Young Professionals Group of Cenla’s Four-Under-40 Program

The Young Professionals Group of Cenla is an organization that connects professionals across the area for networking and friendship.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey has more about an award program to honor those under age 40 who are making an impact and improving their communities in the 12-parish region and beyond.

Today the YP Group of Cenla held a Breakfast Club at Sweet Latte on Murry Street downtown.  It was 32-year-old Nicholas Williams’ first time with the group.  He is a stay-at-home Dad with a two-year old daughter from Oklahoma. He came to network and meet some new people in the area.

“My passion is for placemaking which is connecting people with places in downtowns and cities.”

In Oklahoma he was instrumental in connecting a farmer to a park for him to start a farmers market.  Williams went to the Chamber of Commerce where he learned about YPG that it was a great place to network. Here’s what he hopes to gain out of the experience

“To know the people of Alexandria better and to get my foot in the door for helping Alexandria be what it can be.”

He has a varied background but always has had a focus on helping others.

“Well from the very beginning I worked in McAllister’s Sandwich Shop then after that I was a volunteer firefighter in Daphne Alabama joined the Air Force for six years, and I got out in 2017 went to Oklahoma to go to OU after OU here in Alexandria.”

Twenty-four-year-old Sarah Laborde is the secretary for YPG and the Coordinator for CENLA 4-WARD she works in marketing at Crest Industries.

“So the CENLA 4-WARD we’re really excited about this program it’s a new 4-under 40 recognition program for the Central Louisiana area.  Just a way for us to highlight some of the work professionals are doing across the 12-parish region and really just to say thank you for what you are doing to help move Cenla forward.”

“Whether you’re 20 or 42 we welcome everybody. Just to come and try to build that community within Central Louisiana and to try to recruit and retain talent in the area.”

“I’ve grown up in Central Louisiana I love the community here and it’s nice to have a way to give back, to also try to expand my network here.  I’ve met people I never would have met otherwise.”

Caitlin Chellette is the president of the YPG board.

“We host lunch and learns, social events and other activities to really bring quality of life activities for those individuals in our area.”

This is why Chellette does what she does:

“Because I’m passionate about Cenla I love where I’m from and I love investing in my community…and YPG has fostered friendships and growth that I never saw possible.  And the partnership with the Chamber has been phenomenal.”

Both businesses and individuals can submit online nominations.  But get them in before September 15th.

For more information about the Young Professionals or to nominate someone for CENLA 4-WARD you can visit and check them out on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.