Economic development dinner draws crowd

Staff reports
Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez (holding certificate) poses Sept. 16 at the Ascension Parish Economic Family dinner with representatives from DEMCO, who sponsored the dinner. Shown from left are Ascension Parish grants coordinator Martha Collins, DEMCO’s Cheryl Malbrough, David Latona, Turk Tynes, Chuck Heine, Martinez, DEMCO’s Chanon Martin and Brent Bradley.

Nearly 150 business and community leaders turned out Wednesday night for the Ascension Parish Economic Family dinner at the Gonzales Civic Center.

The dinner, the second one held this year since being revived by Parish President Tommy Martinez, was sponsored by DEMCO.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people turn out to network and show their support for each other and for our community,” said Martinez, who also serves as chairman for the APEF.

Among the speakers were Martinez, State Rep. M.J. “Mert” Smiley (Dist. 88), Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, Tom Yura of BASF and Susan Waguespack of St. Elizabeth Hospital.

The next APEF dinner will be held in January.