Two locals join regional leadership program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

By Baileigh Rebowe


LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom and River Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chassity McComack have been selected to the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute’s 2012 Class.

About 40 people from the New Orleans region were selected this year to help promote regionalism, to examine important local issues and to network for the future.

“These leaders are playing vital roles in a vast array of critically important regional initiatives and projects,” said NORLI Chairman Keith Colvin. “With the skills and insights gained from their experiences, I am certain that the members of the NORLI Class of 2012 will make a real difference in our region.”

The Institute begins with a two-day overnight retreat, followed by seven monthly full-day sessions and ends with another mandatory two-day retreat.

In each month’s session, members examine an issue of concern to the future of the New Orleans region, such as public policy, the environment, economic development, education and workforce development, crime and public safety and healthcare.

Robottom is excited to get involved.

“It’s an honor to be selected to participate in such a prestigious group, and I am committed to getting the most out of my experience,” said Robottom. “When speaking to young people, I often encourage them to be lifelong learners, and this is an opportunity to lead by example.”

McComack believes by helping strengthen the region, local businesses will become stronger too.

“I want to see how the River Parishes fit in this bigger puzzle that is the New Orleans region. I look forward to meeting people and seeing how we all connect and how we can strengthen our relations with the city,” said McComack.

Selection to the institute is made by a committee that considers factors such as rank within a company or organization, professional background and gender and ethnic heritage to ensure that the group is representative of the community as a whole. The committee makes its selections from applications submitted from the community.

“NORLI prides itself on selecting a diverse group of individuals to build camaraderie and stronger leaders across the region,” said Robottom. “I look forward to completing the institute and becoming a better leader for the people of St. John Parish and the region.”