After leading the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance for over seven years, Anne T. Falgout will step down as Executive Director on March 17, 2022. Falgout was hired in November 2014 to get the organization off the ground – the economic development agency had been legislatively dedicated in July of that year, but had no name, mission, or program of work.
Falgout’s ability to execute a robust action plan, and strengthen new and existing businesses has earned VEDA national attention and improved Vermilion’s regional reputation, working in-step with colleagues from around Acadiana on business and community development initiatives.
Some of Falgout’s most notable contributions have been the launch of the Vermilion Parish Job Fair and subsequent Community Job Board, Keep It Local, Vermilion program, and most recently, the work she did to help Abbeville secure the Louisiana Development Ready Community designation and organize the Accelerate Vermilion program. Falgout was a proud partner in Kaplan’s Retirement Community designation, the Acadiana Seafood Hub’s formulation, and helped successfully advocate for grant funding across the community. Falgout secured funds from USDA and EDA to benefit Vermilion’s entrepreneurs and cattle farmers through multiple grant cycles. Under her leadership, VEDA was awarded the “Forward Vermilion Award” from the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce in 2019, and Falgout landed an Acadiana Women Who Mean Business Award that same year.
In addition to providing services to starting, existing, and relocating businesses, Falgout also represents Vermilion Parish on the Acadiana Economic Development Council and One Acadiana boards. She also serves as a board member for the Vermilion Arts Council and United Way of Acadiana. Falgout earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is a graduate of Leadership Vermilion and Leadership Lafayette and has spent a great deal of time and energy ensuring that new leaders are cultivated throughout the Acadiana region.
In her resignation letter to the VEDA board, Falgout states, “The work we have done together has not only improved Vermilion, but it has improved me. I am better because of your confidence, partnership, and leadership. I hope that I have left you with a clear understanding that my love for Vermilion Parish runs deep and I hope that we can continue to work together towards our community’s brilliant future.”
Falgout says the timing of this is great for the organization to transition to “VEDA 2.0” and serve the community in new and improved ways.
“I think it’s important for organizations like VEDA to maintain relevancy and be willing to undergo change to be what the community needs. Vermilion Parish is full of untapped talent and great ideas, and I can’t wait to see what the next phase looks like!” Falgout adds.
Falgout has been hired to join the team at South Louisiana Community College where she will be responsible for executing a communications strategy across the institution’s nine campuses.
The board of the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance has appointed an ad hoc committee to serve as the organization’s transition team. Board President Ben Rivera, Board Secretary Megan Landry-Lalande, and Board Members Richard Guilbeaux and Gerrod Brasseux will be joined by Falgout to ensure that the organization can meet all the needs of the public and existing clients.
The VEDA board is excited to prioritize its projects and create a new pathway forward to build off of Falgout’s legacy.