BRAC invites its investors to engage in its work leading economic development for the nine-parish region. This information provides an overview of the resources and services BRAC offers to businesses and explains opportunities for involvement.
We are passionate about the current and future potential for the Baton Rouge Area. We encourage you to get to know us better and to become involved. Your investment in BRAC will serve to benefit the region, as well as your own business goals.
BRAC executes a variety of events throughout the year, featuring thought leadership and general business topics. BRAC investors are encouraged to become involved in BRAC events. Click here for a list of upcoming events. Following are examples of regular programs
Councils & Committees
Our investors believe that BRAC plays a singularly important role in leading the region toward the vision of a Baton Rouge Area that is one of the strongest economies and premier business locations in the country. To that end, investors engage with our work by serving on a variety of councils and committees to addresses high-priority competitiveness factors across a range of public policy areas, including education and workforce, small business and entrepreneurship and transportation.
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
Small businesses make up the majority of businesses in the nation as well as in the region, and they are responsible for a large segment of the area’s economic growth. Through a vibrant small business and entrepreneurship council, BRAC works to continually ensure that the unique needs and policy concerns of the small business community are addressed, and that BRAC’s small business investors are effectively engaged with and informed of BRAC activities. The Council works to enhance the region’s competitiveness and economic development by increasing services to small businesses, and communicating important policy issues impacting job creation.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The nation’s top-performing metros are generally recognized for vibrant economies, quality of life, distinctive brand identity and inclusiveness. In support of BRAC’s aspirations to create an open dialogue on issues related to diversity and inclusion in the Baton Rouge Area, this Committee was created to define what diversity and inclusion means for business and economic competitiveness.
BRAC believes that laws and regulations should serve the public without acting as a detriment to business development and growth. The Legislative Committee is tasked with reviewing, developing and supporting issues that promote a positive, proactive economic environment with social progress and enhanced quality of life. This includes working to influence elected officials to establish laws, rules, regulations and policies that will improve the ability of a business to compete in the worldwide economy and continue to generate income and jobs that enhance the Baton Rouge Area.
Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions (CRISIS)*
While transportation infrastructure needs across the state are sizable, the situation in the Capital Region has grown uniquely dire among the state’s metropolitan areas. In response to this, BRAC, the Center for Planning Excellence and the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance joined together to create CRISIS. CRISIS is a regionally balanced, business-led coalition that seeks to provide a leadership voice to address the Baton Rouge Area’s transportation crisis, identifying solutions and advocating for their prioritization and funding.
*Limited access or based on investment
Education and Workforce Issue Council
Education outcomes and workforce development are two sides of the coin that serve as the foundation of a sound economy and economic growth. Rapid gains in these areas are vital to the region’s attractiveness for business investment and talent. Specific topics of interest include increased opportunities for quality STEM education and business/school partnerships throughout the Area, more high-quality school choices, greater access to customized training solutions, and compilation and analysis of regional data related to education and workforce. The Council works to enhance the region’s competitiveness by elevating and communicating important policy issues impacting education and workforce development solutions.
Business Development Advisory Committee*
The BRAC Business Development team is charged with aggressively promoting the Capital Region to increase the number of jobs and payroll within the nine-parish region. This Committee reviews work plans, provides input on economic conditions in the region, offers insight toward the work being done to accomplish goals for the year, and helps to develop strategic planning goals for the following year.
*Limited access or based on investment
Southeast Super Region Committee*
Created as a collaboration of the Boards of Directors of BRAC, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the South LA Economic Council, the Southeast Super-Region Committee is focused on ensuring that southeast Louisiana is economically competitive with similar super-regions across the country, and on a global scale. Their work endeavors to promote and grow our super-region as a coherent economic unit.
*Limited access or based on investment
BRAC’s five-year regional strategic plan, the Think Bigger campaign, outlines four ambitious goals that guide our work. In support of these goals, BRAC invites a variety of business, community and civic leaders to serve on working groups focused on the areas of talent, external image and quality of place.
