Shared from the 7/10/2018 American Press eEdition


People shaping the future of Lake Area business


Sammis joins

Higgins staff

Congressman Clay Higgin, R-Louisiana, has announced that Coby Sammis will join his district staff as a field representative in the Lake Charles office. Sammis will focus on delivering accessible and transparent service for Louisiana’s 3rd District.

Sammis is coming from the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance where he served as the special projects coordinator and most recently as the research coordinator.

Sammis is a Welsh native who went on to attend Mc-Neese State University.

Warner to attend leadership seminar

Ann Warner, professor and co-coordinator of the graduate nursing program at McNeese State University, is one of 49 nursing faculty from 25 states to be selected for the 2018 Leadership for Academic Nursing Program sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Participants will attend a seminar July 29-Aug. 2 in Chaska, Minn., to kick off this yearlong fellowship program designed to enhance the executive leadership skills of nursing faculty in administrative and leadership positions who want to pursue senior administrative or executive positions in nursing.

The fellowship will focus on key leadership competencies needed in complex nursing education and health care environments and provide participants with the opportunity to share ideas and resources with their peers from around the country.

Taylor is Banners

assistant director

Jody Taylor has been named assistant director of Banners at McNeese State University, a cultural program known for its series of concerts, exhibits, lectures and educational programming that has provided Southwest Louisiana with access to exceptional arts and humanities events for over 25 years.

A 2005 liberal studies graduate of McNeese, Taylor has almost 20 years of experience in event coordination and promotions around the region. Prior to joining McNeese, he served as project coordinator of the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, where he managed large-scale events such as Live at the Lakefront, Spring Art Walk and Arts & Crabs Fest. Taylor received the 2015 Citizen of the Arts award handed out at the annual Lake Charles Mayor’s Arts Awards event for his commitment to the arts.

Taylor is president of the Music Museum of SWLA. He has worked to preserve items from the world-famous Goldband Records site in Lake Charles prior to its demolition. He assisted in curating public exhibits to celebrate and raise awareness for the Southwest Louisiana-based record label’s achievements.

Clark to oversee

JD branch

Oliver Clark, a 15-year JD Bank employee and Southwest Louisiana native, has been appointed to manage JD Bank’s La. 14 branch in Lake Charles.

Before his appointment as assistant vice-president/branch manager at the La. 14 branch, Clark serviced as consumer lender/assistant manager at JD Bank’s Kirby Street branch. He is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.

Born and raised in Longville, Clark says he has enjoyed working at Louisiana’s Community Bank and has a passion to serve the community where he lives and works. In addition to his love for banking, Clark has a keen interest in law enforcement. He completed the training and is serving as a commissioned reserve deputy for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Four receive

Patriot Award

At the 12th annual Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission Patriot’s Ball, four individuals were recognized with the Patriot Award by Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission President Charles Dalgleish and Miss Armed Forces Lauren Soileau.

The awards are presented each year in honor of individuals who exemplify patriotism.

The Military Patriot of the Year was presented to Chief Warrant Officer 3 David B. Creager, of the U.S. Coast Guard, Lake Charles Marine Safety Unit. Between 2013 and 2018, Creager represented the Coast Guard, volunteering over 350 hours of service to the Chennault Place Veteran’s Home, Catholic Charities of SWLA, and numerous other local community functions. With a penchant for service to our nation’s elder veterans, Creager has willingly offered his time and camaraderie to the men and women at the Chennault Place Veteran’s Home.

The First Responders Patriot of the Year was presented to Chief Deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. Guillory is a 34-year veteran of law enforcement. He served as Chief of Police for the City of Westlake for seven years and is the president of the Southwest Law Enforcement Planning District. He is a 1994 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

The Civilian Patriot of the Year was presented to Sandy Morgan. Morgan is a member of the Westlake Methodist Church where she serves in a host of activities and on many committees, including its food bank and homeless program. She has also been involved in homeless veterans support. She is a member of the American Legion Post 1 Auxiliary, and she volunteers at the Jennings Veterans Home.

The Posthumous Patriot of the Year was presented to the family of Roy Lee Weldon Jr., former commander of the VFW Post 7321. Commander Weldon served his country for more than 41 years. Twentythree years were spent in the navy and 18 years, he spent working in Federal Civil Service. During his time as Post Commander, Post 7321 became an all-state and all-American Post. He was a member of Mayfield-Taylor-McClain American Legion Post 551 and a member of Louis L. Lust Disabled American Veterans Post 17.

Eye Clinic welcomes Fontenot

Optometrist Katherine Fontenot, OD, has joined the medical staff of The Eye Clinic.

Fontenot is from Lake Charles, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn.

As part of her medical training, Fontenot provided comprehensive eye care in a variety of settings, including adult primary eye care, pediatric eye care, exams in nursing homes, vision therapy, specialty contact lens fittings, and diagnostic and optical retail.

Fontenot is licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Optometry and has a special interest in adult and pediatric primary eye care.

Toyota dealer

Tarver recognized

Each year, Toyota recognizes its dealerships that continue to go above and beyond at each customer touch point and represent the best of the best. Philip Tarver at Lake Charles Toyota has excelled in all facets of operations and was recently awarded the 2017 President’s Award for CustomerFirst.

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