LTA honors 2019 graduates of tourism leadership class

Louisiana Travel Association honors graduates of tourism leadership class

Graduating class contributes more than $100,000 in pro bono project work for Louisiana companies


Charenton, La. (Feb. 12, 2020) – The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) honored the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy (LTLA) graduates at the association’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Charenton.

The 22 members of the LTLA class spent all of 2019 developing their leadership skills while learning from seasoned professionals from throughout the tourism industry. The goal of the program is to equip each class member with knowledge and skills that will enrich their tourism-related organizations, therefore strengthening the state-wide tourism industry.

Members of the class also gave back to the tourism community by selecting businesses within the industry for pro-bono projects. Collectively, the value of the class’ tourism product enhancement and marketing work exceeded $100,000.

“LTLA has been a tremendous opportunity for those interested in learning more about Louisiana’s tourism industry, and we are proud of the 2019 graduating class,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “Not only has this program individually benefited these emerging leaders, but the LTLA class projects are paying off significant dividends for the entire industry.”


The graduating class of LTLA includes:

  • Katherine Simon Andry, Zehnder Communications
  • Jerrica Bennett, Monroe-West Monroe CVB
  • Buddy Boe, River Parishes Tourist Commission
  • Alia Casborne, City of Mandeville
  • Kimberly Chauvin, Down the Bayou Shrimp Tours
  • Melissa Chiasson-Durocher, Houma Area CVB
  • Matthew Cope, Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • Joni Pitre Duet, Houma Area CVB
  • Kylie Gravois, Ascension Parish Tourism
  • Serena Gray, Webster Parish CVB
  • Jessica Henry, Lafayette CVC
  • Philip Lawrence, Jackson Parish Tourism
  • Jill Leo, Natchitoches Historic Business Association
  • Jennifer Mamon, Ruston Lincoln CVB
  • Colten Miller, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB
  • Jason Miller, Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • William Precht, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB
  • Ethan Rodrigue, Laura Plantation
  • Ann Savage, Alexandria-Pineville Area CVB
  • Chelsey Sharplin, Holiday Inn Alexandria Downtown
  • Lauryn  Sharplin, Holiday Inn Express Natchitoches
  • Carla Tate, Tangipahoa Parish CVB



About the Louisiana Travel Association

LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $1.9 billion for Louisiana in 2018 and employs more than 237,200 people throughout the state. For more information, visit