Dana Baker – Executive Director
Acadiana Symphony Orchestra
Dana Baker, Executive Director of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, is no stranger to Live Events, Concerts and Nonprofits. Chief Memory Maker of her own event planning company, Baker Girl Social Club she boasts an extensive background with Lafayette’s own Festival International and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Louisiana – Lafayette. Her very successful 11 year tenure began in 2000 as Marketing Coordinator and culminated as Executive Director in 2001. She then utilized her experience as Live Events Manager at Townsquare Media in 2013, where she continued to give Acadiana outstanding ways to celebrate by creating now long-standing community events such as Patty in the Parc and Kidfest. Music has been a passion for Baker her entire life. In 2016, she added another avenue to bring the finest of arts and culture to Acadiana as the Executive Director of Acadiana Symphony.

In her short tenure with the ASO, Dana and her team have worked tirelessly to turn the organization around – successfully growing the average attendance of 300/concert to upwards of 1,200/concert currently. With her leadership, the ASO team has also increased the Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra from less than 20 participants to well over 65 aspiring young 3rd through 12th grade musicians. Creating critical jobs in Acadiana and fueling the cultural economic engine of our community has become paramount to Dana’s mission as Executive Director. Her deep rooted passion stems from her love of Lafayette and the people who live here. She strives to unite the community through mentor programs, volunteer work and using her experiences to bring life to events within Acadiana such as Wineaux. Her dedication is mirrored through the workforce that has grown within ASO and the accomplishments they made.