BRAC’s Ambassador Program is designed to allow company representatives to actively build relationships with BRAC investors and business leaders while serving as advocates of BRAC’s work. Ambassadors promote BRAC’s mission and educate investors about the benefits and resources available to them.
Ambassadors will assist in the following ways:
- Lead generation
- Retention efforts
- Event networking
If you are interested in participating in the BRAC Ambassador Program, please submit an application.
Ambassador involvement is crucial in aiding lead generation. BRAC Ambassadors work in tandem with the Investor Relations team to identify businesses that can benefit from the knowledge, services, access and advocacy BRAC provides investors.
Personal outreach is key for retention efforts. Ambassadors are assigned businesses to connect with throughout the year. During outreach, Ambassadors share their positive, personal experiences as BRAC investors and provide resources that their assigned companies can utilize to maximize their investment.
Networking is consistently reported as the most valuable aspect of BRAC events; however, initiating a conversation in a crowd can be difficult and intimidating. BRAC Ambassadors attend monthly lunches, larger BRAC events, and grand openings to engage attendees, provide business resources, and facilitate connections.
BRAC provides valuable economic development information and news on a weekly basis. Ambassadors are included in BRAC’s press release distribution list to stay up-to-date on regional business news and to share relevant information with their assigned business and personal contacts.
Ambassadors are encouraged to invite business and personal contacts to BRAC events through social media outlets and direct outreach.
- Ability to expand business contacts by cultivating personal relationships with BRAC investors
- Complimentary event attendance while volunteering at BRAC events
- BRAC Ambassador nametag
- Recognition at a BRAC monthly lunch
- Recognition on BRAC’s website
- Quarterly appreciation lunches
- Invitation to attend a BRAC board meeting
To learn more about the BRAC Ambassador Program, contact the Investor Relations team.
Rodiena “Dana” Alkadi, American Cancer Society
Kelsey Bailey, Chatterkick
Franz Borghardt, Borghardt Law Firm
Pamela Bounds, Berente Companies
Steven Brown, The Cottonport Bank
Rex Cabaniss, WHLC Architects
Amy Canik, Regions Bank
Martin Connell, Paychex
Jordy Culotta, Guaranty Broadcasting Co.
Wayne Dussel, L.A. Champagne & Co.
Cheri Engelhardt, WGMB/FOX44
Matt English, Chatterkick
Sarah Gibson, LSU Public Administration Institute
Danielle Gueho, The Cook Hotel and Conference Center at LSU
Ryan Johnson, brproud.com
Danielle Matthews, Campus Federal Credit Union
Cindy McGee, Capital One Bank
Alli McGuinness, Chatterkick
Mel Robertson, Business First Bank
Lakeisha Robichaux, Chief of Minds
Jason Roussell, Enterprise Holdings
Stephanie Smith, Snelling Staffing
Carla Snell-Hatfield, LOCAL33/WVLA
James Stodd, JT Stodd & Associates
George Town, Capital One Bank
Nina Wager, Shobe Financial Group
Brandi Welch, Orion Instruments
Kim Woods, General Informatics
We joined the Baton Rouge Area Chamber as an opportunity to promote our brand and connect with other companies within the Baton Rouge Area. Since joining we have been able to strengthen our brand’s position and form meaningful relationships with many businesses within the community. The Ambassador program has only added to the value we have received from the Chamber. It has been an opportunity to promote the overall economic health of the Baton Rouge Area and expand the opportunities that exist within the city. We are very happy we joined the Chamber and would recommend to anyone.
–Jason Roussell, Enterprise Holdings
2017 BRAC Ambassador
The program has allowed me to meet some of the top business-minded people in our city and make many friends along the way. I think the Ambassador role is a key piece to BRAC’s future success, as it connects its investors to the organization in a personal way.
