Money Makers Class of 2021

BIZ. Magazine announces it’s inaugural class of Money Makers, as honored in the print edition.


BANKING

Jana Freeman Forrest

BOM Bank

Jana Freeman Forrest is a Vice President and Commercial Lender at BOM Bank.  She is a proud community banker, serving 20 years in the financial services industry. Jana received her degree from Northwestern State University, graduated from the Louisiana Bankers Association Leadership School, and will graduate from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in the spring of 2021. 

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Independence Bowl Foundation and Red River Revel Arts Festival. Jana is the Past Chair of the Young Professionals Initiative; prior to that, she was the 2020 Chair, 40 Under Forty Chair and Professional Development Chair.  She served on the 2020 Board of Directors for the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and is a past Business Network International member; serving as President, Vice-President, Mentor Coordinator and Growth Coordinator. 

Over the years, Jana has served her community in various roles with the NWLA American Heart Association, Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Business Development Connection, and Boy Scouts of Caddo Parish. She has volunteered with numerous organizations including Junior Achievement, Volunteers of America, Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, and Common Ground, to name a few. 

Jana is a Banzai Instructor and passionate about developing awareness of financial literacy. Through the years, she has taught countless children and youth on the importance of budgeting, paying bills and saving for the future. She believes teaching basic financial skills at a young age will create financially responsible adults. 

Jana was a 2017 Young Professionals Initiative 40 Under Forty Honoree and BOM Bank Volunteer of the Year in 2018.  She is a steadfast advocate for Shreveport, where she resides with her wife, Maribeth, and daughter, Madison. 


BANKING

Judy Madison

Red River Bank

Judy Madison has an extensive background in establishing relationships with local government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, and realtors that support affordable housing, economic development, and community revitalization.

She has worked to partner with Louisiana Housing Corporation Bond Programs, City of Shreveport-HAPPI Program, Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Affordable Housing Programs, Southern University at Shreveport, and Fuller Center for Housing to provide down payment assistance for homebuyers, special needs assistance grants to seniors, and provide technical support to community base and non-profits organizations.

Judy also works with small businesses to increase their capacity and provide workshops. She is a partner with schools and churches to provide the Bank at School/Bank at Church Program for 2nd through 12th graders. She also works to provide workshops and after school programs along with Community Renewal Friendship House Programs.

Judy provides one-on-one credit counseling throughout the region and state.

She works to ensure grants for down payment assistance to first time homebuyers, provides second chance low-cost bank accounts to individuals, seeks out partners to help senior citizens who need help with repairs, and partners with nonprofits to help build/rehab affordable housing units for low to moderate families for rental/ownership.

“Judy Madison is a caring individual who believes in helping others. I have seen her in action assist low-income parents obtain a home. She serves as the President of the Cedar Grove Community Development Center and lead a group of citizens to find grants and means for economic development in the Cedar Grove area. I feel Judy is an ideal candidate for this prestigious recognition,” said Judy’s nomination form.


ACCOUNTING

Anna Gleason

RBM, LLP.

Anna Gleason is a CPA and the Audit and Advisory Partner at RBM LLP.  After receiving her masters in accounting at Louisiana Tech University, Anna served in the audit department of KPMG LLP for six years.  Anna brings unique experience to her role at RBM LLP, having worked in both operational and financial reporting positions for local industries before returning to her career in public accounting.  At RBM, Anna serves a wide range of clients in various business industries, primarily in the Shreveport-Bossier and North Louisiana region.

In addition to her professional career, Anna’s community involvement keeps her busy after hours.  Anna serves on the board of directors and executive committees of both the Robinson Film Center and Shreveport Common, as well as the board of directors for Cohab.  She has an intense love of the arts and animals, volunteering for the Louisiana Film Prize Foundation and supporting organizations such as Ninna’s Road to Rescue and Robinson’s Rescue.

