• Board of Directors

  • Melissa Goudeau


    Melissa Goudeau is a recent transplant to Avoyelles Parish originally from Baltimore, Maryland.  She established a 22 year career at Fort Meade, Maryland, working for the Defense Department in a variety of roles: event planning, senior officals' executive assistant, signals intelligence analyst, team leader, and supervisor.  Most recently, she served as a GS-15 Division-level Director, managing an organization of over 100 employees.  Since relocating with her husband to Avoyelles Parish, she has devoted her time to raising her six year old boy and three year old girl, as well as serving on several boards for various non-profit organizations throughout the area such as the Rotary Club and the Avoyelles Arts Council.

    For the past 3 years, she has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Early Childhood Development Center in Mansura where she oversees the day to day operations and finances.  In relation to this role, she also sits on the state Governor's Early Childhood Commission Task Force.  The commission is tasked with developing a vision and plan to address affordable access to high-quality early childhood education for Louisiana's children, birth through age four, and formalize the local governance structures (community Networks) to support increased innovation in local contests, ultimately leading to improved quality and access to funding for our parish.

    Melissa and her husband Jacques have also formed a non-profit focusing on the revitalization of downtown Marksville.  Since its inception in 2018, they have created a National Park Service "Certified Local Historic District" in Downtown Marksville and they passed a local ordinance that protects historic buildings downtown and requires parish approval for external changes.  Melissa also created and received state approval for Marksville to be considered a "State Cultural District" that provides financial incentives to artists and building preservation projects in the means of up to 40% tax credits for businesses.  Melissa also led a team of professionals to produce a documentary film promoting Marksville.  It was viewed over 60,000 times on social media.  She expanded several events in the downtown Court House Square to include the farmers market, the Christmas Tree Lighting and continues to promote downtown businesses , non-profits and events in the area.  

  • Todd Laborde

    President Elect

    Todd was raised in Marksville.  He graduated from Marksville High School in 1982 and enlisted in the United States Navy.  Todd served for six years.  He worked for the US Government as a communications officer, managing communications centers in Embassies as well as overseeing various communications sites throughout Africa.  Todd was also a communications instructor in the Washington D.C. area, training hundreds of new officers for deployment just after 9/11. 

    After retirement, Todd was employed by Raytheon Corporation as a government contractor supporting communications officers in the Washington DC region and around the world. Todd purchased KAPB radio in February 2017.  A passion to serve the community has transformed “The Cajun” into a vital cog in the area, providing community information as well as a modern radio station that the parish can be proud of.

    Todd is married to Julie Chatelain Laborde of Mansura and has two children, Stephen who has recently relocated to Marksville and Rebecca “Rebel Rebz” Laborde who is the afternoon air personality at the Cajun, based in Tampa.

  • Polly Campbell

    Vice President

    Polly Campbell is owner/manager of Moncla Nursery located on one of the historic Moncla family homesteads just 7 miles outside of Marksville. She is the mother of 2 adult children, Sophie & Alex Boudreaux and the eldest of Max & Carol Moncla Campbell. She graduated from high school in Waterloo, Belgium, undergraduate studies at Louisiana College and master’s degree in Educational Administration at UNO.

    Polly spent 30 years of her professional career working and serving the community of St. Benard parish. She spent 20 years as a high school French and Biology teacher, Drug Free Schools coordinator and Middle School curriculum coordinator. Just prior to Hurricane Karina, upon retirement from the school board, she was appointed Clerk of Council for St. Bernard parish Council where she received valuable experience in policy making and governmental processes. She was involved in leading a number of community efforts including the St. Bernard Community Playground project, Art in April, St. Bernard Salutes America, the Christmas Parade and the restoration of a major facility for Arc of GNO. She served on the St. Bernard Chamber Executive Board and also as Executive Director of the St. Bernard Community Foundation directing Neighborhood Initiatives post Katrina before re-locating to Moncla to be closer to her family. She taught elementary and high school French at Avoyelles Public Charter before opening her nursery business in Fall of 2021.

