Five women will be honored in April as the latest recipients of the Annie Awards, which honor women for professional excellence and community service.

Since the inception of the Annie Awards in 1998, which honor the late Southeastern Louisiana University Administrator Anne Ferguson, 35 women have been honored for their professional excellence and community service.

This spring, the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce and Tangi Lifestyles Magazine are welcoming five new women into the group

“The five women we’ve selected as our 2016 Annie Award winners carry on and embody the spirit of Anne’s legacy in their dedication to ensuring everyone reaches their dreams, their commitment to the education of our children and their passion for the underdogs, as well as their sweet spirits and gentle wisdom,” Chamber President and CEO Melissa Bordelon said.

The 2016 winners are Susan T. Courtney, Tamara Danel, Alexis Ducorbier, Bernadette Kemp and Kim Howes Zabbia.

Courtney has more than 35 years of education experience in both private and public schools. She serves as the principal at Courtney Christian School and is a member of the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee.

Danel has spent the last 10 years working with the housing ministry, first with Ginger Ford Habitat for Humanity and currently as the executive director of the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing. She has worked with hundreds of volunteers throughout the country and was nominated by the late Millard Fuller to serve on the Fuller Center for Housing Board of Directors.

Ducorbier has worked in insurance and financial services as a State Farm agent and has been very involved civically. She is the president of the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center board, has served with the Hammond Rotary Club and the Hammond Area Economic and Industrial Development District and was appointed to the Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission.

Kemp has spent 38 years in banking, currently as vice president in community relations for First Guaranty Bank. She has served with the Southeast Louisiana Blood Center, United Way, Boy Scouts, the Council on Aging and as a past president of the National Association of Banking Women – Tangi Chapter. She recently received the Francis Chauvin Volunteer of the Year award from the Greater Hammond Chamber and serves as a chamber ambassador.

Zabbia is an author, artist and teacher. She has had 19 solo exhibitions since 1990, has published “Painted Diaries: A Mother and Daughter’s Experience Through Alzheimer’s,” has delivered 40 lectures across the country, served on the Governor’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and opened The Art Station, an art school for adults.

“We are proud to honor these women who inspire the community, who work in excellence and who truly have a servant’s heart for the Greater Hammond area,” Bordelon said.

Chamber members and the general community are invited to help celebrate these women at an award luncheon from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 1 at the Southeastern Louisiana University Student Union Grand Ballroom.

Tickets are $30 per person or $390 for a reserved table of eight. Call the chamber at (985) 345-4457 or visit for information and to order tickets.