Aileen Bennett – Creative Director
Aileen Bennett, LLC
Sarah Berthelot – President and CEO
Louisiana Assosiation of United Ways
Working within the United Way Network since 2005, Sarah Hamilton Berthelot serves as President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of United Ways. In service to nine United Way members, Sarah works to advance the collective work of United Ways, including disaster coordination, 2-1-1, ALICE and advocacy while serving as an executive committee member of the Council of States. Berthelot convenes quarterly Exchange Days for United Ways to share practices and deepen knowledge to select topics, attracting United Way attendance from three neighboring states.
During her five-year tenure with LAUW, Sarah led a transformative business remodel of Louisiana 2-1-1 while expanding to 100% statewide coverage and leveraging data for impact, after overcoming serious sustainability and funding challenges. Today, Louisiana 2-1-1 is growing public partnerships and embraces of climate of innovation between diverse partners. This summer (2019), Berthelot is working with UWW, IBM and more than 8 organizations, including independent 2-1-1 providers, to launch the Louisiana’s first virtual artificial intelligence agent, CARLA, to be activated during times of disaster.
Sarah has worked in the nonprofit sector for 22 years since graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she served as the first elected female president of the Student Government Association. Upon graduation, she enrolled for a year of service as an AmeriCorps, Delta Service Corps Member, assigned to serve families through Lafayette Habitat for Humanity. Prior to her work with state association, Sarah worked for United Way of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, for 10 years, serving as Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Resource Development and Chief of Community Impact.
In her volunteer leadership roles, Sarah is a board member for the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families and mentor for the 705 Young Professional Organization in Acadiana. Through the years, Sarah has served as an Executive Board Member for the Louisiana Association of Non-Profit Organizations (LANO), President of the Junior League of Lafayette (2008), At-Large Board Member of the Association of Junior Leagues International and Chair of the Parent Group at the Episcopal School of Acadiana. Sarah is a member of Leadership Lafayette, Class XXI and founding member of the 705 Young Professional Organization in Lafayette
Tonya Bolden-Ball – Program Manager, Center for Minority Excellence
South Louisiana Community College (SLCC)
Tonya Bolden-Ball is the program manager of the Center for Minority Excellence at South Louisiana Community College. She holds a Master of Science in Leadership from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Tonya also completed the Graduate Certificate program in Life Coaching from Grand Canyon University.
Some of her awards and recognition includes the Louisiana Association of Educator’s Human and Civil Rights Trailblazer Honoree, LA Statewide Summit Delta Women in Business Honoree, Acadiana Lifestyle Magazine’s Women Making A Difference Honoree, the Lafayette Democratic Parish Executive Committee Outstanding Democratic, the Daily Advertiser/705 Top 20 under 40 Leadership Award, 2019 National Association of University Women (Lafayette Branch) Tribute to Excellence Honoree and the 2019 Kiwanis Southwest Citizen of the Year. Tonya was also a keynote speaker on the Power Stage at the 2019 Essence Music Festival.
Her community and volunteer involvement spans over 15 years in the Lafayette area. She is the host and creator of the annual Community Cares Holiday Care Package Drive where household cleaning products along with other household necessitates are collected and distributed to families and individuals throughout the Lafayette community at no cost to them. She serves as the mentor for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Black Women Leadership Association as well as one of the mentors for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Women’s Basketball Team.
Her leadership involvement includes serving as the Louisiana Chair of Cluster 3 for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Lafayette Alumnae Chapter’s Social Action Committee Chair and the Immediate Past Co-Coordinator of the Louisiana Social Action Committee for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Tonya currently serves as the clerk for the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee. She is the Immediate Past President for the Faith House Inc. Board of Directors. Tonya is the Vice-President of the Academic Affairs Committee for the Christiana Smith Alumni Chapter at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
She is a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Institute of Lafayette, the 2017 Leadership Louisiana program and a 2015-2016 Fellow of the NOBEL (National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women) Leadership Training and Educational Development Institute of Washington, D.C. She is a two-time appointee to the Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission. She is the writer and serves as the host of the Moments of Elevation segments that are aired daily on KNEK Magic 104.7 and 95.5 KRRQ FM radio stations. She is married to Kirk R. Ball and they are the proud parents of Trevor and Kennedi.
Anya Burgess – Owner
Sola Violins
Anya Burgess owns Sola Violins, a full-service violin shop in Downtown Lafayette that specializes in the restoration, rentals, and sales of violin family instruments. She enjoys working with players of all ages and abilities, from students to professionals, Classical to Cajun. Anya also plays the fiddle professionally with two Grammy-nominated Cajun bands, the Magnolia Sisters and Bonsoir Catin. Sola Violins is very involved in the local community, sponsoring events, offering workshops and hosting regular concerts in hopes of encouraging more people to play and experience the joy of music. In her role as owner, Anya manages staff, oversees longterm and short-term projects, does hands-on repair of higher level projects, creates marketing, and manages inventory and sales. Anya is originally from the Boston area, and moved to Acadiana about 20 years ago.
Marie DesOrmeaux Centanni – Founder and CEO
Centanni Communications, LLC
Marie DesOrmeaux Centanni created Centanni Communications to draw on her education and media experience in all realms of the political arena, in short, to do what she enjoys. Since 2009, she has helped clients reach significant goals through her use of targeted messaging and legislative strategy, all based on practices she’s picked up along a journey between the often-dueling worlds of journalism, issue advocacy and public affairs.

Among her clients are elected officials, political candidates, small business owners, non-profits, corporations and economic development entities.

An award-winning journalist, she worked as reporter and anchor at KLFY in Lafayette and as Capitol Correspondent for WAFB in Baton Rouge. She served as Communications Director for Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross, Washington, DC-based USA Rice Federation and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. She is a lobbyist at the State Legislature, and has managed several political campaigns as well as public outreach campaigns for major legislative efforts. Since 2012 she has helped the Council for A Better Louisiana facilitate its state-wide Leadership Louisiana program, and currently serves as Director of the Free Enterprise Institute for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she was honored as Homecoming Queen, and a Master’s Degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management in Washington, D.C. She serves on the UL Alumni Association Board of Directors, Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman for One Acadiana, was a founding board member of the Acadiana Press Club and served as President of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited. She is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Louisiana, was honored in 2014 as one of Acadiana’s Women Who Mean Business and was named one of Acadiana’s Top 20 Under 40 for 2016.