    Currently, Polly serves as secretary on the ASDD/Silver Lining Board, Activities Coordinator for the Fifth Ward Community Center Board, chair of the Moncla Community Center Board and as a member of both the Marksville Garden Club and CENLA Master Gardeners. She spearheads an anti-litter effort called Love Where You Live which encourages young people to end the littering of our roadways and waterways. And, she recently completed a Culinary Nutrition Expert certification. Polly and her son love where they live and work restoring a 100-year-old family farm next door to the nursery. They VOTE every day for the kind of community they want to live in…one that cares for and provides meaningful opportunities for ALL of its residents…by serving community organizations, picking up trash and educating about health.

  • Morgan Vandegevel

    Executive Director

    Morgan Vandegevel became the Executive Director for the chamber in 2023. Prior to this position, she was the Venue Manager at a wedding venue in Creola, LA. She assisted in running rehearsals, keeping wedding timelines running smooth, and managing a staff of five. Morgan is a graduate of Northwestern State University. Majoring in Hospitality Tourism and Managment, Morgan knew that was right where she belonged. Hospitality has given Morgan many rare opportunties, such as working for a hockey team in North Louisiana. Morgan moved to Marksville after graduating in 2020. When she isn't at work, Morgan enjoys spending time with her daughter Emersyn and boyfriend, Josh. 


  • Van Roy

    Past President

    Born and raised in Marksville, Van Roy is the co-owner of Bailey's on the Square, a special event venue located in the historic Bailey Theater. He is also a realtor with Roch Michael Real Estate.  He is currently President of the Rotary Club of Avoyelles and President of the Marksville Chamber of Commerce.  He serves on the boards of the Avoyelles Arts Council and the Avoyelles Society for the Developmentally Disabled. He is a firm believer of community service and feels that it adds to the quality of life for those who live in the city of Marksville and Avoyelles Parish and those who visit here. 

  • Allison Ravare-Augustine

    Past President

    A native of Marksville, Allison Ravare-Augustine is the wife of Johnathan Augustine and mother of their ten year old daughter Aleyce.  Allison is a graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is the director of marketing for Riviere de Soleil in Mansura. She has been an active member of Marksville's Holy Ghost Catholic Church all of her life.

    At the young age of 22, when most young adults and couples are planning their futures together, tragedy struck when Augustine lost her first husband to cancer.  Though she had always been an ambitious student and active academically and socially, her loss became a catalyst for a life committed to promoting cancer awareness and serving her community through organizations that speak to her personally.

    Allison Ravare-Augustine has a passion for community service!  She has been actively involved with the American Cancer Society for over 20 years, is currently serving as Chairperson for Avoyelles Relay for Life and is the founder and director of the Louisiana Queen of Hope Pageant.  Board member and Past President of the Marksville Chamber of Commerce, past president and board member of the Rotary Club of Avoyelles, President and board member of the Avoyelles Council on Aging, it's clear to see that Augustine truly lives Rotary's motto of "Service Above Self."  She is also the president of the Avoyelles Arts Council, for which she serves as director of the Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival, an annual event she helped found and organize 10 years ago that has become one of Central Louisiana's biggest summer attractions.

    Augustine was recognized as the 2018 Avoyellean of the year for her outstanding service to Avoyelles Parish and also recognized as a Louisiana Ambassador by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser for dedication and service to promoting Louisiana Tourism in Avoyelles Parish.

    "Central Louisiana is my home and where I have chosen to live and raise my family.  The quality of life here is important to me and I find great joy in working with others to enrich and nurture the lives of others through the work I do in the community."

  • Donna Desoto

    I moved to Avoyelles Parish in 1978 and married James Desoto.  We have one son Blake Desoto, a beautiful daughter-in-law Kelly and two beautiful grandchildren with red hair, Reid and ViVi.  In 2015 I retired from the State of Louisiana with 37 years with the last 23 years as a juvenile probation/parole officer and supervisor.  This was my passion, working with our youth and to make a difference in their life,  I am the Director of Avoyelles Teen Court for 24 years.  This is a program which also allows youth to correct some poor choices and give back to the community.  I have served as president of the Spring Bayou Water District  since 1989 and ensuring that the community has clean drinking water.  I currently serve as board member and secretary of the Central Louisiana Juvenile Detention Authority.  I have been a Rotary Club member for two years and I enjoy giving back to our community.  In the past, I was a CASA Coordinator for Avoyelles Parish and took pride in being the voice for the children in the foster care system.  I am a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and a member of the choir and the ACTS Retreats.  Currently, I serve as the Coordinator of the Avoyelles Community & Youth Coalition where our platform is to Reduce Underage Drinking in Avoyelles Parish ages 9-20.  I currently serve as a board member for the Marksville Chamber of Commerce. 

