Leading Lady Donna Jennings

About This Episode

March is our favorite time of year here at Local Leaders the Podcast. March is National Women in History Month and each year we select five ladies from Livingston Parish Louisiana to represent Local Leaders: The Podcast as “Leading Ladies”. Our third of five (no particular order) is Mrs. Donna Jennings. Mrs. Jennings is has spent a lifetime in one capacity or another (or many at the same time) promoting the city of DENHAM SPRINGS through many events as well as serving as a grant writer. Her passion for the community shines through in this podcast and you won’t want to miss it! We are excited and honored to present our 3rd of 5 Leading Ladies for 2022!

Denham Springs Antique Village on Facebook

Transcript (Beta)

hi this is lori johnson with hancock whitney bank and you’re listening to local leaders the podcast visit localleadersthepodcast.com for previous episodes or for information on appearing on the show hey everyone it’s jim chapman with local leaders the podcast and i want to make you aware of a fantastic deal they have going on right now at fit body boot camp in denham springs louisiana if you go to the link get fit denim springs dot com slash local leaders you can get thirty dollars off of the regular price of 129 for 30 days of classes go to the link click it sign up 30 day classes for only 99 through that link it’s a special deal offered to all of our listeners at local leaders the podcast

hey everyone and welcome back to another edition of local leaders the podcast and sitting across from me is miss donna jennings how are you ma’am i’m doing great how are you i’m doing fantastic happy to have you on today and i was telling you before this uh this show that you filled out one of the best questionnaires i’ve ever seen just relative to uh the size of it in the you know you’re very clear you can tell you’re a grant writer it’s concise and screw and uh yeah concise yes made my job a lot easier so i appreciate you for that now to say you wear a ton of hats would really be an understatement in your professional life in addition to your work as a grant writer for the city of denham springs you’re also director of main street in old city hall you’re the cultural district manager the certified local government director and the farmer’s market director a lot of hats there yes so i want to jump right in and kind of discuss all these roles and how they play a part in the community uh let you cover what each job entails so i guess let’s start with the city of denham springs we’re your grant writer okay um you’ve been there a little while now right about 18 years 18 years 18 lovely wonderful years you know what do you know what a joy it is because at my age i can promise you it’s hard to get up and be at work at 7 o’clock but i love it yeah yeah 18 years i still love it it’s just it’s just life to you at this point right it is yeah and uh and you do grants and and grants are critical they’re very critical to funding especially for parishes and in a difficult probably i would imagine to uh seed through all that process and and get those things done so one of the questions that stood out to me because i would imagine this process really was difficult after the flood of 2016. was that was it tough to get i mean did it double your workload as far as seeking those grants well think about this you’re a grant writer with no computer no pencil no office everything flooded and was gone all your contacts are gone all your grant information’s gone and you have to sit there and literally rebuild everything mississippi main street came in and literally they brought me a laptop they brought me a computer i mean they brought me a printer they brought me paper and pencils so that was a difficult time of recovering after the flood what an adjustment you know to go from uh i guess technology and all of it all of the great things about technology to uh you know basically here’s some pencils here here’s here’s the basics of what you need but you made it work and one of the things i’m most proud of uh since 2016 is the way the city of denham springs has come back uh you know there was a point a month after that flood people were thinking this city’s dead yeah i mean it’s just every business is gone they’re not going to come back i wasn’t one of those people i you know i believed and and uh and felt in my heart that this was just another challenge we would get through but um it was tough it was tough from i would imagine especially from the city’s standpoint where you were in the thick of things right right and you know the good thing about after the flood would happen is we have a very progressive energetic mayor yes and he took reins and he set things up and he set up department heads and everything would just feed down to where it needed to feed through yeah day night whatever the man worked 24 7. and that’s why denim came back so successfully i i agree 100 and i say it all the time um you know you if you had ten mayors uh there was one of those that might could have pulled that off the way that was done and i and i feel blessed every day that that mayor landry was in that position because i think he was the right man for that position and in that time uh and look first time mayor at that point not not in office very long a lot of people would have been like okay here’s the key i didn’t sign up for this you look at the community was 90 something percent flooded yes so he literally walked in the door jumped in a boat and was saving people throughout the city of dunham springs yes and he’s not stopped since right right amazing story and for those that may be interested uh he also spoke in front of congress it was one of the most emotional uh speeches for me because uh you know i lived it just like all of us and uh and i thought he did a ma an amazing job at that speech you go check that out on youtube you can just google livingston parish flood gerard landry and it should pull it up uh so great job by him and and you and all of you i mean any any good mayor and he he would be the first to say it it’s the support staff underneath you that really gets you through these things you’re you’re steering the ship but but uh they’re all the ones underneath you that are making it happen and and uh so all of you deserve uh i don’t know if it’s a round of applause or whatever but you deserve some kudos for where we’ve come since that time and you’re in an interesting position because you don’t just write grants right you you do all kinds of things and another thing you are in charge of is uh you were the director of main street beautiful main street uh one of my favorite parts of this city is that antique district and everything that’s around it as a matter of fact if i had to pick a favorite landmark mine is the train station that’s awesome i love the train station brings me back to a time right and uh and so it’s a wonderful part of denham springs it’s a gym that um no matter what kind of mood i’m in personally i can i can always go shopping in the antique district yes and see friends of mine and say hello that are that uh own businesses in that district so let’s talk about that for a second um how long have you been the director there probably seventeen and a half years so not long after you became uh the grand grant writer and then the mayor came in and said hey would you want to be the main street director and i’m like well tell me what to do and he told me he said you go to lionel cable and you go to florence crowder and that’s your starting point