30 complete LSU AgCenter leadership program

Thirty men and women from four parishes graduated from the inaugural Leadership North program in New Roads on Feb. 16.

Comprising an area north of Baton Rouge called north capital region, Leadership North is a joint effort of the Zachary Chamber of Commerce, the LSU AgCenter’s Community Leadership and Economic Development Program and Louisiana Economic Development.

“The LSU AgCenter is invested in communities throughout Louisiana,” said Bobby Soileau, who serves as program director of Community Leadership and Economic Development in the LSU AgCenter. “This program was designed to enhance the skills of these future leaders and identify issues that need to be addressed in this region.”

Leadership North provides educational opportunities for potential leaders interested in economic development and quality-of-life issues in their communities, Soileau said. In fact, a new class recently started with the help of the graduating class.

The curriculum for the first class featured nine seminars throughout the year and included visits to the state Legislature and a trip to Mandeville and Covington communities to understand more about their approach to community and economic development issues.

“While there is room for improvement, the north capital region has tremendous strengths,” said Chip Mills, executive director of economic development for the Zachary Chamber.

“There are numerous lifestyle amenities and many options for businesses,” Mills said. “And I believe this region has potential of competing with any region in the country. Our goal for Leadership North is to bring emerging leaders together, identify needs and unify efforts.”

The inaugural graduating class consists of the following individuals from East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes:


  • Addie Armato, New Roads
  • David Beck, Zachary
  • Brent Bradley, Zachary
  • Danette Castello, Zachary
  • Benjamin Cavin, New Roads
  • Ryan Cooney, Baton Rouge
  • Dawn Davis, Clinton
  • Charmaine Efferson, Zachary
  • Tim Ellsworth, Zachary
  • Robert Farmer, St. Francisville
  • Andrew Grezaffi, St. Francisville
  • Melvin Harvey Jr., St. Francisville
  • Robert Jackson, Slaughter
  • David Latona, Baton Rouge
  • Jonathan Malden, Zachary
  • Alecisa Matte, New Roads
  • Jill McGraw, Zachary
  • Ann Mills, Zachary
  • Chip Mills, Zachary
  • Jill Ohlinger, Zachary
  • Dana Papania, New Roads
  • Rachel Pierson, Baton Rouge
  • Angie Rabalais, Zachary/Central
  • Lisa Rioux, Zachary
  • Joe Rush, Zachary
  • Sharon Samuel, Zachary
  • Evan Scroggs, Baton Rouge
  • Robert Snowden Sr., Zachary
  • Nicholas St. Germain, Slaughter
  • Ryan Talbot, Zachary

Rick Bogren — LSU AgCenter