Purposely Driven Podcast
By La'Toya Guillory
Purposely Driven PodcastJun 01, 2023
Ebony Roberts: Owner of Ebony's Beauty
Ebony Roberts is a fascinating woman with an eclectic background. A mother of five, a wife, and an elementary school teacher, Ebony has always been passionate
about beauty, self-care, and helping others feel confident by actualizing their most beautiful selves.
As a young girl, Ebony became passionate about beauty and self-care. She was so infatuated with the industry that at just ten years old, she started to experiment with various ingredients and became a self-taught beauty expert. Today, what started as a young girl's obsession has morphed into a thriving business that serves a
global clientele with multiple products that provide them with amazing results. We believe Ebony Beauty Roberts is an embodiment of the fact that anything is possible if we're willing to believe in ourselves. You can find her products online at www.ebonysbeauty.shop or 1800 NE Evangeline Thwy C6 Lafayette, La 70501, inside of the Northgate Mall.
Mel Haynes: Owner of Sweet Envie LLC
Mel Haynes wears many hats – a nurturing mother, a loyal friend, a dynamic business owner, and an inspiring community leader. Born and raised in Broussard, Louisiana, she is the proud owner of Sweet Envie LLC located at 4302 Moss Street in Lafayette.
In a transformative decision made in March 2021, Mel bid farewell to a corporate career spanning over a decade, ignited by an unyielding passion to realize her bakery dream. Sweet Envie has evolved over the past two years, to more than a just a bakery. It is also home to one of the only Salad Bars on the Northside of Lafayette.
Sweet Envie stands as a welcoming haven where regulars gather not only to savor delightful treats but also to engage in conversations and reconnect with cherished friends. Mel is the driving force behind an atmosphere of inclusiveness that permeates every facet of her work. From hosting sensory-friendly events for children in the community to her daily undertakings, inclusivity remains a guiding principle.
When she’s not in the bakery, you can find Mel across Acadiana serving the community and helping people create special memories that will last a lifetime. Mel currently resides in Carencro, Louisiana with her fiancé, Nicky Jones, owner of Big Boy Cajun Concessions, and two wonderful kids, Abigail, and Samuel.
Aleisha Johnson Cook: Owner and Principal Consultant at AJC Business Solutions
Aleisha Johnson Cook is a native of Lafayette, LA. She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with concentrations in Global Supply Chain/Logistics and Marketing. After 12 years working in various Supply Chain, Operations, and Project Management roles for a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Memphis, TN, she moved back home to Lafayette at the beginning of 2020. Aleisha earned a Post-MBA Healthcare Administration Certification from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette while serving as the Supply Chain Services Manager over Inventory and Shipping Receiving at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, LA. She then went on to complete an Administrative Fellowship at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, LA, and recently launched a Supply Chain, Operations, and Project Management consulting company, AJC Business Solutions. Aleisha is passionate about Personal and Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Mentoring, and volunteering in her community. She is an active member of the Junior League of Lafayette and serves on the Board of Directors for the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the705 Young Professionals of Acadiana, and the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Brent P Broussard: CEO of The Broussard Enterprise Group, LLC
Brent P. Broussard is the Chief Executive Officer of The Broussard Enterprise Group, LLC. A Lafayette native, who has also spent time in Baton Rouge, is a graduate of Northside High School. Brent went on to study Music & Criminal Justice at the University of Louisiana- Lafayette. In the past decade, Brent has worked in various roles in the sales industry before deciding to begin a journey as a budding entrepreneur.
In 2021, while attending the Accelerate Northside program, given by the UL LEED Center and Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Brent went on to found The Broussard Enterprise Group, LLC. The Broussard Enterprise Group, LLC. is a small business development and management firm that manages two entities that fall under the umbrella of the company. One of those entities, Youth Leadership Initiative, an upcoming nonprofit organization that will be working with youths ages 10-18 to help foster life skills such as job readiness and placement, resume building, interviewing skills and etiquette, as well as mentoring and preparing the youth for postsecondary education through community college and or a traditional 4 year university. Youth Leadership Initiative will also provide graduating seniors a scholarship/stipend to assist with the rising costs of higher education. The other entity under the umbrella is Beads by Brentley, a custom and handmade beaded gemstone jewelry design brand that can be found in retail store Earth Found inside the Northgate Mall. The Broussard Enterprise Group, LLC. has also assisted several local entrepreneurs within the Lafayette community to help get their start up businesses get necessary resources such as funding opportunities and programs like Accelerate Northside.
In addition to the entrepreneurial journey, Brent is also an active member in the Lafayette community. Brent is currently a member of Leadership Lafayette XXXVI (36). Brent is a volunteer instructor for Legacy Institute for Economic Attainment, a local nonprofit organization founded by Corey Jack. Brent is also a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana and a member of the local chapter of 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette, Inc.
Dr. Elizabeth Romar-Chavis: Licensed Chiropractor, ABC Rehab & Chiropractic
Dr. Liz Romar-Chavis has been providing conservative, gentle, specific chiropractic care to diverse populations of people across Louisiana for well over a decade. She received her BS from Xavier University of Louisiana after successfully completing the Biology Pre- Med program with honors. After completing a Post-baccalaureate program in Biomedical Sciences at Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Chavis enrolled in Life University’s College of Chiropractic and has never looked back!
“I am amazed at the body’s ability to heal without the use of drugs or surgery when interferences to the nervous system are removed with chiropractic adjustments. What a privilege it is for me to wake up every morning to help just a few more people to enjoy a better life with better health!”
Dr. Chavis has been licensed to practice chiropractic by the Georgia Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the Louisiana Board of Chiropractic Examiners. During her years as a chiropractor, Dr. Chavis has had the pleasure of providing chiropractic adjustments for families, pregnant mothers, babies, kids, athletes, those suffering from personal injuries sustained in car accidents, and of course wellness patients. Dr. Chavis has also been privileged to provide chiropractic care to pregnant mothers and has had success in using the Webster Technique to decrease intrauterine constraint to allow for normal, optimal fetal positioning.
Dr. Chavis is also excited about providing Chiropractic Care to businesses as a Wellness at Work service. We are allowing employers the opportunity to provide easily accessible, eco-friendly chiropractic care to their employees onsite at their location. YES!!!
Along with being a chiropractor, Dr. Chavis is also a travel agent and photographer. She enjoys traveling, enjoying Acadiana, working out, and spending time with family and friends!
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Chavis:
ABC Rehab & Chiropractic
1304 Bertrand Drive, Suite B-4
Lafayette, LA 70506
Cheylon Woods: Head of Ernest J. Gaines Center
Cheylon Woods is the Head of Ernest J. Gaines Center, Archivist, and Associate Professor in the Edith Garland Dupre Library. Throughout her scholarly career, Mrs. Woods received her Masters of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University, her Masters in Heritage Resources from Northwestern State University, and a dual bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Louisiana Tech University. Mrs. Woods is also a 2011 Institute of Museum & Library Studies fellow, where she worked as an archivist with HistoryMarkers (an oral history archive based out of Chicago) and the Alabama State Department of Archives and History. As a fellow Cheylon actively worked with communities and prominent figures across the country to fill in information gaps related to African American history in the state of Alabama. As the Head and Archivist of the Ernest J. Gaines Center, Cheylon has continued this work by facilitating the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of Rural Black communities throughout South Louisiana, like those represented in the work of Dr. Ernest J. Gaines. On UL Lafayette’s campus, Cheylon is on numerous committees-most notably the Diversity Advisory Committee-and works, and actively serves as the faculty advisor for the UL student chapter of the NAACP. Cheylon is also the only library faculty member to obtain Graduate Faculty status at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Mrs. Woods also created and maintains an academic blog about the work of Ernest J. Gaines to help bridge the Humanities information gap many international students encounter during their research.
