Awards & Scholarships

A Message from the President

Kathy Sonnier

Today, we celebrate a 30-year tradition that began in 1990 with a group of women who gave their time, talent, and energy to the community of Southwest Louisiana. The Women’s Commission is a non-profit, volunteer organization of women committed to developing the potential of women, promoting volunteerism and community service. We welcome all women who value our mission. 

To accomplish our mission, the Women’s Commission of Southwest Louisiana, Inc. hosts an annual Fall Conference at the Lake Charles Civic Center. This daylong event is an integral part of educating, motivating, supporting women, and giving them their own day! While a worldwide pandemic and two back-to-back hurricanes (Laura & Delta) may have canceled out our efforts in 2020, that delay did provide us an opportunity to really get ready for the 2021 event!

We invite you to spend a day like no other, so save the date, October 21, 2021. Our 30th Conference Theme is SHARING YOUR PEARLS OF WISDOM!!!!

A crucial part of our legacy is giving back to the Southwest Louisiana community. Each year the Women’s Commission awards scholarships to women attending McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. The criteria are based on grade point average, submission of written essays and financial assistance need. We are also proud to bestow the Jack V. Doland Citizen of the Year Award at our Fall Conference to a woman who has touched the lives of people in her community through selfless service.  

It is an honor, privilege, and a pleasure to serve with an excellent Board of Directors. I encourage you to learn more about the Women’s Commission of SWLA, Inc. by exploring our website. Thank you for your interest and commitment to our mission.

2021 Executive Board

Our 2021 Commissioners

Welcome to our New Commissioners!

Active Members

Advisory Members

Emeritus Members

Lifetime Members

Our Heritage

Past Presidents

1989 Penny Houston

1990 Lisa Ferguson

1991 Daphne Saxby Oliver

1992 Waiva Reigel

1993 Dr. Harriet Green

1994 Carole Blair

1995 Anne Chitty

1996 De Ann Derbonne

1997 Beverly Gradney St. Mary

1998 Sattaria “Tari” Dilks

1999 Karen Barrington

2000 Linda LeBert-Corbello

2001 Carol Machado Henry

2002 Cindy Morrissey

2004 Betty Harlow Anderson

2005 Karen Drewett

2006 Betty Harlow Anderson

2007 Melisa McMillian Adrian

2008 Melisa McMillian Adrian

2009 Pamela Stracener Golding

2010 Angela Worley Pierson

2011 Fran Clophus

2012 Debbie Boudreaux

2013 Debra Lastrapes

2014 Sue Conn

2015 Krystle Johnson

2016 Krystle Johnson

2017 Tammy Thibodeaux

2018 Tammy Thibodeaux

2019 Cynthia Tomlinson

2020 Kathy Sonnier

Our Vice President /
Fall conference Chairpersons

1990 Lisa Fergusen

1991 Wava Reigel

1992 Dr. Harriet Green

1993 Carole Blair

1994 Anne Chitty

1995 De Ann Derbonne

1996 Beverly St. Mary

1997 Sattaria Dilks

1998 Karen Barrington

1999 Erica Toatley

2000 Carol Henry

2001 Cindy Morrissey

2002 Debbie Acuff

2004 Karen Drewett

2005 Melisa McMillian Adrian

2006 Melisa McMillian Adrian

2007 Melonie Himel

2008 Pamela Stracener Golding

2009 Angela Guth

2010 Franyora Clophus

2011 Debra Lastrapes

2012 Debbie Boudreaux

2013 Sue Conn

2014 Krystle Johnson

2015 Dena Everage

2016 Tammy Thibodeaux

2017 Selena Cisneros

2018 Cynthia Tomlinson

2019 Kathy Sonnier

2020 Carol Henry