you’ve got a board set there was a denim springs main street board so i always say they trained me yeah we had the louisiana main street which is ray scriber that is an amazing man and any questions i had at all from day one all i had to do was email her calling yes i had some great leaders yes you know that that brought me to the point of being there for 17 and a half years now phenomenal and you’ve seen probably a lot of change within that and and speaking of you know the flood i have pictures out there that mayor gerard uh landry graciously let me use for a series i’m doing on the flood but one of them is middle of the antique district and just treasures stacked up 10 feet high from flooding right it was amazing wow um and how my how they have come back during that time and that was under you know you were under your leadership i 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dot-com to schedule a free quote today dreamscape construction a proud sponsor of local leaders this was the good thing i immediately when you could even get phone service first thing i did was call louisiana main street they brought a group of people down there we had volunteers from other communities that would come in and clean and this is what i had to tell them when they when they started offering we have no water we have no food we have no electricity and it’s hot and let me tell you something they pack their lunch boxes they came prepared to work they gutted buildings they cleaned buildings they did everything a lot of people don’t know but the denim springs merchants association is the majority of the merchants in the village they work as a whole on everything so if one of them shot was at a standstill because they just couldn’t go any farther right then they’d go across the street down the street somebody else that might need help so it was just everybody working together and that’s it it’s it’s not a it’s not a one person it’s a all of us let’s get on the same track let’s move let’s go yeah yeah and it really takes a team right it does and uh so great job there now i want to back up a little bit and talk about uh grant funding again and just bring up some of the projects uh that that you’ve been able to find some money for and and that we have and one of those is the dotd brick sidewalk project yes tell me about that that was my favorite yeah you know it was so good when it was accepted believe it or not it took about four years for the funding to finally come through because it’s depending on where they’re at with what project and how much money they have for the year yes so the best i can tell you that there’s three foot of sand down there’s piping down there already pvc piping for electrical for when not if for when we get those those big lights fancy lights up in there i mean we’re ready to go i walked that with a contractor the contractor every two weeks to make sure that everything was going right with it the merchants would call me on the weekend me and my husband would load up a four by eight piece of plywood bring it to their shop because they couldn’t get in their door yeah you know so it was a lot of off-duty time too sure but it sure is pretty i love it i love it and and it’s inter you know it’s important to note that people when they think of grants it’s it’s not always free money and what i mean by that is you know a match usually has to take place right so yeah which a match is still a match and it’s better you know 50 percent is better than 100 of course but um if you have a 10 million dollar grant that would mean in a lot of cases your city is expected to come up with five million of that for example right um and that’s that’s you know p it’s easy for people to say well why not just get a grant and it’ll pay for it well you kind of have the money to make the match and so uh just wanted to to put that out there also uh the animal shelter restoration project so mayor landry actually brought me by that uh where the animal shelter is here in uh denham springs tell me about that it’s one of the best projects we have um you know the back in the day people don’t even want to know like way before the present uh mayor or the even the one before then what used to happen at the animal shelter it was basically a tin shed it wasn’t heated it had a drain in the middle for you know for them to wash the pins down with and it was a really sad it just and and i worked at the newspaper so no matter what did you really i did not know that i would go and take pictures of the animals and put them on there because guess what if i didn’t it was a it was a kill shelter back then oh wow so you know i would go back the next week to take more pictures because nobody else really wanted to do it it was my passion and my give back yes when somebody was gone i didn’t ask yeah but now it’s it’s gonna be an incredible facility the animals are happy i don’t know if anybody’s ever noticed like if you follow the denim springs animal shelter page you’ll notice that if it’s going to be really cold like it was a week or two ago they’ll ask for for people to come in and foster them and bring them home for a night yeah i mean when you have an amazing uh leader which rachel is you have everything 100 100 and in uh a beautiful project just just from a humanitarian standpoint uh but also a needy project here for a long time as you as you just mentioned you know things have gotten a lot better there for sure now uh i do want to also bring up that you are the director of city hall yes one of my second favorite landmarks that’s my second favorite landmark in denham springs love city hall and it’s funny uh you know me and my wife went to christmas in the village which we’ll talk about in just a minute but we uh we went there and my wife has born raised here uh with high school here everything never left denham springs right never been inside city hall right i said what it’s it’s amazing the people that didn’t even know it was there and you know we got kind of found when they reopened city hall as the bathrooms in the village yeah and then people would come in and they’d be like wow you know they they go take their senior pictures in front of the jail cell yeah in the jail cell yes what i’m saying it’s amazing so do i i’ll tell you it’s it’s funny because that’s one of the things i said you know they got a jail cell down there and one thing good with leadership living stem which is a program uh put on by the livingston parish chamber of commerce is they go to these uh old city hall and and uh and we go down in the jail cells and take pictures and all that sort of thing and they have the the old bank vault i believe um in the basement in the basement and so all of that i wouldn’t have known you know existed unless i actually went in there and one of my favorite places uh just beautiful probably you know the most beautiful building in dunham’s marines to me well that makes me feel good yeah because it’s probably my favorite in the parish yeah just because it’s ours and just because if you’d have seen it in the 70s and 80s as uh they would have their halloween things there and you know it’s just unbelievable the people that that got together which denim springs main street was one tourism was one they got uh capital outlay money to put that building back together to where it is now yeah thank god thank god we want to preserve those those old buildings and speaking of which and this is kind of new new breaking news y’all but the uh the old hotel and uh the antique district actually has a pending sale on it now

