Burton: 2022 – Resiliency to Rebirth

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2022

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It’s no secret 2021 threw substantial challenges our way as the River Parishes flexed and pivoted to COVID-19 waves and then entered the recovery period from Hurricane Ida. Your chamber faced these headwinds with you, adapting to our new normal and continuing as your voice and advocate. Our story as a region and as a chamber continues to evolve, and we enter 2022 hopeful for a period of good health and prosperity.

I serve as vice president, media sales for Cox Media, the advertising sales division of Cox Communications. I start my term as chairman humbled by the responsibility but excited for the opportunity. I am originally from Roanoke, VA, and am supported by my wife, Susan (fifth-grade teacher at Norco Elementary), and our daughters, Clare and Maddie. Clare runs her own business in Charleston, SC, and Maddie is general manager of a group of restaurants in Pittsburgh, PA.

We moved to Louisiana four years ago and live in Ormond in Destrehan. To say we have embraced the culture and soul of the region would be an understatement. Crawfish boils, Saints, Tigers, Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras, Zurich Classic, are just a few. Closer to home, the German Coast Farmer’s Market is a Saturday morning start to the weekend, and the swamp tours, plantations, festivals and concerts provide opportunities to meet very dear friends who have accepted us as one of their own.

Our friends and co-workers also say we are now true Louisianians because we endured Hurricane Ida. We evacuated, our house sustained extensive damage, and we currently live in temporary housing. We join thousands working with insurance companies, contractors and local government to rebuild. The destruction I witnessed that first trip back to our house three days after Ida will never be forgotten. Nor will the support and comfort neighbors have provided for each other. The fact is we are blessed with good health and are currently rebuilding and look forward to moving back into our house later this Spring. Six months after Ida, I am amazed at the resiliency and recovery and express sincere appreciation to parish presidents Dufresne, Hotard and Jewell and their teams for their relentless efforts to help our businesses and residents. To the businesses and residents of the parishes, your selflessness to support each other is inspirational.

The River Region Chamber of Commerce exists to grow, strengthen and unify businesses in St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes, serving as the voice of all businesses in the River Region and providing networking and supportive resources to ensure growth and sustainability. Your chamber is healthy, a bit smaller due to the pandemic and Ida, but staffed and fully committed to serving you. Our rebirth is to strive to serve you better. In the coming months, I look forward to sharing the progress of your chamber, primarily through the efforts of our committees – Public Policy, Workforce Development, Business Development, Marketing & Communications, Special Events and our Ambassadors.

My ask is that you help us. Get involved. Attend our networking opportunities and events where local leaders and businesses serve our communities. Engage us when you feel we’re off track and offer suggestions and ideas. If your business isn’t a member, check us out online: www.riverregionchamber.org.


Scott Burton is the 2022 Chairman of the Board for the River Region Chamber of Commerce.