Dana Baker – Executive Director
Acadiana Symphony Orchestra
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 – Roving Creative Director
Aileen Bennett, LLC
She has an English accent, a knack for pinpointing things that make a difference and a very large bucket of experience in getting results. Her design background, sharp British wit and understanding of business, means that she solves problems and helps create brands that care about people as well as profit.
Aileen is the author of two books, a weekly newspaper column, and a blog about ideas and creativity. Happily married to a Cajun, when she isn’t traveling she works from a white studio with the assistance of a white dog called Blue. She has an insatiable curiosity, bulletproof enthusiasm, and a slight obsession with surfing.
Sarah Berthelot – President and CEO
Louisiana Assosiation of United Ways
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)
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.
Marie DesOrmeaux Centanni – Founder and CEO
Centanni Communications, LLC
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.
Gregg Gotreaux – President & CEO
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
Jeff Martin – Business Growth Coach
He was on the forefront of the DNA testing market when it exploded, in the 1990’s. He founded DNA Services of America, which grew into a global enterprise. Rapid technological advances forced several significant business model shifts, which were, at times, complicated and painful, but necessary for survival.
These experiences inspired Jeff to create “The Mulligan Method”, which is detailed in his #1 Bestselling book, Business Mulligan – How to Give Your Business and Your Life a Second Chance in a Changing World. Jeff is a veteran of the United States Navy and proudly served as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman, in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He is also a business graduate of Louisiana State University. And, he lives in Lafayette, Louisiana with his wife Katie and their three children.
Heidi Melancon – Regional Director
LSBDC at UL Lafayette
Taniecea Mallery – Director of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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
Nathaniel is also the founder and coach of yMoore a personal development company that helps leaders find clarity, direction, and purpose. Nathaniel also mentors over a 100 leaders through a private mastermind group, where its focus is to deliver a personal breakthrough in self-confidence, relationships, finances, and marriages through personal development principles created by Nathaniel.
Nathaniel also serves as a board/advisory member of Louisiana Family Forum, a firm that persuasively presents biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication, and networking.
Mark D. Mouton – Manager of Business Retention and Expansion
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
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
Bill Rodier – Executive Director
St. Landry Parish Economic Development
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
Monica Rougeau – Owner & President
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
Joe Zanco – Chief Financial Officer
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.