  • John Gagnard


    Past President of the Avoyelles Parish School Board. Serves on the Board of Directors for the Avoyelles Society of the Developmentally Disabled, financial secretary for the Marksville Knights of Columbus, Treasury for the Avoyelles Community and Youth Coalition, CASA Advocate Volunteer, Teen Court Intake Officer, Marksville Lions Club Member, and Woodman of the World Lodge #612 Member.

  • Chris Barbry

    Chris is the Vice President of Facilities at Paragon Casino Resort.  He is responsible for the successful overall direction, administration and coordination of the Facilities department to include environmental services, engineering, maintenance, construction and renovation, exterior grounds and utilities.

    Chris has 37 years of management experience; 24 years of it in casino operations. He has served in several capacities throughout his tenure with Paragon Casino Resort F/K/A Grand Casino Avoyelles; including Director of Environmental Services, Director of Engineering, Vice President of Facilities, Sr. Vice President of Facilities/Assistant General Manager and Acting General Manager for varying periods. He also held positions as Vice President and Board Member of the Tunica Biloxi Economic Development Committee. In addition, he played a major role in the $150 million dollar 500,000 sq. ft. expansion project as Chairman of the committee.

    Chris attended the University of Nevada where he completed the Reno-Gaming Executive Development Program. He has participated in numerous training programs on and off property including; Paragon’s Management Certification Program and Guest Service Training through the Freeman Group.

    • Life long resident of Marksville, La.
    • Honorable discharge Louisiana National Guard E-4 Specialist
    • Marksville Sr. High graduate
    • Wife Emeilie, daughter Jessica and two granddaughters, son Chris Jr.

  • Jenny Donaghey Beckham

    Jenny Donaghey Beckham is an attorney practicing in Marksville, as both a general practitioner focused on Estate Planning & Successions, and as an Assistant DA for the 12th Judicial District. She has been married to Jeremy Beckham for over 20 years, and they have two small children. Jenny is a member of the Bayou des Glaises Baptist Church, and an active member of various local organizations.  In 2013, she returned to her home Parish of Avoyelles after 11 years away, and has a strong desire to see the parish, and the people in it, grow and succeed. Jenny believes the best leaders are those that lead by example, and will never ask others to undertake a task that she herself is not willing to undertake.

  • Beverly Rachal


    Beverly Chapman-Rachal works for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of LA as the Secretary-Treasurer for 8 plus years. Prior to her role with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council, she held several roles at Paragon Casino Resort; Hospitality Manager, Executive Assistant, Entertainment Coordinator and Advertising Coordinator.  A native of Houston, Texas, Rachal moved to Marksville when she was 4 years old where she attended and graduated from Marksville High School. Balancing an active lifestyle of work and family, Rachal currently resides in Marksville, La. with her husband Byron. She has two daughters, Nikki, Lauren and a son, Tad and five grandchildren.

  • Tim Curry

    Tim Curry is the current CEO of Avoyelles Hospital. He is also responsible for the oversight of Avoyelles Rural Health Center, Marksville Family Care Center, Lecompte Family Care Center & Hessmer Family Care Center. Tim is committed to providing quality health care close to home with hopes in continuing the hospital’s presence in Avoyelles Parish.

    A native of Bossier City, Tim is a graduate of Louisiana College in Pineville, where he earned his degree is Kinesiology with a minor in business. He currently resides in the city of Marksville with his wife, Page Curry and their 4 children. 

    Tim encourages the hospital’s effort to support the Avoyelles Parish Community. To get personally involved in the community, he has joined the Marksville Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, as well as other community organizations. Tim’s mission is to not only provide quality health care to Avoyelles Parish, but to be heavily involved in the local community and surrounding areas.

