Leadership Central Louisiana is an innovative program designed to take current or potential leaders to the next level - preparing participants for new challenges and providing the skills and exposure needed to add leadership equity to any business or organization. The program builds leadership skills and provides exposure to community leaders, challenges and opportunities.
Lindsey Bertrand began her journey in the credit union industry at the age of 20 when she was enrolled in online classes to become an elementary school teacher. Soon afterwards, she realized she enjoyed her time working at the credit union a great deal and wanted to learn more. She decided to double major in human resources management and later work towards completing a MBA. The knowledge she has gained from working in the industry is priceless. Lindsey began her credit union journey as a teller and today is the Vice President of Operations for Valex Federal Credit Union.
When not working in the office, Lindsey may be found spending time with her husband of ten years or playing ball with her two children. Their family will be complete late summer 2021 with the addition of a new baby girl.
The things she loves most in life are faith, family, and friends.
Cheryl Bordelon is a lifelong resident of Central Louisiana. After graduating from Marksville High School, she attended LSUA to obtain an Associate Degree in Nursing, and she has been employed as a Registered Nurse for over 30 years. After raising her family, she returned to LSUA to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and her education quest continues as she is pursuing a MBA in Healthcare Leadership. She is currently employed as the Director of Perioperative Services at Rapides Regional Medical Center providing supervision over surgical services program at the facility. She serves on various committees within the organization and maintains national certifications within the nursing profession.
She and her husband reside in Avoyelles Parish and enjoy their blended family of 4 children and 6 grandchildren. She enjoys many outdoor activities common to the area such as camping, hiking, traveling, and fishing.
Born and raised on the bayou in St. Mary Parish, Joey Borne grew up in the small town of Franklin, Louisiana. He has worked in Central Louisiana for the past 4 years as the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration at Central Louisiana Technical Community
College (CLTCC). He is not your typical higher ed employee. He worked in the gaming industry for 15 years prior to his 6 years in higher education. He worked as an Auditor, Financial Analyst, Finance Analyst Manager, Finance Manager and Controller.
His experience in managing a multi-million-dollar operation has helped him succeed in higher education, as it relates to managing multiply funding sources that are required to operate a community college.
He works hard and plays harder! He loves spending time outdoors with his 4 kids fishing, hunting, and kayaking. His wife, Callie Dupuy Borne, is originally from Avoyelles Parish. Joey and his family currently reside in Cottonport. They have 4 children: Viley Kate 15, Preston 13, Ada Louise 10 and Henri 7. They absolutely love small town living and Joey enjoys working in the big city of Alexandria. He is looking forward to expanding his working network in Cenla.
Toby Brazzel is a lifelong resident of Central Louisiana. He is the Owner of Allstate Financial Services, LLC investment firm in Alexandria for over 24 years. He was an Allstate Insurance Hall of Fame Inductee in 2017 and is a Million Dollar Round Table Member, 2020 Top of the Table Qualifier.
Toby is a graduate of Northwestern State University and double majored to earn a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science and Business Finance in 1991. He and his wife, Kelli Brazzel, own Robbie G's Restaurant in Alexandria, LA. Toby is the President of the LSUA Generals Athletic Association and a member of Alexandria Downtown Rotary.
Shondria Cheatam is a native of Alexandria, Louisiana. She is a graduate of LSUA and Northwestern State University with degrees in Business Administration and Psychology. She began working at the Alexandria Housing Authority in 2006 serving as a property manager for 6 years, she has also served as Human Resources Director and Housing Program Director prior to becoming the Chief Operating Officer for the agency. Outside of work, Shondria enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her family. Shondria holds a SHRM-CP certification from the Society of Human Resources Management, Housing Quality Standards Certification from Nan Mckay, Tax Credit Compliance certification and is certified as a Public Housing Manager by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
Robin Cosenza has more than 20 years of experience in project management and public relations. She has an extensive background in the development and implementation of public awareness and political campaigns as well as brand expansion that stems from years of working with both corporate and small businesses in the Central Louisiana area and beyond.
Robin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Louisiana College in Pineville. She is a member of the Central Chapter of the Public Relations Association Louisiana (PRAL), having served on the board for 10 years.
