United Way of Northeast Louisiana


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Celebrating Excellence 2015

United Way of Northeast Louisiana marked the impact in the community with the annual Celebrating Excellence awards luncheon, held Monday, February 29, 2016, at the CenturyLink Auditorium in the CenturyLink headquarters in Monroe, and Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at the Davison Athletics Complex on the Louisiana Tech University campus in Ruston. 

Celebrating Excellence honors outstanding Workplace/Employee campaigns and individuals for their extraordinary efforts and unwavering commitment to helping people and improving community. Attendees of Celebrating Excellence included Workplace/Employee Campaign honorees, volunteers, donors, and community leaders, as well as the United Way of Northeast Louisiana Board of Directors, Campaign Cabinet, and community partner agencies. 

For the 2015 United Way of Northeast Louisiana Campaign, the community came together to raise $4,250,336, a 5.8% increase in giving over last year and the most funds ever raised in the organization’s history.

LIVE UNITED Awards were presented to Foster Farms and the Ouachita Parish Public Library. LIFECHANGING Awards in Education were presented to Lincoln Parish, Monroe City, Ouachita Parish, and Union Parish school districts. LIFECHANGING Award in Income honorees were Cross Keys Bank and Grambling State University. Outstanding Campaign Coordinator Awards were given to Kourtney Keim with the City of Ruston and Earl Roberson with Georgia-Pacific.

Celebrating Excellence was made possible by generous sponsorships CenturyLink, Louisiana Tech University, and Your 25 Local State Farm Agents and was hosted by Bill Cheek, President – Wholesale Markets Group at CenturyLink and 2015 Campaign Chair and Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University and United Way Board Member.

Factors that contributed to this year’s phenomenal community impact included:

Presenters included: 

During the event, guests heard an overview of United Way’s Community Impact from Janet Durden, President of United Way of Northeast Louisiana, including an update on real families right here in Northeast Louisiana:

“It is an absolute blessing to report on Chloe’s progress today,” Durden announced to thunderous applause, “We are thrilled to share with you that Chloe is now walking…and running!”  

Special guests included Boy Scout Troops #74 and #45, Lynda McMahan of CenturyLink, Major Melissa Pillsbury of the Salvation Army,  Reverend Leslie Stephens of Trinity United Methodist Church, READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. student Taraji Young and her mother Kristy Young, READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. community volunteers Shirley Brown and Eleanor-Ann Smith, among others.

“At United Way, we often use a phrase, What This Place Needs is You. This is because true, lasting community impact would not be possible without you. Thank you all for your invaluable support, volunteerism and partnership in this important, community-wide endeavor,” Durden concluded. 

Awards presented included the LIVE UNITED Award, LIFECHANGING Award in Education, LIFECHANGING Award in Income, Outstanding Campaign Coordinator Award, Campaign Leaders Award, New Campaign Award, the Going the Extra 10% Award, Special Achievement Award, and the Circle of Honor Award. A full list of honorees is listed below.

Click HERE for photos from Celebrating Excellence 2015!


2015 Celebrating Excellence Honorees 



LIFECHANGING Award: Education


Outstanding Campaign Coordinator Award

Campaign Leaders Award

  1. Platinum Award: CenturyLink - $1,261,964
  2. Gold Award: Origin Bank - $135,201
  3. Silver Award: Strauss Interests, Inc. - $133,279
  4. Bronze Award: ANGUS Chemical Company - $113,107
  5. Graphic Packaging International, Plants 15, 31, 70 & members of USW 364 and 654 - $112,315
  6. St. Frances Medical Center & Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System - $78,540
  7. P&S Surgical Hospital and Specialty Management Services of Ouachita - $70,842
  8. Ouachita Independent Bank  - $66,939
  9. Entergy - $65,371
  10. Foster Farms - $62,570

New Campaign Award

Going the Extra 10% Award

Special Achievement Award

Circle of Honor Award



United Way of Northeast Louisiana | HOME | CONTACT | 1201 Hudson Lane, Monroe, LA 71201 | (318) 325-3869 | 939 North Trenton Street, Ruston, LA 71270 | (318) 232-0055