Von Jennings: Alexandria needs effective leadership to move forward

By Sherri L. Jackson
The Light/EverythingCenla

It’s no secret that Von Jennings is seeking to take Mayor Jacques Roy’s seat in October.

And she said she plans to do so by proving that she has the necessary leadership skills to get the job done.

“We need effective leadership that listens to the will of the people,” Jennings told The Light in a one-on-one interview. “The city needs leaders who will develop plans of action and follow through with input from residents. Many have the technical skills to do the job, but lacks leadership skills needed to move the city forward.”

“A good leader has goals to accomplish, and the behavior is based on those goals,” she said.

Though mulling over the decision whether or not to seek the city’s highest office since November 2009, after careful consideration and several conversations with community and business organizations, Jennings officially made her intentions known Tuesday, March 30, when she opened her campaign headquarters at 1012 Third St., across from Alexandria City Hall.

About 40 people attended the event to hear Jennings’ announcement. She is the first to officially announce candidacy.

Jennings said she hopes to bring to her native city the type of leadership she believes is lacking in Alexandria City Hall.

“We need leadership that is open to collaboration with others. I’m positive we can do a better job,” she said. “I have the ability to partner, to collaborate and the willingness to listen the move on and to develop plans of action that can be implemented.”

Jennings worked as an assistant to Mayor Jacques Roy in charge of the city’s AFEAT, which stands for Alexandria Fairness, Equality, Accessibility and Teamwork, a business program which was designed to bring in help minority and emerging business do business with the city. She was terminated in January 2009.

Jennings is a 1991 graduate of Peabody Magnet High School. She has bachelor’s degrees in political science and public administration from Grambling State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Southern University. Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate in public policy.

“I want everyone to appreciate that I am a candidate who will represent all of the citizens of Alexandria. I am willing to work with everyone. We have to understand that there are more issues that we have in common than those that are different,” she said.”

Jennings said she sees the city’s priorities as conservative financial planning, aggressive

economic development, work force development, youth development, drainage and flooding,

affordable utilities and infrastructure projects that will promote economic viability.

“The immediate needs are to have definite financial plans. The city is looking at a deficit. We need more revenue streams,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jennings said the city in its current state needs her leadership skills, which along with experience, make her the “excellent choice” to be the city’s leader.

“Much of my experience and skills are directly tied to those serving as mayor of any leader in a corporation,” she said.

Jennings said as she operates a grassroots campaign she looks forward to meeting all citizens “at their door.”

Former Peabody Warhorse drum major to lead SU’s band at Bayou Classic

Read more here: Nov. 15, 1-8

Martin Johnson new city president at Regions Bank, Alexandria, LA


JACKSON, Miss. – Martin W. Johnson is Region Bank’s new city president responsible for all bank operations within the Greater Alexandria market, which includes Pineville, according to a press release. 


Johnson brings 20 years of banking experience to this position. He most recently served as Vice President and Senior Lender for Capital One Bank.


“Martin’s financial services background, proven leadership skills and community stewardship are impeccable, and uniquely qualify him to carry the torch for Regions in Alexandria,” said George Campbell, Regions Bank Area Executive for Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.


Johnson graduated from Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He serves as chairman of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, the Central Louisiana Business League and the Central Louisiana Business Incubator, and past chairman of the England Authority and the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority.


His board memberships include the Cabrini Hospital Foundation and  the Louisiana Housing & Community Development Corporation, and he is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club.

“As a longtime resident of this region, I am grateful for this leadership opportunity, and look forward to putting my two decades of experience to work for our customers and community,” said Johnson.


Regions Bank operates six banking centers in Greater Alexandria, 125 in the State of Louisiana and more than 1900 in 16 states across the South, Midwest and Texas.


The bank will celebrate the opening of its new Alexandria Main Office at Two Centre Court on Aug. 18.

Young drummers

About 25 youth, ages 6 to 17, are participating in a five-day percussionist camp that teaches everything from discipline to cadence.

The camp, HEROES Arts Camp, is an intense week of learning and fun activities designed to to give students the skills to discover and/or enhance their art skills.

HEROES is a nonprofit organization based in Columbia, La. The camp is being held at the Wesley Center, south of Alexandria, LA.

The Light, June 15-30



Please enjoy The Light’s special issue that includes the 2008 Men of Substance honorees. 


Men of Substance slideshow

The Light honored 10 men who make a significant contributions to Central Louisiana. Enjoy the photos from the Awards Dinner held in their honor on June 16, 2008 at the Main Street Community Center in Pineville.

2008 Men of Substance

The Light will honor 10 Central Louisiana men for their contributions to their communities. They will be presented in a special awards dinner, ceremony at 7 p.m. June 16, 2008 at the Main Street Community Center, Pineville, Louisiana.

They are Levator Boyd, Gregory Clark, Rev. Clarence Dupar Jr., Leon Smith, Rev. Nathaniel Smith, Myron K. Lawson, Rev. James Roland Jr., Henry Marsland, Kevin Dorn and Dr. Vincent Mallory.

Attorney Jonathan Goins will be the speaker, and Tony Brown of Eyes Open with Tony Brown will be the master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $10 each. For more information or tickets, call 318-487-9254.