Anne T. Falgout, Executive Director of the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance and guest speaker at a recent meeting of Les Curieux de Vermilion gave a very imformative presentation on the organization she represents and directs. Her talk included a brief history of its origin or formation, the make up of its board and key supporting elements, and its’ functional purpose or mission.

After many years of discussion and informal efforts toward creation of an organized body that would serve to enhance the development of business and industry within the parish, the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance was officially incorporated in July of 2014.

A board of directors was commissioned to serve as the core guidance arm of the organization, to formulate its operational structure, and to secure the means of financial support.

The board currently consists of four members of the Vermilion Parish police jury, one at large representative appointed by the police jury, and one appointed representative from each of the following – the Vermilion Chamber or Commerce, the Abbeville Harbor and Terminal District, the Vermilion Parish School Board, and Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Anne Falgout and Neil Hebert

Anne Falgout and Neil Hebert

There are also board members representing each of the municipalities of Abbeville, Maurice, Erath, Kaplan and Gueydan.

All of the entities with representation on the board contribute to the financial support of the alliance along with Gulf Coast Bank, Kaplan State Bank and Vermilion Bank and Trust. Their pledged contributions vary in amount as well as differing terms or periods of time.

The mission of the organization is to facilitate business growth through attracting and assisting new enterprises; by retaining and enhancing existing businesses and facilitating their expansion; and by serving as the informational contact for companies interested in locating in Vermilion Parish.

Specifically, this would include such activities as providing facts and figures about the parish; potential business sites or locations that are available; relocation help such as availability of utilities, financing, transportation etc.; and an independent assessment of the prospects or potential for that enterprise within the local area.

Although the alliance works hand in hand with local elected officials and government agencies, it is not encumbered by government protocol with time consuming policy or political restraints. It will function more as a business of its’ own with a vested interest, that interest being the betterment of business and industry in Vermilion Parish.

Ms. Falgout, who is a native of Abbeville and product of Vermilion Parish, brings a wealth of related experience to her job. She is the grand-daughter of Emory and Olga Toups and the daughter of Jerry and Kathy Terpening.

Anne has 13 years of experience with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and is presently serving as an appointee on the ‘One Acadiana Development Council’ advisory team. She has good connections and a good working relationship with this newly formed regional development organization. Her presentation was very well received and much appreciated by the Les Curieux de Vermilion membership.