2021 Livingston Future 5 winners

The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the Livingston Future 5 award on Friday, July 30, 2021. Pictured, from left, are winners Leah Smith, Alli Castle, Jeffrey Jones, and Brittany Kenney. Not pictured is Nikki Sykora.

The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the Livingston Future 5 award on Friday, July 30.

The announcement coincides with the Chamber’s Livingston Young Professionals annual meeting, which also showcased a previous Future 5 recipient, Town of Livingston Mayor Jonathan “JT” Taylor, as the keynote speaker.

Winners of the Livingston Future 5 were Alli Castle, of Homekey Mortgage; Nikki Sykora, of Quality Engineering and Surveying; Brittany Kenney, of South Haven Realty, LLC; Leah Smith of Fika Skon and SLU; and Jeffrey Jones, of Empower 225.

Livingston Young Professionals (LYP) is a program under the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce. Established in 2015, LYP is for young professionals living, working or volunteering in Livingston Parish. The program offers opportunities for professionals ages 21-40.

Here is more information on this year’s winners:

Alli Castle, of Homekey Mortgage

Alli lives, works, and volunteers in Livingston Parish. She is a mortgage loan officer, with her eye on finishing her master’s degree.

She is passionate about this industry and housing for all. She is a member of several organizations plus volunteers at a local food bank, local church and fundraises for wounded police officer, Nick Tullier. She juggles a family, career, volunteer time and community.

Nikki Sykora, of Quality Engineering and Surveying

Nikki’s career highlights include convincing her current employer to undergo a software system change that has brought positive strides and innovation to the business.

She volunteers her time as a tee ball coach and other one-day options such as LYP community service opportunities and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Nikki has plans within her industry to continue personal and professional growth.

Brittany Kenney, of South Haven Realty, LLC

Brittany started her real estate brokerage at the end of 2020 and already has nine people working with her. She won the Baton Rouge Real estate producers “Rising Star” award and is consistently in the top 10 percent of realtors in her area.

She is engaged in service to military families and has a personal story in regards to military families. According to her sister, who nominated her, “Regardless of life’s adversities, Brittany remains a positive influence and is everyone’s biggest cheerleader. “

Leah Smith, of Fika Skon and SLU

Leah held a position in the Livingston Parish school system for more than 17 years, where she eventually oversaw the school food service program. She took charge by saving funds, writing grants and making the program efficient and effective.

In August of 2020, she took a huge leap of faith and a career change by accepting a position as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University. In addition, she obtained an esthetician certification, started a small business and is owner of a skin care boutique. She stays involved in business and professional programs and committees through the Chamber.

Jeffrey Jones, of Empower 225

To say that Jeffrey has become ingrained in helping in his community is an understatement: Six community outreaches, 200 meals, more community outreach, restoration projects, work with psychiatric patients, and more.

His professional role is similar as it leads him to minister at the Livingston Parish Detention Center, a specialty center. He is part of “My Community Cares.” His personal story of transformation is inspiring and today he gives back at every chance.

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