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Lieutenant Governor Nungesser Recognizes 2019 Travel Champions And True Louisiana Ambassadors

J. Stephen Conn

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser closed out the Lt. Governor’s Annual Travel Summit in Baton Rouge on a high note, recognizing the 2019 Travel Champions and True Louisiana Ambassadors. Additionally, the Lt. Governor made several announcements about the state of tourism in Louisiana, including the number of hotel rooms statewide eclipsing the 100,000 mark; the addition of three new golf courses to the Audubon Golf Trail bringing the total number on the trail to 18; and, an international sales mission to Australia in 2020.

“This summit is about the people that make tourism work in Louisiana. We want to honor some of the leaders and partners that make Louisiana tourism as successful as it is. Today it’s a privilege to recognize some of our Travel Champions and True Louisiana Ambassadors for 2019,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “As I have traveled this state, I have witnessed the passion of our people in every town and city in our state. The people of Louisiana, and their love for this state, are the greatest assets we have in promoting our state as a travel destination.”

 Earlier this year, the Louisiana Ambassador Program – or Bayou Krewe – marked a major milestone. Launched in 2017, the Bayou Krewe as membership passed the 10,000 mark. These are passionate members of the social media community, empowered as brand ambassadors and tagging posts featuring the state’s unique culture with #OnlyLouisiana.

During his keynote address, Lt. Governor Nungesser took time to honor tourism partners for their contributions to the tourism industry and laying the foundation for continued growth in the years ahead. The list of this year’s honorees include:


2019 Travel Champions

  • Senator Bill Cassidy
  • Representative Garret Graves
  • First Lady Donna Edwards
  • Jill Kidder, President/CEO of Louisiana Travel Association

2019 True Louisiana Ambassadors

  • Port of New Orleans
  • Warren ReutherHospitality Enterprises New Orleans


  • Nell CallowayChennault Aviation & Military Museum; Monroe, LA
  • Dan DyessSteel Magnolia House; Natchitoches, LA
  • Jeff & Libby LandryLandry Vineyards; West Monroe, LA
  • Ralph MahanaWindsor Court Hotel; New Orleans, LA
  • Gordon StevensNatchez Steamboat; New Orleans, LA
  • Lynette TannerFrogmore Plantation; Ferriday, LA
  • Joseph & Maurene WaguespackSt. Joseph Plantation; Vacherie, LA
  • United Front Transportation Services – Laplace, LA


  • Mark BernhardBreaux Bridge Crawfish Festival; Breaux Bridge, LA
  • Horst & Karen PfeiferMiddendorf’s Seafood Restaurant; Manchac, LA
  • Traneious RogersCountry Pride Restaurant; Slidell, LA
  • Scott & Beth SoileauSoileau’s Dinner Club; Opelousas, LA
  • Y’Zell WilliamsonMestizo’s Restaurant; Baton Rouge, LA


  • Wanda AlconSt. Bernard Parish Councilwoman
  • Allison Ravare-AugustineAvoyelles Art Council
  • Trey McGuireWarrior Network
  • Liz SwaineDowntown Development Authority Shreveport

No Man’s Land

  • Rebecca BlankenbakerCane River National Heritage Area
  • Marci Cook Vernon Parish Tourist Commission
  • John CrookVernon Parish Tourist Commission
  • Lori DarbonneBeauregard Parish Tourist Commission
  • Arlene GouldNatchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Adagria HaddockAllen Parish Tourist Commission
  • Anne KlenkeLake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Shanna LandryLake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Julie RogersDeSoto Parish Tourist Bureau
  • Linda Curtis-SparksSabine Parish Tourist Commission
  • Valorie TrahanAllen Parish Tourist Commission
  • Kelli WestNatchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Bayou Krewe – for leading the way in promoting Louisiana on social media using #OnlyLouisiana

  • Jada Durben
  • David Mora
  • John O’Donnell
  • Bonne Terre
  • Cane Bayou Tours

The Annual Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit was held at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge from August 27-27. Presented by the Louisiana Travel Association in in partnership with the Lt. Governor’s Office and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the annual summit brought together more than 500 tourism professionals from Louisiana and surrounding states for the largest tourism educational opportunity in Louisiana.