2017 Board of Directors

Dr. Jerome Cox,
Miles Stones Counseling Service


Chair Elect
Merrill Wautlet,
Cross Keys Bank


Vice Chair of Operational Excellence
John Schmidt,
Heard McElroy & Vestal


Vice Chair of Community Impact
Darlene Rossum,


Vice Chair of Resource Development
Hardy Foreman, Carr Riggs and Ingram


Immediate Past Chair
Judy Madison,
Red River Bank


Corporate Secretary
Dr. Bruce Willson, Jr.
United Way

Jack Andres




Merritt B. Chastain


Dr. Larry Clark
Louisiana State University at Shreveport



Rep. Kenny Cox
Louisiana House of Representatives



Renee Ellis
Westwood Elementary School
Caddo Parish



Gayle Flowers
Bossier Parish Community College



Lynn Higginbotham
Argent Financial



Lisa Johnson
Bossier City Chamber of Commerce


Joe Kane
Brown Builders



Steve Kiraly
CenterPoint Energy


Kevin May
May Core Real Estate



Jane Molloy
Community Volunteer



Jeremy Morton
Brookshire’s Food Stores



Don Olson
Hunt Guillot & Associates



Peggy Ramey


Janice Sneed
Southern University at Shreveport


Kamesha West


Stephanie Y’Barbo


Buddy Wood
State Farm, Sabine Parish




Board Member Spotlight

Merrill Wautlet, Cross Keys Bank
Chair Elect


Q: How did you come to be involved with the United Way?

A: I have been involved as a United Way supporter my entire professional life. I contributed to the UW when I first entered the work force and was involved in numerous workplace campaigns, including leading the one at Regions Bank shortly after I moved back to Shreveport. I was voted onto our board two years ago in part from getting to know our CEO, Bruce Willson, as we are both Rotarians.


Q: If you could tell someone who doesn’t know about the United Way one thing about our organization, what would it be?

A: The one thing I think is most important about what we do is how we provide funds to organizations that are doing great work with a low profile. We have some tremendous service-minded people in our area who are addressing needs, but are doing so with limited resources. By partnering with these smaller nonprofits we help provide stability and allow them the opportunity to expand the scope of their work.


Q: If you could change one thing in this community, what would it be?

A: Raise our community self-esteem. I often hear things about Shreveport-Bossier that are negative, but for me I feel it is a region with amazing qualities. Faithful and generous people live and work here. It’s a family-friendly community with a kind soul and bountiful spirit.


We have great economic promise here, but I think we are too humble about letting the world know just what those opportunities are. We need to brag a little more, thump our chest a little more, sing our own praises a little more. We have great transportation infrastructure, low cost real estate, higher education, superb health care, and plenty of recreational opportunities. If we can truly get our act together, the possibilities are endless.