Names in the News: The People Shaping the Future of Lake Region Businesses – American Press
Visit LC engages Bush, Strider
Visit Lake Charles has announced the addition of staff from Timothy Bush as Marketing Director and Anna Strider as Director of Digital Strategies/Online Marketing. Bush and Strider have been in the travel industry for years and bring with them their experience and expertise in the area of destination marketing.
Most recently, Bush was the Director of Tourism Development for OneSpartanburg, Inc., with a mission to build a vibrant Spartanburg through business, economic and tourism development. He served as President and CEO of Cajun Bayou Tourism in Louisiana for nearly six years, where he led the strategic vision while developing tourism products to generate greater economic impact for the community. Bush served as marketing director for Visit Macon for nearly two years after serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Experience Ruston for more than seven years.
Bush began his career in journalism as an editor for the Beauregard Daily News before embarking on his lifelong career in tourism as executive director of the Beauregard Tourist Commission.
A graduate of the University of Louisiana Monroe, Bush earned a BA in Journalism/Public Relations. He earned his Certified Destination Management Executive designation from the Destination Marketing Association International and completed the Travel Marketing Professional program from the Southeast Tourism Society. Bush served as president of the LA Association of CVBs and the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition, and he was also recognized as one of the 2012 Forty for the Future: Travel’s Leading Talent.
Strider began her tourism career at the St. Tammany Parish Tourist & Convention Commission/Louisiana Northshore where she excelled as a marketing and public relations manager, promoting the destination through an assortment of programs ranging from from media buying and strategic planning to online promotions. and representing St. Tammany at food festivals, public relations events and consumer trade shows. She has also managed film projects, developed social media campaigns, and participated in parochial and statewide public relations initiatives.
Strider earned his degree in Tourism and Event Management at the George Mason University School of Business in Virginia before uprooting himself to Louisiana to complete his Southeast Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. Strider earned her MBA from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2018, and she completed the Louisiana Travel Association’s Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy 2020 program. Strider launched the Southeast Tourism Society’s three-year Travel Marketing Professional program in 2021.
Zaunbrecher joins the law firm
Sigler, Arabia & Cannon of Lake Charles is pleased to announce that Alexandra A. Zaunbrecher joined the firm as a partner.
Zaunbrecher’s primary practice areas are estate planning and administration, business planning and transactions, and taxation. She grew up in Lake Charles and graduated from Barbe High School.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Louisiana State University in 2014, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Business. Zaunbrecher received the degrees of Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma in Civil Law in 2017 from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center of Louisiana, with Cum Laude honors.
After being called to the Louisiana bar in 2017, she earned a master’s degree in tax law from New York University Law School in 2018 and was called to the Texas bar in 2019. KPMG Group, and most recently was a partner at Meadows Collier in Dallas, where she practiced estate planning and administration and business transactions.
Judson named at the status panel
RED STICK — Sara M. Judson of Lake Charles was appointed to the Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority.
The Chenier Plain CRPA is a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana and, through its Board of Commissioners, is organized with the primary duty to establish, construct, operate, or maintain fireworks flood protection with respect to hurricane protection, tidal flooding, salt water intrusion and conservation. A secondary duty of the council is to establish flood control, adequate drainage related to tidal or river flooding and the development of water resources, including but not limited to the construction of reservoirs, diversion channels , gravity and pump drainage systems, erosion control measures and marsh management. , and is authorized to enter into contracts and agreements.
Judson is the president of the Community Foundation Southwest Louisiana. She was nominated by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
Felder joins AMERISAFE
matt felder is AMERISAFE’s new Director of Marketing and Communications.
He oversees the company’s internal and external communications and marketing efforts, including community outreach, publications, social media channels, video production and websites.
Felder comes to AMERISAFE with over 15 years of experience, most recently 10 years as Director of Communications in the Marketing Department of Lake Charles Memorial Health System. He has also worked as a field writer for the Texas Farm Bureau organization, and as a reporter and anchor for various television stations across Texas.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University at College Station and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas at Denton.
