Leadership Ascension program graduates 23rd class

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Standing L to R: Tyler Teague, Jerry Chang, Donald Capello, Heather Luquette, Jeremy Sanderford, Nikki Black, Mike Toney, Tisha Dooley, John DeFrances, Stephy Ieyoub, Rusty Secrist, Sasha Ipson, Scotty Gwatney, Johnette Mauldin, Wayne Hamilton, Jr., Takeitha Johnson, Ron Savoy, Anna Skias, Chris Acosta, Patsy Spears-Jones, Seth Arceneaux, Sean Matassa, Anthony Keller; Seated L to R: Karen Hatcher, Ronda Matthews, Mindy Murray, Mandy Stephen, Alyson Boudreaux, Bridget Hanna, Kate MacArthur, Paula Hernandez, Alexis Roberts, Lori Lowery; Not Pictured: Staci Berry, Brandon Burr, Andy Nelms, and Lacie Troxclair.

Leadership Ascension, a program of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, was proud to graduate its 23rd Leadership Class at Clarion Inn & Conference Center on Thursday, June 21.

There were 36 participants in this year’s Leadership Class and each member was put onto a team with the task of researching and implementing a project that would positively affect the Ascension Community. This year’s projects included Little Bit of STEAM, a project that raised funds for the Ascension Parish Library to provide S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) kits for area children to utilize ; Broadway Ascension, who transformed the exterior of the Ascension Community Theatre; Each Day a New Beginning, who revitalized a sober living home in Ascension by building an outdoor seating area and community garden; and Helping Dreams Come True, Class of 2032-Trikes for Tykes who raised funds to provide playground equipment for the Ascension Parish Head Start Program.

All projects will undoubtedly benefit the Parish for years to come, but Broadway Ascension was chosen as this year’s winner. Winning team members included: Alyson Boudreaux, Brandon Burr, Donald Capello, Sasha Ipson, Takietha Johnson, Lori Lowery, Andy Nelms, Mandy Stephens and Tyler Teague. In addition to benefitting the community, the Leadership Ascension Program has a positive impact on those who participate. This year’s participants included: Chris Acosta, Rouses Market; Seth Arceneaux, Rubicon, LLC; Staci Berry, St. Elizabeth Hospital; Nikki Black, CSRS, Inc.; Alyson Boudreaux, Sterling International; Brandon Burr, Domain Architecture, LLC; Donald Capello, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office; Jerry Chang, Methanex USA, LLC; John DeFrances, Doerle Food Service, LLC; Tisha Dooley, St. Elizabeth Physicians; Scotty Gwatney, Merril Lynch; Wayne Hamilton, Jr., BASF; Karen Hatcher, Gonzales Committee on Cultural Affairs; Paula Hernandez, Iberia Bank; Stephy Ieyoub, Rubicon, LLC; Sasha Ipson, BASF; Takeitha Johnson, Pelican State Credit Union; Anthony Keller, City of Gonzales; Lori Lowery, Shell Chemical– Geismar; Heather Luquette, Succentrix Business Advisors; Kate MacArthur, Ascension Economic Development Corp.; Sean Matassa, Edward Jones Investments; Ronda Matthews, Ascension Parish School Board; Johnette Mauldin, Pelican State Credit Union; Mindy Murray, Methanex USA, LLC; Andy Nelms, Eatel Business; Alexis Roberts, Pelican State Credit Union; Jeremy Sanderford, Neighbors Federal Credit Union; Ron Savoy, Ascension Parish Government; Rusty Secrist, Redstick Entertainment; Anna Skias, Percy, Lanoux & Mumphrey Attorneys at Law; Patsy Spears-Jones, Shell Chemical LP; Mandy Stephen, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court; Tyler Teague, Methanex USA, LLC; Mike Toney, Ascension Parish Sheriff Department and Lacie Troxclair, Stuart & Co. General Contractors.

The 2018 Leadership Class, facilitated by Ascension Parish Clerk of Court Bridget Hanna with the support of the Ascension Chamber Staff, contributes a great deal of its success to the many sponsors and support committees who volunteer their time and resources. The chamber would like to recognize Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Ascension Economic Development Corp, Ascension Parish Government, Ascension Parish School Board, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, BASF, Cabela’s, City of Gonzales, Domain Architecture, Lamar Dixon Expo Center, Percy, Lanoux & Mumphrey Attorneys at Law, Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Representative Johnny Berthelot, St. Elizabeth, The Scotts Company, The Leadership Ascension Committee, The Leadership Ascension Foundation, The Leadership Alumni Committee and the Golf Ascension Committee.

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

Contributed by Leadership Ascension