Friday, June 21, 2024

Leaderboard: Dunn leads YWCA, Argent Financial update, Girl Scouts recognize NWLA women

by BIZ Magazine

YWCA appoints Dunn as new executive director

The Board of Directors of the YWCA of Northwest Louisiana is pleased to announce AJ Dunn as the organization’s next Executive Director. 

Dunn brings a unique combination of leadership skills, strategic thinking, and a deep commitment to the mission to her new position leading the YWCA, an organization that provides vital community programs dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. She has a proven track record of developing and implementing successful strategies that have led to sustainable growth and increased organizational effectiveness.

Dunn holds a Master’s degree in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Child Development from Louisiana Tech. She also has certifications in nonprofit management, domestic violence, Positive Parenting Program, childbirth education, and vocational adjustment training. In addition, Dunn is a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and co-founder of the Doula Collective, providing education and support to pregnant individuals and their families with a focus on preventing infant and maternal mortality, especially in communities of color.

Dunn has served as the Director of Rehabilitation Programs for Goodwill Industries, as a data analyst and administrative assistant for the juvenile court system, and as director of adult education and community development at Southern University-Shreveport. Most recently, Dunn was deputy director of volunteers and partnerships and Louisiana field coordinator for Spread the Vote/Project ID, a non-profit dedicated to making sure that the most vulnerable Americans can obtain IDs and participate fully in the voting process. She is also the founder and owner of Glowing and Growing, a virtual assistant business specializing in supporting nonprofits and small businesses, especially those dedicated to mental health, trauma, education, and maternal healthcare. 

Argent Financial Group promotes Jyotsaana Parajuli to Argent’s Controller

Argent Financial Group announced that Jyotsaana Parajuli has been promoted to Argent’s controller. Parajuli, who previously served as assistant controller, will continue to report to Daniel Taylor, Argent’s chief accounting officer.

In her new position, Parajuli will oversee various areas of daily accounting operations. Her duties also include the administration of corporate budgets and forecasts as well as tax planning for Argent Financial Group and all subsidiaries.

A certified public accountant, Parajuli earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s degree with concentration in accounting from Louisiana Tech University.

In her free time, she enjoys contributing to the community by volunteering at various United Way events around Northeast Louisiana.

Argent Financial Group wins Stevie® Award for financial services company of the year

Argent Financial Group, a leading independent fiduciary wealth management firm, has been named the winner of a Stevie® Award in the 21st Annual American Business Awards®.

Argent Financial Group received a bronze award for Company of the Year – Financial Services — Large and was recognized at the American Business Awards on June 13 in New York. This is the sixth consecutive year that Argent has won a Stevie Award within the American Business Awards. This is also the fourth time Argent has been recognized for this category.

The American Business Awards are widely recognized as one of the nation’s top business awards. More than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in nearly every industry were submitted this year for consideration for a variety of categories. More than 230 professionals served as judges to select this year’s winners.

Girl Scouts of Louisiana recognizes NWLA area Women of Distinction

Each year, Girl Scouts of Louisiana – Pines to the Gulf recognizes a class of local women who exemplify the Girl Scout Mission- to build girls of courage, confidence, and character.

The idea behind the Women of Distinction event was simple: create a platform to elevate local women who excel in their local communities. The ultimate goal being that local girls would be given role models to look up to who are making an impact right next door.

These women are chosen through a public nomination and committee selection process. The class boasts women of varying age and career field- these women are elevated as role models for local Girl Scouts and youth alike.

The Shreveport Women of Distinction class includes the following exemplary women:

  • Dr. Markey W. Pierre, LSU Health Shreveport
  • Jeannette Sibley, Keller Williams Realty NWLA
  • Erica McCain, Dress for Success Shreveport-Bossier
  • Lynn Stevens, Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana
  • Carolyn J. Henderson, Shreveport Fire Department
  • Dr. Jayda Spillers, Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College
  • Dr. Julie Lessiter, LSU Shreveport

While this event was established to recognize local women, Girl Scouts of Louisiana – Pines to the Gulf did not want to overlook the value that men in our community bring to Girl Scouting. Therefore, at each of our events, we honor one ‘Man Enough to be a Girl Scout’. This man is elected through the same rigorous nomination process and is chosen based on how closely his community impact reflects the Girl Scout mission. This year’s ‘Man Enough to be a Girl Scout’ Shreveport award will go to Jeremy Burge, COO of Louisiana Truck Stop and Gaming Administration.

Prevot Design Services wins gold for lobby design at Providence House Child Development Center

Thanks to the award-winning design work of Prevot Design Services, the lobby of the Child Development Center at Providence House has been fully renovated. The neighborhood design recently won Gold in the “Excellence in Design” awards Single Space category from ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) South Central Chapter.

“Education is one of the driving forces at Providence House and that starts with our little ones. From the moment these children enter the lobby, they are welcomed to a neighborhood – many for the first time. This lobby design is Phase One of a 100% STEAM classroom renovation planned to be completed this year!” shares Verni Howard, Executive Director of Providence House.

Prevot Designer Laken Drake used visuals of a bright yellow sun, shades of greenery, a light gray sidewalk, and a red schoolhouse façade to create a bright, welcoming space. Children who visit and attend the Child Development Center get a feeling of encouragement and inclusiveness as they touch and see various material types and imagery used in the lobby’s design.

This year’s addition of newly designed STEAM classrooms will include a fire station, a bank, and many other neighborhood elements.

Foreman named LSUS 2023 Distinguished Alumnus

The LSUS Alumni Association honored Hardy Foreman as the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus at the organization’s annual banquet.

Hardy Foreman was awarded the LSUS 2023 Distinguished Alumnus on Thursday at a banquet in the LSUS Ballroom. (Caitlin LeBlanc/LSUS Media Relations)

Foreman, a partner and certified public accountant at firm Carr, Riggs and Ingram, has served on the boards of the LSUS Foundation, Red River Radio, LSUS Alumni, LSUS College of Business and Bossier Parish Community College among others.

On top of Foreman’s service in a number of LSUS organizations – usually for a decade or longer on each board – perhaps his greatest contribution is the opportunity he’s given to fellow LSUS alumni. Said outgoing LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark, “He’s hired or given internships to more than 60 LSUS graduates. There’s probably few if any alumni who could match him for the total number he’s been involved with hiring.”

Foreman isn’t just a member of various boards, he’s occupied leadership positions, including as past president of the LSUS Foundation and Red River Radio Community Advisory Board.

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