She is a native of Central Louisiana and resides in Pineville with her husband, John, and their children Michael and Lela Marie.
Brandi Dubea is DETEL’s Chief Executive Officer, responsible for providing the leadership, management and vision for our company that is necessary to stay on the forefront of innovative technology for 21st century classrooms.
With over 19 years of industry experience, Brandi understands the importance of customer satisfaction. Understanding that our customers desire innovative, reliable products that are heavily supported has been her impetus to position DETEL as a product and service integrator that provides exemplary customer service and support.
Prior to assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer, Brandi served as DETEL’s Chief Operating Officer, and previously the Director of Sales and Marketing. In these roles, she was responsible for all sales and operations while simultaneously developing corporate-level marketing, branding and business-development strategies.
Brandi graduated from Louisiana State University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. She also has a Network+ Certification and holds many vendor-neutral trainings and certifications.
Stephan Fontenot is the Executive Director of the Alexandria Housing Authority. Stephan is a seasoned housing professional with decades of management experience and he has helped to rebuild, modernize and strengthen the agency’s housing stock through the Rental Assistance Program (RAD) with a housing portfolio totaling over $100 million dollars in assets. Prior to his appointment as Director, Fontenot held several Senior leadership positions at the agency. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, a Master of Arts degree in Education and has taken extensive courses towards the Doctorate in Education.
He also holds certifications from the National Association for Housing and Redevelopment for Low Income Housing Management, the National Center of Housing Management; Housing Quality Standards; and Public Housing Management.
With a goal of empowering and engaging residents, Fontenot works with a staff of 25 employees. His agency partners with local businesses and stakeholders to provide the very best in affordable housing through trailblazing, forward thinking and quality of life initiatives.
Stephan is married to wife Patricia and they have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. He is also a life member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Andre Guillory is the interim Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Cleco Power - focused on strategy and execution of all Distribution and Customer-related operations. With a background in engineering and experience in operations across the electric utility, Andre most recently served as Director of Metering, Billing, and Revenue Collections.
Mr. Guillory has extensive project management and leadership experience with Cleco across a variety of functional and technical initiatives over the past 15 years. Within Cleco he’s led various technical and operational teams, initiated the Distribution Automation / Smart Grid efforts within Cleco and led Cleco’s AMI implementation.
In 2016, Andre assumed the responsibilities of leading Cleco and its partners through an enterprise digital transformation to SAP’s S4/Hana platform. Partnered with IBM and SAP, the Cleco successfully went live on SAP across the business in 2019.
Charles McKinley Jones is a native of Pineville, Louisiana and a graduate of Pineville High School. He received a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, Louisiana in 2008. In 2017, he received a Master of Science in Human Resources Education and Leadership from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.
Charles is the Assistant Director of Human Resources and EEO Officer for the City of Alexandria where he assists the Director of Human Resources with managing the daily operations of the Human Resources Division.
Charles is a member of the Zion Hill Baptist Church, Pineville, LA. He is also a gospel singer and an avid lover of music (all types). In his spare time, he enjoys traveling (road trips), and spending time with family and friends.
Leisa Lawson is the Civil Service Director for the City of Alexandria, LA. Outside of work, she is active in the community. Leisa serves as Board President of the Children’s Advocacy Network since 2020, a Trustee of The Circle Church in Alexandria, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Zeta Lambda Omega Chapter. Prior to joining the City, she practiced law with the Louisiana Department of Justice and Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell. She was admitted to practice in all Louisiana state and federal courts in 2011. She holds a Juris Doctor from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2011, and a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from Rice University in 2008.
Sekou Ma’at is originally from New York. Sekou received his Bachelors of Science in History/Political Science from Hofstra University, NY and his Masters in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, New York. He is a lifetime member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, an active member of the American Correctional Association, and an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Sekou began his career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York in January 2000. Since that time, Sekou has been assigned to positions of increasing responsibility including: Correctional Treatment Specialist, FCC Coleman, FL, August 2000 to February 2003; Assistant Regional Designator, Western Regional Office, Dublin, CA, February 2003 to April 2005; Unit Manager, FCI Beckley, WV, April 2005 to December 2007; Executive Assistant/Satellite Operations Administrator, FCI Bastrop, TX, December 2007 to August 2009; Associate Warden, FCC Pollock, LA, August 2009 to May 2012; Associate Warden, FCI Aliceville, AL, May 2012 to August 2015 and Associate Warden, FCC Butner, NC from August 2015 to November 2018. On November 18, 2018, he returned to FCI Bastrop and was promoted to the position of Warden. On October 11, 2020, he was promoted to Complex Warden at FCC Oakdale.
