Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Published 12:44 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Bank FNBD  promotions

DERIDDER — Bank FNBD (First National Bank DeRidder) has welcomed the new year with the following promotions and new hire:

Robert “Robie” Touchette has been promoted to SVP, chief banking officer over Beauregard Parish and Calcasieu Parish.

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Matt Fruge has been promoted to SVP, chief operations officer.

Mandy Thomas has been promoted to AVP, commercial lender of the Sulphur branch.

Heather Hardy has been promoted to branch operations manager of the Sulphur branch.

Chad Blankenbaker has been hired as secondary market lender.


Council names 2022 board

The Board of Directors of the Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA appointed Randy Partin of the Amalash Corporation as its 2022 board president during its annual board meeting.

Partin has served on the Arts and Humanities board for four years.

The board also approved a new slate of executive committee members, including Jana Crain of Scofield, Gerard, Pohorelsky, Gallaugher & Landry Attorneys at Law as first vice president; Amie Herbert of KPLC as second vice president; Caleb Waldmeier of Merchant & Farmers Bank as treasurer; Logan Fontenot of First Federal Bank of Louisiana as secretary;  and Mitchell Woods of Merrill Lynch as member-at-large.

Twelve new board members were appointed to bring the total board members to 37. The board of directors now include Alyson Antoon, Ann Barilleaux, Charla Blake, Curry Burton, Aryca Bussell, Dr. David Chang, Ashley Chretien Williams, Dr. Philip Conner, Madison Crain, Daneisha Davis, Michael Dawson, Amanda Donaldson, Emily Dupin, Meghan Fleming, Michael Gardner, Robert Goodson, Karen Hartfield, Jennifer Jones, Nichole Lanthier, Tracy LeMieux, Allie Livingston, Angie Manning, Luci Mireles, Lauren Morris, Amy Nyberg, Jennifer Spees, Lindsay Taylor, Kristina Webster, Carolynn White, and Mary Williams.


Aguillard named to state board

Calcasieu Parish Assessor Wendy Curphy Aguillard has been named to the Louisiana Assessor’s Association 2022 Board of Directors.

Aguillard served the LAA as president, vice president and treasurer. She was honored previously by being named the 2015 Louisiana Assessor of the Year.

Aguillard started her career in the Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s office in 1996 and has served as assessor since her first election in 2011. She was re-elected to her third term in 2019.

She is a three-times Certified Louisiana Assessor with more than 700 hours of accredited IAAO and continuing education courses.


Alaribe named VP of mission integration

Christus Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana is excited to welcome the newest addition to its leadership team. Father Felix Okechukwu Alaribe, who is also known as Father Okey, recently accepted the vice president of mission integration position.

Okey is new in service to the Christus Ochsner campuses, but he has served as part of the Christus family for more than 14 years. In 2007, he became a resident chaplain at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System in Tyler, Texas, and then moved within the Christus system as a chaplain at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana.

Most recently, he served as the director of mission and spiritual care at Christus Shreveport- Bossier Health System in Shreveport.

In his role, Father Okey assists in safeguarding the ethics and integrity of Christus Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana as a Catholic health system. He will work in the community to form relationships with faith leaders and organizations, while identifying key needs and developing strategies and resources to address each one. He will also work to ensure Christus Ochsner Associates, patients and the community have access to quality spiritual care.

Manuel joins  M C Bank   

MORGAN CITY – Christopher LeBato, CEO of M C Bank, said “I am thrilled to announce that Maria Manuel is officially part of our leadership team and will serve as our general council and chief human resources officer. Her unique blend of legal and human resources experience along with her passion for helping others will play a key role in growing our community bank.”

Manuel comes to M C Bank from IberiaBank/First Horizon, where she served for seven years, first as regional director of human resources and then as director of associate relations.

Manuel graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and she then furthered her education at LSU, Paul M. Hebert Law Center where she received her Juris Doctorate and graduated with honors.

Prior to entering the banking industry, she practiced law for 18 years at the Onebane Law Firm in Lafayette.

Manuel is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Society for Human Resource Management and is a SHRM-Senior Certified Professional. She has held leadership positions in community and professional organizations, including as past state director of the Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management, past president of the Acadiana Society for Human Resource Management, past chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the LSBA, and is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way.


Bank welcomes Latiolais, DeLoach

Home Bank is pleased to welcome Kevin Latiolais as senior vice president/Acadiana market President and Bryant DeLoach as vice president/senior commercial relationship manager. Both new additions are joining the company after serving most recently in the commercial division at Hancock Whitney.

Latiolais brings 33 years of commercial lending experience to his new role at Home Bank, where he will lead the commercial team in Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana. Formerly he was the commercial banking group manager at Hancock Whitney Bank, and prior to that, he was with MidSouth Bank for more than 30 years, serving most recently as Southwest Louisiana Regional President.

Latiolais is a Breaux Bridge native and a longtime resident of Youngsville. He is known for his focus on community and relationship-based lending, and he attributes his success to growing loan portfolios through a focus on the unique lending needs of the client, whether large or small.

Latiolais is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in finance. He served in the Louisiana National Guard, and he is a master graduate of Rapport Leadership International. Latiolais is a board member and past treasurer for the Petroleum Club of Lafayette. He is a volunteer with United Way of Acadiana, dedicating many hours to hurricane response in 2020 after Hurricane Laura struck the Lake Charles area.

DeLoach is a native of Lafayette with 20 years of expertise in business banking and lending, most recently as Acadiana Middle Market Lender for Hancock Whitney. He’s a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in business management, and he serves on the Finance Committee at One Acadiana.


APG announces board members

The Alliance for Positive Growth has announced the appointment of five new members to their 2022 board of directors.

They are Dr. John Noble with Noble Development; Ryan Hess with Hancock Whitney Bank; Dean Roberts with Stream Wetland Services; Guy Richards with Rain for Rent, LLC; and Joe Banks with Liberty Plaza Properties. These new board members will serve a term of three years.

APG is an organization of professionals in the fields of real estate, development, construction and all other interested parties, working together to promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana. Since its founding in 2017, APG has grown to include 120 members. The group conducts regular meetings and events for its members and has active committees addressing the most critical issues affecting business growth in the region.

For more information about APG and membership opportunities, visit or call