maybe this is the same one but you just you made my day you are also the certified local government director when i read that i’m my first thought was what do they do what is it yeah what is it what does a certified local government director do certified local government is an honor we’re very honored to have it and of course it is just like the rest of the designations it takes a lot of work you do an annual report you do meetings and all that um a lot of thing people don’t know that we’re on the national register of historic places yes the way we did the entire village which is very rare but the way we did that was through a certified local government grant got you got you and uh not to be outdone you are also the farmer’s market director um and i see that farmer’s market i drive by it uh you know often uh tell me about how is the farmers market doing first of all is it we need help you need help we need help so people come to the farmer’s market people go please please please come and purchase your fresh produce unbelievable breads um your plants everything from them we need vendors yes and we need more people to come to where we can grow it i didn’t think it was going to be that difficult but see if i have five or six contacts during the week that says i’m going to be there saturday saturday come up and it’s the same true blue right we need vendors yes and we need shoppers because we want the people that are there i mean you know do you really want to go out to holden or one of those other areas to go to a farm or do you just want to sit there and go up the row of vegetables my family only eats fresh vegetables during the week weekends are like you know they’re ready they know mama’s coming back with something different and we’re going to have something really good very good so let me ask you if if someone out there is listening and they’re like i want to be a vendor how would they go about that process would they contact you they can email me at grantscityofdenhamsprings.com

