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

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

White named interim VP

Mona G. White has been named interim vice president for business affairs at McNeese State University.

White has served as the university’s chief financial officer since 2001 and was responsible for managing all of the university’s accounting functions, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and cash management, preparing annual fiscal reports and working with the Legislative Auditor’s Office to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

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She has more than 30 years of financial and accounting experience and worked in the health care industry before joining McNeese.

White earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from McNeese.

Aspinwall named to litter taskforce

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Statewide Litter Abatement and Beautification, which will work to find policy solutions for Louisiana’s litter problem, educate the public and promote community litter abatement activities. Created by executive order and managed by the Keep Louisiana Beautiful program in the lieutenant governor’s office, the Task Force of 26 members will make recommendations to the governor by July 1.

Among the members are Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of Sowela Technical Community College, representing Louisiana’s Higher Education System.

La. USSSA inducts Hall of Fame

LAFAYETTE — The 2021 Louisiana USSSA Hall of Fame Class and Hall of Honor members were officially inducted into a prestigious class of USSSA athletes, officials and supporters.

This year, seven individuals were welcomed into the hall of fame, while three teams and a longtime sponsor were inducted into the Louisiana USSSA Hall of Honor. Among the hall of honor inductees were Visit Lake Charles.

“Youth sports play a major role in the economic impact of tourism for Southwest Louisiana with events that are held annually in the Lake Area. The staff at Visit Lake Charles is dedicated to ensuring the success of tournaments taking place in Southwest Louisiana, but beyond that, we strive for everyone involved to create lasting memories while vying for the chance to be named as champions by showcasing the area’s hospitality, culture, cuisine and attractions for visiting student athletes and their families,” said Kyle Edmiston, president/CEO, Visit Lake Charles.

Visit Lake Charles has been a vital partner of Louisiana USSSA for more than 20 years. Initially, the tourist bureau helped sponsor a small handful of USSSA baseball events each year. Today, Visit Lake Charles helps Louisiana USSSA host more than 20 annual tournaments, including three weekends of the Governor’s Games, two weekends of state tournament events, and the World Series.

Visit Lake Charles worked with Louisiana USSSA to bring National Pro Fastpitch to Southwest Louisiana, and the bureau has also sponsored numerous Louisiana USSSA Golf tournaments.

Visit Lake Charles’ investment in youth sports and USSSA led to local governments making major renovations to their playing fields and working to bolster youth sports participation. In addition, their partnership has allowed USSSA to make donations and other contributions to local law enforcement, high school athletic programs, and the non-profit group Ainsley’s Angels.

Blake named to advisory council

DALLAS — The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas has announced the appointment of four new members of its Affordable Housing Advisory Council (Advisory Council) and one reappointment.

Among them is Charla Blake, executive director for Lake Charles-based Project Build a Future, a nonprofit affordable housing builder, since 2017.

Prior to that role, she was the community development coordinator for the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana.

She also serves on the Lake Charles Historic Preservation Commission.

The Advisory Council is comprised of 13 representatives from state, community and nonprofit organizations in a five-state District who are appointed by the FHLB Dallas Board of Directors and advise the board on affordable housing and economic development issues.

Since the inception of FHLB Dallas’ Affordable Housing Program in 1990, FHLB Dallas has awarded $344.6 million through AHP and Homeownership Set-Aside Programs assisting nearly 60,000 households.

Hospital earns Gold Seal

Christus Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark by achieving Advanced Primary Stroke Center Certification.

Certified PSCs collect monthly data that is submitted quarterly to The Joint Commission. The Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission, is given to organizations that successfully undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years.

The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. The American Stroke Association Heart-Check indicates an organization’s commitment to the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients.

Christus Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review recently by The Joint Commission. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with the Primary Stroke Center program processes and procedures currently in place including program management, supporting self-management, delivering and facilitating clinical care and improving patient outcomes.

Dartez retires from Port of Beaumont

Kirby Dartez, son of Norman Dartez of Lake Charles, has retired from the Port of Beaumont, Texas, after 36years of service as a head of operations.

Dartez served a total of 45 years on the waterfront.

He started in Lake Charles with Lykes Brother Steamship Co. before transferring to Beaumont where he worked for Lykes and then Stevedoring Co. before ending at the Port of Beaumont.

Craven named Associate of Year

Chris Craven has been named the 2021 Associate of the Year for the New York Life Louisiana General office.

Craven has been a New York Life agent since 1993 and is associated with New York Life’s Louisiana General Office in Baton Rouge.

Chris has been named a member of the 2021 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top three percent of New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement and is also a member of the Mainstay Master’s Top Producers.