Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Outstanding Citizen John Boudreaux Sr.

John Boudreaux Sr. & Karen Lancon Boudreaux
           At most events in Jeanerette, you will find John Boudreaux Sr., quietly working behind the scenes. Boudreaux said that he was shocked when he learned he was selected as this year’s Outstanding Citizen by the Jeanerette Chamber of Commerce.
            “I enjoy giving to the community and making sure that young people get involved,” he said. “Without them we have no future.”
            Boudreaux himself began volunteering as a young man helping older people.   
        “I like to help people in need,” he said. “It’s a blessing to help somebody.”
            Boudreaux enjoys making sure things get done by working with many organizations in the community. His work, however, would not be possible without the support and help of his family standing beside him, he added.
            Boudreaux currently serves as a board member of the Iberia Parish Recreation and Playground Commission. He also serves on the Community Emergency Response Team and is a member of the Jeanerette Historic Preservation Foundation.
            His faith has led him to serve for 20 years as a member of the Knights of Columbus and as a volunteer in many capacities for St. John the Evangelist church.
            Boudreaux is a past member of the Jeanerette Museum Board, Jeanerette Chamber of Commerce, served as vice president of JRDA and has served for 17 years as a Jeanerette Volunteer Fireman.
            Boudreaux’s goals for the future are to bring businesses back into the community to keep the city growing. He also hopes that future generations will take the lead and volunteer to help others.
            “I believe we should lead by example,” he said.
            Boudreaux’s family includes his wife, Karen Lancon Boudreaux and children Tiffany Meche and John Boudreaux Jr.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Nell Derise Named Jeanerette's Outstanding Citizen

A positive outlook and willingness to help others has provided for many enjoyable experiences for the 2016 Jeanerette Outstanding Citizen, Nell Derise.
Derise grew up in Jeanerette in those days when country stores were a way of life. Her father ran a grocery store while her uncles tended to the sugarcane farm. Derise soon became a part of the family business when her father asked her to add a list of numbers.
          “When I was nine he (her father) asked me to add a column of figures and that’s how I ended up helping in the store,” Derise said. Life was simple and good for Derise who would fill her days by working in the store and going to school. After school she would sometimes work alone in the store while her father delivered groceries to his customers.
“He used to deliver the groceries to the homes, especially to the elderly who didn’t have cars,” she said.
It was those early experiences that inspired her to work with other people and to constantly learn new things. Coming from a family of four sisters and one brother, Derise used the work ethics she acquired to aid her quest of going to college. Through small jobs and scholarships she was able to receive her PhD.
Derise has always felt at ease with people. Everyone she meets tends to be a friend.
“I tend to mix well. I always felt that people wouldn’t hurt me,” she said.
After completing college, Derise began teaching nutrition courses at various colleges. She said that science has always fascinated her and she enjoyed teaching.
Derise also loves to travel. “I was always adventurous. I constantly want to learn something,” she said.
Derise has traveled all over the world and has had many thrilling experiences including shaking hands with Pope Benedict. Her strong faith has led her on many religious pilgrimages. Derise has seen Pope John II and hopes to one day see Pope Francis.
While many places she has traveled to have been enjoyable, Derise admits that she is most fascinated by the Amish communities in the United States and hopes to go back to Pennsylvania one day.
“I love the Amish communities. They were very open and friendly but also private.
They remind me of myself. I’m open and friendly but tend to find out more about others then they learn about me,” she said.
When not traveling, Derise enjoys her quiet life in Jeanerette living on the land that she grew up on. She enjoys being involved in the community as much as she can.
“This is my home. If Jeanerette is to get bigger and better it will come from the people. It needs people to make the community whole and to grow,” she said of the reason she is a dedicated volunteer.
“I still remember Jeanerette as a child. It is so different now. There were more people,” she said. Jeanerette’s future will depend on people working together she added.
“I think we all need to learn to work together and to have the same goals. It’s not happening right now and it’s holding Jeanerette back. That makes me very sad,” she said. “Young people are our future. I hope they will work to improve our community.”
Derise is optimistic that Jeanerette will continue to be a wonderful community if volunteers keep striving to help the various organizations in the city. She is very humbled and honored to be this year’s Outstanding Citizen even though it was quite a surprise to her.
“I didn’t believe it at first. I thank God because it had to be His doing. I never felt that I would have been chosen,” she said.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ron Sovine Outstanding Citizen

