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Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy

June 14 – 17, 2015

2015  Brochure

Sponsors 2015

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Featured Speakers

Auntie Anne Beiler


Anne Beiler began twisting pretzels in 1987 to support her husband’s vision to offer free counseling services in their community. What began as a single farmer’s market stand grew into Auntie Anne’s Inc., the world’s largest hand rolled soft pretzel franchise with over 1,200 locations worldwide. Anne is among an elite group of women that have founded national companies in America, and is one of an even smaller number that have owned an international franchise company.

Anne’s journey to become a leading female entrepreneur began many years before the first pretzel was rolled. In September of 1975, Anne and her husband experienced any parent’s worst nightmare – the loss of a child. This event propelled Anne into years of darkness during which she nearly lost her husband, her family, and her faith. Out of her pain came purpose and the desire to persevere towards personal and professional success.

Auntie Anne Beiler’s commitment to excellence is rooted in the belief that we give to get, to give again; and that success can only be realized when you have a great product, great people on your team, and a purpose greater than yourself.

Alexis Jones

Elizabeth Smart
Alexis Jones is an all-American, southern belle, Texas tomboy. She grew up in Austin moved to Los Angeles where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Masters in Communication Management, both from the University of Southern California.Alexis discovered her passion for inspiring girls and women after starring in “The Vagina Monologues,” a progressive women’s play written by Eve Ensler. Following that role, she hosted a TV show on the Red Carpet, worked at Fox Sports, ESPN and was a contestant on the hit CBS reality TV show Survivor.
Leveraging her entertainment background as a platform, Alexis launched “I Am That Girl,” and quickly became an internationally recognized speaker, media personality, activist, and author.Alexis’s first book, I AM THAT GIRL, was released January 2014.


Eric Frederick Skrmetta

Elizabeth Smart
A lawyer, businessman, husband and father, Eric Skrmetta was elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission in 2008, holding one of 5 seats on the statewide body that governs utility providers, railroads and other public services in the Pelican State. Commissioner Skrmetta is currently in his second year as Chairman of the Commission. He will assist LGLA by serving as a judge for the Public Service Projects on Entergy and the Environment.

Bear Badeaux

Elizabeth Smart
Bear is an improv veteran having trained at Groundlings, IOWEST, ACME, and LA Connection. He currently has a main stage show at IOWEST with his group Less Hot Dog performing a unique form called the Labyrinth. Bear was nominated for Best New Show and Most Supportive Improviser at the 2013 Del Close Awards. In 2014, through Southern Rivers Production, Bear produced and directed the winning short film at the “Mock Fest” Film Festival. He currently teaches Improv at Dan Velez Acting Studio in Hollywood. Look for Bear in Season 2 of Aim High and the upcoming feature Night Eyes.

Crystal Rivers

Elizabeth Smart
Crystal studies improv at IOWEST and Dan Velez Acting Studio in Hollywood. She performs in the improv shows I-Intern and Catsby. She has starred in sci-fi features Ghoul and Swamp Volcano. You can see Crystal this year on TNT’s Franklin & Bash and as a new regular on the Internet series Heroine Legends. Crystal is the co-founder of Southern Rivers Production.

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The Louisiana Center for Women & Government and Business at Nicholls State University encourages and promotes the leadership of women by providing resources and non-partisan support through educational workshops, training seminars and outreach programs. The center is committed to promoting women in government and public service, to acknowledging achievements of women and to teaching all citizens about the importance of public service and responsible citizenship.

The Center is actively engaged in statewide leadership programming, including Hall of Fame Ceremony, Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy, Campaign Institute, Congress to Campus, Legislative Women’s Luncheon, Statewide Leadership Institute for Women, “Women’s Perspective” on “Bayou Time” and Regional Celebrity Fund-raisers.

LCWG initiated a National Women’s Leadership Summit held in New Orleans, Louisiana with honorary chairs Senator Mary Landrieu D, Louisiana and Senator Olympia Snowe R, Maine in September, 2009. In June, 2010 the Center hosted a Summit in Alaska with honorary chairs Senator Lisa Murkowski, R, Alaska and Senator Maria Cantwell, D, Washington. In September, 2010 Arkansas was the next site for the National Women’s Leadership Summit with honorary chair Senator Blanche L. Lincoln, D, Arkansas. Senators Landrieu and Murkowski then hosted a Washington D.C. summit May 11-12, 2011.

The Center is supported by over 700 women in seven leadership councils throughout Louisiana. LCWG also partners with other organizations and boards in support of its programs. Partnerships include Bayou Junior Woman’s Club Mad Hatters and a future conference on small business entrepreneurship for women with the governor’s office on women.

Another focus of the Center is its internship program, which is one of its kind in Louisiana and began with the Spring 1992 semester. The program allows students, both male and female in any major, to earn 15 hours of college credit while gaining hands-on experience working in a governmental office. The students work four days a week and spend one day in the classroom. Interns receive stipends and those assigned to offices in Baton Rouge are provided dormitory space. The internship is open to students from colleges and universities around the state.

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