She is married to Lafayette Parish School Board Member Justin Centanni, they have three children and live in Lafayette.

Valerie Gotch Garrett – Attorney
Valerie Gotch Garrett, APLC
Gregg Gotreaux – President & CEO
LEDA

Gregg Gothreaux began his career as an economic developer with Gulf States Utilities in Lake Charles in the 1980s. In July 1995, Gregg was appointed President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. In his twenty-one years at LEDA, Gregg has contributed substantially to the economic growth and stability of Lafayette through the organization’s role in retaining and attracting some of the area’s most influential businesses. Gregg serves on the board of several organizations such as the Regions Bank Regional Advisory Board, Lafayette Central Park, Inc., and One Acadiana. Gregg and his wife, Alisa, enjoy their job as parents to son, Conner Thomas, and daughter, Eliza Grace. In addition to his hard work throughout the community, Gregg is proud to be recognized as a certified Louisiana Master Gardener.

Donna Landry – Chief Operating Officer
Our Lady of Lourdes RMC
Thirty six years in health care management roles and community engagement following an initial career as a print journalist. Long-term resident and advocate of Lafayette North; former Chamber Chair, United Way Chair, Civil Service Board Chair; still serving on the executive committee and Board of the ULL Foundation, One Acadiana, Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation, local, district and regional Rotary organizations, and the Emergency Medicine Advisory Council for Lafayette Consolidated Government; graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and fifth year participant in the 705 Mentor Program.
Jeff Martin – Founder
Business Mulligan
Heidi Melancon – Regional Director
LSBDC at UL Lafayette
Heidi Melancon is an alumna of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she received her B.S. and MBA degrees. She is currently the Regional Director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at UL Lafayette and has been with the network since 2005. Heidi began her tenure as a business consultant and was named Regional Director in March of 2014. Her accomplishments include helping small business owners obtain over $30 Million in capital, create over 600 jobs, and start over 130 businesses through her counseling efforts. Her corporate background and experience as a small business owner with her husband, Philip, has made her invaluable in strategic planning and helping existing business owners. In addition to her counseling and director duties, she has been the regional coordinator of the Louisiana Economic Development Small & Emerging Business Development Program since 2006. She is a board member and treasurer of both the Lafayette International Center Foundation and The Opportunity Machine. She also serves as an advisory member of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program for the Lafayette Regional Airport and for the Business Department at South Louisiana Community College. Heidi has been an active council member of the UL Lafayette Alumni Association and has served on the Outstanding Graduate and Scholarship Committees. She was selected as a past State Star for the LSBDC network and has received several awards for stellar service throughout her tenure. Lastly, her center was recently awarded the 2018 SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award for Louisiana and for SBA Region VI which covers the Southeast region of the U.S.
Taniecea Mallery – Director of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Dr. Taniecea A. Mallery serves as the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In this role, she is responsible for fostering diversity, equity and inclusion among students, faculty and staff, as well as ensuring that underrepresented groups have equal access to educational opportunities and resources. She is a member of the graduate faculty, teaching doctoral-level courses in the College of Education.

Prior to joining UL Lafayette, Dr. Mallery worked as a senior diversity research specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C., and she completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the U.S. Census Bureau. Her recent publications include national policy reports on diversity in the U.S. physician workforce, studies on the influence of medical school curriculum on where physicians choose to practice, and research on the impact of social influence on faculty advancement, promotion and tenure.

Dr. Mallery earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Loyola University New Orleans, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in applied and computational mathematics from Princeton University. In 2016-2017, she completed the Chief Diversity Officer Fellows Program sponsored by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She is a member of the 2018 class of the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In the local community, Dr. Mallery serves as Board Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors for Leadership Institute of Acadiana and Vice President of Fund Development on the Board of Directors for Lafayette Education Foundation. She also serves on the Boards of Directors for the United Way of Acadiana, the Louisiana Budget Project, and the Ernest J. Gaines Center at UL Lafayette.