Off-campus, Cheylon is actively engaged in numerous professional and community organizations. As a current member of the Louisiana Historical Record Advisory Board, Mrs. Woods works with archivists across the state to ensure Louisiana’s history is accessible and well preserved in every parish. Cheylon is also a founding board member of the Iberia African American Historical Society, and actively works with community organizations interested in building cultural spaces/museums in Acadiana. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, Society of American Archivists, Louisiana Library Association, the Association of the Study of African American Life and History, Louisiana Archives and Manuscript Association, and the Society of Southwest Archivist, to name a few. She has presented research at numerous national and local annual meetings, as well as designing and executing public programs focusing on topics like education, civil rights, gender roles, and Southern and African American literature. In 2021 her first edited text Through Mama’s Eyes: Unique Perspectives on Southern Matriarchy was published, and this was a co-edited collection with Dr. Kiwana McClung. Cheylon has also published scholarly articles about ethnic museums and libraries as sites of experiential learning and continued education in the archival profession. In addition to continuing to further her knowledge and encourage conversations on and related to the works of Dr. Ernest J. Gaines, Cheylon is currently working towards a PhD. in Folklore and researching diversity, equity, and inclusion in information repositories as well as the Ernest J. Gaines in the world of digital pedagogy.
Ruben Henderson: Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment @ the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Ruben Henderson currently serves as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing and Legal Studies) and his Master of Business Administration from the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is preparing to begin his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership in August 2023 at UL Lafayette. Ruben is dedicated to making an impact in higher education and the community. In addition to serving on several major university committees and conducting various professional and leadership presentations, he serves as the advisor of the Black Male Leadership Association and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. For the third year, Ruben has served as an adjunct faculty member at UL Lafayette teaching a freshman seminar course titled, Black Male Leadership. His current involvement in the community includes serving on the following boards: Miles Perret Cancer Services, the Hilliard Art Museum, and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Louisiana. Ruben is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXIX (29) and currently part of the University of Louisiana System Management and Leadership Institute (cohort six). Within the UL System, he also serves on the Black Male Advisory Council and is a campus facilitator for the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program. He is the President for the Black Faculty and Staff Association at UL Lafayette, President for the Christiana Smith African American Alumni Chapter, and President for the Louisiana Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators. Some of his recent achievements include the Carreathers-Scott Innovative Advisor Award at the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference, Tribute to Excellence Award with the National Association of University Women, Southwest Champion of Service Award with Volunteer Louisiana, Sunbelt Conference Faculty of the Year Award, Outstanding Graduate and Professional Student Award with the Louisiana Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators, Dean Mary Olive McPhaul Award with the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, the James Callier Servant Leader Award with the University of Louisiana System and the Future Leaders Award with the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and Louisiana Black Caucus Foundation. Ruben was selected as the 2020 Grand Marshal and was crowned the 2022 King Toussaint L’Ouverture, LXIII (63) for the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival. This was the first formally organized African American Mardi Gras krewe in the city. Mr. Henderson works tirelessly to create a supportive university and community climate for Black students through visibility, communication, engagement, and educational efforts.
Shamika Mamou: Community Outreach and Loan Officer with Lafayette Community Development Fund
Shamika Mamou is a real estate professional with experience in lending and notary public closings. Currently, Shamika is a Community Outreach and Loan Officer with Lafayette Community Development Fund, where she assists first-time home buyers with down payment assistance. Additionally, Shamika is an Adjunct Instructor at South Louisiana Community College, where she facilitates notary public exam prep courses. Shamika received a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from Louisiana State University. She’s an MBA candidate in Finance at Louisiana State University at Shreveport, with an expected graduation date of August 2023. Also, Shamika completed ministry school at Ever Increasing Word Training Center. With an unwavering passion for service, Shamika utilizes a platform created from her skillfulness in problem-solving, empathy, and integrity to cultivate trusting and respectable connections. As a change agent, she strives to empower others by educating, motivating, and facilitating processes that provide transformative experiences. Shamika serves on the Board of Directors for the Leadership Institute of Acadiana. She is a Junior League of Lafayette member and a school champion for Alice Boucher Elementary through their partnership with Love Our Schools.
Karen C. Dugas: Owner of Above the Limit LLC
Karen C. Dugas, M.Ed. is the owner of Above the Limit, LLC, a tutoring company that provides tutoring services for students in grades K-12 and an outstanding ACT Prep program that helps students qualify for scholarships. Mrs. Dugas is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College and Louisiana State University Shreveport. She has taught in the public and private school systems for over 20 years. She is the founder of Beyond the Bus Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit chartered to provide free college and career workshops, as well as, free ACT Prep classes for students who are motivated to attend college, but do not have financial access to quality ACT Prep programs. Her most recent endeavor has been AIM High, a homeschool option families to foster a love of learning through exposure and experiences. Mrs. Dugas loves meeting new people and traveling. She is married to the love of her life Riveny Dugas, Sr. and they have six adult children ages 21-25.
Kiwana McClung: Chief Diversity Officer: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Kiwana T. McClung is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture & Design and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. A graduate of Louisiana State University's School of Architecture and Design, Kiwana is nationally recognized for her research and efforts toward increasing diversity within a school of architecture and equitable, inclusive curricula. In her role as Chief Diversity Officer, Kiwana is responsible for fostering diversity among students, faculty, and staff, as well as ensuring that underrepresented groups have equal access to educational opportunities and resources.
Prior to joining the faculty at UL Lafayette, Kiwana worked as an Architectural Designer for several firms around South Louisiana. Since starting at UL Lafayette in 2013, she has served as the faculty advisor to the UL chapter of NOMAS, the student organization for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and also chairs several committees at the university including the Diversity Advisory Council and the Graduate Council's Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee. She was recently recognized by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as their 2021 Eminent Scholar in Leadership and Service, one of the highest honors awarded by UL.
Tremika Cleary: Owner of Defined Resolutions
Tremika Cleary a native of Franklin but resides in Carencro. She is a mother of 2- a son (25 years old) and a daughter (11 years old). She stewards a company called Defined Resolutions as an Engagement Specialist and Facilitator of Behavioral Change. Their mission is to "Promote the Power of Mindful Practices" via training, coaching, and consulting. She's also been a Professor of Psychology for over five years at South Louisiana Community College and the University of People, a global institution. She has a background in therapeutic practices with over ten years of experience as a Master's level practitioner and clinical supervising. Her passion is to promote self-awareness through the teachings of Emotional Intelligence, which impacts how we interact and engage personally, professionally, and socially with others. Outside work, she loves to volunteer for various causes, especially youth and mental health; spend time with my family, and SLEEP. Her scripture for this season in her life is Matthew 7:16; "You will know them by their fruits."
