Leadership Ascension highlights accomplishments of 27 graduates

Among the 2019 graduates of Leadership Ascension are, front row from left, Lauren Castine, Erica Page, Chabry Marks, Allison Ruffing, Bridget Marino, Kriste Rigby, Lynette Erlandson, Linda Molaison (METHANEX), Michelle Helfrich and Carrie LeBlanc; and second row, facilitator Liz Laurent, Jonathan Woolley, Joseph Gaudin, Gary Barbour, Chris Fontenot, Anthony Henderson, Jeremy Molley, Rick Jones, Bradley Ward, Rusievelt Vessel Jr., Glen Knight Jr., Byron McCaughey, Chris Haftek and Barker Dirmann.

Advocate Staff report - JUL 3, 2019 - 2:00 PM


A graduation ceremony for this year's 27 participants in Leadership Ascension was held June 20 in Gonzales. 

Members of the leadership class teamed up to research and implement a project to benefit the people of Ascension Parish. This year's projects were:

  • Boys & Girls Club Pathway to Ascension, which raised money to start a Boys & Girls Club summer program in Donaldsonville
  • Bully Proof, which partnered with the Ascension Parish School Board and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office to raise awareness of bullying
  • Helping Hands Building Community, which renovated and revitalized the ARC of Ascension’s respite center
  • Team of Dreams, which is working to establish a space where children and young adults of all abilities can play baseball.

Members of the winning Helping Hands Building Community team are Chris Haftek, Michelle Helfrich, Anthony Henderson, Glen Knight Jr., Carrie LeBlanc, Chabry Marks and Linda Molaison.

This year's participants in Leadership Ascension were: Gary Barbour, EATEL; Lauren Castine, Prestige Events Company; Barker Dirmann, Ascension Chamber of Commerce; Mia Edwards, Ascension Parish School Board; Lynette Erlandson, Shell Chemical Geismar; Chris Fontenot, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office; Joseph Gaudin, Shell Chemical LP; Chris Haftek, Domain Architecture; Michelle Helfrich, BASF; Anthony Henderson, Ascension Parish Government; Rick Jones, Neighbors Federal Credit Union; June Julien, Ascension Parish Clerk of Court; Glen Knight Jr., Hancock Whitney Bank; Dean Landry, OLOL Ascension; Carrie LeBlanc, Brothers Correctional Services; Bridget Marino, Ascension Parish Government; Chabry Marks, OLOL Physicians; Byron McCaughey, Rubicon; Linda Molaison, Methanex USA; Jeremy Molley, Active Martial Arts; Erica Page, Pelican State Credit Union; Kriste Rigby, Grace Hebert Architects; Allison Ruffing, BASF; Rusievelt Vessel Jr., City of Gonzales; Bradley Ward, Ochsner Health System-Baton Rouge; Jonathan Woolley, Garcia Roofing and Sheet Metal; and Ashley Wooters, BASF.

Leadership Ascension started in 1996 with the mission of preparing emerging community leaders for leadership positions in local government and business. The 10-month program accepts students by application only and offers team-building and educational sessions covering topics such as economic development, health care, project management training, and cultural diversity.

To apply or learn more about Leadership Ascension, visit www.ascensionchamber.com or call (225) 647-7487.