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Panel Track 3
Know Your Neighbor: Social Accountability  1:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Being a good leader means making the most of your team. Building a support network involves recognizing what people bring to the table, specifically what you may lack and need. Honing diverse opinions and elevating all voices means making decisions about who is asserting herself at the table and who needs encouragement to speak up. When interacting with and leading people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and ages, conflict will inevitably surface. But sometimes, it takes conflict to achieve meaningful resolution and team growth. Growing as a leader and successfully navigating a team requires thoughtful, frequent analysis of interpersonal dynamics. Our panel of experts will share their experiences with navigating difference and how it enhances our own perspectives and enriches our professional and personal lives. 

Tania Hilburn Gina White Angela

Tania Hilburn

Managing Director

Chase Home Lending, Monroe Site Leader

Tania is the local Site Leader for the Chase Loan Center in Monroe.  The Monroe site employs 1,100 staff and is a national operations center for Chase, processing work for multiple lines of business including Home Lending, Automobile and Commercial Lending .  Tania directly manages Loan Administration which is a central utility for digitization, document and data management.  Her team is located across five domestic sites and the Philippines.  In 2025, a sixth site will be added when construction completes on the new Loan Center in Ruston, a $30M investment.

Through Chase, Tania has had the opportunity to give back to her community through volunteering.  She just completed a six-year volunteer commitment to the Monroe Chamber of Commerce where she was Chairman of the Board in 2022.   She also just completed a three-year commitment as a board member of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP).  Tania has also been a volunteer board member in the past for Louisiana Delta Community College Foundation, Opportunities Industrialization Center of Ouachita (OIC), NOVA Workforce Institute of NELA and the Humane Society Adoption Center in Monroe.

She is a graduate of Louisiana Tech and started her career in healthcare as a Registered Record Administrator before joining Chase.

Tania was born and raised in northeastern Louisiana and resides in Monroe with her husband Greg.  She and Greg have twin daughters, Shyla and Shyenne, who both attend college in Monroe.

Gina White

Dir Int Student Programs & Services


Eugenia is a native of Monroe, Louisiana. She was educated in Ouachita parish and Lincoln parish. She is graduate of the current Lincoln Preparatory School, formally, Grambling High School.  Gina, as she known by most, is a graduate of Grambling State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and she received her master’s in public administration here at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Adult Education and Learning at Northwestern State University.

After years of work in the corporate arena, Gina is now the director of the office of Global and Multi-Cultural at University Louisiana Monroe. This newly restructured office is working to ensure that every student, faculty member and staff have a place in our university where they feel seen, heard, and valued. 

Her faith is her sustaining factor daily. She is an active member of The Little Flower Catholic Church. She serves as the advisor of the youth department. Her mother always instilled that to whom much is given, much is required. Gina only hopes that her outreach in her community leaves an impact for generations to come.

She is a member of Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary; Les Martinique Civic and Social club; Junior League of Monroe, Grambling State University Alumni Association, University of Louisiana Monroe Alumni Association, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., and Monroe-Grambling Chapter of Links, Inc. She serves on the board of Northeast Louisiana Sickle Cell Foundation. 

In her minimal spare time, you can find Gina supporting sports around the city and state, especially football.

She is the proud wife of Mr. Vincent White and doting mother to an active 8-year-old daughter, Allison.

Dr. Angela Crumpton

Director of High Schools

Ouachita Parish School System

Dr. Angela Crumpton, a product of Ouachita Parish School System, received her undergraduate degree in Marketing from L.S.U. A&M in Baton Rouge, her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and through the Louisiana Education Consortium (L.E.C.—Grambling, U.L.M., & Louisiana Tech) completed her Doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction. She has worked in Ouachita Parish Schools for 23 years having served as a self-contained special education teacher, a middle school Science teacher, a keyboarding teacher, Special Ed Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Pupil Appraisal Facilitator, a district level Supervisor and in July 2023, she was promoted to Director of High Schools. 

Dr. Crumpton is an active member of the King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church where she sings in the choir. She has an 18 year old son who is currently a Freshman at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is a published writer with work currently available on Amazon Kindle Vella, and she enjoys reading, painting, and gardening. Dr. Crumpton believes that, ‘to whom much is given much is required’ and that, ‘God is able to do anything, but fail’.



