The ascension fund announces new board members

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Alsie Dunbar- Ascension Fund Board Member

Gonzales, La. – The Ascension Fund announces the appointment of three new board members.

The staff and current board of The Ascension Fund are happy to welcome new board members Jason Bonaventure, Alsie Dunbar and David Herring.

Founded in 1991 with a mission to enhance public education in Ascension Parish, The Ascension Fund has awarded over $1.3 million representing approximately 1,137 grants to date. The grants, which range from $500 to $1,000 for Teacher Grants or $2,500 for School Impact Grants are awarded annually on a competitive basis. 

Jason Bonaventure is owner of The Bonaventure Law Firm with locations in Baton Rouge and Gonzales. He brings to the position over 17 years of experience representing an array of diverse clientele, ranging from multi-million dollar corporations and government entities to small or mid-size businesses and individuals and has a unique expertise in business, employment and construction law. He is an active member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Baton Rouge Bar Association. Jason is a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Ascension Program and a member of the East Ascension Rotary Club. An avid supporter of youth, Jason serves as a mentor for the pre-teen ministry at Fellowship Church and Advancement Coordinator for Boy Scout Troop 419 in Prairieville. 

Alsie Dunbar is a lifelong resident of Ascension Parish with a passion for motivating and inspiring youth through mentoring. With over 17 years of experience in the chemical industry, she is a dual degreed scientist and chemical engineer. She has served various roles throughout those years which have included process and plant design, research and development, product quality management, and environmental regulation. She is currently working in Process and Technology at Shell/Motiva Enterprises LLC. Alsie is the founder STEM GEMS Mentoring Project which promotes the interest of Girls Excelling in Math and Science through mentoring and encouraging them to pursue careers and advanced degrees in STEM majors where women and minorities are underrepresented. Alsie is a graduate of the 2014 Leadership Ascension Program and an active member of several community and professional organizations including the East Ascension Rotary Club. She currently serves on the board for Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition Advisory Board, COEA-the Arc of Ascension and Ascension Minority Business Association.

David Herring is currently serving as the Customer Services Representative at Entergy, where he has been employed for 34 years. In his vast career, he has held the positions of Internal Auditor, Staff Auditor, Corporate Research Analyst and Supervisor of Customer Service. He has served on the board for the Ascension Chamber of Commerce, United Way Loaned Executive and is a graduate of the Leadership Calcasieu Program. David is also the President Elect of the Gonzales Rotary Club.

The welcome addition of these three new members completes a 20-member board that oversees the annual grant program.

For more information, to apply for a grant, or to make a donation to The Ascension Fund, please visit or contact Jennifer deFrances, Executive Director at 225.290.3322