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.

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BRAC Events
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Programs
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BRAC Ambassadors
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Working Groups
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Councils & Committees
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Events

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

Annual Shareholders' Meeting

BRAC’s annual shareholders’ meeting includes a presentation by BRAC’s president and CEO; recognition of longtime BRAC investors, board members and volunteers.

BRAC Event: Around the Table

BRAC’s annual Around the Table places participants in private homes for an evening of conversation in the personal setting of dinner parties. Community leaders open their homes to host unique dinners designed to help connect newcomers with locals and encourage engagement.

Part of the annual Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week, BRAC’s Big Think features speakers on topics pertaining to innovation and entrepreneurship.


Annually, BRAC delivers an economic forecast for the following year, based on data analysis, performance rankings and results of a proprietary regional employer survey. A comprehensive view of the regional economy, BRAC’s Economic Outlook serves as a valuable decision-support tool in annual and scenario planning for businesses of all sizes.

BRAC’s monthly lunch series features business networking and keynote speakers or panelists on a variety of topics. The programs provide opportunities for investors to meet, connect and engage with BRAC staff and other investors, and learn about timely and topical business issues in the Baton Rouge Area.

An extension of BRAC’s monthly lunch program, the semiannual Signature Speaker events feature speakers of national renown on global business issues.

ed-lasummit_socialRepresenting collaboration among BRAC and the regional economic development organizations throughout Louisiana, the Statewide Economic Development Summit was established to strengthen the state’s economy through shared ideas and business practices. The event features national, state and local leaders in economic development and provides a forum for business and industry to unite.

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.

Legislative Committee

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

Working Groups

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.

Talent

Greater access to talent and workforce at every part of the talent pipeline is critical for sustainable growth. This working group focuses on:

  • Expanding STEM learning and partnerships in PK-12 public education
  • Aligning regional workforce development systems to meet business needs
  • Attracting and retaining top talent that supports our targeted business sectors
  • Promoting the business case for diversity and inclusion

External Image

It’s up to us to tell our story. A region’s external identity can shape the decisions of people and businesses considering moving to it. This working group focuses on:

  • Articulating the Baton Rouge Area’s value to businesses and talent
  • Advancing formal super-regional efforts
  • Guiding a media relations strategy to target audiences

Quality of Place

Making the Baton Rouge Area a visibly beautiful, thriving place is key to driving business and talent to our region. This working group focuses on:

  • Acting as a change agent on major initiatives and policy reforms that enhance quality of life and economic growth
  • Advocating for transformational quality of place initiatives

Programs

BRAC offers a variety of professional programs for development and growth. Following are examples of active programs. Select a program below to learn more and/or participate.

BRAC Ambassadors actively participate in BRAC’s work as event volunteers, supporting retention and recruiting new businesses to become involved. Ambassadors enhance the investor experience through personal outreach, networking and growing the investor base.

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 both state and local public offices.

A BRAC Talent Development program, InternBR 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.

Program Overview

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
  • Promotion

If you are interested in participating in the BRAC Ambassador Program, please submit an application.

Assistance

Lead Generation
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.

Retention Efforts
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.

Event Networking
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.

Promotion
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.

Program Benefits

  • 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.

Current Ambassadors

Rodiena “Dana” Alkadi, American Cancer Society

Bryant Awill, LOCAL33/WVLA

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

James Stodd, JT Stodd & Associates

George Town, Capital One Bank

Nina Wager, Shobe Financial Group

Brandi Welch, Orion Instruments

Kim Woods, General Informatics

Testimonials

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.

Selection

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.

Participation

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.

Curriculum

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

Alumni

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.

2017 Leadership Class
  1. Brian D. Adams, Teach for America
  2. Sarah Olcott Allen, AT&T
  3. Leslie M. Austin, HR Solutions
  4. Johnnay S. Benjamin, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
  5. Susan A. Blackburn, Ochsner Medical Center
  6. Chelsey Laborde Blankenship, SoSis / An Online Boutique
  7. J. Ashley Mitchell Carter, Louisiana State Senate
  8. Chad M. Cathey, Our Lady of the Lake
  9. Donald R. Chube, Jr., Louisiana Lottery Corporation
  10. Kevin L. Colomb, ExxonMobil
  11. Lillian W. Derouen, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
  12. Carroll Devillier, Jr., Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson
  13. Elizabeth B. Eaton, The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics of Louisiana
  14. Stephen A. Feazell, SSA Consultants
  15. Melony B. Fields, CI Group
  16. Zelma M. Frederick, McGlinchey Stafford
  17. Jessica Tate Gagliano, Junior League of Baton Rouge
  18. Hunter B. Geisman, LSU Athletics
  19. Tameka G. Hartzog, Cox Business
  20. Terrance M. Hinton, ExxonMobil Refinery
  21. Courtney M. Holbrook, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
  22. Lauren CrapanzanoJumonville, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  23. Mathew J. Laborde, ELIFIN
  24. Phillip M. LaFargue, Emergent Method
  25. Blythe B. Lamonica, BASF Corp.
  26. Alexander C. Mahon, Iberia Bank
  27. Danielle Matthews, Campus Federal Credit Union
  28. Sherry Smith McBeath, Rotary Club of Baton Rouge
  29. Meghan R. Parrish, Baton Rouge General
  30. Brian D. Rodriguez, Gatorworks
  31. Lynnel B. Ruckert, Louisiana Department of Treasury
  32. Wendy W. Singleton, Woman’s Hospital
  33. Todd L. Sterling, Alpha Media and Public Relations
  34. Melissa M. Terito, Faulk & Winkler
  35. Angelle Lavergne Terry, WHLC Architects
  36. Laura P. Thomas, Antares Technology Solutions
  37. Kelli Bondy Troutman, LUBA Workers’ Comp
  38. AJ Walker, LED
  39. B. Trevor Wilson, Jones Walker
  40. Robert E. Wise, ITinspired
  41. 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.

Selection

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.

Participation

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.

Curriculum

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

Alumni

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

  1. Anna-Marie Barone, The Baton Rouge Business Report
  2. Chase Berenson, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  3. Ieisha Blackburn, IBM
  4. Sheila Caban, Gallagher Benefit Services
  5. Caitlin Demarest, Diane Allen & Associates
  6. Madelyn Duhon, LSU College of Human Sciences & Education
  7. Alexis Flowers, Horne CPA and Business Advisors
  8. Hannah Gill, Faulk & Winkler, LLC
  9. Christian Gonzales, IBM
  10. Erika Haguette, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  11. Regan Horn, The Lemoine Company
  12. Justin James, The Lemoine Company
  13. Kaylee Jones, Teknarus
  14. Mahdi Judeh, IBM
  15. Morgan Kastner, Reputation Capital Media Services
  16. Patrick Kidder, The Lemoine Company
  17. Peyton Klemm, Jones Walker
  18. Ashton Knight, LSU Communication across the Curriculum
  19. Vu Le, IBM
  20. Madison Lusco, Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response Center
  21. Nina Mohammed, IBM
  22. Juli Parker, Our Lady of the Lake College
  23. Chelsea Rainwater, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  24. Taylor Richard, Louisiana Lottery
  25. Ryan Robin, The Lemoine Company
  26. Luke Simpson, Gallagher Benefit Services
  27. Gage Spell, Quality Engineering & Surveying
  28. Colby Sterling, LSU Office of Strategic Communication
  29. Joshua Stickling, City of Baton Rouge
  30. William Ward, The Lemoine Company