Dr. Ralph Abraham is a practicing family medicine physician in Richland Parish and a former three term Congressman for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. Throughout his almost 30 year career in medicine, Dr. Abraham has seen firsthand the many healthcare challenges facing Louisiana. Dr. Abraham graduated from Mangham High School before earning his degree at Louisiana State University. He graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced for 10 years before eventually seeking his Medical Doctor degree, which he earned at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. Dr. Abraham was a First Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. He has served on humanitarian missions for Free Burma Rangers in Burma, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. He has also volunteered on humanitarian missions in Afghanistan and the Amazon for other organizations. Additionally, he is a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot who currently flies reconnaissance missions for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and he is a mission pilot for the Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol Green Flag Program. He’s a certified flight instructor and actively works with Pilots for Patients – an organization that provides free air transportation to patients needing treatment at medical facilities not available to them locally. Dr. Abraham has been married to his wife Dianne for 46 years and they reside in Richland Parish. They have three children and ten grandchildren.
Taylor Barras is currently serving as the Assessor of Iberia Parish. Prior to his election as Assessor, he served as Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2016-2020. He served as the State Representative for District 48 from 2008 until the end of his term as House Speaker in 2020, as a result of term limits. In his professional life, Taylor served as the Market President of Louisiana based IBERIABANK for 21 years and worked as a commercial banker for the preceding 20 years. He completed his 41- year banking career to accept his current Assessor’s position. During his time in the Louisiana Legislature, he was a member of the House Ways and Means committee and authored several key pieces of legislation directed at fiscal reform and improved tax policy. During his tenure as Speaker of the House, he was elected Chairman of the Council of State Government’s Southern Legislative Conference in 2018. He was also selected to the Board of Directors of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.
Aurelia Skipwith Giacometto is an American conservationist who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). As the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Giacometto managed a $2.9 billion budget and 8500 employees from December 2019 to January 2021. Her teams managed more than 850 million land and water acres, endangered species programs, international conservation efforts, and law enforcement. She increased access to four million acres of public lands for recreational purposes. She engaged with landowners, for-and non-profit organizations, trade associations, and federal and state agencies others to implement policies for increased habitat and wetland management, modernize permitting programs, recovery of multiple endangered species.
David Matlock is a Shreveport native who received his B.A. from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and his J.D. from Baylor University. He served as Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court for Caddo Parish from 1999-2023 and served as Judge since 1994. His juvenile court programs during tenure include Juvenile Drug Court, Family Drug Court, Juvenile Mental Health Court, Truancy Court, Sex trafficking Community Response Team, Specialized Victims Intensive Unit, onsite drug treatment clinic for children, S.T.A.R education program, teen court program, Red River Marine
Colonel Meginley served over 20 years on active duty as a Judge Advocate for the Air Force, retiring as an Appellate Military Judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. Colonel Meginley is originally from Alexandria, and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana Monroe and his law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center.
Richard grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. He earned a degree in Biological Engineering from LSU before attending LSU Law School. After graduating from law school, he was selected for the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State and moved to Washington. He served all over the world for seven years as a State Department Officer and diplomat, protecting American embassies overseas from terrorism and espionage. Just months before their next overseas assignment, Richard had the opportunity to move his family home to Mandeville. He was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2019 where he focused on improving Louisiana’s tax competitiveness and elementary school literacy. Richard is an engineer, attorney, and runs his own consulting firm. He and his family attend Christ Episcopal Church in Covington. Richard is committed to improving the opportunity for his three sons, Michael, 9, Arthur, 7, and Jack, 4, and for all the citizens of this great state.
Madison Sheahan was Team Captain for the Ohio State rowing team and worked directly with coach Urban Meyer to develop leadership programs for other Ohio State team captains. Over the last three years she has been working directly and indirectly with the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, in leadership positions where she worked on legislation relating to wildlife, agriculture, and natural resources. She also played a major role in passing one of the strongest bills in the nation protecting women’s sports. Madison has a bachelor’s degree in public affairs, public management, leadership, and policy and agri-business. She served as an Ohio FFA State Officer. She is an avid hunter and loves the outdoors.
Terrence (Joe) Donahue, Jr. is a life-long resident of Baton Rouge and recently served as the Assistant Attorney General responsible for the Louisiana Department of Justice’s Occupational Licensing Review Program. He began his career in public service in 2004 at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality before leaving to attend law school. After maintaining a private practice for nearly a decade, litigating in state and federal trials and appellate courts across the country, Donahue returned to state service as an attorney for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, where he held positions in both the Office of General Counsel and the Office of the Secretary. Donahue received both his undergraduate degree and law degree from Louisiana State University.
Jacques Thibodeaux is the son of two teachers who taught him the value of service. He has served citizens in three different careers with extensive service in each venue. He served from 1984-2015 in the U.S. Army- Louisiana National Guard, retiring as a Colonel with 31 years of service. COL Thibodeaux enlisted in the 256th Infantry Brigade as a private on his seventeenth birthday and his career culminated as the commander of the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (3400 soldiers). He is a combat veteran who served in Iraq with the 256th. Jacques Thibodeaux also served 28 years simultaneously in the U.S. Marshals from 1991-2019, retiring as a Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal. Of his 28 years, 17 years were in four supervisory federal agent law enforcement roles. Jacques is currently serving as the City of Thibodaux Director- Office of Emergency Preparedness/Special Projects. He came home in 2019 to the City of Thibodaux in continuance of his service in the community where he grew up and lived his entire life.
Major Hodges is a 28-year veteran with Louisiana State Police. He began his career in 1995 as a Patrol Trooper in Troop B (Kenner) and has held various assignments throughout his LSP career in Patrol and Investigations. Major Hodges, a native of New Orleans, graduated from Brother Martin High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Louisiana State University. He previously served as an Intelligence Officer in the Louisiana Army National Guard Reserve.
Susana (Susie) Schowen joined the Louisiana Community and Technical College System as the Vice President of Education in 2022. Before LCTCS, she spent over ten years with LED FastStart, the workforce development division of Louisiana Economic Development. She focuses on building coalitions of industry partners, economic developers, and educators to align our programs with the needs of employers and the economy, increasing the prosperity of our people and our communities. The LCTCS is widely recognized for its highly innovative and employer-responsive approach, restructuring its systems to lift individuals out of poverty while driving economic growth, and Susie is instrumental to implementing this vision. She also works across agencies and with regional partners to identify inefficiencies in the system, and better align the delivery of social services with workforce development efforts. Prior to joining LED, Susie held leadership roles with several private companies in the technical training and educational services sector. Susie has degrees in chemistry from Wellesley College and Columbia University.
Tyler Gray has previously served as president and general counsel to Louisiana Mid-Continent’s Oil and Gas Association, an attorney to the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation and for the City of New Orleans. He received his B.A. in Economics from James Madison University in Virginia, a J.D. from Loyola University in New Orleans, a M.B.A. with a specialization in Economics from Louisiana State University, and is licensed to practice law in Louisiana.