United Way of Southwest Louisiana Elects New Board and Campaign Chairs

LAKE CHARLES, LA, August 9 – Denise Durel, President and CEO for United Way of Southwest Louisiana, is proud to announce Leona Fletcher (image attached) has been chosen as the new board chair and Gregory P. Thibodeaux (image attached) as the new campaign Chair.

Leona Fletcher, a Southern University graduate, is the general manager of Lab & Technical Services at Rain Carbon. As a founding member of Women United SWLA, Fletcher has advocated for early childhood education programs for all area pre-school age children and assisted with poverty simulations. She is also the 2019 Spirit of Southwest Louisiana Awardee for her positive attitude toward life, volunteerism and enthusiasm.

Gregory P. Thibodeaux, director for business development at Turner Industries, assisted with the first Battle for the Paddle fundraiser and was the 2019 Leonard Richard Employee Campaign Chair (ECC) Awardee. Thibodeaux, an LSU graduate, will lead the community workplace giving campaigns with the 2022 theme of "Catch the Feeling."

"We are incredibly fortunate that we consistently attract dedicated community members who donate their time and talent to United Way of Southwest Louisiana," said Denise Durel, President and CEO. "These individuals are leaders who commit to our mission and four pillars: education, healthcare, economic mobility and basic needs. We are always grateful for their service as they help lead all of us forward after several devastating years."

Turner Industries and Rain Carbon employees compete statewide for United Way campaigns in the top donor group. These employees have a recognizable desire to help all families and individuals with the tools it takes to thrive.

"Each year, as current board members retire their terms, new emerging leaders join us because they truly understand the heartfelt mission we serve and see the changes we are making," explains Durel. "Our most vulnerable neighbors can lean on us in times of need, and our volunteers know this no matter what capacity they are serving."

Campaign Kickoff will happen Thursday, August 11 at 7:30 am. The campaign video with the theme of "Catch the Feeling" will be unveiled at that time. If you or your organization are interested in attending or participating in the event or campaign, contact United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

Requests for campaign materials can be made online at unitedwayswla.org/marketing.

Requests for interviews: Schedule interview requests by using the contact information above.

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About United Way of Southwest Louisiana

Working with the community and many partners for 82 years, United Way of Southwest Louisiana tackles the critical human services issues facing our five-parish footprint of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis. Our United approach is changing the odds for all children, families and individuals in the community, so that we all have the opportunity to succeed. Learn more about our life-changing work at Unitedwayswla.org and follow us on social media @UnitedWayofSWLA

- Operating in the TOP 9% of all U.S. United Ways. –TOP 125 out of 1300 United Ways!
- Maintains a 4-STAR charity rating with Charity Navigator and a PLATINUM SEAL OF TRANSPARENCY with GuideStar/Candid
- 2022 Winner of the Dedication Award from Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association