The Gender Variable:  Leading Women in Male-Dominated Spaces 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm

Being the only woman in a male-dominated space can produce advantages and disadvantages. It can also contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Finding ourselves as the odd woman out can be an opportunity to transform our workspaces into inclusive environments. Being the first also comes with unique responsibilities and pressure to conform to gender standards that we had no part in establishing. Challenging those preconceived notions of how a woman should act in a male space is made more tenuous by being financially dependent on making it work. It can be tempting to not rock the boat, to laugh when it isn’t funny, or to brush off gendered stereotypes and assumptions. But accepting the status quo only leads to more of the same. Our panel of experts have struggled and thrived in male-dominated spaces and will share their stories of how to navigate such environments.






Alana Cooper


Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau

Alana Cooper is the President/CEO of the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau and has served in this capacity for the past eighteen years.  Prior to that, Mrs. Cooper served as the Assistant Executive Director for nine years.  She has a diverse background of work experience from ARCO, A Community Resource as a Group Home Manager to a Supervisor of Gaming at Harrah’s Casino in Shreveport.  She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts from Louisiana Tech University.  She is active in the community and many professional organizations on a local, state and national level.  She has served as Chair of the Board of Louisiana Travel Association, just finishing her second time in that position, as well as many other capacities for the state organization.  She was recently honored by Destinations International with the Destination Organization Leadership Award.  Through the years, she has actively served on numerous civic organizations within the local community, currently serving on the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.

Sonyetta Anderson



Sonyetta Anderson, a Baton Rouge native, navigated a diverse career journey from Cincinnati to New Orleans and back home. A devoted wife to her college sweetheart, Donnie Anderson, she holds an MBA from Xavier Jesuit and a Bachelors of Science from Southern University.

With 24 years in IT Management, Sonyetta excelled at IBM (9 years) and P&G (15 years), alongside internships at NASA JSC and Aflac. Beyond her career, she's a published author, delving into poetry and children's books, while also crafting a screenplay. Her creativity extends to photography and painting, and she explores her interests in real estate and travel.

Sonyetta's passions encompass her faith, family, innovation, and leading change. Her life philosophy revolves around healthy growth, creating a fulfilling and well-rounded journey.

Brandi Cole

Assistant General Counsel

Lumen Technologies

Brandi Cole is Assistant General Counsel at Lumen Technologies.  She began working for this global telecom company in a counsel role in 2014, and now leads a team of employees across the United States that handles internal investigations and is responsible for managing the company’s Ethics and Compliance program.  Prior to joining Lumen, Brandi worked as an attorney for Phelps Dunbar LLP in Baton Rouge.  She resides in West Monroe, her beloved hometown, with her husband, David, and two wonderful children, Annie (12) and Cooper (10).  Brandi is passionate about her community and can’t imagine calling any other place home.

Brandi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Louisiana Tech University, and received her Juris Doctorate from LSU Law School, where she graduated Order of the Coif.   She is a member of Christ Church and serves as a youth leader for middle school students.   She also serves on the board of the Twin City Ballet Company, recently completing her term as board president.  In 2018, Brandi led the Board’s initiative in creating the fabulous community event, the Twin City Lip Sync Battle, which she continues to co-lead.  She is on the Executive Leadership Counsel for Picture This . . .Our Time is Now Campaign for the City of West Monroe, served as past Secretary and board member for the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, and was a board member for the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission from 2019-2022.  Brandi credits the mentorship of some incredible females over the years for teaching her the value of hard work, leadership skills, and the importance of continuous growth.



Building the Table: Women in Politics and Governance 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

All throughout history, we have seen trends of women entering government spaces, challenging policies that do not serve them and their families. Making sure the needs of citizens are met requires representatives from all sectors of society. People tend to fight for things that affect them personally. To solve a problem, one has to first identify a problem. Governance is the intersection of people and power, and when citizens invest that power in their leaders, they expect access and results. This means making progress for one group while asking others to wait their turn, not an easy feat. Effective policy means effective prioritization, and everyone wants their needs met first. Our panel of women in politics have travelled this road and will share their experiences in governance. 









