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 University of Louisiana Monroe President Dr. Ron Berry and Head Football Coach Terry Bowden will be the guest speakers at the Winnsboro-Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce’s 72nd Installation Banquet.

The annual banquet is scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. at the Winnsboro First United Pentecostal Church Gymnasium.

Berry, a Franklin Parish native, was selected ULM’s ninth president in September 2020.  He is a two-time graduate of ULM who has served the University for 25 years. He advanced through the academic ranks as assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor of Information Systems. Berry began his academic administration career as Department Head of Computer Information Systems, Interim Dean, then Dean of the College of Business and, most recently, Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences.  

Berry was a first generation college student who understands and appreciates ULM’s impact on students and the communities the institution serves.  

Berry leads through his motto, which hangs in his office, “Student Centered: Excellence Driven.” 

He has also worked closely with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, serving two years on the executive board as Vice President for Membership and Vice President for Business Advocacy and six years on the board of directors.

Bowden was named ULM’s Head Football Coach in December 2020. Before taking over the reins of the Warhawks, he compiled a career record of 175-114-2 in 25 seasons as a collegiate head coach.  

Bowden spent the prior two seasons before making ULM home as an offensive analyst at Clemson.  Bowden’s coaching career spans near 40 years with stints on the staff of Florida State, and Clemson and as Head Coach of Salem, Auburn, North Alabama, Akron, and now ULM. 

Bowden also spent a time in media, broadcasting for ABC Sports, Yahoo! Sports, on radio through Sirius Radio and through various other written publications.  

“Coach Bowden also exhibits leadership in academics with his own personal accomplishments of graduating magna cum laude from West Virginia before performing postgraduate work at Oxford University,” said ULM Athletic Director Scott McDonald. “He then completed his Juris Doctor degree from the Florida State University School of Law.” 

Incoming Chamber President David Rigdon said, “We are excited to hear from Franklin Parish native President Ron Berry on the exciting things happening at the University of Louisiana Monroe and from Coach Bowden as he shares insight from his lengthy career in college football, his current recruiting class, and what lies ahead for Warhawks football.” 

Additionally, during the Installation Banquet, Spirit Awards will be given to local community groups that have been instrumental in improving their communities and promoting Franklin Parish. Groups being honored this year are Baskin’s Community Committee, Friends of Crowville, Grow Gilbert and Wisner’s Revitalization Committee.

The Chamber Spirit Award is given annually to a person or group who has made a positive impact in Franklin Parish.

“The Chamber was excited to receive the nominations of these four committees for this year’s Spirit Award,” Ridgon said. “Through the volunteer work and dedication of the individuals in our communities, a spotlight is placed on what makes Franklin Parish the wonderful place it is to live, work and play.”

The President’s Award, an award given to an individual who has gone above and beyond for the Franklin Parish community, will also be awarded by outgoing Chamber President Scott Perkins.

Meanwhile, the Banquet also plans to install new Chamber officers and members. New officers for the 2022 year are Rigdon, Vice President Veronica Grant, and Treasurer Christy McManus. New Board of Directors serving a three year term beginning in January 2022 are: Danielle Lorings, Cognitive Development Center Counselor with Franklin Parish School Board; Brandon Chapman with Franklin State Bank; Micah Touchet with NewBirth Creative; and Joe Curtis with The Franklin Sun

To purchase tickets for the banquet, interested people may contact any Winnsboro-Franklin Chamber of Commerce board member or the Chamber of Commerce Office.

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