–Larry Goodridge, General Informatics
2016 BRAC Ambassador
History & Overview
The Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program was founded as a program of BRAC to prepare a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. There are now over 1,000 graduates of the program, many of whom serve in leadership positions on boards, commissions, and hold federal, state and local public offices.
BRAC initiated the Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program in 1985; since that time the program has been an excellent resource for community leaders as well as organizations seeking capable board members.
Because the Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program focuses on key areas of concern (e.g., education, cultural and personal diversity, city and state government, healthcare and social concerns, economic development, the arts and culture, the criminal justice system & law enforcement), graduates leave the program with first-hand knowledge of the issues facing our region and the potential for a positive community experience through volunteerism. Recently, the curriculum has been expanded to allow participants to collectively develop and implement a class project relating to their learning experiences.
Applications for the Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program Class of 2018 are now closed.
Nominees are accepted from public and private agencies, corporations, civic and other organizations, and individual nominators. Applicants are accepted on the basis of demonstrated leadership ability through career or community achievements, concern for the future of the Baton Rouge Area and commitment to the program. Every summer, a selection committee of Leadership alumni recommends 34 to 40 candidates, based on a cross-section of the community in terms of occupation, gender, race, age and affiliations.
The Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program class kicks off nine months of training with a two-day opening retreat in August. From September to April, the class devotes an entire day, monthly, to presentations from subject matter experts, discussions, field trips and practical exercises pertinent to community issues. To conclude the program, a two-day closing retreat is held in May followed by a graduation dinner in June.
The curriculum for the Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program is designed to use a variety of resources and learning techniques. The topics are chosen based on key components inherent in the daily lives of the people of the Baton Rouge area.
The curriculum is designed to accomplish the following goals:
- To seek out, train and promote high achievers for positions of voluntary responsibility in the community
- To provide these developing leaders with practical information concerning community issues and problems
- To establish a communication network among the existing and emerging leaders of the community
- To challenge these leaders to increase their involvement in community affairs
BRAC concluded its 31st year of the Baton Rouge Area Leadership program on Tuesday, June 6, graduating 41 participants from the 2017 class into its alumni base. Graduates of the program are encouraged to stay involved in the community and the Leadership Baton Rouge Alumni group. More information on the alumni group can be found at leadershipbr.org.
- Brian D. Adams, Teach for America
- Sarah Olcott Allen, AT&T
- Leslie M. Austin, HR Solutions
- Johnnay S. Benjamin, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
- Susan A. Blackburn, Ochsner Medical Center
- Chelsey Laborde Blankenship, SoSis / An Online Boutique
- J. Ashley Mitchell Carter, Louisiana State Senate
- Chad M. Cathey, Our Lady of the Lake
- Donald R. Chube, Jr., Louisiana Lottery Corporation
- Kevin L. Colomb, ExxonMobil
- Lillian W. Derouen, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
- Carroll Devillier, Jr., Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson
- Elizabeth B. Eaton, The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics of Louisiana
- Stephen A. Feazell, SSA Consultants
- Melony B. Fields, CI Group
- Zelma M. Frederick, McGlinchey Stafford
- Jessica Tate Gagliano, Junior League of Baton Rouge
- Hunter B. Geisman, LSU Athletics
- Tameka G. Hartzog, Cox Business
- Terrance M. Hinton, ExxonMobil Refinery
- Courtney M. Holbrook, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
- Lauren CrapanzanoJumonville, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
- Mathew J. Laborde, ELIFIN
- Phillip M. LaFargue, Emergent Method
- Blythe B. Lamonica, BASF Corp.