Toni bacon

Angie Deal Sturdivant

Monroe City Court Judge

Angie has been a public servant for over 14 years. Angie started her legal career with the City of Monroe as a prosecutor in Monroe City Court. After two years of prosecuting cases, Angie moved to the Civil Division of the Monroe City Attorney’s Office, where she was responsible for a broad range of matters on a variety of topics, including handling employment and administrative matters, managing general civil litigation and appeals, and advising Boards and Commissions. Angie was promoted to City Attorney in 2018, and she served as the chief legal advisor for the City of Monroe, its Mayor, and its City Council until she was elected Monroe City Court Judge in 2023. Angie takes her job as a public servant very seriously and considers it a privilege to serve the citizens of Monroe. 

Angie’s faith is an important part of her life. Angie is an active member of First Methodist Church in Monroe, where she serves on various committees. She has also served as a Team Member for Charis Methodist Women’s Retreats.

Angie also believes in being a passionate leader and volunteer. Angie is an active member of the United Way, where she served as a Campaign Cabinet Member and served many years as a Read, Learn, Succeed Reading Mentor. She is also a member of the Sallie Humble PTO where she enjoys volunteering every chance she gets. 

Angie is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she earned a degree in Political Science. She went on to study law at Southern University Law Center, where she earned her Juris Doctorate in May of 2009. 

Angie is married to Jeremy Sturdivant, has one son, Brooks, and a stepson, Landon. Brooks is in fifth grade at Sallie Humble Elementary, and Landon will graduate from optometry school in May. When Angie isn’t watching Brooks play baseball, football, or basketball, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and two rescue Boxers.


Julie Stokes


Flame Consulting

Julie Stokes is the CEO of Flame Consulting, CFO of Stokes & Associates, Founder of Ellevate Louisiana, and Founder of Survivor’s Cancer Action Network (SCAN). She is a CPA, a nonpartisan policy advocate, a civic leader, and a speaker.  

Over her seven years of service in the Louisiana Legislature, Julie Stokes gained a reputation as a passionate advocate for cancer patients and for comprehensive, non-partisan fiscal policy. Julie was able to share her knowledge as a CPA, as well as gain significant legislative experience, with the Louisiana budget, comparative state tax policy, oversight of legislative audit, Louisiana’s economic development incentives, and Louisiana’s Department of Health policies. Having received numerous accolades for her work in the Legislature and leaving public life behind in 2020, she opened Flame Consulting to continue supporting projects that she is passionate about, like nonpartisan public policy, cancer advocacy, and growing civic engagement in Louisiana.  

As part of her work through Flame Consulting, Julie founded Ellevate Louisiana. Ellevate Louisiana’s purpose is to empower women leaders throughout Louisiana by connecting and educating them on the challenges impacting Louisiana with data-driven, non-partisan solutions to make a better future for the state. In its first three years of operation, Ellevate Louisiana has grown to more than 200 members statewide.  Ellevate Louisiana hosts discussions with policy makers in key areas of state policymaking to study the issues and to create a policy agenda for its advocacy work before the Louisiana Legislature.  

During her time in, and since leaving the legislature, Julie has been responsible for at least 13 major pieces of legislation to improve access to better early detection and treatment options for cancer diagnoses. As a result of her passionate advocacy over the years, she has founded the Survivor’s Cancer Action Network (SCAN) whose mission is to unite cancer survivors, doctors, scientists, and philanthropists to improve the patient experience and ultimately drive superior outcomes for cancer care in the State of Louisiana. Julie also works with the Louisiana Oncology Society to collaborate on and pass legislation to bring the most current science for cancer care to the people of Louisiana.

Julie also serves as the CFO of Stokes & Associates, where she provides the financial leadership that has grown the company from two employees in 1998 to over forty employees today. Stokes & Associates was recognized in 2020 as one of UNO’s Top 25 Alumni-Owned businesses and was recognized in 2023 by the Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Advocate as one of the best places to work. Stokes & Associates has earned its reputation as one of the most respected vocational rehabilitation firms in the state of Louisiana.

