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Louisiana Leaders Thinking Strategically in Regional Economic Development Efforts


The Delta Regional Authority announced three new Louisiana graduates of the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy. The DLI works to create jobs, build communities, and improve lives across the Mississippi River Delta region and the Black Belt of Alabama.

The graduates completed the ten-month DLI Executive Academy, a training program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit-sector leaders from each of the eight states served by DRA. The program equips participants with the tools, experiences and networks that will help them create new economic opportunities in Delta communities as well as support the growth of the region’s economy.

The graduates participated in seven training sessions over the past year to educate them on the regional and local economic and community development best practices employed across the Delta to catalyse innovative solutions implementable in their own community and region.

“The Delta Leadership Institute produces well-trained leaders who commit themselves to growing our communities throughout the region,” Gov. Edwards said. “I would like to congratulate all of DLI’s graduates, and I want to thank them for their commitment to the Delta and the rural parts of our country. I can’t wait to see the ways in which these graduates will use their new skill sets to improve the lives of the hardworking families in our rural communities.”

The Louisiana graduates are:

  • Mr. Daryl Fortenberry, Monroe | Chief Executive Officer, Ghost Tactical
  • Mrs. Stacey Neal, Amite | Director, Community Competitiveness, Louisiana Economic Development
  • Mr. Eddie Thompson, Pineville | Community Development Specialist, USDA Rural Development

DLI is a program of DRA in partnership with three institutions of higher education in the Delta region: The University of Alabama, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has invested more than $185 million into more than 1,100 projects.