Chamber Dateline

Pictured left to right back row—Macy Dufrene, Holden; Grace Dugas, Denham; Cameron Hood, Walker; Tommy Fuentes, Denham; Austin Barnes, Denham; Evan Bergeron, Walker; Reeves Blankenship, Springfield; Jack Dalberg, Live Oak, Nathan Penalber, Holden; Eric Forbes, Holden; Caroline Taylor, Denham; Gabrielle Chenier, Live Oak.
Seated left to right—Jasmine Hendry, Albany; Katelyn Prescott, Walker; Krysta Mostert, Denham; Kaitlyn Rayborn, Doyle, Haleigh Jones, Doyle; Emily Beever, Doyle; Jessica Litolff, Holden.
Not Pictured—Shelby Chandler, Springfield; Samantha Hebert, Walker.

Chamber of Commerce announces scholarship winners; Supt. Wentzel gives State of Education address
The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce received numerous applications for Scholarship awards for 2017 and is excited to announce that 21 applicants received awards.
Livingston Parish Schools System Superintendent Rick Wentzel addressed the scholarship winners and their families, local officials and the members of the Chamber and presented an update on the status of the schools and the school system since the flood of August 2016.
Wentzel reported that 18 schools were damaged, as well as two central staff offices in Livingston. Wentzel noted that many teachers and other school staff had their homes flood as well as their schools, so they had two disasters to overcome. He praised the cooperation and tenacity of the system’s employees, students, parents, the Cajun Navy and the entire community who have pulled together to help one another, local businesses and the schools recover.
The parish school system lost 61 of 108 school busses and is currently leasing busses until new ones can be purchased. He estimated it will cost $2 million to replace them.
The parish schools lost almost 600 students compared to a year ago, due to families being dislocated by the flood waters. The superintendent expects families and students will continue to slowly return as more housing and jobs become available.
Removal of ruined furnishing and clean up and disinfecting of the school buildings cost almost $21 million, while repairs have thus far run about $4-5 million. He noted that all schools are back in operation, although some are at alternate locations. Seven schools are currently undergoing repairs, and two of the hardest hit, Southside Elementary and Denham Springs Elementary, are being evaluated to see if they can be repaired or will have to be torn down. He estimated that it may be three years before the schools returns return to their own campuses, and laid some of the blame for that at the doorstep of FEMA for slow response and extensive paperwork. He added that while the process can be frustrating, he is optimistic for the future.
Wentzel predicted, “When you talk about the state of education in Livingston Parish, great things are yet to come,” Wentzel said. “We’ve been knocked to our knees, but with everyone pulling together, going to take one step at a time.”
In closing, he quoted the late great UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, as advice to the seniors in attendance: “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.”

Chamber announces EXPO/Job Fair/
Flood Resource Row/Stirrin’ the Pot Cook off
The Chamber’s 2017 multi-event expo will be May 2, 3-6:00 pm at the Suma Center, Satsuma.
The event is free to job seekers and attendees. Exhibitors’ booths are available at great prices. See the Chamber website for a full list of booth and sponsorship options and reserve your space now.
With over 100 booths, this is the place to learn about many different businesses and what they offer, as well as tell hundreds of attendees about your business. There will also be community-oriented booths for non-profits, civic organizations and others who want to let the public know more about community causes, community resources and the FUN things to do in Livingston Parish!
Job seekers, be sure to check out our many booths of companies that are hiring throughout the parish and region. The Expo is presented by Jefferson Financial Federal Credit Union.

First LYP dodgeball tournament pronounced a success
Livingston Young Professionals held their first Dodge Ball tournament March 21. Sixteen teams participated, with over 150 players, organizers and observers at the event.
The organizers of the event included the Livingston Young Professionals Council headed by Jamie Seal of Quality Engineering and Surveying.
“The Livingston Young Professionals Dodge Ball Tournament was very well received by players and participants. Many are looking forward to the next one that the group will begin planning, possibly for a fall event,” stated Jamie Seal.
Some of the fun team names included Stewart Family Medicine’s “The Dodgefathers;” Postlethwaithe and Netterville’s “Itemize the Pain;” Hannis T. Bourgeois’ “Average Preauxs;” Exxon players’ “The Screwballs.”
First place winner was the Pelican State Credit Union team with members Emily Callender, Mark Moss, Kristin Rabalais, Erin McTernan, Krystal O’ Neal and Jordan Fortenberry. This mostly-female team dominated the court and had only one loss in the semi-final round, then came back in the final game to defeat Farm Bureau to earn the first place title.
2nd Place was Farm Bureau – Curt Nickels, David Bourg, John Kay, Amanda Kay, Toni Bourg and Larry Daigle; and 3rd Place – Lofton Staffing – Francesca DeLaune, Julie East, Patrick Shreve, Dana East, David DeLaune and Brian East.
Organizers included: Jamie Seal, Brittni Blankenship, Kevin Foster, Nikki Sokoro, Francesca DeLaune and Mel Robertson.

Save the Date:
Apr 21 – Ribbon Cutting: Peak Physical Therapy & Spectrum Fitness, 145 Aspen Square
Denham Springs, 1 – 2 pm
April 26 – Livingston Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon, 11:30 am – 1 pm, Greystone Country Club
May 2 – Chamber EXPO/Job Fair/Flood Resource Row/Stirrin’ the Pot Cook off, 3-6 pm, Suma Center
May 18 – Alliance Safety Council ribbon cutting, 10:30 – 11:30 AM,
29756 Walker South Road, Walker

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Worth the dues: Member to Member Discounts
Coming soon: Businesses will be utilizing one of the key benefits of being a member of the Zachary Chamber when they get a Member-to-Member discount on purchases from other participating Chamber members! More information on this opportunity will be coming your way soon!
Chamber Member Spotlight
In honor of Occupational Therapy Month we present: Moreau Physical Therapy. The mission of Moreau Physical Therapy is to serve their patients with the utmost professionalism in a friendly and caring environment and to assist those in need to help them reach their highest possible level of function.
Moreau Physical Therapy, 4845 Main St., Suite C, Zachary, LA, 70791; phone: 225.286-0181; fax: 225-286-0186; email:;
Zachary Maypole Celebration
Join your friends and neighbors May 13, 9 am – 1 pm, at the Zachary Depot on Main Street in downtown Zachary for a morning of gardening, music and arts, for the Zachary Maypole Celebration. The Maypole Dance will behind the Zachary Depot be performed by the Children’s Moving Company. Visitors can enjoy live music by local musicians from The Music Tree, face-painting, tours and great deals on artwork by talented artists from the Regional Arts Council and Zachary High School students. Just in time for Mother’s Day, the first 125 children can plant Zinnia Seeds as a take-home Mother’s Day Gift, assisted by local Girl Scout Troop #10145. Cub Scout Pack #72 will be on hand planting flowers behind the Zachary Depot. Tours of the Historical Depot will be given, and children will have an opportunity to “blow the train whistle” while on the tour.
Administrative Professional Awards
April is the month that recognizes all the hard work and dedication of Administrative Professionals! The Zachary Chamber is taking nominations on who you think deserves the award for Administrative Professional of the Year!
Give some credit to someone who puts their all into it every single day, going above and beyond! Click below to nominate now!
Contact the Chamber at 654-6777
if you have a job to post

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