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Latest News & Happenings: Forum 35 Press Releases

Forum 35 Announces 2019 Barton Leadership Cohort

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   (0 Comments)
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BATON ROUGE, LA. September 24, 2019 - Forum 35 announced the members of its premier training program, the John W. Barton Sr., Community Leadership Development Program 2019 cohort. The selected participants make up the largest and most diverse class in the program’s history, representing a cross section of Baton Rouge’s business, civic, and non-profit sectors.


Members of the 2019 cohort include:


·         Jason Avelar, Baton Rouge Area Chamber

·         Maya Bennett, BASIS Baton Rouge

·         Kirbie Buckles, Wolters Kluwer

·         Paul Cassisa, Elifin Realty

·         Kaneisha Chaney, Nonprofit Consultant

·         Locke Chauvin, McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC

·         Amy Cimo, Community Coffee Company

·         Dr. Joshua Davidson, Williamson Eye Clinic

·         Amy DeJean, Robert Half

·         Caitlin Demarest, Diane Allen & Associates

·         Brooke Duncan, City Year Baton Rouge

·         Kristen Edson, East Baton Rouge Parish Library

·         Jamie Freeman, The Tatman Group

·         Connor Gilbert, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality  

·         Danielle Guadamud, BXS Insurance

·         Jonathan Hill, Franklin Associates, LLC

·         Travis Hutchins, Baton Rouge Area Foundation

·         Zac Lemoine, Office of the Governor

·         Tyler Litt, New Schools For Baton Rouge

·         Danielle Mack, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

·         Loren McIntyre, Beverly Brooks Thompson for Senate Campaign

·         Brian Melancon, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

·         Olivia Montgomery, Ursuline Highland LLC, Southern University Law Center

·         Janel Page, McMains Children’s Developmental Center

·         Kristina Pepelko,

·         Mandy Perret, Dutchtown High School

·         Marlee Pittman, Mid City Redevelopment Alliance

·         Catherine Santos

·         Chris Simoneaux, Assurance Financial

·         Nicholas Smith, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP

·         Allison Smith, Louisiana Board of Regents

·         Jamee Steele, The Tatman Group

·         Clay Turner, Kids’ Orchestra, Inc.

·         Elizabeth Walker, Louisiana Art & Science Museum



Classes began in September and will conclude in December 2019. This year’s expanded Barton program includes in-depth sessions on Baton Rouge’s arts and culture; issues facing Baton Rouge and how young professionals can make a difference; honing skills for service in the community; and learning how to break down the barriers that divide the Baton Rouge community. The revamped 2019 program also kicked off an exclusive Mentor Connection Program which paired participants with executives and community leaders.


For more information, visit Questions regarding the program can be directed to Ethan Melancon at or

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