Johnson, Shiver Finishing Academy
ALEXANDRIA – The Louisiana Travel Association celebrated the graduation of Visit Lake Charles Tara Johnsonmeet with the sales manager, and Kristen FrissonVisitor Experience Manager, Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy at the association’s 2022 annual meeting.
The 24 members of the LTLA class have spent 2021 developing their leadership skills while learning from seasoned tourism industry professionals. The goal of the program is to equip each member of the class with knowledge and skills that will enrich their tourism-related organizations, thereby strengthening the tourism industry statewide.
Class members also gave back to the tourism community by selecting industry companies for volunteer projects. Collectively, the value of the tourism product development and marketing work done by the class exceeded $100,000.
Edmonton elected chairman of the board
ALEXANDRIA — Kyle EdmistonPresident/CEO of Visit Lake Charles was recently named Chairman of the Louisiana Travel Association Board of Directors at the association’s annual meeting.
Returning members to the Board of Directors include two members of the Lake Charles hospitality industry – Mike Buckley Golden Nugget Casino and Resort and Nimesh Zaver with Lake Charles hotels — and John Crook of the Vernon Parish Tourist Commission.
The officers of the executive committee and the members of the board of directors are elected at the annual meeting. Each year, the Chairman of the Board of Directors selects a nominating committee composed of members who are not seeking re-election and who are not running for office. This committee is responsible for presenting a list to members of the association that recognizes all regions of the state and all segments of the tourism industry.
Feazell appointed director of BHS
Beauregard Health System at DeRidder announced that haley faazell joined BHS as the new Director of Mother-Child Services.
Feazell is a graduate of Northwestern State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2016.
Since then, Feazell has worked as a registered nurse, earning her accolades for her hard work and dedication to patients and their care.
Chief Nursing Officer Kie McNabb praised Feazell and noted that she was a great asset to the labor and delivery staff at BHS.
“Feazell’s dedication to providing patients with the appropriate care they deserve brings an energy to our labor and delivery staff that is second to none,” McNabb said.
Sowela Faculty, Honored Staff
The faculty and staff of Sowela Technical Community College were recently honored at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Annual Conference. The winners were nominated by other Sowela employees. The conference and awards ceremony was held virtually this year with the following recognized:
Outstanding Faculty Member: Johnathan Darbonne.
Darbonne is an assistant master welding instructor at Sowela and has worked at the college for 10 years. Darbonne is also a former Sowela with a technical diploma in welding. His credentials include NCCER CORE, Craft Instructor Certifications and 6G Welding Certifications in SMAW, GTAW, GMAW and FCAW. He also brings years of previous work experience as a welder and structural and piping foreman with WPS Industries, Shaw Modular Solutions, CB&I and DSI.
Outstanding professional staff: Laura LaFleur.
LaFleur has 24 years of experience at Sowela Technical Community College. She is a Registrar and has held many critical positions within the Admissions Office, Testing Center and Registrar’s Office. She is the go-to person for campus-wide registration, creation of policies and procedures, and data mining and analysis of student data. LaFleur is a proud Sowela graduate.
Outstanding Professional Support Staff: Tammy Abraham.
Abraham is the Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor of Sowela. Abraham was part of the recovery team after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. His positive attitude was instrumental in helping his colleagues through this difficult period. A proud Sowela graduate, she is the first to arrive and the last to leave, keeping the team running smoothly and efficiently.
Distinguished retiree: Jo Schexneider. After 30 years of service, Schexneider retired last year from her position as Chief Information Officer at Sowela. Schexneider is an IT pioneer at Sowela, building the IT department from the ground up and being an integral part of its leadership and development. She played a pivotal role in e-learning and brought the college into the digital landscape. It would leverage technology offerings creatively through grants, capital, and operating funds. Schexneider has held many positions at Sowela, from instructor to member of the management team. She worked tirelessly after Hurricane Laura to bring buildings back online and provide students with the connectivity needed to continue their programs.
Bruce named strategist for BBA
The Association Baptiste Beauregard has appointed Tom Bruce as a new mission strategist.
Bruce previously pastored the First Baptist Church of Sulfur for over 20 years.
The association is made up of 44 churches in the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Rapides, and Vernon and serves as a church resource and liaison with the Louisiana Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist Association.