Julie currently serves on the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors and was the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of the University of New Orleans.  She is currently the Policy Chairman for GNO, Inc., serves as an Executive Committee member of the Louisiana Committee of 100 for Economic Development, and is on the Board of the Louisiana RESET policy initiative. She is active with the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Society of CPA's, the International Women’s Forum, Women United, and other groups. She is a frequent speaker to groups on bipartisanship, fiscal policy, women’s leadership, civic engagement, cancer advocacy, and on inspirational topics such as finding your voice, making a difference in this world, and overcoming adversity. She is a graduate of the Committee for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana, the Jefferson Chamber’s Leadership Jefferson, and Loyola University’s Institute of Politics.

During her time in the Louisiana Legislature, she chaired the Legislative Audit Advisory Council and the Sales Tax Streamlining and Modernization Committee. She was a very active member of the Ways & Means and Health & Welfare Committees.  She also served on House Labor, Capital Outlay, and was an interim member of House Appropriations Committee. She travelled Louisiana with the Committee of 100, the Public Affairs Research Council, and the Committee for Better Louisiana as one of the lead speakers on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform in 2015 and 2016. Nationally, she was very involved with the National Council of State Legislatures, having served on the Executive Committee, as Co-Chair of their Budget and Revenue Standing Committee, and being co-chairmanship of its Executive Task Force on State and Local Taxes.  

She attended the University of New Orleans on full scholarship where she received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude. Julie resides in River Ridge with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Brandon and Taylor.

Sharon Broome

Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish.

Sharon Weston Broome is a firm believer in achieving progress through inclusion, innovation and information.
Since taking office, Mayor Broome has placed a heavy focus on improving the quality of life for citizens while
building resiliency through infrastructure improvements. She has focused on addressing transportation,
drainage, public safety, education, economic development and revitalizing neighborhoods.
Mayor Broome is the first female Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish.
She previously served as a Baton Rouge Metro City Council Member, a Louisiana State Representative and a
Louisiana State Senator.
While serving in the legislature, Broome became the first woman to hold the leadership positions of Speaker
Pro Tempore in the House and President Pro Tempore in the Senate.
Mayor Broome has been recognized for her service and leadership by several organizations. She was selected
for the inaugural class of the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Mayor Broome serves as 2

nd Vice-
President of the National League of Cities (NLC) and serves on the NLC Board and Executive Committee. In

addition, she is a Local Government Advisory Committee Member of the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and the Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Alliance to End Childhood Hunger. She is the secretary and a
member of the board of trustees of the African American Mayors Association, and sits on the US Conference of
Mayors advisory board.
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and has been recognized for her public service and
leadership by a number of organizations including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement
Executives, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and received the Luminary Award from Links
Incorporated LA Capitale Chapter, the Baton Rouge NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, Girl Scouts
Louisiana East 2017 Women of Distinction Award and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Lambda Kappa
Kappa Chapter) 2017 Citizen of the Year Award - just to name a few.
Mayor Broome holds a B.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse. She is a
2019 recipient of UW-L Alumni Association’s Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumni Award. Mayor Broome
received her M.A. in Communications from Regent University. The mayor has served as an adjunct instructor at
the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge Community College
and Southern University.
Faith and family are priorities for Mayor Broome. She is a member of United Christian Faith Ministries Church
and is happily married to Marvin Broome. They are the proud parents of three children and have three

Toni Bacon

Senior Vice President

Century Next Bank

Toni Bacon is a dedicated professional with a passion for community service and a distinguished career in banking. In 1994, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). With 29 years of experience in the banking industry, Toni currently holds the position of Senior Vice President in Commercial Lending at Century Next Bank.

Beyond her successful banking career, Toni is actively involved in various community organizations, reflecting her commitment to making a positive impact. She serves on the boards of the ULM Foundation, United Way, Boy Scouts, Ouachita Women's Republican Club, and the First West Long Range Planning Committee. Through her involvement in these organizations, Toni actively contributes to the betterment of her community.

Toni's belief in the importance of giving back to the community where one lives is a driving force in her life. This philosophy led her to take on additional responsibilities as she decided to run for the position of Police Juror in her district. For Toni, serving as a Police Juror is not just a role but a meaningful way to give back to the parish that has been a source of blessings for her and her family. With a blend of professional expertise and a heartfelt commitment to community service, Toni Bacon continues to make a significant impact in both the business and civic spheres of her life.