Black History, Celebrate:  Lucien J. Gauff III

Published 9:56 am Saturday, February 18, 2023

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Full Name: Lucien J. Gauff III

Where are you from?  I was born in New Orleans, La. in 1963 at Flint Goodridge Hospital, which was the first Black Hospital in the Deep South. I was reared in LaPlace, where I currently reside today.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am the son of Lucien J. Gauff Jr and Shirley Brown Gauff. I have two siblings; Chermain Gauff Guerin and Errol Gauff. I attended Our Lady of Grace, St Joan of Arc, and De La Salle High School. I started college at LSU, then transferred to USL (currently UL) in Lafayette, La. where I received my degree in General Studies. From there I started my career in the entertainment business working for VEE Corp for 5 years having the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the US, Mexico, and Canada. I then decided I was ready to come back to Louisiana, where I was offered an opportunity at Dupont. After working for Dupont for a while, I unsuccessfully ran for a St John Parish Council seat. On my second try, I was elected Division A Council at Large. I held that position for 5+ years while continuing to work at Dupont. I then successfully ran for SJP Assessor and subsequently retired from Dupont/DENKA after 24+ years. I am in my second 7th year as SJP Assessor. Last year I served as co-chair of the Assessors Association Legislative Committee and this year was elected Treasurer. I sit on the Board of Directors for Louisiana Federal Credit Union. I am a Rotarian and former President of Rotary Club of LaPlace. I sit on Board of Advisors for St John Council on Aging and Community Service.  I am married to Francesca C. Gauff, and have two daughters Cydney and Ciel and a bonus son Tyson. Family, faith, and service are keys to my success.

Who are some black role models you look up to, and why? Dad a brick mason and mom an educator, my parents were and are my role models. They instilled so many values in me and my siblings. The most important was to be proud of who you are, be independent, self-sufficient, have great work ethic, and follow Christian values.  Another role model is my younger brother, Errol. While I’ve been pretty fortunate and have had some success, it pales in comparison to what he’s accomplished and is still accomplishing. Errol is a high school basketball coach and always a teacher, at what are predominantly white private schools. He has won 3 state championships with two different schools, far exceeding everyone’s expectations. The true accomplishment though, is how he molds boys into confident young men. He instills the values of hard work, teamwork, dedication, trust, sacrifice, sportsmanship, respect, and love of your fellow man. He challenges them to push past doubt, fear, and negativity, and grooms them to be the best they can be. Those young men aren’t the tallest, the fastest, the best shooters, but he demands their best effort and never to get out worked. He teaches, that’s not the blueprint for just basketball, but for success in life.

What does Black History Month mean to you? Black history month means it allows me to take a moment to reflect on those who have come before me and paved the way for me to be where I am today. Without Whitney Joseph there may have never been Assessor Lucien Gauff III. Without Whitney Hickerson, Milton Adams, Marva Carter, and big brothers Noland Perrilloux, Colbert Clark, Darryl Nicholas, and Wilbert Tregre Jr., and others, I would not have had the opportunity to work for Dupont/DENKA for 24+ years. I stand on their shoulders. This month especially, but everyday is time to be grateful and thankful to those who have come before me.

Why is it important to encourage diversity? It is important to encourage diversity for inclusion and to know that I am represented. Diversity in itself is seeing the world from different points of new. Your experiences are different from mine and mine from yours. America has not always had the diverse outlook it has today. Whether it be race, gender, religion, or a person’s sexuality, we must respect their views and ensure their views are represented.

What changes would you like to see in the local community?  I would like to see all our residents have a more active voice in our community. We currently have a few that speak out for the majority, this has to change. Our school system needs more volunteers. Parents, clergy, business owners, social and civic groups, and elected officials, all need to take a more active role to show we care about our community and about our children. This is how we can influence change and help our school system become the economic development engine that drives the train.