• "Fort Polk is vital to the area. We hope to unite

    the installation and the surrounding communities

    to care for its soldiers and their families. It's our

    responsibility."

    -Michael Reese, Fort Polk Progress President

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  • Board of Directors


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    Rick L. Allen, a resident of Leesville, Louisiana, is currently serving his second term as the city's mayor. He was elected in 2014. 

    He is a residential and commercial general contractor and the owner of businesses in both construction and trucking industries. 

    Allen is a developer and partner in numerous land developments, including property management for commercial and residential rentals. He owns Leesville Motorsports, a motorcycle and ATV shop, and is also a franchisee for Dairy Queen. 

    He and his wife Traci are parents to three children: Kaitlin, Jailea and Maison and are also the proud grandparents to Sophia Grace. They are active members of their church.

    He serves as chairman of the board of Fort Polk Progress. He also serves on the board of the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, the Governor's Military Advisory Committee, and is currently serving his third term as the District D Vice President of the Louisiana Municipal Association.

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    Clarence Beebe has been Mayor of Hornbeck since 2000. He also served as an alderman from 1997-2000 and from 1987-1999.

    He has served on the Louisiana Military Advisory Council since 2012 and has been a member of the Louisiana Municipal Association since 1987, serving as an executive board member from 2011-2015 and the District “D” Vice President from 2012-2015.

    He’s served on the Louisiana Municipal Gas Association Board of Directors since 2000.

    He’s been a member of Fort Polk Progress since 2010.

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    Leroy D. Cooley is currently serving as Executive Vice President for Merchants & Farmers Bank. He has been in the banking industry for 40 years. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University and the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. 

    Cooley formerly served as mayor of Anacoco, Louisiana for 12 years. He also served as a member on the Economic Development Committee for the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, the University Parkway Development District Planning Commission and the Regional Growth Management Team. 

     

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    Misty Clanton has served the city of DeRidder since 2009 and was recently elected to serve as Mayor.

    She was born and raised in DeRidder. Clanton is a graduate of DeRidder High School and has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from McNeese State University.

    Clanton’s love for community expands into her volunteer work. She currently serves on many boards and works with many organizations including, Hope Village, the Agape Community Clinic, the Beauregard Prevention Coalition, the DeRidder Rotary Club, and the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce.

    She was named the Up and Coming Business Woman of the Year in 2014 and was named the Thomas J. Morris Sr. United Way of SWLA Volunteer of Year in 2015.

    Clanton is married to Duncan, who is the Owner/Agent of Allstate - The Clanton Agency in DeRidder. They have two children – Caden and Stella.

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    Avon H. Knowlton is a native and life-long resident of Beauregard Parish, fully invested in the economic and community development of SWLA. Her professional work is focused on ushering prosperity and opportunity into the region. She currently serves as the Program Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of SWLA where she advocates and defends the potential of at risk youth in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis and Vernon parishes.

    Knowlton, along with others, was instrumental in the formation of Fort Polk Progress. She consults and mentors community leaders, chambers of commerce and non profits across Louisiana and the United States, working as a facilitator for boards, policy procedures, economic and community development, leadership programs, strategic planning, workforce development and project management. She is dedicated to working for a better quality of life for our military and their families, advocating in Washington and raising awareness for Fort Polk Progress.

    She received her Certified Chamber Executive Certification (CCE) from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2012, making her one of only two certified Chamber of Commerce executives in Louisiana. She recently received her Economic Development certification from Southeastern Louisiana University. 

     She has been married to Edward Knowlton for 31 years and is the mother of Garrett and Dylan and grandmother of Bowen, Boone, Josie, Krue and Tad.

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    Keith Lewing is a lifelong resident of Anacoco, Louisian. He has been mayor of Anacoco since 2012. From 2000 to 2012 he served as a councilman for the Village of Anacoco.

    From 2001 to 2012 he served as mayor pro tempore. 

    He is the owner of Howard Lewing Construction, Inc., a residential and commercial construction contractor.  

    He is also a volunteer Firefighter on the Anacoco Fire Department. Anacoco and Mayor Lewing are huge supporters of Fort Polk. For the past nine years it has been an honor to escort troops deploying and returning home. 

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    Bryan McReynolds serves as the Parish Administrator for the Beauregard Parish Police Jury, and was recently appointed to the Beauregard Parish Airport Board. Prior to accepting his position with the parish, McReynolds was a founder, owner and senior engineer for an engineering firm where he remains an advisor. McReynolds is a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana, and holds a specialty contractor's license for hazardous waste treatment or removal. 

    He has a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and a Master's degree in mathematics from Loyola University. For over 30 years, McReynolds worked in the private sector as an engineer for process operations and environmental remediation. He has designed facilities and managed site investigation to delineate adversely impacted resources including groundwater, sediments and living organisms. 

    McReynolds and his wife are active in missions to Honduras and Swaziland, Africa. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Kudvumisa Foundation, USA, which works to provide health clinics and economic development opportunities to the marginalized in rural Swaziland. 

     

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    Sandra McQuain is the Executive Director of the England Economic and Industrial Development District (EEIDD), which includes Alexandria International Airport.   She joined EEIDD in December 2018.

    She has over 25 years of experience working with businesses, government agencies and elected officials on a myriad of public relations, media relations, and operational strategies. Her government related experience includes serving on the staff of a Tennessee Governor, serving as State Director to a United States Senator, and establishing the Office of Press for a United States Attorney (WD-TN).  

    Sandra McQuain is the Executive Director of the England Economic and Industrial Development District (EEIDD), which includes Alexandria International Airport.   She joined EEIDD in December 2018.

    She has over 25 years of experience working with businesses, government agencies and elected officials on a myriad of public relations, media relations, and operational strategies. Her government related experience includes serving on the staff of a Tennessee Governor, serving as State Director to a United States Senator, and establishing the Office of Press for a United States Attorney (WD-TN).  

    Sandra and her husband, John, are the proud parents of Stephanie, a senior at Pineville High School, and Matthew, a freshman at Pineville High School.  She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce (Chair-Elect, Secretary) and on the Board of the United Way of Central Louisiana (former Chair).  She serves on the Louisiana ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) Research Advisory Council, which reviews and promotes research data related to the working poor in the state.  She is also a member of the Alexandria Rotary Club.

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    James B. “Jim” Tuck has been president of the Vernon Parish Police Jury since 2007. He served as vice president of the jury from 2004 to 2006, having first been elected to the jury in 1992.

    He’s the owner of JB Tuck Heavy Equipment & Construction Company and JB Tuck Equipment & Auction Company. He has also served as vice chairman of the Regional Growth Management Team. He serves on the boards of the Leesville Lions Club, Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance and Fort Polk Progress.

    He also is a member of the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee and the Vernon Parish Arena District. 

  • Ed Williams has been the Chairman for the Military Affairs Committee at the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce since January 2011 and is on the board of several organizations in the community.

    A soldier for life, having served for 27 years in the Army, he continues to give back to the Army as a coach, trainer and mentor for the Leader Training Program at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.