Nate Moore – Owner & Entrepreneur
Moore consulting & Investment Group
Mark D. Mouton – Manager of Business Retention and Expansion
LEDA
Mark D. Mouton is a life-long resident of Louisiana. He was born in New Orleans but raised in Lafayette. After graduating from Acadiana High School, Mark earned a BS in Business Administration from University of Louisiana with an emphasis on Marketing; an MBA in Business Administration from Louisiana State University – Shreveport with an emphasis on Family Business; and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma – Economic Development Institute. Mark is currently enrolled as a class member of Leadership Louisiana.

In 2008, Mark became the Director of Business Retention and Expansion with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), and was then promoted to Manager. Mark works closely with business and community leaders to identify the strengths and challenges of business and industry, and barriers for growth in the community. He oversees LEDA’s Visitation Program; provides business consultation services; and manages numerous expansion and community projects each year. Prior to joining LEDA, Mark worked for Cingular Wireless (AT&T Wireless) as a Senior Training Manager where he managed several training teams located around the country and served as an SME for Learning Service departments located in Atlanta and Dallas. Mark also spent many years working for local radio stations.

Outside of the office, he enjoys gardening, Mardi Gras festivities, attending symphony and theater performances, attending sporting events, and traveling with his lovely wife Pamela Maloney Mouton. They will celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary in September, 2020.

Ken Ritter – Mayor
City of Youngsville
Ken Ritter is proud to serve the City of Youngsville as Mayor! He began his second term on January 1, 2019 and his leadership has effectively guided the city through growth & prosperity as well as periods of challenge and adversity. Upon taking office he moved quickly to create and implement the city’s first ever Master Plan to serve as a roadmap for our city’s future. Concerned about the manner in which Youngsville was growing it was imperative to improve planning, implement systems, establish processes, evaluate infrastructure, and modernize software. Under Mayor Ritter’s leadership development processes are streamlined, city services are more accessible, recreational opportunities have been expanded, the Youngsville Police Department has doubled in size, & the Youngsville Fire Department staffing model was increased to be the first department in Lafayette Parish, outside of the City of Lafayette, to have 24/7 paid fire staffing. In addition, his administration oversaw the completion and opening of the Youngsville Recreation Center, and the creation of the Youngsville Recreational Sports Programs. During the Mayor’s tenure millions in infrastructure improvements including water, sewer, & roads have been completed.

Before his term as Mayor, Ken was elected to the Youngsville City Council in 2010 and served from 2011-2014. On the City Council he was a leading voice of progress and compromise. Ken was instrumental in the creation of the city’s comprehensive land use ordinance and the city’s increased infrastructure requirements for new roads in privately developed subdivisions.

Prior to his service on the city council Ken was a board member and President of Copper Meadows Homeowners’ Association where he helped to make one of Youngsville’s newest neighborhoods one of the best in our community.

Ken is the owner of three Anytime Fitness franchises in Acadiana after ending a successful career in hotel management. He is a member of the Youngsville Chamber of Commerce, Youngsville Lions Club, & the Rotary Club of Youngsville. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado Technical University in business administration and was a 2013 recipient of the Daily Advertiser’s Top 20 Under 40 leadership awards.