Being a part of the community means more than just living it, according to Ron Sovine, this year’s Outstanding Citizen of Jeanerette. Sovine will be honored by the Jeanerette Chamber of Commerce along with other achievers in the community on Feb. 6 at the Ward Eight Recreation Center.
Although Sovine did not grow up in Jeanerette, he found Jeanerette to be the perfect community for him when he moved to it in 2001.
“It’s historic and on the Teche,” he said. “I like waterways. I’ve always lived in a small town even when I lived in Dallas and Houston. I never liked big cities.”
 Shortly after becoming a resident, he decided to take an active role by helping in the community through his volunteer efforts.
 “I would like for Jeanerette to grow and be a better place to live. I like to do what I can to make that happen,” Sovine said.
Sovine said he was honored and humbled to be chosen as Jeanerette’s Citizen of the Year but added that “there’s a lot of deserving people in this town.”
He encourages everyone that lives in the community to help it grow and become a better place to live. Sovine has many goals for the city which he hopes to help it achieve.
“I want to see Jeanerette become a Main Street community,” he said. “I want to see the historic district become a thriving economic entity. I would also like to see Jeanerette go into the 21st century with Wifi and available free hot spots down Main Street.”
Sovine said that Jeanerette was the perfect place for citizens to live and work because of its location between Lafayette and Morgan City.
 “It’s an ideal location for people who work,” he said. “People who are used to commuting 20 to 30 miles would find Jeanerette attractive. It could be a bedroom community because property is inexpensive.”Growth of the city, is something that city leaders should address and become more aggressive on to grow the city’s tax base, Sovine added. He also said that Jeanerette is ideal for small businesses.
 “Jeanerette has a lot of walk up customers and people that don’t drive. Small businesses whose main emphasis is walk up customers would capture those that want to shop locally,” Sovine said.
Sovine has been an outstanding member of the community serving in various organizations for many years. His inspiration and drive has led the city to expand towards historic preservation and economic development. Sovine has recently been one of the organizers of the first Jeanerette Live community event to bring recognition to the city along with a bonding of the civic, public and nonprofit organizations. His achievements have included serving as a certified local government coordinator for the City of Jeanerette.
Sovine also serves as chairman of the Jeanerette Historic Advisory Commission where he has been a commissioner since 2005 to aid in the preservation efforts of the Historic District.
Sovine has served on the board of directors of the Jeanerette Bicentennial Park and Museum for over two terms where he has helped the museum with technology and also worked towards the development of the new Historic Jeanerette Walking Tour.
Sovine is also a dedicated member of the Jeanerette Landmark Society where he has served on the board of directors since 2011 and has held the office of treasurer. He is also serves in the Jeanerette Historic Preservation Foundation and can often be seen helping at many fundraisers for various non profit organizations.
Sovine is currently employed as an I.T. Consultant for the Oil and Gas Industry and was employed as an I. T. Professional by Atlantic Richfield Company.
Sovine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Louisiana State University and a Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He is a graduate of Woodlawn High School of Baton Rouge and is married to Elizabeth Bourgeois Sovine. The couple has three children and two grandchildren.

Signpost to Freedom

The Jeanerette Museum is hosting a public film viewing of the one hour documentary, Signpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The film, produced by  Louisiana Public Broadcasting, recounts the circumstances and events that led to the nation’s first large-scale boycott protesting segregation and then examines its impact on the evolution of grassroots civil rights activism across the country during the early years of America's Civil Rights Movement. For more information on this free film viewing, contact the museum Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 337-276-4408, visit their webpage at www.jeanerettemuseum.com.

State Museum Exhibit Arrives

The Jeanerette Museum is hosting the traveling exhibit, The World Will Move: Civil Rights & Public Transportation in Louisiana 1860s-1950s from Jan. 26 through March 20. The exhibit from the Louisiana State Museum uses vintage photographs, prints, newspaper articles and artifacts to tell the story of African Americans who challenged discrimination on streetcars, steamboats, trains and buses.

Museum Opens Time Capsule

Jeanerette Museum Board Chairman Andre Rosamond and Vice Chairman Gail Garcia hold the time capsules that were dug up during the museum's celebration, Yesterday's Tomorrows held on November 9, 2014.
The time capsule had been buried for 10 years. The museum also opened a local exhibit, Jeanerette Through Photos, 1900-2000. The exhibit remains on view at the museum. Also during the day, the museum celebration included music by Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Museum Dedicates Presentation Room

Museum Dedicates New Room
The Jeanerette Museum recently dedicated its new Presentation Room, connected to the annex building. The new room will be used to host local exhibits, talks, and other presentations. On hand for the ceremony were various members of the Jeanerette Museum Board, past and present, community leaders and the public. Shown cutting the ribbon are Andre Rosamond, Museum Board Chair; Gail Garcia, Museum Board Vice Chair, Katie Landry, Iberia Recreation; Phaedra Perkins, Jeanerette Chamber of Commerce; Mayor April Foulcard; Alice Bodin, Jeanerette Chamber officer; Leroy Jones and Freddie Migues, Iberia Parish Recreation Board members and Oscar Vargus, Jeanerette Beautification Committee.