and you will give them all the pertinent information primarily it is a you know farmers markets kind of vary some of them have vegetables and they also have uh chalk paint and things like that yeah is this primarily a i guess a food and vegetable type farmers market that’s where we’re having to do a little bit transitioning because our goal was to have fresh vegetables fresh fruits just anything a normal farm to table would have right well what’s happening is we’re not getting enough vendors in so we are opening a few spots for additional people so anybody all they have to do to find out the rules and regulations is email me at grants city of dunhamsprings.com gotcha so there you go folks uh uh reach out and and those of you that are listening maybe you don’t you you don’t want to be a vendor but you buy tomatoes and you buy bell peppers and you buy all these things hey go buy the go buy uh and check out these folks at the farmer’s market and tell me the hours of the farmer’s market it’s eight to noon it’s in the city of denham springs parking lot which is on the corner of hummel and railroad avenue and it’s uh what days i’m sorry saturdays that’s all right so i’ll show them tomorrow don’t show them tomorrow we’ll all be at work yeah so saturdays uh go see them out there and uh and get your fresh fresh vegetables and make it a habit and and that’ll be something that really succeeds

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now let’s cover um what you do with your cultural side of things you are the cultural district manager and what does that entail is that the arts or science it’s basically the arts um and it enables our artist if they would like to as long as it’s a original piece of art they can get discounts on credits on different things and all so it helps them it also helps because of course any designation we have drives people from outside into the village so you know they have their own website they have their own facebook page so it’s it’s a lot of cross-promotion going on very good very good so um and you know they have a lot of interesting arts in that area to begin with it’s in culture the culture side of things um i don’t know if people know this but like the village actually we have a stained glass place called imlew’s we have the arts council you can take arts classes and you can go to brush fire and take either pottery painting you can have a party or you can go individually so that’s something we really like to push in the district yeah it’s not just about shopping go eat lunch relax you know take a class call imlose tell her hey i’m over 18 i’d like to take staying class class yes yes a hundred percent and uh and there’s a lot of offerings there in that in the way you mentioned brush fire you know something it it’s not on the main drag it’s on the little side street and uh i can’t remember the name of the street but maddie maddie thank you um it’s right there on maddie street and they’ve got a great establishment there that that’s fun you know and you can do parties there and all kinds of things drink wine i believe and well i had my granddaughter’s party there a couple weeks ago we didn’t drink no no wine no wine for her particularly i gotcha um so go check those things out for sure you bring up a good point there um so i do want to ask you some questions just related to main street first one i’ll ask you is what what is your most successful event at main street is it the festivals definitely spring fest and fall fest and christmas in the village yes it’s hard i mean we have other events but those events are unreal yes and and so i mentioned earlier that the train station is kind of like my favorite landmark there what would yours be you had to pick one and i know that puts you on the spot and you don’t want to make me love the whole village it’d be hard to to pick one spot you know but let me tell you something about train station since you’ve brought it up a couple times all right we would love to do something like live after five or entertainment that would be free to the public we just need somebody interested and i am working with one person in particular to come in and do like something in the spring and something in the fall so if anybody out there is interested in doing something like that some type of program with music on saturdays or friday nights whenever they can contact me at the same address grants at cityofdenhamsprings.com there you go so go check and i think that’s a great idea by the way and let’s talk about those two festivals that you mentioned just a second ago spring and fall fest look i go every year wow how successful the last two events have been i mean packed full of people fall fest was on fire uh in spring fest before that was on fire i think people were ready to get back out again and you know kovet we haven’t talked a whole lot about that but that kind of threw a monkey wrench in a lot of things for a little while but we we as a community we we accepted what we had to accept and then we innovated and we came up with other ways to do business right right human beings as a species are just survivors and so that’s what we do you know a lot of people don’t know that with the denim springs merchants association that is two of their biggest fundraisers for the year and all that money goes into a pot the pot is used for advertising and things that the entire village needs and a lot of people don’t realize that right when you are landlocked at 166 booths you have a very successful event yes yes a hundred percent and so i want to ask you because i’ve had people ask me and i’m like i don’t know you need to call miss donna jennings but i want to ask you if someone is interested in getting a booth and i know these book up fast fast so if you know uh if you’re looking to do something for fall fest you probably uh i mean i don’t know how soon should you book for the next one right when the first one ends this is the best um information i can give out because everybody asked me that you go to www.dsantiquevillage.com

