Moving Forward Archive
Chamber of Commerce Expands its Role
“Our success depends on the solid financial base our members provide as well as the dedication of those who work through our board and our committee structure.”
Chamber CEO, Lynn Lejeune
Since 1919, the Opelousas-St. Landry Chamber of Commerce has served as an organization through which business executives, professionals and concerned citizens have united to provide leadership and direction for economic and cultural development.
Over those years, there is practically no area of community life that has not been made better through the work of chamber leaders and members, according to Lynn Lejeune, the CEO and executive director.
“The collective efforts of our Chamber’s investors have brought about improvements in our economy; education, business inducement, transportation, consumer relations, area development, government affairs, medical affairs and more,” she said.
Now the vision and work are expanding; in the last year the organization that had been simply the Opelousas Chamber of Commerce has expanded its work and scope to include all of St. Landry Parish.
“This broader view speaks volumes about the vision of our membership and board of directors, she said. “We do not intend to impinge on the work of other chambers in the parish, but to work with them. But it also improves our ability to work with other agencies on work important to the parish as a whole.”
That idea, she said was inspired by the climate of unity among agencies such as the St. Landry Parish Government, St. Landry Economic Development, St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission and others.
“One of the great things about our parish is the ability to work together toward common goals,”
she said. “We are pulling together here, not pulling apart.”
Another benefit of the expanded scope is in a greater membership base, which translates into more resource, both human and financial, and the ability to take on larger challenges, Lejeune said.
“Our success depends on the solid financial base our members provide as well as the dedication of those who work through our Board and our committee structure. We can’t be content to rest on our past successes because we will always have new challenges for improving our economic climate and quality of life in this great parish that we call home,” she said.
Lejeune, who has served as interim director since May of 2014, when long time Chamber executive director Frankie Bertrand retired, agreed earlier this year to accept the permanent position with the Chamber. She brings a record of dedication and experience to the post.
The longtime resident of St. Landry Parish was elected mayor of Eunice in 2002. After leaving that office served as a consultant for special events. She was recognized as Business Woman of the Year by the National Business Women’s Association and honored as a Woman of Excellence through Louisiana State University at Eunice.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying my work,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to work with some really great people who want to make this a better place for themselves and their children.”
The chamber offices are at 109 West Vine St. in Opelousas. The telephone number is 942-2683.