Mechelle Roberthon – Talent Development Practitioner
Mechelle Rob
Mechelle Roberthon is a Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) through the Association of Talent Development. Her background includes training delivery, performance improvement, managing learning programs, and interpersonal/business/personal skills. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University. She holds a Masters of Science in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Mechelle is also an experienced career and professional development instructor. She has taught over 500 corporate courses with her evaluations consistently rating above average. Her dynamic teaching style has become a favorite amongst learners.
Bill Rodier – Executive Director
St. Landry Parish Economic Development
Bill Rodier has served as the CEO/Director of the St. Landry Parish Economic Development Group (SLED) since May 2013. He is responsible for the visioning, alignment, and the strategic efforts of four area economic development boards. Collectively, they implement collaborative community, economic, and area transformational development initiatives. The SLED Group has been recognized nationally through outlets such as Business in Focus Magazine. The group has also developed best practice models for targeted reinvestment through area development districts.
Previously, Bill provided key leadership as the Director of Business Services for the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and held progressive recruitment roles with Louisiana Economic Development (LED). His background also includes executive management of a Gulf Coast real estate development firm and C-Level leadership for a Gulf Coast automotive group. He also spent two tours in the Air Force managing daily operations within an USAF Elite Guard Unit.
Bill serves on numerous area and regional non-profit boards and is actively engaged with the mentorship of area young professionals and students. He also provides leadership in multiple regional boards, committees, and steering teams that are strategically focused on Acadiana’s accelerated, but sustainable growth.
Bill has a master’s degree in International Business, a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing, and an associate degree in Security Technologies. He is also a graduate from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional, a graduate of Leadership Louisiana, and has completed coursework at the Harvard, Kennedy School of Business.
Personally, Bill regularly competes in Iron Man, and Xterra long distance Triathlon Events. In 2018 he was honored by Iron Man for reaching their exclusive All World Athlete category. He is also a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Bill is an active leader in area education advocacy and veterans support initiatives.
Missy Rogers – President
Noble Plastics
Missy Rogers is the owner of Noble Plastics Inc. of Grand Coteau. Noble offers product realization services through engineering and design, robotic assembly systems, and injection molding services. She is on the advisory boards of the LSU Mechanical Engineering Department, the Manufacturer’s Association of Plastics Processors, Centre International, and OneAcadiana, where she serves on the Workforce and Education Committee. Missy earned her bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from LSU. She was named one of Acadiana’s Women Who Mean Business in 2015, and Noble Plastics was awarded the Junior Achievement Small Business of the Year for 2014, and the Louisiana Lantern Award in 2015. Missy is a proud graduate of Leadership Lafayette, Class XXX. In addition to serving at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Missy regularly volunteers at ULL Engineering and Career Center events to foster development of a work-ready class of candidates.
Monica Rougeau – Owner & President
Elevare
Monica Rougeau is the owner/founder of Elevare where she facilitates transformation by building teams and forming servant leaders.

Monica is a Certified Leadership Coach & Trainer, a Licensed PeerSpective CEO Roundtable Facilitator, an Advanced Certified Facilitator with True Colors International, and had 28+ yrs experience in Healthcare prior to launching her own company. All this brings unique value to the clients she serves both domestically and abroad.

John Williams – Founder and CEO
Quality of Life Services
Quality of Life Services is a spiritually based company focused on taking care of people with love and concern. QLS funds and manages the non-profit (Love of People), Blue Monday Mission, and various community events throughout Lafayette and St. Landry Parishes of which John is the founder and President of as well. Love of People has served thousands of bowls of gumbo, given hundreds of toys, meals, and so much more. John founded Blue Monday Mission to provide life care services for aging musicians and artists throughout Acadiana. John Williams also serves as the Executive Director of Upper Lafayette Economic Foundation and sits on the board for Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Joe Zanco – Chief Financial Officer
Home Bank
Joe Zanco is the Chief Financial Officer for Home Bank, the $2.2 billion bank headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana.

In 2017, Junior Achievement of Acadiana named him Business Person of the Year for his professional accomplishments and commitment to community.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) awarded Joe its National Public Service Award for the diversity of his public service.

He was awarded the LCPA’s Distinguished Public Service Award for his public service leadership, impact, involvement and innovation.

Joe served as the inaugural Chairman of the Board of Directors of One Acadiana,

He serves on the Board of Trustees of Lafayette General Health and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

He serves the incarcerated through Innerfaith Prison Ministry where he developed and delivers a money management course to inmates focused not on math, but on the decision making that can destroy personal finances.