Dr. Enola Pillard: CEO of Ashanti Enterprises
Dr. Enola Pillard is CEO of Ashanti Enterprises. A trailblazing woman of God - a forerunner - her core values and beliefs have granted her access to the wisdom that there are no limits and no boundaries in a life lived by faith. With diligence, persistence, and determination she has demonstrated that each of us can be brave, courageous, and unstoppable - soaring like eagles. She knows that reaching for the stars and never giving up will lead to success. Dr. Pillard has been a passionate hairstylist of 29 years. Through continued education in her industry she not only became a licensed Cosmetology Instructor, but also obtained her Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees in Cosmetology. Furthermore, she pursued additional course work to become a Certified Trichologist, as well as a Holistic Hair Practitioner. Through her journey she also attended numerous summits, hair shows, bootcamps, conferences, as well as a mentorship academy to stay updated on the latest trends. Dr. Pillard has obtained numerous certifications through extensive training in order to provide the best service possible.
Commitment to her divine purpose has led Dr. Enola Pillard to also become a life coach, educational mentor, and motivational speaker. She has been featured in various magazines, on numerous talk shows, podcasts, tv shows, and as a guest speaker at graduations, conferences and author book tours. As an educator she is also imparting her knowledge and skills to upcoming barbers and stylists as a member of the staff of a local college in her hometown.
Her passion for the beauty and wellness industry – both inward and outward – as well as a heart of compassion for others led her to share her gifts and talents at home and abroad. As a bestselling author of children's books, prayers for entrepreneurs, coaching, devotional, and inspirational books, she shares her struggles and victories, allowing her testimonies to inspire others to be their best selves and to reach their personal goals and dreams. Also, she has participated in Anthology projects such as Cosmo Chronicles, Trailblazers Who Lead, What's Your Superpower, Prayers and Affirmations, and Love Letter To My Daughter to demonstrate her support for the work of amazing peers in her industry. Dr Pillard discovered that each success is not final, and each failure is not fatal. We must continue to pursue excellence regardless of the outcome of any given endeavor. What matters is the courage to continue striving, knowing that healthy ambition creates a path, and persistence causes you to continue on your journey to fulfillment of purpose.
Gerren Benoit: Real Estate Professional at Robbie Breaux and Team
As a Lafayette native and real estate professional, Gerren recognizes and values the trust his clients place in him and strives every day to exceed their expectations. A member of Robbie Breaux & Team since 2018, Gerren works with individuals and investors who are interested in buying or selling property.
Prior to entering real estate, Gerren served in the United States Navy. These experiences instilled the discipline it takes to build strong habits. His business has grown successfully and consistently thanks to repeat transactions of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors.
Outside of real estate, Gerren takes pride in giving back to the community and serves as a youth basketball coach for Cajun Sports Association. He also serves as a Board Member of The Family Connection, Inc., an organization that provides individuals aging out of the foster care system with the resources necessary to be successful.
JoHanna Babineaux-Zeno: Owner or En'Juice Me Inc.
JoHanna Elaine Babineaux-Zeno
Born and raised on the north side of Lafayette, Louisiana. Graduate of Northside High School & South Louisiana Community College. JoHanna is not only a leader at heart, but leads in a community which her roots were established.
JoHanna is A Proud Wife to the Amazing Terrance Zeno and Grateful Mother to 3 Beautiful Daughters (Shania, Amiya & Cadence Elaine) as well A Fur Mommie of 2. She is an Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, Author & A servant at heart. Building and Lifting others is her heart posture and desire.
She is the owner of the Locally Known Juice Business “En’Juice Me Inc” which is an all natural cold pressed fresh juice company. With recently completing the program Accelerate Northside, JoHanna has been able to expand and grow her business to new heights. JoHanna’s ultimate goals are to teach others the different benefits of juicing and how we are as strong as what we put inside our bodies. Getting people to enjoy a healthy beverage while bringing a smile to their faces.
She is also the Co-Owner of The Business “Handz On Services” that specializes in Floor Installment, customized Showers and Backsplashes. As well as the Founder and Host of the Podcast Un•Comfor•Table that believes in the Phase “In Order for you To Heal, you must talk about it”. There’re so many different hats that she wears, but hosting events with her family and friends is by far her favorite. Beside a good Brunch with her girls and the enjoyment of doing life with others.
This Is The Girl who is known as Joh!
Dr. Marquia Whitehead: Owner of Dr. Kia Consulting
Dr. Marquia Whitehead is an award-winning professor, DEIAB strategist, life and career coach, professional writer, and entrepreneur who possesses a Doctorate in Education, specifically Educational Leadership. Additionally, she received a Graduate Certification in Professional Writing. Starting her career at Louisiana State University as an English Professor, she previously served as an Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment and an Assistant Director of Retention & Strategic Initiatives. She also served as the Director of Education at Blue Cliff College. Currently, she is the owner of Dr. Kia Consulting, DEI Sensitivity Reviewer, Project Based Writer, Contract Professional Development Instructor, Instructional Coach & Facilitator, Adjunct English and Research Professor at several colleges and universities, and College Advisor. Dr. Whitehead’s doctoral research entitled African American Women in Leadership in Higher Education and the Glass Ceiling has won awards and been presented at several conferences. She is also the creator of a book club – Catch That Read! Her passion and research consist of all aspects of education; diversity, equity, and inclusion; people of color and literacy; disenfranchised communities; retention for marginalized groups; diversity and inclusion; and women’s empowerment and leadership. She is also currently a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana and member of Leadership Lafayette’s Class XXXV. Collectively, Dr. Whitehead has over ten years of experience in education. Personally, Dr. Whitehead enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and overall enjoying every aspect of life.
Rayvin Chevalier: Owner of Blackbird Botanica
Rayvin is one who believes in her family's lineage of praying
and healing. Born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, she was
influenced by her Creole culture. Since the age of 12, Rayvin was always busy with a brand now and sometimes old, enterprising endeavor. She's an author and also does freelance photography. She's dipped and dabbed in almost any and everything. She's even a certified doula, (one live birth under the belt, not too bad).
She became a certified ICTC Full Circle Doula in 2012. In learning of naturopathic methods, she fell in love with the taste and body of tea.
Her favorite tea was a breast milk tea which kept her going on to breastfeed her two babies for a total of 4 years. There was never a fascination with any tea in particular until January of 2020, when her husband and her kids, as well as herself, fell sick with severe cold-like symptoms.
With what was the only thing that alleviated the symptoms (after 30 long days of the worst cold she'd ever experience), Rayvin developed the premiered product of Blackbird Botanica, Brave's Brewed Manglier Tea. Her family's remedy.
"To live 100 years ago, is to live for 100 years."
Jawaski Deal LPC, NCC: Owner/Lead Therapist of Believe Iberia Counseling
Jawaskie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. He is trained in Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and TeleMental Health by the Telehealth Certification Institute.
Jawaskie is a native of New Iberia, LA. Upon graduation from high school, he went on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Immediately after, he was accepted into graduate school at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX, where he completed his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
During this time is where Jawaskie found his passion for working with adolescents and young adults. Jawaskie interned for over 700+ hours with the Youth Opportunity Center in Lafayette, LA. This position focused on facilitating both juvenile and adult Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups and changing offender behavior groups. This position also created opportunities for extensive experiences with teen and young adults within the court system.
Jawaskie also worked for the 15th Judicial District Juvenile Drug Court Program in Lafayette, LA. From this experience he was able to learn more about diversion programs for teenagers and how they create opportunities for second chances for the youth. In addition, this position created exposure to gain insight into adolescent addiction and substance use.
