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Names in the News: The People Shaping the Future of Lake Region Businesses - American Press


Names in the News: People Shaping the Future of Lake Area Business

Posted at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2023

Wilkinson named bank president

Charles V. TimpaChairman of the Board, together with the Board of Directors of First Federal Bank of Louisiana, are pleased to announce that Samuel V. “Sam” Wilkinson was named president and chief executive officer of First Federal Bank.

Wilkinson succeeds Timpa, who has worked for First Federal Bank for 44 years and served as CEO for the past 15 years. Timpa will remain chairman of the board.

Wilkinson has 45 years of financial services experience, including the start of his banking career at Calcasieu

Marine National Bank, then Senior Vice President at Hibernia Bank and Senior Vice President at Capital One. Wilkinson joined First Federal Bank in 2007 before being named executive vice president in 2017 and then president in 2020.

Wilkinson’s experience covers all aspects of banking and he serves on various state and local community boards.

Wilkinson is a graduate of Vinton High School, McNeese State University and the LSU Graduate School of Banking.

Wilson appointed to commission

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sharon Darville Wilson was appointed to serve on the Judiciary Commission by the Louisiana Supreme Court as a member of the court of appeals for a term that began January 1 and ends December 31, 2026.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in 1988 and her juris doctor degree from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1991.

Wilson worked as an assistant district attorney in the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office from 1992 to 1999. She worked as the Chief Crime Prosecutor in the Allen Parish District Attorney’s Office from 1999 to 2002.

She returned to the Calcasieu Parish Attorney’s Office and worked from 2002 to 2009 when she began working in private practice.

Prior to her election to the Louisiana Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Wilson was elected the 14th judge of the Judicial District Court and served from 2014 to 2020; she served as Chief Justice of the 14th JDC from 2017 to 2018 and co-founded the Calcasieu Parish Veterans Treatment Court.

Wilson was a member of the executive council of the Louisiana District Judges Association and also a district judge on the Judiciary Commission from 2019 to 2020.

Wilson succeeds outgoing Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Molaison Jr.

Griffin named director of ASSL

The Autism Services of Southwest Louisiana and Direct Care Board of Directors is pleased to announce Melissa M. Griffin as executive director.

Griffin has served as CFO and COO for ASSL and Direct Care since the summer of 2021 and has demonstrated a true passion for serving clients. She graduated from McNeese State University with a bachelor’s degree in management. She has over 14 years of experience in management, accounting, logistics, human resources and team leadership.

Prior to ASSL, Griffin served as Director of Hospital Distribution at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for six years.

Autism Services of Southwest Louisiana is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support for adults with autism. Direct Care Inc. is a nonprofit agency that provides personal care services to people of all ages on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities.

Security Council appoints leaders

The Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana is pleased to announce two promotions to its leadership team for 2023.

The board of directors has appointed Sarita Scheufens President and CEO. A native of Lake Charles, Scheufens has served as CEO of the Safety Council since 2018.

The promotion to President and CEO recognizes the innovations and contributions she has made during her tenure at the helm, including transitioning the Security Council into a one-stop shop for all onboarding prerequisites and of PSM required on site. Other changes include advanced training techniques to improve learning retention and better user experience.

SCSWLA is also pleased to announce the promotion of Jerry Pierrotti as Chief Operating Officer. Also a Lake Charles native, Pierrottie has served as operations manager thus far. In his new role, he will continue to report to the President and CEO and will be responsible for all day-to-day operational functions of the business, including the impending construction of a building and the move to Sulfur.

Lakeside Bank Recognized

BauerFinancial, the nation’s leading independent banking research and rating firm, has once again awarded lake bank their highest rating of 5 stars. This recognition indicates that Lakeside Bank is ranked among the strongest banks in the country, with excellent performance in the areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality and more.

Lakeside has two locations in Lake Charles, as well as Sulfur and Moss Bluff, and was voted “Best Bank” in 2022 in the American press People’s Choice Award.

BauerFinancial has been reporting and analyzing the performance of US banks and credit unions to exacting standards since 1983. No institution pays for its rating and cannot escape it.

Credit Union appoints new COO

The Southwest Louisiana Credit Union is pleased to announce Audrey Lee as the new Director of Operations. Lee will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the credit union, developing policies, procedures and training to ensure effective and efficient operations.

She will work closely with the CEO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union Chad Miller to establish short and long term business goals.

Lee comes to the Southwest Louisiana Credit Union from the Pelican State Credit Union. In her previous role as Branch Manager, her branch saw a significant increase in net income in less than a year, received the award for Best Production Branch of 2021, an MSR was awarded to the Top Producer of 2021 and the branch exceeded personal productivity, loan and savings targets.

Southwest Louisiana Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution based in Southwest Louisiana with a mission of “financial empowerment for all”. The only community development financial institution in South Louisiana, it provides needs-based products and services to low-income and underserved areas of its community.

Serving just over 18,000 members, the Southwest Louisiana Credit Union has five branches with a sixth under construction in South Beauregard.



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