Young Professionals Group of Cenla Presents 4-Under-40 Awards

The Young Professionals Group of Cenla presented their 4-Under-40 awards to emerging leaders and community champions in Central Louisiana.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey spoke to the winners.

“Cenla 4ward is based on four pillars so it’s community involvement, professional distinction, leadership and passion and perseverance.”

Sarah Laborde with the Young Professionals Group of Cenla helped to give out the Cenla 4ward award to four young leaders in the community.  They were chosen from a group of 30 individuals nominated.

“Our nominees and our winners today have really made a tangible impact on our area.  Everything from starting nonprofits to supporting our military community to leading and charging businesses throughout the area just really empowering our community to be better and to grow and laying the foundation for a positive future here in Central Louisiana.”

Winner Brandon Wilkinson is director of operations for Enrich Louisiana, a workforce development nonprofit.

“What we do is we go out into the community we help people learn essential skills so they can gain employment and sustain employment.”

Wilkinson is honored to receive the award even though he says his work is not about accolades.

“It means a lot just knowing that the things you are doing in the community are being recognized by your peers and others within the community.  It means a lot.  It doesn’t necessarily, that’s not what we’re looking for, awards, but it’s great to know that the work you’re doing is being recognized.”

Emily McGruder is the director of membership development for Louisiana Armed Forces Alliance.

“We represent the installations in the state of Louisiana, all of them, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Reserves.  And we defend whatever they need.  So, if they need money for quality of life or projects on their installation, we are the liaison between the installation and our state representatives.”

McGruder says she is shocked to be a winner.

“I’m extremely honored so obviously as a volunteer everything that I do is for my community and the place that I live and call home, but it’s also shocking and amazing to be honored.”

Mandi Guillory is director of marketing and business development at Alexandria Emergency Hospital.

“Just getting the word out to the community about the hospital letting them know we’re there we can serve them.  Also doing a lot of community service type things, outreach.”

Guillory can’t believe she was chosen out of so many worthy nominees.

“It’s great. It’s something that I’ve wanted to be a part of for a long time, wanted to achieve that, but I can’t believe all the people that were here and how great they’ve contributed to the community that I would be one of them.”

Crystal Mitchell is vice president for growth and development and the chief clinical officer at Southern EVALS a healthcare consulting firm.

“I help to oversee the programing operations and to help executive leaders across the state develop their growth capacity.”

Guillory says she will share the award with her family and friends.

“I’m so honored being from Central Louisiana and being able to work in our great state it’s such an honor to be able to share this with my family and friends, and I’m honored to be even amongst the candidates chosen today.”

This was the first year for the Young Professionals Group 4-Under-40 award.

One thought on “Young Professionals Group of Cenla Presents 4-Under-40 Awards

  • December 8, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you KLAX for covering this event. YPC is moving and shaking to promote and support young professionals!

Comments are closed.