probably so fest is april the 30th within eight weeks after that that application is going to be online yes probably within within a month the booths are gone wow it is amazing and we have organizers alan can buy that do that yeah and basically take the whole load upon themselves to do it yeah and that speaks to the success of it because i would i don’t know the percentage but i would probably say you have a really high percentage of people who are re-getting boosts for each which means it’s working for them they’re making money they they want to co oh we definitely need to do that again you know that kind of thing so the good thing about that also is that the stores run special sales some of them might have refreshments some of them might do this this and that so when you go to spring fest make sure you go inside and shop and support the stores that are there yes every day 100 percent fit blends of denim springs can help you with everything from meal prep to supplements i love it that they serve breakfast all day in addition to the best ultra healthy wraps you can really get anywhere in livingston parish they are home of the five dollar smoothie friday and are an amazing sponsor of local leaders the podcast fit blind’s denim springs fast fit food for you

and that kind of brings me into uh the other large event you have which is christmas in the village my favorite event love christmas in the village and it’s in your questionnaire you have mentioned that some of the biggest compliments you have uh regarding christmas in the village or things like it’s like being in a hallmark movie right and and wow what a compliment and i 100 agree that’s what it reminds me of the nice thing about christmas in the village especially the the uh is it the wine tasting night or what are they chef’s evening thank you yes um went to that this past year that was my first time uh doing that yes and i’ll never not go now because it’s early oh yes it was it was lovely um but i’ll tell you what i like most about it it took place at night kind of like a atmosphere at night in the village it was cold which is you know you want it to be seasonable right and so it was seasonal and it really reminded me of being in a hallmark maybe but what i most enjoyed was it put me into shops that i never would have necessarily went in before not because anything’s wrong with the shop just it may be a dress shop and i don’t wear a dress and unless my wife’s with me i’m not going to go in a dress shop but aside from all of that it brought me in those places and allowed me to meet the merchants that that are there and kind of get on a first-name basis with them i guess you could say and i really enjoyed it i went in one shop and they had all kinds of things and i’m like i never knew y’all had this i never you know y’all got candy who knew let me just tell you something you know i’m a little older than you uh barely

