Leadership Livingston Class of 2022

Pictured are members of the Leadership Livingston Class of 2022. Pictured, front row from left, are Wendy Montalbano, City of Walker; Katelyn Cockerham, LLC; Alli Castle, HomeKey Mortgage, LLC; Trish Basco, North Oaks Health System; Dr. Chantelle Varnado, Launch; Kathleen Abels, Livingston Parish Tourism; Kristi Ladut, Livingston Parish Clerk of Court; and Kayla Coots, Our Lady of the Lake. Pictured, back row from left, are Kay Granger, Livingston Council on Aging; Jamie Brown, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office; Leslie McKinney, Livingston Parish Council; Kim Galloway, The UPS Store; Kim McDonald, Bank of Zachary; Karen Pitre, Jefferson Financial Federal Credit Union; LeAnn Stelly, Cox Business; Sheila Goins, Realtor; Kim DeCelle, Baton Rouge General Physicians; Bradley Ward, Ochsner Health; Sean Root, Root Home Inspection; Taylor Watts, Quality Engineering & Surveying, LLC; Travis Tharp, City of Denham Springs; Jody Purvis, Livingston Parish Public Schools; and Bill Smith, First Guaranty Bank. Also in the class but not pictured are Brandon Browning, Self Employed, and James Moak, Gulf South Technology Solutions, LLC.

One group was named “Project Rebuild and Restore,” and it helped three families rebuild their wrecked homes in the wake of the historic flooding in August 2016.

Another group of eight assisted a local non-profit food pantry by sorting and delivering five tons of food and more than 1,000 food bags — a project valued at $4,500 with more than 340 volunteers over 12 months.

Another group was able to secure $3,000 in corporate sponsorships to cover most of the costs for a vibrant, 70-foot by 9-foot mural that wraps around a downtown Denham Springs art gallery, one that has since become a popular spot for pedestrians wanting a quick photo.

Another group, dubbed “Honor our Fallen,” helped relocate a memorial shrine that honors Livingston Parish residents who died in service during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to its current spot in front of the parish courthouse.

With all those projects and more completed over the last decade, affecting hundreds of thousands of people with values exceeding hundreds of thousands of dollars, it begs the question: What does the Leadership Livingston Class of 2022 have in store next for the community?

That answer will come soon enough.

The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce recently announced its newest batch of recruits from across the parish that will take part in a program that teaches local professionals about the community they live in.

The new Leadership Livingston class will mark the 10-year anniversary of the program, which has been responsible for projects that have impacted thousands of people in the parish.

Launched in 2012, Leadership Livingston takes accepted applicants through a series of class sessions and topics that show the interdependence between government, business, culture, healthcare, social concerns, education, criminal justice, and recreation.

To demonstrate the necessary steps to bring a concept to realization, the program requires participants to take part in a group community project. Classmates are divided into groups and tasked with identifying, planning, and implementing a community project.

Last year’s class focused on the Albany Community Park and a First Responders Monument in Walker.

To date, approximately 216 people have completed the Leadership Livingston program and worked on 27 projects, from playgrounds to special needs sports fields to the Veterans Wall at the front of the courthouse.

This year’s class is made up of 25 participants from a wide variety of fields.

Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce President/CEO April Wehrs lauded the incoming class, which she said “is enthusiastic about the coming year.”

“We all know if we wait for the perfect time to get moving, in today’s world, we may be waiting a long time,”she said. “Never has leadership development been more important than now.

“We heard from graduates following the hurricane, and they mentioned the connections and contacts they made greatly helped them to navigate the post storm problems. We could not be more proud to know this program has made such a difference in getting our communities back on track. We look forward to our Class of 2022 having the same experience.”

Listed below are the Leadership Livingston Class of 2022 participants, along with the organizations/businesses they represent:

-- Kathleen Abels, Livingston Parish Tourism

-- Trish Basco, North Oaks Health System

-- Jamie Brown, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office

-- Brandon Browning, Self-employed

-- Alli Castle, HomeKey Mortgage, LLC

-- Katelyn Cockerham, LLC

-- Kayla Coots, Our Lady of the Lake

-- Kim DeCelle, Baton Rouge General Physicians

-- Kim Galloway, The UPS Store

-- Sheila Goins, Realtor

-- Kay Granger, Livingston Council on Aging

-- Kristi Ladut, Livingston Parish Clerk of Court

-- Kim McDonald, Bank of Zachary

-- Leslie McKinney - Livingston Parish Council

-- James Moak, Gulf South Technology Solutions, LLC

-- Wendy Montalbano, City of Walker

-- Jody Purvis, Livingston Parish Public Schools

-- Karen Pitre, Jefferson Financial Federal Credit Union

-- Sean Root, Root Home Inspection

-- Bill Smith, First Guaranty Bank

-- LeAnn Stelly, Cox Business

-- Travis Tharp, City of Denham Springs

-- Dr. Chantelle Varnado, Launch

-- Bradley Ward, Ochsner Health

-- Taylor Watts, Quality Engineering & Surveying, LLC

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