DPE donates masks, money to assist in the fight against COVID-19

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, May 13, 2020

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RESERVE — In hard times, the community of St. John the Baptist Parish must work together to recover. Longtime partnerships throughout the parish are playing a more important role than ever in feeding, protecting and caring for this community.

Denka Performance Elastomer, the second-largest employer in the parish, has been working to do its part to help its neighbors in St. John by donating funds and protective equipment to various local agencies and organizations working to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help care for St. John residents during the pandemic.

Pictured from left to right at New Wine Christian Fellowship are Tricia Thompson, Pastor Neil Bernard, Nao Kawamura and Jorge Lavastida.

Pictured from left to right at River Place Behavioral Health Hospital are Shelby Kumpe – Executive Assistant to CEO, Nao Kawamura, Jorge Lavastida and Tricia Thompson.

Pictured from left to right at Twin Oaks Nursing & Convalescent Home are Jorge Lavastida, Nao Kawamura, Administrator Karen Conner and Tricia Thompson.

Nao Kawamura, Tricia Thompson, Sheriff Mike Tregre and Jorge Lavastida were present as Denka Performance Elastomer gave support to the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

Pictured at the St. John Fire Department – Station #51 are Tricia Thompson, Chief Cain Dufrene, Jorge Lavastida and Nao Kawamura.

Pictured from left to right at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home are Tricia Thompson, Activites Director Lenneria Franklin, Jorge Lavastida and Nao Kawamura.

The company donated $5,000 to the St. John United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund benefitting the Second Harvest Food Bank, which has been hard-hit by the ongoing crisis. DPE also provided protective facemasks to the following groups:

– St. John United Way

– St. John Fire Department

– St. John Sheriff’s Office

– Southeast Louisiana Veterans’ Home

– Second Harvest Food Bank

– New Wine Church

– Twin Oaks Nursing Home

– River Place Behavioral Health Hospital

“More St. John residents than ever need our services, and with DPE’s help we are able to continue to help our neighbors through these tough times,” said St. John United Way Executive Director Artis Williams. “It’s important to know you can count on your neighbors.”

The company continues to produce critical materials used in the fight against COVID-19: synthetic rubber is used to make anesthesia bags, breathing bags, medical wrap, gauze, tapes and medical gloves that first responders, healthcare professionals and everyday people need to stay safe.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, DPE reports one partner, which makes anesthesia bags sold in Louisiana, has significantly increased its volume.

“Our community and employees are our company’s top priorities, and now more than ever we want to help make sure our neighbors stay safe and healthy,” DPE plant manager Jorge Lavastida said. “It is critical that we do our part to help St. John get through this crisis and rebuild.”

For additional information about the company, visit Denka-pe.com.

Denka Performance Elastomer LLC is located at 560 Highway 44 in LaPlace. DPE acquired DuPont’s Neoprene manufacturing operations at the Pontchartrain Works site in LaPlace. DPE employs 16 corporate executives at its new LaPlace headquarters in addition to the 235 manufacturing jobs associated with the Pontchartrain Works production site.

DPE intends to make strategic investments in the Pontchartrain Works facility while adhering to a key DPE guideline to develop and supply products that are safe and environmentally friendly. DPE considers the careful handling of materials and products and the prevention of their unauthorized release into the environment as its most important mission as a chemical manufacturer.