Board of Directors

The Foundation is led by an energetic team that is devoted to making Southwest Louisiana a better place to live. Our Board members represent a wide range of experiences and interests with a common thread—the desire to create a positive, permanent impact on our region. The Foundation is governed by representatives from across our service area—Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes.

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Jon Manns,  Chair
Axiall (retired)
Mr. Manns served on the executive board of the Louisiana Chemical Association for nine years, and was on the board of United Way of Lake Charles.  He was United Way campaign chair in 2010-11 and board chair in 2012.  He served on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters board for nine years.

Sara Judson, President/CEO
Community Foundation Southwest Louisiana 
Ms. Judson joined the Community Foundation in December of 2013 with over 20 years of professional and volunteer experience in SWLA.  She is active as a sustaining member of the Junior League of Lake Charles and the Leadership Council of the Chamber SWLA.   Her most rewarding volunteer role is tutoring 2nd graders in reading at her former elementary school, Oak Park. 

Julie Miller, Vice Chair
First Federal Bank of LA 
Ms. Miller graduated from McNeese in Business Administration.  She has been in banking since 1991 and currently the Marketing Manager at First Federal Bank of LA.  She serves on the Better Business Bureau Board and the Chairman for 2018, Board of Trustees at First United Methodist Church, Graduate of SWLA Leadership in 2015 and MSU Alumni Board.  She volunteers for her children's high school and is an active sustaining member of the Junior League of Lake Charles. Ms. Miller is married to Joe Miller, Jr and has 3 children, Dietz, Grayson and Rosamond.  "I love living in SWLA where I enjoy cold soccer games, playing tennis, college football and duck hunting."

Nick Langley, Treasurer
Langley Williams & Company


Rick Richard, Secretary
Empire of the Seed
Mr. Richard’s extensive public service includes The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, Chamber SWLA/Alliance Foundation, North Lake Charles Development Board, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and LSU Manship School of Mass Communications. He was inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction in 2009.


Tom Shearman, Past Chair
American Press
Mr. Shearman is serving on the board of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, Iberia Bank Advisory, and is president of the Louisiana Press Association. In the past, he’s been on the boards of many organizations, including Lake Charles YMCA, Imperial Calcasieu Museum and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Larry Avery
Big Easy FoodsAmerican Press
Mr. Avery is currently serving as a member of:  Board of Directors for Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing (appointed by Lt. Governor); Advisory Board of Audubon Society of Louisiana; and ASPA (american Shrimp Processors Association.  He is the former President of the Board of Commissioners for Chennault International Airport Authority.

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Lee Boyer
Stockwell Sievert Law Firm
Mr. Boyer received his law degree from LSU.  He has been practicing law for over 30 years in all facets of family law cases and has headed the firm's family law practice for the last 20 years. His extensive experience include areas of real estate, title insurance, and commercial transactions.  Mr. Boyer's previous public service includes president of the Literacy Council of Southwest Louisiana, chairman of Crime Stoppers of Lake Charles, Coastal Conservation Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  He is currently the event coordinator for the Wheels of Hope charity bicycle ride to benefit the St. Nicholas Center.

Dinah Bradford
Community volunteer
Mrs. Bradford, as a long-time supporter of LSU currently serves as a member of the College of Human Science and Education's Peabody Society Board of Directors.  As a former Principal of Immaculate Conception Cathedral School as well as a past president of the Junior League of Lake Charles, Inc. she continues her involvement with these organizations serving on advisory committees when called upon.  "I am proud to have been engaged in such worthwhile efforts and look forward to supporting the progress our community is now experiencing through my work with the Community Foundation."

Prissy Gayle
Third Circuit Court of Appeal, Attorney at Law
Ms. Gayle originally hails from Clinton, Louisiana, but Lake Charles has been her hometown since her and her husband Tom graduated from LSU law school. Tom grew up in Lake Charles and knew it would be a great place to raise a family. Ms. Gayle has been employed as a senior research attorney with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal since 1991. She has been blessed to work with Judges Charles King, Bernard Marcantel, Henry Yelverton, and currently Billy H. Ezell. She is a member of the SWLA Bard association and is also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Lake Charles. Having raised two sons in the Southwest Community, Ms. Gayle looks forward to improving our area for future generations by serving on the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana board.

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Dick Kennison
Kennison Forest Products
Mr. Kennison was appointed to the West Calcasieu Port Board of Commissioners in 2009 and currently serves as president.   In the past, he has served on the Sulphur City Council, West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Rotary Club of Sulphur, Maplewood-Hollywood Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Care Help of Sulphur, Sulphur Industrial Development Board, West Cal Cam Hospital Finance Committee, and IRB Board for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. He has previously been named the City of Sulphur’s Volunteer of the Year,  the WCAC Citizen of the Year, and has received the Habitat for Humanity Outstanding Service Award and the YMBC President’s Award. 

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Nora Popillion
Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino & Hotel

Mr. Popillion may be best known for his booming voice that he shares as the emcee for many special events in Southwest Louisiana.  In addition to his professional role, he serves on several nonprofit boards that help him carry out his love for families and our community's quality of life.

Poncho Seaford
Business First Bank

Mr. Seaford is a graduate of McNeese State University.  He currently serves on the board of the Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Sulphur Kiwanis Club and Chairman of the Calcasieu Parish Ward 4 Fire District 2 Civil Service Board.  He was also a charter board member of Kids Can and served as Treasurer for six years.

Marshall Simien, Jr.
Simien Law Firm

Mr. Simien is a graduate of McNeese State University and received his law degree from LSU.  He has been practicing law for over 25 years, representing national and local businesses. His public service to our community includes having served on the Lake Charles Port Board, the Lake Charles City Council, and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.  Mr. Simien currently serves on the advisory board of IberiaBank, advisory board of the St. Charles Retreat Center for the Diocese of Lake Charles, the Lake Charles Kiwanis North Club, participates in ACTS Missions, and is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  He is a Partner-In-Education with Combre-Fondel Elementary School.  

Katie Stream
Community volunteer