystal Boudloche, Kim Gautreau, Darryl Smith, Lisa Laws, Matt Percy, Chris Geraci, Alsie Dunbar, Ray Stonemark and Keith Robert.

Leadership Ascension, a program of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, held a ceremony June 19 to honor the graduates of its 19th leadership class.

The 37 class graduates gathered at Parc 73 in Prairieville for the ceremony.

The graduates also learned which of four class community projects won the annual project competition.

This year’s projects included a career mentoring program for Ascension Parish high school students; a venture to enhance and provide the needed improvements to the Council on Aging centers on the east and west Banks of Ascension Parish; The Good Neighbor Project, whose mission was to strengthen a sense of community across Ascension Parish by inspiring neighborly behaviors; and the Health And Nutrition Alliance, an effort to offer grant opportunities to public school teachers interested in funding for health and nutrition initiatives, a news release from the chamber said.

The Health and Nutrition Alliance was chosen as this year’s winner. Winning team members included Jacob Balfantz, Mollie Burke, Kesslie Carbo, Taren Daigle, Amy Hathorne-Lambert, Chris McDowell, John McGee, Tina Prejean and Keith Robert.

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 team-building and educational sessions covering topics such as economic development, healthcare and cultural diversity.

The 2014 class included Kathy Achee, St. Elizabeth Hospital; Jacob Balfantz, St. Elizabeth Physicians; Crystal Boudloche, RE/MAX Professional; Jennifer Boudreau, BASF; Beth Broadway, Ochsner Healtcare; Tracy Browning, Ascension Parish Tourism; Mollie Burke, Domain Design Architecture; Dawn Caballero, Ascension Parish Government; Kesslie Carbo, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court; Taren Daigle, BASF; Kim Decoteau, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office; Jenn deFrances, The Ascension Fund; Beau Diez, Pelican Point Properties; Alsie Dunbar, Motiva Enterprises, LLC; Lindsey Duplessis, Red River Bank; Donna Duplessis, city of Gonzales; Nate Gautreau, Professional Archive Solutions; and Kim Gautreau, Waguespack & Associates Insurance.

Also, Chris Geraci, United Community Bank; Amy Hathorne-Lambert, Impala Warehousing, LLC; Michelle Hyatt, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Lisa Laws, Ascension Economic Development Corporation; Lisa Le, St. Elizabeth Physicians; Chad Lynch, Ascension Parish School Board; Chris McDowell, Skid Marks Tires & Auto Service; John McGee, BASF; Matt Percy, Percy, Lanoux & Mumphrey; Tina Prejean, Prejean Computer Consultants; Keith Robert, Roland J. Robert Distributors, Inc; Layne Salvant, The Bug Man; Larry Schexnaydre; Center Stage Performing Arts Academy; Shane Sedotal, Cox Communications; Darryl Smith, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office; Ray Stonemark, Don’s Seafood; Melissa Tullier, Eatel Corp.; Jason Verdigets, 23rd Judicial District Attorney Office; and Chris Wilson, Cabela’s.

To apply for the upcoming class or learn more about Leadership Ascension, visit www.ascensionchamber.com or call (225) 647-7487.