Upon leaving the 15th Judicial District Court, Jawaskie would then join the 16th Judicial District Family Service Division where instruments and assessments such as the JIFF, Savory, and Maysi-2 were used to provide various services for struggling families with truancy and early childhood behavioral issues.
Wanting to gain more insight into family counseling, Jawaskie would then go on to work as a Functional Family Therapist (FFT) for three years. While working as an FFT therapist, Jawaskie was able to provide outpatient counseling services across the Acadiana area. This evidence base model focuses on learning family behavioral patterns involving the adolescent, demonstrating how those behaviors are relational to the household and providing possible solutions to interrupting those behaviors.
To continue in diversifying his skill set, Jawaskie began working as a Licensed Mental Health Professional with Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services. Jawaskie provided individual counseling and other clinical services to clients enrolled in ACT. This population of clients meet the requirements of need for High Intensity Outpatient services; and all are diagnosed with at least one of four psychiatric diagnosis; major depressive disorders, schizophrenia, schizo-affective, and/or bipolar disorder. Client ages ranged from early to middle adulthood.
Jawaskie is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Chi Sigma Iota (a professional academic honor society for counselors), a member of the Louisiana Counseling Association, 2022 Acadiana Top 20 Under 40 Honoree, 2022 Iberia Parish Top 20 Under 40 Honoree and a graduate of Leadership Iberia Class of XXII.
La'Toya Guillory: Owner of Empowered with Purpose LLC: Season 3 Introduction with Guest Host Kevin Guillory Sr.
Welcome to Season 3 of my Purposely Driven Podcast. I am so excited to be back with you all in the new year. I thoroughly enjoyed having all of our guests last year and I have some very special guests to share with you this season as well. Before I do that, I thought I'd kick season three off a little differently. My sweet husband will be guest hosting this episode as I reveal a little bit of my story. Tune in, you don't want to miss it.
Brittany Lacour Deal: LEDA Director of Business Intelligence
Brittany LaCour Deal is the Director of Business Intelligence at the Lafayette Economic Development Authority in Lafayette, LA. She is responsible for research planning and oversight, GIS mapping, economic impact studies, real estate site evaluations, special projects and more. Brittany has acted as project lead for many critical research and special projects, such as, the University Avenue Corridor Initiative, America’s Competitiveness Exchange-Louisiana, and LEDA’s Covid Community 311 Response and Grant Program.
Brittany also acts as the LEDA rep for the City of Carencro and Carencro Business Association and serves as a board member for the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce and The705 Young Professionals Organization. Brittany has been employed by LEDA for over 8 years and has earned the coveted IEDC Certified Economic Developer Certification after completing a three-year program with Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute. In 2019, Brittany was honored as one of Acadiana’s Top 20 under 40 Young Professionals.
Serving as a volunteer board member for the JS Clark Leadership Academy in Opelousas, LA, Brittany advocates to improve the education standards and after-school opportunities of the predominately African American and economically distressed student base. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. through which she has done countless hours of volunteering for various organizations within the community and mentoring young women.
Brittany graduated with her Bachelor’s in Communications from UL-Monroe in 2012 and her Master of Science degree in Communications from UL-Lafayette in 2015. Later in 2019, Brittany also became a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXXII. In addition, she has completed the basic and advanced level of Dale Carnegie Training and was awarded the Highest Award of Achievement in her 2017 class.
Brittany married her college sweetheart, Jawaskie Deal, of New Iberia, LA, in 2016 and plans to grow her family, career and business ventures in Acadiana for many years to come. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys traveling, event planning, baking cupcakes and highly competitive game nights with her family and friends.
Monique Loviel: Founder of Monique Loviel Coaching and Consulting
Monique Loviel is a multi-faceted woman with a multi-dimensional anointing. She is a Mother, Prophetic Intercessor, Prophet, Marketplace Ministry Strategist, Author, Accredited Board Certified Christian Counselor, Registered Social Worker, Master Certified Purpose Development Coach, and Entrepreneur. The multifaceted, Monique Loviel McCray was called to ministry in 2012. After holding several purpose-driven positions within the faith community, Monique launched eMy Girls Inc., a faith-based organization for Teen Girls (13-18). In 2016, she was ordained as an Evangelist at New Creation Church under the leadership of Apostle R.E. Jones. Monique says her passion for ministry comes from witnessing the daily struggles of women in her family, single mothers, and the millennial generation. “The burden of Single Mom, Youth, and the Millennial is heavy on my heart,” she says. “I am inspired by many generals of Faith that took up the mantle and truly dedicated their lives to carry out the mission to seek the lost and lead them to Salvation."
With the success of eMy Girls Inc., In 2018, Monique McCray was able to give birth to #BABESNOMORE is ministry designed to equip young adults who want to raise the bar in their knowledge of Christ and walk out the process. Through her ministry, Monique has been commissioned by the Father according to Isaiah 61:1 in this dispensation to bring healing and deliverance to the new breed of believers who are arising in this hour, The Millennials. BABESNOMORE LIVING TO THE MAX! Ephesians 4:14
Currently, Monique operates The Mastermind Agenda (formerly The Perfect Scribe), a business assisting Kingdom-driven businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations to develop effective strategies to launch or expand in the marketplace. Also, she is the owner of Monique Loviel Coaching & Consulting. She provides one on one and group coaching to individuals seeking to thrive beyond trauma. Monique spreads her ministry daily through her Facebook Live Shows Living to the Max with #BABESNOMORE, the House of Freedom’s Freedom Call, Midweekly Facebook Live, and Clubhouse'rs room.
Monique serves as Community Liaison Coordinator at United Way of Acadiana where she advocates for accessible resources on the behalf of needy individuals and families in need and the community as well as bridging the gap between community leaders, residents, and community agencies.
Look for Prophetess Monique McCray's upcoming book, Masterminding Your Kingdom Agenda and The Playbook.
Brandy Landry: Principal Designer and Owner of 1123 Matte Black LLC
Brandy Landry, a native of Lafayette, LA, is an entrepreneur with a passion for people, interior design, and developing strong personal brands for entrepreneurs. Brandy channels over 15 years of creative direction, leadership, and communications experience into all that she does. Brandy attended The University of Southwest Louisiana where she initially majored in Elementary Education, later changing her major to Business Administration. After being involved in a life-altering automobile accident and undergoing extensive surgery and hospitalization, Brandy discovered a love for the medical field. She changed the entire direction of her educational focus which resulted in a degree in the medical field. She spent a tenure that spanned over 10 years in various positions in the corporate medical sector prior to launching two successful companies of her own. After creatively designing her very own beauty boutique that got rave reviews from the masses, Brandy’s interest in interior design and decorating was further sparked. Brandy is the Owner and Founder of 1123 Matte Black, LLC, an Interior Design + Build Firm that specializes in Luxury Residential New Construction, Remodels, and Interior Decorating. In the interior design and decor world, Brandy is known for her creative vision and dedication to functionality and aesthetics in all of her designs. 1123 Matte Black formerly known as Brandy Landry Interiors won Times of Acadiana Best of 2020, 2021, and 2022- Interior Design. Brandy possesses an extensive project portfolio to include celebrities, businesses, and a host of other residential remodels and new development interior design projects. Most recently, Brandy received recognition for designing the Center of Hope Opportunity and Success for Lafayette Housing Authority. This multifunctional center provides the residents of the housing authority access to computers, a reading space, and smart board media access. It also serves as a space for internal professional development for the LHA staff and GED classes. Not only is Brandy known for her ability to design interiors, she is also widely known for her ability to develop and design PEOPLE! Yes! PEOPLE. Brandy is a Personal Branding and Communication Strategist for entrepreneurs, millennial entrepreneurs in particular. Brandy loves working with millennial entrepreneurs due to her remembering what it was like not having access to a “Brandy Landry” when she was a millennial treading entrepreneurial water for the first time. Brandy is also a frequently sought after public speaker whose speaking platform typically consists of speaking on topics ranging from ‘The Power of The Personality in Business’ to ‘Challenging the Status Quo’ as it relates to Changing the Face of Traditional Business.