In her spare time, Anna enjoys spending time outside, playing music, and working on projects in her old Highland home.  She can occasionally be spotted singing and playing guitar on the patio of Fat Calf Brasserie or the taproom in Great Raft Brewing.


FINANCE

Joe Arnold

Carter Credit Union

Joe Arnold began his tenure as the President and CEO of Carter Credit Union in August of 2014.  Prior to this position Joe served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.

Joe is responsible for growing the organization by offering relevant services and overseeing all strategic and financial directives of the credit union.  Since his tenure as CEO at Carter, Joe has successfully grown the credit union from 240 million to 520 million in assets.  

 Prior to joining Carter in 2009, Joe served as Senior Investment Advisor at Southwest Corporate FCU where he worked with over 30 credit unions in the areas of investment portfolio and asset liability management.  

Joe serves on the Credit Union Service Organization boards of CUSO Development Companies, Business Allinance Financial Services and Ongoing Operations.  Joe previously served as President of the local Credit Union Chapter League.  

Arnold earned his undergraduate and MBA from Texas Tech University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


BUSINESS INVESTMENT

Lisa Johnson

Bossier Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Johnson has led the Bossier Chamber of Commerce as President/CEO since 2004, a job she takes on as a champion for business, a cheerleader for the community and a coach for her staff and members, during good times and bad.

As health concerns arose during the COVID-19 crisis, sustaining a financially stable economy was also critical. Lisa and her Chamber team kept the business community up-to-date through all of their available channels – social media, enewsletters, website, virtual meetings, etc. – on the changing landscape of business sustainability. 

Throughout the onset of the pandemic in 2020, many of the weekly virtual meetings held by the Bossier Chamber itself and with its partners were focused on COVID relief and the Payroll Protection Program updates, from the federal perspective as well as the local bankers working the front lines.

“I felt a great responsibility to our local businesses to give them as much information as possible to keep them solvent by whatever means I could – even directing some of them to specific bankers who could help them apply for Payroll Protection Program and/or EIDL loans,” Johnson said. “And even without members telling us they were struggling to pay dues, we sent out letters with our invoices to assure them we could defer those payments and set up payment plans if needed to make sure their Chamber membership was not something they had to worry about financially while figuring out how to stay afloat.”

“It was imperative that they knew we had their backs in the middle of this tough health and economic crisis. We remained focused on business sustainability while following healthcare guidelines.“


BANKING

Sandy Cimino

Community Bank of Louisiana

Sandy Cimino has been in the banking industry for over 48 years, working in almost every department. Her desire to learn has allowed her to develop programs, train employees, and serve on numerous committees.

Sandy represented bankers statewide for eight years as president of the American Institute of Banking. She spent hours teaching LBA banking courses for almost 10 years, and represents CBOFLA as the liaison within the community, developing relationships with potential as well existing customers.

Sandy’s career in banking is one of achievement, starting out in bookkeeping/transit and working her way up by holding numerous positions, attending classes and seminars, and taking any opportunity to learn. She puts her heart and soul into her job, believing It is a way to help and support people.

Sandy serves on the board of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, is a founding member and past president of the Commission for Women of Bossier City, serves on the NORWELA Council of Boy Scouts of America board, is treasurer for the AMIkids Board, acting Honorary Commander for Barksdale Air Force Base for the 26th Operational Weather Squadron, is board member for the Shreveport Crime Stoppers Board, is a board member for Step Forward Board, serves as BPSTIL Business Department Advisor, is the Independence Bowl Board Life Director and the first female bowl chair, serves on the Shreveport Workforce Development board, and serves on various committees of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

“Sandy has made a difference in banking for over 48 years, breaking barriers, serving as a mentor to many women and showing everyone that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Her customers love her, and many have followed her across her employment at four banks. Sandy is well known for her volunteerism, her desire to make a difference and her willingness to help anyone. She not only serves on boards, but steps up to help and be involved,” said her nomination form.