some of the candy they have is back from when i was a kid yeah you don’t find this candy you don’t buy it anywhere and to go back to chef’s evening that is actually a fundraiser denim springs main street has done for over 20 years so when you buy your tickets you’re supporting if you notice the beautiful benches down there if you notice the garbage cans and all that that’s what you’re supporting when you buy those tickets right a lot of people don’t know that either yes yes so you’re getting the advantage of all those neat things look some of the best foods you’ll ever eat obviously i mean south louisiana in general we’re known for our food right well you’re going to get a lot of these local chefs uh right here in livingston parish they’re going to be there and you know big mike’s there slinging i can’t remember what he had that night but it was good it’s all good yeah so even the desserts and the things some people don’t realize is a lot of these restaurants cater yes so you can call and get a pan of whatever you really liked at chef’s evening and and feed your family or you know around that time you’d be getting ready for christmas hey i don’t feel like cooking no big deal i’m going to call big mikes or i’m going to call toller or i’m going to call whoever yeagers yes and and i don’t want to i’m leaving people out there’s lots more than that oh 100 but you know call them support them you like their food and guess what you don’t have to cook that night that’s right beautiful event there but but like miss donna said get your tickets early for that event because it’s another successful event that y’all put out that just sells out really fast a good problem to have for sure now i do want to mention that you also make you also get involved in your community and you give back and do those sorts of things it’s a high priority in your life in addition to your work with several non-profits you also assist with social media promotion for small businesses you do it for animal shelters as well as you know community events and you’ll promote those on social media now you and i both share a similar belief and that is look to your community first when you’re spending money uh it benefits not only the business but it also benefits the tax infrastructure that we have right you’re keeping it’s an old adage keep your money in your community and but it’s not just an adage it’s so important because those tax dollars just come right back around i’ve always believed that and so keep that money in your community when possible how beneficial would you say social media has been in the promotion just as a whole with small businesses has it been really something for me i think it’s been something that evens the playing field a little bit with large giant corporations that have millions yeah they got budgets that are 10 million dollars well if you do social media right you can even that playing field a little bit at least on facebook for example right you agree with that i believe that we get an unbelievable response yeah from social media no if ands or buts about it i mean and and i know it’s all about the algorithms which i’ve tried to get people to teach me and even the people that know say i don’t know yeah yeah even the people that write that out it changes no idea it changes all the time but that that we get an unbelievable response to social media yeah yeah it’s i think it’s a huge thing if if you own a business of any sort of any type anywhere and you’re not taking advantage of social media for promoting your business you might want to look into it you may be missing a boat and the good thing is always remember when you see a post you really like about a business share it with your friends ask your friends to share it because you’re only boosting the sales at that store which is going to keep them in business correct and you’re bumping it up that feed and when look facebook likes interaction and if you see a post and you like it but you don’t share it what happens is eventually facebook doesn’t think it’s worth showing up their feed so a lot of people don’t realize if you have a friend and they post something only 40 percent of their friends are gonna see that the more interaction the more shares the more friends are going to see that so that’s why you have people on your facebook page and you think they never post well they might be posted but you just don’t interact with them so what happens is facebook thinks ah she’s not interested in seeing her post or whatever so little tip there for you always share those posts uh because it just multiplies every time again yeah so very good uh now i do want to say and you mentioned this a little bit earlier but you’re currently the livingston parish uh tourism chairman i am actually as far as last month the past chair past chair okay but have been a chairman i had yeah i was a chair for two years and um and that’s a big deal um one to me just something that is definitely needed is is our livingston parish tourism people um let’s discuss some of the events that make lp kind of a destination place for tourism um i think of the microbrewery right off the bat right and we kind of discussed that earlier but lachen for those of you that uh or may not be familiar with it is a micro brewery right here in denham springs right across from city hall is lachen and uh so tell us a little bit about those folks let me tell you something those three guys came in here and immediately opened their door to the village no if ands or butts about it they worked hard unfortunately they opened about time and i might i’m not exact sure on dates the pandemic hit yeah it was close real close to that we need to support lachen like they support the city and they support the village because like this saturday i don’t know about y’all but i’m i love sloths yeah they have bro barn hill preserves coming in this saturday at two o’clock and you can you can actually hands-on interaction with the animals that they’re bringing i don’t know what there’s one thing that’s a little ball of shells and you can see it up in there i’m playing with that this week i don’t know what it is unless he bites me i’m planning on playing with him also on saturdays when you go and they have barn hill preserves there guess what you can get you can get bowl crawfish potatoes corn you don’t have to cook it and when i can tell you from from experience it’s delicious yeah i bring my three granddaughters there all the time it’s open door you can bring your pets in there it’s it’s all about family with those guys it really is and a fantastic atmosphere just just to begin with just uh you know after work if you if you’ve had a hard day or maybe you hadn’t had a hard day you just want to go relax somewhere that’s a great place to do it you’ve got a view of the beautiful antique district right there in front of you and uh and just great people as you mentioned but where they relate to tourism and one thing i really wanted to hammer down to people is microbreweries are a big deal like they have people that go all over the country and all they want to do is tour microbreweries so it becomes a destination spot so guess what these people come in here and they have you know a few beers or whatever and then they decide they want to spend money somewhere and so that that microbrewery even existing in denim springs and in livingston parish is a huge thing all around because it’s bringing people in that may not come in for any other reason maybe they were passing through and they’re believe it or not these people got like trackers on their phone that tell them where every microbrewery is in the world and and uh they love doing that so great um addition to this this not only this parish but this city that did not exist you know five years ago and it’s pretty awesome it’s very rare to have one in louisiana 100 you know so we’re very lucky to have them there and not only to have them there for them to come in with the attitude of you know we need help we’re going to help you and i can promise you it’s tenfold going in their direction of what they’re doing compared to what we can do for them yes but they’re part of us now i keep saying them and us they’re they’re part of the denim springs antique village the merchants association definitely definitely great people over there and here’s a little interesting trivia for you one of only two basements in the city of denham springs the other one i bet miss donna can tell us where it’s at i don’t i thought we were the only one with old city old city hall is one and they are