Chris Arceneaux: The Head Golf Professional at Jay and Lionel Hebert Golf Course
Chris Arceneaux grew up in Louisiana seeing many of his young friends not having an opportunity or positive direction in their life needed on a consistent basis to be successful. He was fortunate enough to have a neighbor who steered him down a different path by giving him his first golf club in his early teens. This stayed with Chris throughout his childhood and impassioned him to make a difference in the lives of youth.
Through The Darby Foundation and Generations Sports Management, Chris brings opportunity, purpose, and focus to those individuals that would not otherwise be exposed to such life-altering experiences. His career includes being a Professional Golfer; the Head Golf Professional at the course he got his start at growing up, Jay & Lionel Hebert Golf Course; Assistant Golf Professional at Cherry Valley Club in New York; Assistant Golf Professional at Quail Valley Club in Florida; Founder and CEO of The Darby Foundation, Owner of Generations Sports Management LLC; Adjunct Professor at Nassau Community College; Mortgage Banker; and Celebrity Brand Ambassador for Mercedes-Benz and other notable brands just to name a few.
With strong passion, resiliency, and unwavering commitment, Chris has always found a way to achieve his goals no matter the obstacle. From learning the game of golf as a teenager to being a top sales earner in the finance and mortgage industry as a banker, he has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and seeks to share his experience by creating pathways for success. He credits this drive to his young days when he found golf as a way to channel his energy and talents into a positive pursuit. His lifetime goal is to turn the principles of business success into the principles of human significance.
Jakeitha Prejean: Math and Science Educator, Author of R.E.S.E.T
Jakeithia is a native of Lafayette, La. She is a graduate of Grambling State University with a B.S in Physics and minor in Chemistry. She has an M.Ed from Grand Canyon University. She’s been an Science and Math educator for over 20 years and an entrepreneur for 15 years. Her hobbies are reading, kayaking, and traveling.
Her greatest accomplishments are establishing the first School of Greatness mentoring program where over 150 kids were mentored within 3 years and a the author of the book R.E.S.E.T ~ Re-evaluate Everything So Everything Thrives.
She loves to empower and encourage people to reach their full potential. She’s an ordained minister who has had to conquer many hard trials. She has discovered that her purpose is to help people navigate through life’s transitions. She has helped many people to thrive and be their best self. She coaches and provides accountability as people take the journey to R.E.S.E.T. as the RESET Coach.
Her favorite quote is, "Life is a journey of constant resetting".
Brandon Foster: Business Development Rep and Photographer
Brandon Foster is native of Amite, Louisiana and graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in finance. Brandon’s career has spanned over fifteen years in the nonprofit sector and banking industry. Brandon’s current role is a Business Development Representative for Pelican State Credit Union. In this role, he works with existing and potential partners to assist their employees in reaching their financial goals. He is also owner of B Foster Photography LLC based in Lafayette, Louisiana. His passion for helping others shines through in everything he does. Brandon knows the work he does gives individuals the tools they need to experience financial freedom. This can change the entire legacy for a family. Brandon’s favorite quote is, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.” He understands the importance of financial knowledge to families no matter the income level. Brandon’s other community engagement includes serving as an Ambassador with One Acadiana, volunteering at Destiny of Faith Church, and being a member of Leadership Lafayette Class XXXIV. He has also earned the honor of being named a 2021 20 Under 40 Young Leader in Acadiana.
Grace Hamilton-Mayfield: Founder and Owner of Hamilton Academy of the Arts
Grace Hamilton-Mayfield a 1982 graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has advanced studies at Alvin Ailey School, Dance Education Teacher Certification at Western Kentucky University, and advanced studies at Texas Women’s University. In 1981 she Founded Hamilton Academy of the Arts (HAA) located in North Lafayette. In 1988 she expanded to Opelousas her hometown and founded the Hamilton Academy Performance Company (HAPC). In 2001 she developed a dance curriculum in accordance with long term objectives of existing lesson plans and organizational goals.
Grace served as an Artist in the classroom for 15 years with the St. Landry Parish School Board working with Special Needs children. She has served as the President of the Louisiana Alliance for Dance for the State of Louisiana and served on Dance grants review panels locally, statewide, and nationally. Grace has been appointed to many boards of directors. She was appointed Dance liaison for the City of Lafayette by the Mayor, and he declared June 9th Hamilton Academy of the Arts Day to honor her many years of service in the community. Hamilton Academy Performance Company has toured and traveled the US for the past 30 years performing at festivals, conferences, and other events. HAPC has opened for Ailey II in honor of Black History Month.
Grace has written, directed, and produced over 30 major productions
Implementing performing arts education as a tool for the purpose of integrating multi-sensory and interdisciplinary learning experiences compatible with a dance education curriculum for children. Each year she organizes a program showcasing students newly acquired talents in the performing arts. Her students have performed HAA Concerts on world class stages such as The Heymann Center for the Performing Arts, Acadiana Center for the Arts, ULL Angelle Hall, Cajundome, Booker T Washington School of Performing Arts-Dallas, Washington DC, Denver Co., Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta and many other cities across the nation. HAPC has been selected twice by Disney Entertainment to perform a 25 minute piece “A Taste of Louisiana Culture & Traditions” and are now honorary Disney Cast members.
Her business has received numerous local, state, and national awards. Grace has been the guest speaker at numerous conferences and events. As an advocate for dance, she has been an invited guest on all the local CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates. Her company has sponsored many events highlighting the importance of dance in the community.
Grace recently received the prestigious ULL College of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the first female and the first female of color to receive this award. She serves on the Advisory Board for the College of the Arts and the ULL dance search committee. She is a member of the National Association of University Women, Women of Wisdom(WOW) Acadiana Chapter, National Dance Education Organization, Raising the Barre, The International Association for Blacks in Dance, and CLI Dance Studios.
42 years ago, as a senior in college God called her to this Divine Purpose and she continues to answer that call and set the foundation for artist in our communities. She has trained over 4,000 students in the arts through her dance studio, artist in the classroom, and her company has been seen by tens of thousands. She continues to serve as an advocate for Arts and Culture and Acadiana.
Kandice Bateast: Host of the Goodbye Heartbreak Hello Purpose Podcast
Kandice is a wife, mother of 3, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, host of Goodbye Heartbreak, Hello Purpose, The Podcast, and the author of the soon to be released 365 day devotional Goodbye Heartbreak, Hello Purpose (October 1, 2022--release date). Kandice helps Christian women move forward from heartbreak through emotional healing, spiritual growth, identity work, and finding their calling. Kandice's mission is to see women healed, whole, and thriving.