Titan Marler is 24 years old & originally from El Paso, Texas. Currently, he is a loan officer at BOM Bank and has been there for two years. He is also a Young Adults leader at Heart of Worship Church in Pineville, an 8U baseball coach for the Louisiana Outkast, Vice President of the Kiwanis Club of Pineville & member of the Pineville Rotary Club. Titan double majored in Management/Marketing & Finance from Louisiana College. In college, he played baseball at Colorado Christian University & Louisiana college for 5 years (medical redshirt). In the spare time he has, he likes to fish & attempt to break 100 in golf.
Liz Mileshko is the President and CEO of the Central Louisiana Community Foundation (CLCF). Liz grew up in the Metro Atlanta area and attended the University of Alabama. Upon graduating she married her husband, Alex, and moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Liz started her career in the sales and marketing pool of the corporate world but was quickly pulled into the nonprofit realm. Liz spent a few years as the Regional Development Director for the American Heart Association before being recruited to become the Executive Director of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation. After receiving military orders, her family moved to Central Louisiana in October of 2019 and she began her tenure at President and CEO of the Central Louisiana Community Foundation in December of 2019. Outside of the normal 9 to 5 day, Liz enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and her two German Shepherds.
Jeffrey Pogue has been married to his better half, Michele, for 27 years. They have three children Savannah, Lauren, and Joel. He was a military child growing up moving from base to base until the age of 12. His father chose to retire at England Air Force base, and he has called Central Louisiana his home since.
Jeff went to Tioga Jr High and Tioga High School, then on to LSUA. While at LSUA he joined the local fire department in Kolin and became interested in first response. Jeff then decided to take an Emergency Medical Technician class, which was the start of his career in Emergency Medical Services. He is currently the Operations Manager for the Central District of Acadian Ambulance, overseeing seven surrounding parishes.
Cenla Ambulance Service 1991-1995
Acadian Ambulance Service 1995- Present
Michelle Purl is originally from Minnesota but has called Florida home for 32 years. A graduate from Florida State University, she started her nonprofit career working on a wagon train with delinquent youth. In her 4 ½ years at United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties she helped to establish their Master Teacher program and transformed their fundraising to a modern campaign style.
Creating change in lives and communities is an amazing experience. Being a part of the non-profit world for over 30 years has allowed her to be a part of this transformation. Nonprofits are the best of both worlds- success is determined by being business oriented and understanding the many complexities that are needed to be successful in strategy, leadership, financial goals, and marketing. Creating change is never easy but working collectively we can have better insight, solutions, and resources.
Dawn Rabalais is from Mansura, Louisiana. She is currently single with no children but engaged to be married on 08/14/2021. Dawn has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from LSU in Baton Rouge, LA. She currently works at CLECO in Pineville, LA and has been employed there for the past 24 years. Her current job title is Supervisor of Customer Billing. Her hobbies are traveling, reading, gardening, volunteering for different organizations and most of all spending time with family and friends.
Grace Semones was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. She moved to the USA 16 years ago to get a quality college education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Louisiana Tech and later obtained a Master of Science Degree in Mathematics. She is an Instructor of Mathematics at Louisiana State University Eunice at the LSUA Campus and the Liaison for LSUE at LSUA. She is also the Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and a member of the search committee at LSUE.
Grace is married to Steven Semones and together they have 4 children. She volunteers for the Junior League of Alexandria where she currently serves in the Nominating Committee and will be serving as the Chair of the new class committee for the upcoming year. She also volunteers for the Rotary Club of Alexandria where she serves in the Vocational Committee, Scholarships Committee, and Grants Committee. In addition, she is on the board of the Hope House of Alexandria and Foster Care Board.