the other that basement where they put the i’ve toured with that and you can tour it that’s cool oh yeah yeah yeah it really is and the interesting thing people used to be an oil change place many years ago and uh and so there’s a basement under there that they used to go under to change the oil and they have completely remodeled this thing it’s like it’s like walking in a spaceship when you go down there and uh they love to show people just uh just a a beautiful building a great spot for it and to go go see those folks i i highly encourage you know the good thing on the other side on the range avenue side you got pie died that hangs out there it sells if you ever want a pie like your your grandma made you go there that’s right and and that’s for breakfast lunch and dinner you know you drive in they smile at you they get you what you need and you drive on out it doesn’t take five minutes doesn’t take five minutes i’ve done it several times and and the young lady that’s out there every morning gets a wave and a honk for me every time i see her she’s uh she is awesome so uh yeah check out the good mention check out the pie died truck uh and big blue truck right there parked it’s parked right in front of it uh in the morning time and like miss donna said you’re in and out five minutes or less i mean you’re not even waiting bj pawn and gunn and denim springs wants to buy your own wanted gold jewelry gold coins and gold bullion with 30 years of experience operating in the livingston parish area b.j palm wants to be your source when selling your gold so stop by bj pawn today for a no obligation offer b.j pawn a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast so very good now some other uh destination spots in in livingston parish and i think of the ligo building uh obviously is a is a big one bass pro shop right of course and and hey that bond’s paid off now that’s a good thing that’s a good thing the antique village obviously goes without saying to me one of the biggest gems and destination spots in the entire parish by far in spring and fall fest which we just talked about another destination spot for people to come to and spend money in this area that may not be from this area so were you supporting your neighbor yes you know seriously you’re supporting your neighbor when you come and you shop in in the city of denham springs you know one thing i didn’t mention for christmas in the village if i can kind of put this in absolutely is that we’re always looking if if you have a community organization a business and you would like to serve cookies at one of our events or hot chocolate or water or anything grants at citydenimsprings.com there you go you’re going to have so many emails you’re going to be like oh my gosh all right so we do want to mention also that you are a past chairman of keep livingston beautiful wow that is uh that is an organization that is needed um one thing that we’ve had here in livingston paris sadly is a litter problem for a long time right um i want to get your opinion on this as someone who’s kind of been at the forefront of that how can we as individual citizens help curb that problem it’s real easy you take ownership and not only your prod uh property you take ownership in others as well yes you know if you’re going in the store if you see that cup or whatever on the floor you know take a tissue pick it up put in the garbage can we can all take responsibility that way it’s not a you know a call in saying well my ditch is is dirty you need to come clean it it’s please keep your own ditch clean yes another thing a lot of people don’t know is our own sheriff’s office through the warden’s office has got a program where they’ll come out if you call them they’ll pick up state roads yeah they’re amazing um with their trailers keep livingston beautiful in livingston parish government and there was one other entity we actually purchased the trailers for them when they started their pro their program yeah very good very good i did not know that so so good information there but yeah so let’s keep let’s keep it beautiful and and um and pick up look if you see something even even if you didn’t throw it on the ground maybe pick it up and toss it that’d be wonderful yeah that’s all it would take if everybody got one piece a day or one piece every once in a while guess what the litter wouldn’t be there that’s right that’s right so thank you for your service on that uh with that uh board in particular because that’s definitely needed now you also serve on the board for a company called pet aid or organization called pet aid tell me about pet aid pet aid is awesome this is um maurice durbin is the founder of it okay and for people that ca as long as they have the funding for it if you need your animal spayed or neutered and you need help with it you can call pet aid you can get a voucher and and even if you need the dog to drop them off at the animal shelter they will bring them over to the veterinarian and get them fixed for you wow for a slight fee wow that’s okay as long as there’s funding you know that’s awesome well what a great a great deal that is you think litter and litter goes together seven years one cat can have a hundred and something thousand offspring is that not amazing it’s mind-boggling yes yeah so think think about that folks and thank you for your your service obviously on that board now i want to read something from you and that is your why statement when uh you know in our questionnaire we sent out i asked you to provide one and yours was awesome so i’m just going to read it verbatim because i didn’t want to mess it up you stated why not extend a hand to each other to ensure we are all successful a woman can empower another woman just by supporting her goals walking by her side to ensure her success lending both moral and emotional support in training them to walk not in your shoes but by your side that’s right i firmly believe that you can’t say it anymore i firmly believe that yeah because if if as a whole if we support each other you see so much competition i came from outside sales talking about competition yeah i mean you can learn to carve it and you can work together yes you know and and we have to help each other we have to support each other and we have to help each other achieve our goals yeah a hundred percent and you know i i’ve had several women on here um over the years uh that we’ve been doing this specific uh recognition award and um you know miss donna it wasn’t too long ago women couldn’t vote wrap your mind around that and and young kids these days they don’t know what that’s like they don’t they don’t understand that there was there was a time where women’s opinion didn’t even matter enough to vote in the minds of society and it is absolutely disgusting to me i can’t imagine uh that and that was a before my time thank god but um you know really they’ve come a long way since in a relatively short period of time but still a long way to go um a stat i heard the other day i think it was 66 women in leadership positions compared to a hundred men so uh a little more than half uh as far as that’s concerned i would like to see that 100 to 100 right because under that man is probably and i’m not being ugly or whatever under that man he’s probably got 10 women telling him you really need to do this or have you thought about doing it that way you know and and i firmly believe that we need a hundred percent uh we need 100 and some of these young ladies that i see growing up they’re going to make it yes they’re going to do it very good i love it and can i bring go back to something else when you’re talking about elections we’ve got voices and votes in denham springs main street will be hosting a smithsonian exhibit from september to october i don’t have i don’t have the exact dates with me everybody needs to go and watch look at it because it is a smithsonian exhibit wow that’s awesome okay so will you be posting that online at some point of course okay good deal and get that to me and i will promote it through my media as well okay and uh and we’ll do some teamwork on that because any of those are our fantastic programs sandra richard has been in the business of selling homes for over 20 years this award-winning realtor brings the perfect blend of professionalism integrity and client satisfaction to every buying and selling transaction a passion for both her clients and her community makes sondra the perfect choice when buying or selling your home so if you’re in need call the cajun lady sandra richard at 225-955-5484