Facebook Group link
Teka Briscoe: Soulful Songstress-LCG Development Planner
How would you best describe Teka Briscoe's vocal style? Soulfully versatile. Born and raised on the Northside of Lafayette, Teka Briscoe started singing in the church choir at age of seven. Over the years, her love of all musical genres and vocal performance has provided her with opportunities to work with artists throughout the country and abroad.
Teka was part of the opening acts for Gospel recording artist ,Tamela Mann and the World- renown jazz
musician Matthew Whitaker. She is a featured vocalist for international artists, like Latvia’s native son, Louis Fontaine & the Starlight Searchers and the Band, Port Vincent of Copenhagen. She’s performed with American Idol Star Joshua Ledet and our very own Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-stars along
with countless other artists like the legendary Lee Allen Zeno, Julian Primeaux Connie G and Blue
Teka Briscoe is a mother of three incredibly gifted children, a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is employed by Lafayette Consolidated Government as a Development Planner. She’s on
the praise team of Destiny of Faith Church and is a member of the Love of People Foundation- Blue Monday Mission, under the leadership of John Williams.
Lawana Stokes: Campus Director of South Louisiana Community College Abbeville
Lawana Stokes is an educator and leader with 30+ years of varied experience working with diverse student populations. She is currently the Director of South Louisiana Community College at the Gulf Area Campus in Abbeville, Louisiana and serves as an Adjunct Professor.
Ms. Stokes holds a bachelor’s degree from the former University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) which is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) and a master’s degree in Professional Marriage and Family Counseling. She was a member of the Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Basketball Team and currently serves as a mentor and ESPN Commentator for the team. Ms. Stokes was recently selected as an ULL Alumni Outstanding Graduate in 2021.
Ms. Stokes served as an educator and coach in the Iberia Parish School System prior to her transition to South Louisiana Community College for 23 years. She coached high school girls’ basketball at New Iberia Senior High and Anderson Middle School. In addition to coaching basketball at Anderson, she also served as a teacher and the head cheerleading coach.
While at South Louisiana Community College, Ms. Stokes has served in many capacities over the past 11 years. She has served as a Lead Tutor, Academic Advisor, Adjunct Professor, Admissions Counselor, Student Activity Coordinator, Interim Campus Director for four of the outer campuses and Perkins Outreach Coordinator. These experiences have allowed Ms. Stokes to embrace higher education and watch students grow into successful individuals.
She serves on the Vermillion Parish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, The Family Connection Board, St. John Baptist Church Board of Trustees, and Williams Scholar Academy Board. Ms. Stokes was selected to participate in the Chambers of Commerce Leadership Vermilion Class 8. This class will graduate 18 students on June 16, 2022.
When she isn’t working, you’ll find Ms. Stokes volunteering at numerous events in surrounding communities, mentoring youth in her church and youth groups within the Acadiana area, watching and attending sporting events, and spending time with her only daughter, LaRonna Stokes-Williams
Micah Nicholas: United Way Community and Family Engagement Coordinator
For Micah, community involvement & engagement is second nature.
Micah currently serves as the Community and Family Engagement Coordinator for United Way of Acadiana and Love Our Schools, an organization dedicated to engaging the community to improve lives through leadership and education. In this role, he works to lead CAFÉ efforts to increase, organize, and coordinate community-based resources in support of principals' strategies for increased community engagement on their campuses.
Originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, Micah has a degree in Psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration. During the pandemic, he also completed the University of South Florida’s Diversity and Inclusion & Inclusive and Ethical Leadership certificate programs. As a strategic thinker, facilitator, and youth development advocate, Micah works to connect the dots between developing the next generation and improving the communities they live in. When Micah isn’t working in his official capacity, he is busy lending his skills to other nonprofit organizations in the area. He currently serves as Board of Directors Vice President for Solomon House Food Pantry and is a member of the Iberia African American Alliance, African American Heritage Foundation, LPSS Gifted Advisory Panel, and Episcopal School of Acadiana Board of Trustees. In 2018, he was named as one of the Daily Iberian’s Top 20 Under 40.
Micah states, Purpose is the guiding light that has the power to pull you in the direction you're supposed to go.
Angela M. Morrison: Community Connector
Angela M. Morrison has an extensive history in community development and public affairs. Angela contributes her success to her commitment to serving the Acadiana community. She served on Women’s and Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees for over 12 years and now serves on Our Lady of Lourdes board of directors; is in the third year of serving on the One Acadiana board of directors, having co-chaired the 2021 Vibrant Communities Summit and serves as its governmental affairs committee chair since January 2021. She was elected by her peers from community development credit unions to serve on the board of their professional network, Inclusiv, representing Region 2 and was then elected to its executive board. In 2019, Angela was unanimously elected by the Lafayette Consolidated Council to the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority board of trustees. Angela also serves on the board of Hospice of Acadiana’s Foundation, supporting the only nonprofit hospice in Acadiana. She has served on the boards of, UL Lafayette Alumni Association (Past President and Government Affairs Chair), United Way of Acadiana, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Junior League of Lafayette (Past- President); Acadiana Youth; Workforce Investment (LA District 40), Acadiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster and the City of Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women (Past- President). Angela is a Class XV graduate of Leadership Lafayette. She is married to Curtis Morrison, they have two sons and four grandchildren.
Her commitment of service to the communities that she loves has been recognized by awards that include, 2018 University of Louisiana’s Christiana Smith Alumni Chapter Outstanding Alumni recipient, 2017 National Association of University Women’s A Tribute to Excellence honoree, 2015 Junior Achievement’s Richard E. Baudoin Friend of Business award, 2013 Women Who Mean Business honoree; 2011 and 2001 United Way of Acadiana Cornerstone award recipient; 2011 inducted into University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society as an Outstanding Community Member; 2007 and 2001 Lafayette LA City-Parish President Outstanding Citizen; and in 2005 Lafayette LA City-Parish Woman of Excellence honoree.
Curtis Hollinger: APLC
Curtis Hollinger is The Client Empowerment Personal Injury Lawyer who coaches injured victims in how to control their own car wreck cases so they too can have the opportunity to profit from their own car wreck settlement losses.
Since coming to Lafayette 1986, Hollinger has had the privilege of participating in numerous civic initiatives, primarily focused on raising the academic standards and performances of student-athletes.
Although being a client empowerment lawyer in his own law firm, Hollinger identifes as an athlete in his heart, mind and soul. His body only seldom shares this identity. He occasionally evokes his inner Yannich Noah to play and teach tennis. He also regularly rides his bikes, both casually and in dedicated time trial settings. And once a quarter, you might find him walking a golf course envisioning himself as Tiger Woods.
Hollinger's core life activities include lots of reading, lots of writing, asking lots of questions, trying to think a lot, having stimulating conversations, listening to lots of jazz and J Dilla, and always ready to laugh real loud - all without trying to say a lot.of words. He enjoys collaborating with DesignSzn to create artistic content and he enjoys contemplating to the music of Noa Jamir..
His primary role models are his mom and dad, followed by his tennis coaches, followed by Charles Hamilton Houston, followed by Socrates, with many others in between, and ending with Thanos.
His favorite word is "Clarity" and his favorite sentence is "Get understanding".