- Alexander C. Mahon, Iberia Bank
- Danielle Matthews, Campus Federal Credit Union
- Sherry Smith McBeath, Rotary Club of Baton Rouge
- Meghan R. Parrish, Baton Rouge General
- Brian D. Rodriguez, Gatorworks
- Lynnel B. Ruckert, Louisiana Department of Treasury
- Wendy W. Singleton, Woman’s Hospital
- Todd L. Sterling, Alpha Media and Public Relations
- Melissa M. Terito, Faulk & Winkler
- Angelle Lavergne Terry, WHLC Architects
- Laura P. Thomas, Antares Technology Solutions
- Kelli Bondy Troutman, LUBA Workers’ Comp
- AJ Walker, LED
- B. Trevor Wilson, Jones Walker
- Robert E. Wise, ITinspired
- Karen Zito, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
InternBR, presented by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., provides area interns with professional development and training, offering area employers a talent pipeline, and building a deeper connection between the Baton Rouge Area and millennial talent.
History & Overview
Attracting and retaining top talent in the Baton Rouge Area is one of the core objectives of BRAC’s strategic plan. InternBR, founded by BRAC in 2016, is an exciting step toward cultivating the millennial talent in our region, introducing them to all that Baton Rouge offers, and providing a network for them to launch professional careers after graduation.
The training and development opportunities provided by InternBR are a great complement to the on-the-job training they receive through their internship, and make them ideal candidates for employers in the Baton Rouge Area upon graduation.
The 2017 application period is closed. Accepted applicants are notified in early May. Participants’ requirements include:
- Internship must be for a company in the Baton Rouge Area
- Internship must take place in the Baton Rouge Area
- Interns must be enrolled in a college or university
- Interns must have permission from their employer to participate in the breakfast meetings each Friday of June and July
Participants are recommended by a selection committee, based on a cross-section of the community in terms of major or intended career path, gender, race, age and affiliations.
The InternBR program is a workshop series that takes place each Friday morning from June 9-July 28. The six weeks of breakfast workshops will cover topics including:
- Resumes, cover letters, personal statements, personal branding
- Professional communication – email etiquette, workplace interactions, professional attire, presentation delivery and design
- Behavior preferences and leadership styles
The 2017 InternBR class will also engage in service and social events to learn more about the Baton Rouge community.
The curriculum of the InternBR program is designed to provide area interns with professional communication and leadership skills needed to excel in their current internship and as they launch their career in Baton Rouge. The curriculum is designed to accomplish the following goals:
- Provide student interns with professional communication and leadership training
- Provide student interns with the opportunity to network with other area interns
- Provide student interns with the opportunity to further engage with their community through philanthropic and social activities
- Increase and further develop the talent pool for area employers
In the inaugural InternBR class, 30 area interns completed the program. These students interned at 21 area companies or organizations, represented 6 different in-state and out-of-state schools, come from 6 different countries and speak 7 languages.
2016 InternBR Class
- Anna-Marie Barone, The Baton Rouge Business Report
- Chase Berenson, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
- Ieisha Blackburn, IBM
- Sheila Caban, Gallagher Benefit Services
- Caitlin Demarest, Diane Allen & Associates
- Madelyn Duhon, LSU College of Human Sciences & Education
- Alexis Flowers, Horne CPA and Business Advisors
- Hannah Gill, Faulk & Winkler, LLC
- Christian Gonzales, IBM
- Erika Haguette, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
- Regan Horn, The Lemoine Company
- Justin James, The Lemoine Company
- Kaylee Jones, Teknarus
- Mahdi Judeh, IBM
- Morgan Kastner, Reputation Capital Media Services
- Patrick Kidder, The Lemoine Company
- Peyton Klemm, Jones Walker
- Ashton Knight, LSU Communication across the Curriculum
- Vu Le, IBM
- Madison Lusco, Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response Center
- Nina Mohammed, IBM
- Juli Parker, Our Lady of the Lake College
- Chelsea Rainwater, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
- Taylor Richard, Louisiana Lottery
- Ryan Robin, The Lemoine Company
- Luke Simpson, Gallagher Benefit Services
- Gage Spell, Quality Engineering & Surveying
- Colby Sterling, LSU Office of Strategic Communication
- Joshua Stickling, City of Baton Rouge
- William Ward, The Lemoine Company