Thelma V. Sumbler AD, CRT is the Respiratory Therapy Coordinator at CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital. She has been a respiratory therapist for 20 years. She began her career at CHRISTUS St. Patrick hospital in August of 2001 then transferred to CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in December of 2001, where she has worked in the adult critical care unit, the emergency department, and pulmonary function lab. As the respiratory coordinator, Thelma is responsible for maintaining accreditation with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and College of American Pathologist, as well as being the charge therapist on day shift. Thelma is also a Basic Life Support instructor for CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital.
Thelma graduated from LSU-Eunice, being the first member of her family to attend college. Thelma is the daughter of immigrant parents and speaks fluent Spanish. She enjoys spending time with her two, very active children, Alexa, 18 and Jacob, 12.
Deron has over 23 years of experience in Higher Education management and administration with 21 of those years within the state of Louisiana. He began his career at his alma mater, Northwestern State University, in 1998 as a Systems Administrator and quickly moved in to the Director of Information Systems role. He later served as Director of Technical Services at Truman State University located in Kirksville, Missouri.
Deron joined LSU of Alexandria in March of 2003 as Director of Computing Services and has been involved in all areas of University Administration since that time. Throughout his career in higher education, he has traveled to various universities in the United States and Canada to provide expertise and guidance in the areas of Student Records and Registration, Financial Aid, Accounting Services, IT Resources and Data Management. Deron currently serves LSUA as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer.
Outside of Higher Education, Deron serves on the Board of Directors for VALEX Federal Credit Union. His educational background consists of degrees in Computer Technology, Electronics Engineering, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.
Deron is married to his wife of 24 years, Shere’ Matthews Thaxton. They have one son, Aiden, who pursuing a Computer Science degree through LSU/LSUA. Deron and his family reside in Alexandria, Louisiana.
John Waight is a Senior Business Transformation Analyst at Cleco. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from LSU and a Master’s Degree in Policy Economics from Tulane. John is currently pursuing the CFA charter and is a CFA level III candidate. He grew up in Belize City, Belize and immigrated to Louisiana as a teenager. John now considers himself to be a Louisiana Native, as he has now lived in Louisiana longer than he has in Belize.
His previous work experiences have been primarily analytical in nature, as he has worked as an Economist for the Central Bank of Belize and a Financial Analyst at P&N in New Orleans. John has been with Cleco for ~5 years and has worked on many projects
that have given him a thorough understanding of the electric industry. One of his proudest achievements at Cleco was to assist in the development of a financial model that was used to value the $1BN Cleco Cajun acquisition. He prides himself
as being someone that is highly adaptable, as he has worked on projects outside analytics, such as Cleco’s COVID-19 pandemic planning. Outside of work, John enjoys traveling and spending time with family.
Clay Walker is the Manager of NERC CIP Compliance for Cleco. He was born in Baton Rouge, but moved to Pineville in 1991. He attended Pineville High School student and graduated as a valedictorian in 1995. Clay attended Louisiana Tech University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems in 1999 and a Masters of Business Administration in 2000. He has been working at Cleco for 20 years and has worked in the following departments: Information Technology, Internal Audit, Financial Systems Support, and now NERC CIP Compliance. Clay met his wife at Louisiana Tech, and they have been married for 18 years. They have three boys, Garrett (15), Carson (11), and Crosby (9), who keep them very busy all the time. They love traveling, and especially love all things Disney and Marvel!
Shane D. Williams was born and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana. He attended Alexandria Senior High School where he graduated in May 1997. He attended Southern University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in July 2001 and received his Master of Science Degree in Urban Forestry in July 2002. Thereafter, he earned his Juris Doctorate from The Southern University Law Center in May 2005.
Mr. Williams works as the City Attorney for the City of Alexandria. Mr. Williams was appointed to this position by Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall in January 2021.
Mr. Williams is also certified as a sports agent by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).
He currently serves on the Executive Council of the Alexandria Bar Association.
Mr. Williams is happily married to his wife, Myra, and they have a 7-year old son.
Continuing Education and Community Outreach
8100 Hwy 71 South
Alexandria, La 71301
Phone: (318) 427-4441 or 318-599-9779