Tuesday, May 25, 2021
by: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Gina Giacone Laird of Baton Rouge has been elected president and chair
of the board of directors for 2021-22 Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association.
A 1985 graduate of Southeastern with a Bachelor of Arts degree in management and finance, Laird retired as the senior vice president of benefit operations with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana.
While a student, Laird was a member of the Lionettes dance team; a Delta Tau Delta Sweetheart, serving on the Homecoming Court; a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, serving as philanthropic chair; and a student worker with the Alumni Association.
Joining her on the Executive Committee will be President-Elect Stephanie Kropog, physician services director with North Oaks Health System, and Secretary Bridget Bankston LaBorde of Northshore Technical Community College.
Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs said board members commit their time and expertise to fulfill the association’s mission of strengthening ties between the university, alumni and community.
“The board is composed of a wide range of individuals who represent the entire alumni base. Each member serves a two-year term, and his or her job is to assist in promoting the mission of the Alumni Association in tandem with that of Southeastern,” said Biggs. “They promote pride, help in student recruitment efforts, act as mentors, preserve traditions of the university and encourage active engagement with the University.”
Also new to the board are Makeitta Darbonne Citizen with Southwest Louisiana Credit Union; Michael DuBois owner of DuBois Resources & Solutions; Nakia Merrill with Cedar Valley College; and Shane Purvis with Fidelity Bank.
Biggs said that as part of Laird’s incoming presidential duties she has appointed two one-year termed board members to round out the membership representation in the year ahead. Those include Amy Caron Gowland with St. Tammany Health Systems, and Michele Mizell Lyons with Our Lady of Angels Hospital.
Ex-Officio members of the board include Immediate Past President Patrick Brazan of Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co., Southeastern President John L. Crain, Vice President of University Advancement Wendy Lauderdale, and Biggs.