Hollinger can often be cited cycling somewhere in the city to a coffee house near you, with his computer in tow, to perform work, while sipping an Ethiopian pour over or honey latte, as the day begins, continues and ends.
Kelsey Sanders: Owner of Eat Fuel Fleurish
Kelsey Sanders is a native of Patterson, La. She moved to Lafayette in 2011 to attend UL. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration entrepreneurship from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Kelsey launched her first business, Eat Fuel Fleurish Meal Prepping Service. Eat Fuel Fleurish is a mobile food service company offering meal preps, meal planning and cooking demonstrations to promote healthier eating habits. Kelsey’s passion for food and healthier eating aroused after her father passed in 2009 from a heart attack. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes but with little guidance he didn’t make the necessary changes to live a healthier life.
Since launching Eat Fuel Fleurish, Kelsey has been able to offer her services beyond Lafayette. She been featured on the front page of the Acadiana Advocate, One Acadiana’s Small & Minority Business Highlight and named Times of Acadiana Best Chef.
When Kelsey isn’t cooking, she’s advocating against domestic violence. Kelsey is a teenage survivor of domestic violence and is using her voice to speak out for the voiceless. She currently serves as the Board of Directors President for Faith House of Acadiana and Chair for VOICES of Acadiana. Kelsey is also a member of the Lafayette Commission on The Needs of Women and a participant of Leadership Institute of Acadiana Class XXXV.
In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys creating new recipes, binge watching series on Hulu and Netflix, crafting DIYs working out and spending time with family and friends.
Dexter Portalis: Owner of BlackLove Touch Photography
Dexter Portalis is a spoken word artist, entrepreneur, photographer, life insurance agent and social media & branding specialist. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Marketing at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dexter is known for his ambitious drive and entrepreneurial mindset. He became well known in the Lafayette area for performing at Mic’D Out Monday’s at the Brass Room and other popular events in the city, being a founding member of campus organization PowerfUL Poets and touring Louisiana with poetry trio, Blacksmith. Dexter’s entrepreneurial career started in 2017 when he started Soulful Services LLC, an online social media marketing company helping clients attract, engage and grow their target audience. He currently operates BlackLove Touch, a photography and vinyl art & apparel company alongside his wife, Shaylin Portalis. Dexter is also a life insurance agent providing financial services and his knowledge of the industry to the community.
Alexander Lazard: Administrative Pastor at Destiny of Faith Church
For Alexander Lazard, bridging the divide between the business world and community work is second nature.
A Lafayette-native, Alexander currently serves as the Administrative Pastor at Destiny of Faith Church, a multi-generational congregation focused on spiritual, economic, and social development of people. In this role he is responsible for ministry capacity building and organizational marketing efforts while building community. He is married to Ferin Wiltz Lazard of St. Martinville (8 years) and they have two boys together – AJ (4 years old) and Kash (3 year old).
Alexander Lazard is a creative, strategic, and methodical professional with a history of entrepreneurial accomplishments, time-tested leadership skills, and an impassioned commitment to community service. With over 13 years’ experience optimizing operations and developing multi-year business plans for multiple high-profile organizations, Alexander has made forward-looking decisions that drive sustainable and scalable business growth; developed actionable strategies to maximize profit potential; and carefully shaped the processes and policies that sustain an efficient, productive, and financially sustainable organization.
Leigha T Porter Owner of Parc Village
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Leigha Porter M.Ed is the founder and artistic director of F.I.R.E. Expressions Performing Arts Conservatory, Co-Creator of The Creole Nutcracker ,a southern reimagining of the classic Christmas tale and theater production, incubator and owner of Â PARC Village, a Community Art Center and collective space that supplies resources for empowering creatives of color. For the past 8 years, Ms. Porter has served as an arts advocate, arts administrator, and movement artist and continues to serve the North side of Lafayette, a historically black and economically and culturally under-served community. Leigha was awarded a bachelor degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010, followed by a Masters of Education from Grand Canyon University in 2016. She has studied Theater Arts at Dillard University in New Orleans, trained in ballet, modern and jazz techniques with world renowned choreographers such as Debbie Allen, Lula Washington, and Walter Hull and has traveled the country teaching dance workshops and masterclasses. In 2015, Leigha attended the Horton Pedagogy Teacher Workshop at The Ailey School in New York City to study the Horton Technique and is a candidate with the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification, to allow her to teach this technique in her community and globally. Leigha provides community service as an adjudicator for the NAACP National Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics and has been the recipient of a number of awards, including 705 Top 20 under 40 (2022), the Delta Women in Business Award (2019), Spoken Red Enterprise Small Business Award (2019), and Grand Canyon University Success Spotlight (2019). In 2022 Ms. Porter was 1 of 18 selected for the South Arts Emerging Leaders of Color Cohort, a program representing the next generation of cultural workers and art administrators from across the country. Leigha has a reputation among her peers and colleagues as someone who is challenging perceptions about how to successfully engage and educate the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs of color. Leigha feels a sense of accomplishment when she is able to help the community expand their minds and capabilities through the use of artistic discipline and is consistently advocating for the arts to ensure kids and adults are exposed and inspired to the many forms art can take.
Herb Pucci Green: Pucci Percussions
Born Herbert J. Green, Jr, is from Lafayette, Louisiana and has always had a distinct appreciation for all types of music. As a 5 year old, Herb would sit on his father's lap to listen to the Louis Armstrong show on shortwave radio. His paternal grandmother, Miss Clara
B. Davis played box guitar and two great uncles play accordion and Zydeco music. Two of Herb's older sisters sang gospel music in his families home church and his two younger brothers played trumpet and trombone. Though music was apart of his legacy Herb and another sister gravitated towards athletics. As he grew, Herb never lost his love for the music he listened to with his dad. Herb began training himself by banging on countertops or whatever was around the house, he would keep rhythm with different groove patterns. After joining the Military in 1986, Herb met Hector Ruiz of Puerto Rico. Ruiz began to teach Herb different beats on Congas, Bongos and Timbales.
After the military, Herb moved to Atlanta to overcome some of life's disappointments and develop his skills as a percussionist. Linking up with saxophonist Abel Johnson who formed the Groove Band, a smooth jazz and cover band that found some success but broke up after a couple of years he also played for the English Ave Baptist Church Choir his first paying gig. There Herb met musicians like Ollie Woodson, Bobby Byrd, Roberta Flack, Phil Collins and many others who gave advice that he still follows today. His influences are Paulinho Dacosta, Luis Conte", Dr. Leonard Gibbs, Ahmad Jamal, Ralph McDonald, Tito Peuente and many other percussionist who bring the STANK to the music!!!! Moving back to Louisiana, Herb joined JB SAAX and THE BAND1 an explosive, controlled and musically articulate group of musicians where he continued to grow and mature as musician and percussionist.
Tonya Bolden-Ball: Owner of TBB Collective
Tonya Bolden-Ball holds a Master of Science in Leadership from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She earned a graduate certificate in Life Coaching from Grand Canyon University and completed Cornell University and University of South Florida Diversity and Inclusion certificate programs. Tonya is a certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. She is the owner of the TBB Collective and currently serves as the Regional Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Ochsner Lafayette General.
