News Makers

DEMCO CEO and General Manager Vranic named Cooperative Leader of the Year

DEMCO CEO and General Manager John Vranic

DEMCO CEO and General Manager John Vranic

DEMCO CEO and General Manager John Vranic was recently named Cooperative Leader of the Year for 2016 by the Louisiana Council of Farmer Cooperatives (LCFC).
According to LCFC President Billy Gibson, Vranic received the honor primarily in recognition of his exemplary response to the Baton Rouge area flood of August 2016. The flood not only caused extensive property damage to tens of thousands of DEMCO’s members, but also damaged two of the cooperative’s district branches and significantly impacted nearly one-quarter of the co-op’s employees.
Gibson recounted how Vranic sprang into action after the August 2016 flood by placing a priority on making sure his employees and their families had the resources and support needed to recover from their personal property losses and the stress caused by the disaster.
He helped manage a relief fund endowed by the generous donations of a wide array of power suppliers, fellow distribution cooperatives and organizations and individuals from across the country and oversaw the efforts to distribute and allocate those funds to employees.
Additionally, Vranic directed staff to work toward offering assistance in various forms to cooperative members and the community at-large. This included providing meals to flood victims and their families, promoting the cooperative’s charitable foundation and assisting local hospitals, schools and other public agencies. In the process, Vranic also opened his home to six flood victims to provide temporary shelter.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the LCFC organization,” Vranic said. “But really, I don’t feel I’ve done anything extraordinary. When disaster strikes here in this community, people always pull together. There were so many people who came to the aid and rescue of those in need. We’ve seen it time and time again over the years. This is a wonderful place to live and raise a family and we’re just happy to have the opportunity to serve.”
Aside from the flood, Gibson noted that Vranic also orchestrated a grand display of support for the area law enforcement officers gunned down in Baton Rouge last summer.

Guaranty Bank announces multiple promotions
Guaranty Bank & Trust Company has announced the following promotions within the bank: Ann Brown, Letha Butler, Christine St. Romain and Denise Rodrigue have been named assistant vice-presidents, and Charlee Blackwell is in charge of the Zachary branch and business development.
In making the announcements, J. Wade O’Neal, III, President and CEO, stated, “Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Rodrigue, Mrs. St. Romain and Mrs. Blackwell have all played an important part in the success of Guaranty Bank. They are very knowledgeable and they are valuable members of the management team of the bank.”

Ann Brown

Ann Brown

Ann Brown is assistant vice president, compliance officer and audit manager for Guaranty Bank. She has worked in banking for twenty-six years, is a certified compliance officer and internal auditor. Brown is active in the community and volunteers her time with local activities and fundraisers. She is a resident of New Roads and is married to Kirk Brown.

Leatha Butler

Leatha Butler

Letha Butler is assistant vice-president, Maringouin branch manager and business development officer. She has over 25 years of banking experience. Butler was a member of the Maringouin City Council where she served the community for twelve years. She is married to Lee Butler.

Denise Rodrigue

Denise Rodrigue

Denise Rodrigue is assistant vice-president, Port Allen branch manager & business development officer. She has been with Guaranty Bank & Trust Co. for over nine years and has been in banking for over 35 years. Rodrigue attended Louisiana State University and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Banking School. Rodrigue has served as a board member on the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce for 3 years. She has also coached basketball for several years for the West Baton Rouge Park and Recreation. She is married to David Rodrigue.

Christine St. Romain

Christine St. Romain

Christine St. Romain has been with Guaranty Bank and served in several capacities for forty-two years. St. Romain serves on the Board of the Pointe Coupee Historical Society. She is married to Donald St. Romain.

Charlee Blackwell

Charlee Blackwell

Charlee Blackwell will be in charge of the Zachary Branch & Business Development. She has been with Guaranty Bank for over 7 years. Blackwell is an active member of the Zachary Rotary Club and the Zachary Chamber of Commerce. Blackwell is a resident of Zachary and is married to Carl Joseph Blackwell, Jr.
Guaranty Bank has convenient banking services in New Roads, Livonia, Zachary, Port Allen, Maringouin and Grosse Tete.

YMCA of the Capital Area names new president and CEO
After a nationwide search, Chrstian Engle is named the new president and CEO of the Capital Area YMCA effective May 1, 2017. Since 2011, Engle has served as Senior Vice President & COO of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA in New Haven, CT. Christian grew up in Mississippi and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. His wife, Melinda, hails from Mississippi, and his son currently attends the University of Southern Mississippi. His daughter, Callie, will join her parents in Baton Rouge to complete her senior year of high school.

bassSeventh Ward Elementary students earn first place at bass fishing tournament
Denham Springs brothers Caleb and Noah Roblin, who both attend Seventh Ward Elementary, recently won first place in their respective age divisions of a Southwest Jr. Bassmasters League tournament at Adam’s Landing near Belle River. The fishing tournament was held on March 18, and more than 30 boats participated.
Caleb Roblin won the 11-14 age bracket, while Noah Roblin, who is only six years old, won the 7-10 age division. The younger brother also won the Big Bass award for reeling in the largest fish in his division.
For more information on the Jr. Southwest Bassmasters League, students or their parents can contact Jim Breaux at breauxjj@cox.net. League meetings are held at the Bass Pro Shops store each month.