Local media professional honored by CASA

Staff Report
Honoree Matthew Besler and Jenny Heroman with Child Advocacy Services Staff, Board of Directors, and CASA Volunteers.

     Child Advocacy Services recognized three professionals with statewide honors at their state association reception ceremony held at the Louisiana State Capital Welcome Center. Hundreds of guests from all CASA and Children’s Advocacy Center Programs across Louisiana were present to honor special recipients in the respectful fields that were chosen by their peers to be recognized for outstanding service for children and families.

     Child Advocacy Services CASA is one of eighteen programs in Louisiana and their Children’s Advocacy Center is one of fifteen centers across the state. Three of the eight honors were shared with local professionals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, passion, and service.

     The Honorable Blair Edwards was awarded Louisiana CASA Judge of the Year. Edwards is the first Juvenile Judge elected in 2008 in the 21st Judicial District Court serving Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes. Over the last eight years, Edwards has dramatically improved the overall outcomes and services for children and families appearing in in her court.

     “Our entire division, including attorneys, CASA Volunteers, court staff, are a team and family," Edwards said. "We rely on each other to share the important role of making children’s lives better.”

     Jenny Heroman-Koenig with Eatel Television was awarded The CASA Media Professional of the Year. Jenny’s Community Connection Show of Eatel Television has hosted the CASA Program to invite more awareness and recruit community members to join as a voice for children in Ascension and Livingston Parish. Additionally, she serves as the organization’s emcee to their Sundresses and Shrimp Boots Event to kick off Cottages for CASA.

     Matthew Belser was named Children’s Advocacy Center Multi-Disciplinary Team Member of the Year. As an Assistant District Attorney in Livingston Parish through District Attorney Scott Perrilloux’s Office, Belser assists in the investigations and prosecutions of child sexual assaults. His leadership in these investigations leads to the prosecutions of offenders. He participates in a team, or systems approach, to advocating for child victims of sexual assault so they do not have to retell their incidents in numerous settings. Belser was nominated and selected by his peers to be honored as the leader in his field throughout the entire state of Louisiana.

     “A community can be measured on its commitment to children," said Child Advocacy Services CEO Rob Carlisle. "These amazing partners being recognized are a true gauge and responsible for improving the quality of life of those children they have served. I am honored to share their work and passion for our community.”