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

Published 4:13 am Sunday, September 17, 2023

Allen named SAVE vice chairman

The Solutions to Achieve Viability and Efficiency (SAVE) Task Force was created after the approval of Louisiana Senate Concurrent Resolution 43 in the 2023 session and will focus on developing solutions to assist distressed Louisiana municipalities, many of whom are, due to a variety of reasons, currently facing financial doom. For some communities, this could mean the dissolution of their status as a municipality.

At their first meeting on Aug. 29, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, currently serving as the first vice- president of the Louisiana Municipal Association, was chosen as vice chairman of the committee.

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Cole joins Memorial Group

Lake Charles Memorial Health System is pleased to welcome Jessica Cole, MD, an obstetrics & gynecology physician, to its medical staff and to the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women.

Cole is originally from Moss Bluff. She received her undergraduate degree at LSU in Baton Rouge and her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans School of Medicine. Most recently Cole completed her OB/GYN Residency at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.

Linville joins trauma team

Lake Charles Memorial Health System is pleased to welcome general surgeon Eric Linville, MD to its medical staff, and as the newest physician to join the General and Trauma Surgery team.

Linville began his medical journey as a registered nurse, graduating summa cum laude in nursing from McNeese State University. He worked as a hospital registered nurse for four years before furthering his education by earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, where he graduated with honors in research.

He most recently completed a general surgery residency at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston.

A favorite hobby of Linville is to accompany medical mission trips. He enjoys providing desperately needed surgical procedures, direct patient care and wound care to people all over the world. With seven trips under his belt, he has provided care to people in Zimbabwe, Honduras, Tanzania, Kenya, and more.

Linville is seeing new patients at his clinic at 1717 Oak Park Blvd., at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Bellow named to Hall of Fame

Angelia “Angie” Bellow, chief administrative officer of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union, was inducted into the Louisiana Credit Union Hall of Fame at the Louisiana Credit Union League’s annual convention.

Her Hall of Fame honor comes as Bellow celebrates 30 years of service at SWLA Credit Union. Starting in 1993 as a member service representative, she advanced through the years to become chief administrative officer. During those years, she saw SWLA Credit Union grow from a $17 million financial institution to its present size of $170 million.

The Louisiana Credit Union League established the Hall of Fame to recognize the valuable leadership, dedication, and contribution of inductees like Bellow, “who have given their time, talents, and ingenuity to enhance and strengthen the credit union movement.”

Fuljenz receives service award

Lake Charles native Michael Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas, is recipient of the highest honor bestowed by the Congressionally-chartered American Numismatic Association, the largest organization of coin collecting enthusiasts in the United States. Fuljenz grew up in Lake Charles and graduated from LaGrange High School in 1972.

He received the organization’s 2023 Chester L. Krause Distinguished Service Award at the 2023 World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh.

The Chester L. Krause Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of numerous years of outstanding, dedicated service to numismatics. Fuljenz was also recognized with the association’s 2023 Philanthropy Award. In 2021, he was named Dealer of the Year and he received the organization’s Medal of Merit in 2014.

He has received dozens of awards from the Press Club of Southeast Texas and the Numismatic Literary Guild for his four books, weekly newsletters, and television and radio appearances about rare coins and precious metals.

Over the years, Fuljenz has also received awards from the Professional Numismatists Guild and the National Coin and Bullion Association for his consumer protection work combating counterfeits in the marketplace. He has been a significant contributor to consumer alerts released by the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General of Texas, and the Better Business Bureau.

Active in many community, education, and youth sports groups in Beaumont, Fuljenz serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the local Crime Stoppers organization. McNeese State University recognized his literary, business, and civic achievements and decades of service to the university by presenting him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2015, and Lamar University recognized him with a 3T (Time Talent and Treasure) Award in 2007.

Clemons to attend leadership class

Micah O. Clemons, attorney with Todd Clemons and Associates in Lake Charles, was selected for the 2023/2024 Leadership Class of Louisiana State Bar Association.

The Leadership LSBA Class provides information on how the LSBA functions as well as the pressing issues that face the Association and the legal profession. Each year, the leadership class produces a class project to address needs in the profession and the community at large. Previous class projects include the basics of practicing law with a focus on personal injury; military legal help videos, and legal issues the public encountered during the recent pandemic.

Clemons is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Southern University Law Center. He is a former law clerk for the Honorable Derrick D. Kee at the 14th Judicial District Court. He also interned for the Honorable Brian A. Jackson at the United States District Court, Middle District, and Attorney Adam P. Johnson at The Johnson Firm in Lake Charles.

Clemons is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Southwest Louisiana Bar Association and Southwest Louisiana Young Lawyers Section.

Hernandez joins Lakeside Bank

Lakeside Bank has named Christina Hernandez the assistant branch manager of its Oak Park location.   

Hernandez has been with Lakeside since 2019, working as a teller and then new accounts representative. Before joining Lakeside, she worked for seven years in customer service and administrative positions for a variety of businesses.

Originally from Jackson, Miss.,, Hernandez studied liberal arts at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., and marketing and computer technology at Scott County Career and Technology Center in Forest, Miss.

Lakeside’s Oak Park Banking Center is located at 2132 Oak Park Blvd.

Edmiston named board secretary

Kyle Edmiston, president/CEO of Visit Lake Charles has joined the 2023-2024 Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Destinations International, the global trade association for convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards.

CPSO deputies recognized

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Motors deputies recently competed in the Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Championship in Gonzales.

The competing deputies, Sgt. Casey Steech, Sgt. Jeremy Dansby Sr. Cpl. Jordan Trahan Sr. Cpl. Sam Smith, Cpl. Kerrick Gabriel Jr. and Cpl. Alex Jones put in over 40 hours of competition time.

Dansby placed sixth in expert division; Steech placed 10th in expert division; Trahan placed seventh in the novice division; and Gabrial placed 10th in the challenge course.

The event raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research, said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso.