This edition is our yearly economic wrap up called NWLA Progress. This yearly snapshot promotes the best news and messages across northwest Louisiana’s economy, business and industry, higher education, infrastructure, and quality of life. Our goal is to give our regular distribution network for BIZ., as well as other economic development officials, another weapon in their arsenal to recruit people and or businesses looking to locate in our region.
In my opinion, there is no better group that illustrates the promise and progress of our area than the recently announced 40 Under Forty class.
This Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Initiative of Northwest Louisiana effort honors forty outstanding Northwest Louisiana entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and professionals in public, private, or non-profit sectors who are under the age of 40 and have excelled in their careers, education, professional development, community leadership, and volunteer efforts.
And, this newest class of young professionals are changing the shape of our region and bring a fresh, innovative perspective to their respective career fields, while also making waves through their community engagement and activism.
The 2022 40 Under Forty honorees are:
• Shannon Ali, Bossier Parish Schools & Daytime Playtime LLC
• Billy Anderson, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
• Darlenna Atkins-Davenport, Louisiana State University Shreveport
• Jody J. Bluitt, Williams Financial Advisors – WFA
• Brett Brown, Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (BRF) – EAP Division
• Nichole Buckle, Carmouche, Bokenfohr, Buckle and Day, PLLC
• Claire Childs, Vintage Realty Company
• Jutorrean Davis, United States District Courts, Western District of Louisiana
• Walton Gaskins, Community Bank of Louisiana
• Ebony Gourrier, The Department of the Air Force and Defense Health Agency
• Emily Hamann, Social Butterfly Advertising & Design, LLC | American Rose Society
• Tierra Heard, Overton Brooks Veteran Affairs Medical Center
• Jonathan Hodge, H & H Foldings, H & H Field Services, H & H Operating, NWLA Investment Properties
• Brooke Huff, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ally Real Estate / The Brooke Huff Team
• Alonzo Jackson, Alonzo P. Jackson Jr. Attorney at Law
• Marie Johnson-Watts, Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
• Tricia Jowell, Volunteers of America North Louisiana
• Chase Kauffman, BancorpSouth Bank
• Jeffrey Kerst, Kerst & Caskey Family Dentistry
• Andrea Kimble, Etheredge Industrial Services
• Dr. Justin Lord-Stephens, Louisiana State University – Shreveport (LSUS)
• Narita Loyd-Goff, Center for Disease Control Foundation, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Pennsylvania Bureau of Infectious Disease
• Erica McCain, Dress for Success Shreveport -Bossier
• Michael Melerine, Seabaugh & Sepulvado, LLC
• Elizabeth Miller, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra
• Courtney Miller, North Bossier Counseling, CORP
• Breunka Moon, Southern University at Shreveport
• Sandra Page, The Law Offices of Sandra James Page, LLC.
• John Person, Nelson and Hammons, APLC
• Audrius Reed, Audrius M. Reed, Attorney at Law, LLC
• Alexander Richardson, Bossier Arts Council
• Samantha Roberts, LSU Health Sciences Foundation – Shreveport
• Tiffany Sandifer, Bossier Parish Community College
• Benjamin Simmons, Youree Drive Middle School
• Jenny Traweek, Benton Middle School
• Tamna Wangjam, LSU Health Shreveport
• Vanessa Wilcox, USAF
• Sarah Wilkes Thompson, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
• Cassandra Williams, Louisiana State University Shreveport
• Laura Woodham, Ochsner LSU Health
This group and their extraordinary contributions to our community will be deservedly recognized at the 40 Under Forty Awards Gala on Dec. 2, 2022, at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport. In addition, one honoree will be chosen out of the 40 to receive the Young Professional of the Year Award for exemplary efforts in each category and will be announced at the Gala.
I hope you will join me and the rest of our various sectors making up the economy, and fabric of life in Shreveport-Bossier, by celebrating this latest group of young people who will shape the future of our region. I look forward to seeing how your impact is chronicled in our future Progress editions.
David A. Specht Jr. is publisher and editor of BIZ. and President of Specht Newspapers, Inc.