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sandra richard a proud sponsor of local leaders podcast

now one thing we do on here on local leaders of podcast is we do fun facts it’s just kind of a way to get people to know you outside of outside of everything we talked about and you’re amazing you know your amazing life not only in community but in what you do for the city and all those sorts of things it’s just uh it’s a really neat thing and and i’m i was honored to have you on today to be honest um so we’ll cover these fun facts if you purchase a yacht what would you name it you said paid for by me exactly love it love it i think that’s the perfect name and here’s here’s a good one dream job when you were 12. you were either going to be a veterinarian or a worker at mcdonald’s mcdonald’s there was it was dependent on the week of what i was going to do yes yes you know i think i wanted to be a worker at mcdonald’s at one point too i was like man free fries i mean you don’t even have to pay me exactly if you if you could have any superpower what would it be the power to heal a broken heart how sweet that speaks to your sweetness in your heart um if you could travel anywhere in the world i agree with you 100 on this one bora bora how about that and if you don’t know borbor google it trust me exactly you will want to go i promise you that um so miss donna march in in is women in history month for uh well it’s a national a national uh holiday i guess you could say or or month where we celebrate strong women in history and strong women locally here at local leaders podcast we honor five ladies each march as local leaders leading ladies to miss donna jennings on behalf of all of us on local leaders the podcast we’d like to present you with this plaque in honor of all your contributions you make to your community every beautiful yeah i’ll treasure this forever and let me tell you something it is such an honor because when you sent me an email saying i was you know a top 10 and y’all still had you know the the thing rolling y’all was still working on it right i was honored just to be the top ten yeah because it’s it’s not what i’ve done in the community it’s what we have all done as well in the community i firmly believe there’s no eye in teams that’s right we got to get together and get it done that’s right that’s right well we thank you for all your amazing contributions over you know a lifetime of you know you’re only 26 but over those 26 years you have a lifetime of experience helping your community and like you say every day you go to work it’s just a part of life to you and you love every minute of it right i do i do all right thank you for having me i really am honored to because i know so many deserving women yes in the parish oh there’s tons and yeah but you’re definitely on the top of that list and you deserve it so i want to thank all the viewers and listeners of local leaders of podcast for your shares and likes of the podcast please continue to share us on all your social media the sponsors of the show for your continued support i cannot do any of this without all of them and if you would like to sponsor local leaders of the podcast or be featured on the show reach out to me at jim at local leadership podcast dot com until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you love your community support local business and keep leading thank you very much.

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