  • John Laborde

    Owner of Panaroma Foods, Inc. Currently serving as Board Member on Marksville Chamber of Commerce, Chairman St. Joseph Finance Council, President of St. Joseph Cemetery Association, President of Sacred Heart School Council (Moreauville, LA). Board Member of Avoyelles Rotary, Member of Marksville Lions Club, Member of Knights of Columbus # 1217, Chairman Marksville Civil Service Commission, Former City Councilman and Former Mayor of Marksville. Married to Tiffany Ritchie Laborde, three children; Christopher Laborde, Nicholas Laborde, and Elizabeth (Lele) Laborde. Two grandchildren, Drake and Jack Laborde.

  • In Loving Memory of Pat Ours

    We were blessed to have "Mrs. Pat" serve on our board of directors and we send our love and prayers to her family and all who knew and loved her. The lives she touched are many, from being a wife and mother of deep faith, to her many years as a fearless, dedicated and well respected educator. As a board member of the Marksville Chamber, Mrs. Pat brought with her all the care and level headedness that was her nature, to every meeting and gathering. We honor her and thank her for her years of service.

    Her beautiful obituary, information on services and a link to donate to her beloved Red River Charter are listed below.


    Patricia Dumas Ours

    November 25, 1951 – June 8, 2022

    Patricia Dumas Ours (“Pat”) departed this world at home on June 8, 2022. A loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, and mother, she will be missed by her family, friends, and anyone who had the good fortune to know her. Pat was born in Goliad, Texas, the youngest of four children born to Melvin Oscar Dumas and Helen Lorene Barger Dumas. Her father’s work in construction saw the family move around the country frequently including to Racine, Ohio where she met her husband William H. Ours (“Bill”). Pat and Bill were married on August 22, 1969 and remained by each other’s side for the next 52 years.

    While balancing being a young wife and mother, Pat attended Mississippi University for Women earning her bachelor’s degree in education, and later earned a Master’s Degree +30 in Education Supervision from Northwestern State University. For over 45 years she dedicated her professional life to the education, support, and defense of children. After relocating to Marksville in 1982 she began working at Marksville Middle School where she taught thousands of students language arts, science, and much more. She established and sponsored the first Beta Club, directed multiple musicals, and sponsored the cheerleaders. She would later serve as an assistant principal and interim principal at schools around the parish. She was the Avoyelles Parish Teacher of the Year in 1986 and received recognition for her talent and dedication throughout her career. After being acknowledged as Teacher of the Year she provided a quote that reflects her love and dedication to her students.

    “My philosophy of teaching encompasses the whole child. Respect of and fairness to each individual lays the foundation upon which to build academic skills.”

    After retiring from the Avoyelles Parish School Board, she continued to advocate for children through education by helping to establish charter schools in the parish that offered parents a choice in educating their children. For Pat, education was never about doing the same things over-and-over again and expecting a different result. The education of children was her priority even if it meant disrupting systems and traditions or ruffling the feathers of adults that did not share her passion or vision. Most recently she was instrumental in establishing the Red River Charter Academy, served on its Board of Directors, and would even substitute teach when needed. Now, after a career and life dedicated to others she is at rest with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Pat was preceded in death by her parents Melvin Oscar Dumas and Helen Lorene Barger Dumas of San Antonio, Texas, her brother Gary Wayne Dumas of Poway, California, and brother Melvin Michael (“Mike”) Dumas and sister-in-law Diana Dumas of Rome, Georgia.

    Those left to cherish her memory include her husband Bill, her two sons William Patrick (“Billy”) Ours of Galveston, Texas and Ryan Neil (Robin) Ours of Baton Rouge, her grandchildren Sydney Lorene Ours, Megan Anne Ours, and Samuel Patrick Ours all of Kuna, Idaho, Anabelle Grace Ours, Audrey Claire Ours, William Ryan Ours, and Alexandra Reese Ours all of Baton Rouge, sister Linda Dumas (Lee) Kerouac of Pensacola, Florida, sister-in-law Cheryl Dumas of Poway, California, daughters-in-law Julie Ours of Kuna, Idaho and Shannon Ours of Guntersville, Alabama, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

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