Some of her awards and recognitions include the Louisiana Association of Educator's Human and Civil Rights Trailblazer Honoree, LA Statewide Summit Delta Women in Business Honoree, Acadiana Lifestyle Magazine's Women Making A Difference Honoree, the Daily Advertiser/705 Top 20 under 40 Leadership Award, National Association of University Women (Lafayette Branch) Tribute to Excellence Honoree and the Kiwanis Southwest Citizen of the Year.
Her community and volunteer involvement span over 17 years in the Lafayette area. She serves as the mentor for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Black Women Leadership Association and one of the mentors for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Women's Basketball Team.
Her leadership involvement includes serving as the Louisiana Chair of Cluster 3 for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana's Board of Directors as well as Faith House Board of Directors. She is currently serving as the President of the Christiana Smith African American Alumni Chapter at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was reappointed to the Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission and recently appointed to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Board of Directors.
She is a graduate of the Leadership Institute of Lafayette and the Leadership Louisiana leadership programs. She is the writer and serves as the host of the Moments of Elevation segments that are aired daily on KNEK Magic 104.7 and 95.5 KRRQ FM radio stations. She is married to Kirk R. Ball, and they are the proud parents of Trevor and Kennedi.
Kramer McDaniel LCSW, BACS Agape Therapeutic Solutions
Kramer McDaniel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is the owner of Agape Therapeutic Solutions, a growing private practice. Kramer attained a Masters of Social Work degree with a certification in Gerontology from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Kramer has 11 years of behavioral health experience and focuses on healing holistically, Grief & Loss, overall life transitions and motivating others to live life on purpose. Kramer currently resides in Lafayette, Louisiana which has become home. Kramer enjoys trying new foods, traveling and serving at her local church. Kramer is also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc, Leadership Institute Acadiana Class XXXIV and most recently name as Acadiana's 2021 Top 20 under 40.
Kevin Guillory Office Coordinator UL Lafayette LEED Center
Kevin was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is a two-time graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Earning a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Marketing in 2006 and a Master of Business Administration in 2017. He has a diverse career background including two years as a full-time campus minister at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Kevin also has experience in Human Resources, Logistics & Supply Chain, and Higher Education.
Kevin currently serves as the Office Coordinator for the Louisiana Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (LEED) Center at UL Lafayette. This position allows him to work with entrepreneurs, students, and community organizations. These are all passions of his. Community involvement has been a very important part of Kevin’s life over the past ten years. He served for two years as Civic Committee Chair on the Board of Directors of The705 - Young Leaders for a Better Acadiana. Kevin currently serves as Secretary for New Hope Lafayette and President of the Board for The Family Connection, Inc. Kevin was named a Top 20 Under 40 Young Leader in Acadiana for 2017.
Relationships are very important to Kevin. He loves spending time with his family and friends. Helping others find their purpose and live it out is something that has always been important to him. He believes that everyone has something unique in them and we must live the life we are called to live.
Erica Fox: Owner of Attakapas Collective L3C
Erica Fox’s talent is as diverse as the culture of her Southern upbringing. Her music is characteristic of the down-home lifestyle she was nurtured in, flavored with a dash of Louisiana blues and a pinch of country soul. By middle school, she was writing voraciously and recorded her first song “Gotta Be With You” which played on local radio. At eighteen, Erica ventured to L.A. for college and landed a recording contract on MCA Records. Wanting to make a social difference through music, she co-created an after-school program with EMI Records teaching middle school students how to run a record company. She co-produced a 12-track CD entitled “Start the Conversation” advocating safety awareness for HIV prevention. Erica has traveled across the country, but when not teaching youth or entertaining others, Erica can be found utilizing her business skills as the curator for Attakapas Collective, a multicultural co-op and gift store in Downtown Lafayette. She is also involved in the community as a board member of the Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women and Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team. Erica states," Purpose always begins and ends with God. It's finding out what God placed in you to do and be and live in that.
Desiree Provost: Ochsner Lafayette General HR Manager
Desiree' is an alumni of ULL with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and received her Master’s in Organizational Leadership with South New Hampshire University. She started her career in Human Resources with Midsouth Bank as an HR Assistant in 2009. She is currently working with Ochsner Lafayette General as an HR Manager. She is known in the department as the HR Nerd and has a true passion for helping employees discover their why in what they do. Desiree' is currently serving as the 2021 Acadiana SHRM President and a member of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana Class XXXIV. Desiree’ is married to her best friend, Damion of over 21 years and they have a 7 year old son, Collin and a 1 year old furbaby, Bear Teddy.
For more information about Aylee's Angels visit www.Ayleesangels.com or email Desiree' at Ayleesangels@gmail.com
Faydra Nabers- Allen MHA
Faydra Nabers-Allen, MHA, is the Physician Practice Administrator at Opelousas General Health System in Opelousas, Louisiana. In 2016, Faydra enrolled in the MHA program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FRANU). As a leader within the Franciscan Missionary of Our Lady Health Systems at the time, she possessed a natural connection to the University's mission and values. Faydra fostered meaningful connection with the faculty and staff and became recognized as an influencer among her peers. In 2018 Faydra graduated with honors and began her career as a healthcare administrator. Faydra serves as the President of the FRANU MHA Advisory Board where her role focuses on connecting with faculty and staff, contributing to curriculum and program development, and cultivating leadership excellence amongst early careerists.
As a Physician Practice Administrator, she provides leadership to over 200 teams of physicians, mid-level providers, nurses and support staff. She is accomplished in business operations, strategic planning, and service excellence. Among her colleagues, Faydra is described as, "a visionary leader that values human connection and demonstrates the upmost professionalism and respect for all. She embodies the essence of human kindness and is strengthened in her faith and love for her family.”
Faydra also serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (LACHE) as Region 3 Representative. Her role focuses on connecting members to valuable resources for career advancement and healthcare management career development. Faydra also serves on the LACHE Diversity Inclusion Committee, where she supports diversity and inclusion strategies and educational seminars to achieve closing the gaps within healthcare workforces and improving healthcare for all.
Corey Frank: Spoken Red
Corey J. Frank, known as "Mr. Spoken Red" is one of the most familiar faces in the Arts & Entertainment industry. Corey J operates the Spoken Red Brand specializing in Marketing PR, photography, event planning and dance instruction. Carrying a strong drive and passion for youth and community affairs, Corey J advocates against bullying and for health awareness causes such as Sickle Cell, Lupus and Women's Health. Corey J serves on multiple boards including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana, United Way of Acadiana, LSU-E Foundation Board and a host of others. "Live life through the windshield, not the rearview mirror" is a motto Corey J. lives strongly by that he feels promotes optimism, evolution and tenacity.
Corey Jack: Jack and Associates LLC
Listen in as Corey Jack of Jack and Associates discusses overcoming the traumas of life to get to where he is today. Corey states that it is God, his family and inner circle that won't let him fail and push him to fulfill his life's work.
Keesha Buteau: COO of Girl Scouts of Louisiana Pines to the Gulf
Keesha is a wife, mom, volunteer, and all around leader in her community. Join me as we discuss the impact her family life and her relationship with God shaped the woman that she is today.
Purposely Driven Podcast Trailer
What does it mean to be driven by purpose? Listen in as I interview people within my community from all walks of life. Purpose looks different for everyone. That's what makes this world a beautiful place.
Mechelle Roberthon (CPTD, MCCT, MOS, MS)
Listen in as Mechelle and I talk about our innate desire to serve others and push people to be everything they were created to be.