(April 9, 2008)
Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073
Centenary College Announces New Advisory Council Members
SHREVEPORT, La. — Centenary College added 11 new members to the President's Advisory Council. They are: Merrill Wautlet, Bess Elder, Alex C. Van Hook, Hoyt Bain, Kempton Schwab, Tandy Lewis, David Barlow, Sherri Talley, Mike Ameen, Steve Burkhalter, and Sharon Vogelpohl.
Merrill Wautlet is a 1981 graduate of Centenary College and currently works as a Senior Vice President in the lending division out of the Shreveport Regional Office for First National Banker's Bank, a correspondent banking company headquartered in Baton Rouge.
Bess Elder is married to Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, 8th Air Force Commander. Raised in an Air Force family, she has spent most of her working life as a government employee or contract analyst. She worked with quality of life issues at several bases in Family Support Centers, and at the policy level for both Marine Corps Headquarters and for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Force Support and Families.
She also worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions for Tift College in Georgia. Elder has a Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a Masters in Counseling from Louisiana Tech. Currently she serves on the board of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and the Junior League Community Advisory Board.
Alex C. Van Hook
Alex C. Van Hook is an attorney practicing in Shreveport. He is a 1993 graduate from Centenary College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, and a 1997 graduate from Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University where he received his Juris Doctorate.
Hoyt Bain has been active in multi-tenant office building development, marketing, management, operating and leasing. He has been active in the commercial real estate development business since 1972.
Bain graduated from Centenary College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1963. He has participated in such organizations as the Shreveport Board of Realtors, the Louisiana Realtors Association, the National Association of Realtors, Urban Land Institute, BOMA and Downtown Shreveport Unlimited. Also active in the community, he has helped the Boy Scouts, United Way, YMCA, Shreveport Downtown Rotary Club, and is a member of the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. He has also served his country as a former member of the United States Air Force Reserve and is a member of the Military Affairs Committee.
Kempten L. Schwab is the Vice President, Marketing and Sales, of Praeses, LLC. He assumed this role on the Executive Team in 2002. Prior to his current role, he was the Director of Transaction Management, a line of business that provides management services for all types of transaction-based needs. Initially joining Praeses in 1995, he developed, managed and directed Transaction Management, growing it into a successful line of business for the company. He was responsible for all corporate sales and human resource management within this line of business.
Schwab attended the University of South Carolina (USC) on a soccer scholarship. He graduated from USC with degrees in International Studies and German.
Tandy Lewis is the Senior Vice President at Morgan Keegan. He is a Certified Financial Planner with 27 years of investment experience. Lewis is a 1980 graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee, Tenn.) with an economics degree.
David Barlow is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Sklar Exploration Company L.L.C., in Shreveport, La. In this position, he is responsible for managing approximately 30 employees in Land, Engineering and Accounting Departments and for approximately $50 million in annual budget directed toward acquisitions, exploration and exploitation of oil and gas reserves.
Barlow graduated from Centenary College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in History; received a Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School in 1996, Cum Laude, and is licensed to practice law in the state of Louisiana and is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association. He is also a 2003 graduate from the Executive Management Program for Oil & Gas Executives, sponsored by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and taught by Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts.
He is the Director and past President, The McDade Hospitality House; past Secretary and past President, Galvez Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution; past 2nd Vice President, Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution; past member and President/Facilitator, Pastoral Counsel, St. John Berchmans Cathedral; Alumnus Member, Nan Christian Scholarship Selection Committee, Centenary College
Sherri Talley joined KTBS-TV in 1994 as a reporter and co-anchor of the morning newscast. She now co-anchors the 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts. Over the years, she has covered a variety of stories, including major events like Hurricane Ivan and 9-11 from Barksdale Air Force Base. Her honors include The Louisiana Governor's Advocacy Award for Adoption and being named Best Anchor in Shreveport-Bossier for the past six years by SB Magazine readers.
Talley is deeply involved in Northwest Louisiana, having served on the board of directors for Habitat For Humanity and Mothers Against Drugs. She also twice chaired the American Cancer Society's signature event, Relay For Life.
Mike Ameen is the CFO of Ivan Smith Furniture Co., LLC. He is a 1982 graduate of Centenary College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He is married to Lillian, also a Centenary graduate (1984). They have four sons.
Steve Burkhalter is a trust officer with Regions Morgan Keegan Trust, a wholly owned subsidiary of Regions Bank. He has been with the bank for seven years. He has previously worked as a private banker and financial planner for the bank.
He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and is a past member of the board of directors of the Shreveport Chapter of the FPA. Burkhalter received his CFP® designation in 1989 and has more than 20 years experience in the financial services industry, primarily in investment management, retirement and estate planning.
A native of Ruston, Louisiana, Burkhalter graduated from Centenary College in Shreveport, with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1983. He is married to Libby Taylor Burkhalter. They have two children, Lauren 17 and Taylor 14. Steve is a member of First United Methodist Church where he currently serves on the finance and investment committees.
Sharon Tallach Vogelpohl
Sharon Vogelpohl is the Senior Vice President and Director of Client Services and Public Relations at Mangan Holcomb Partners in Little Rock, Ark.
She graduated from Centenary College with a business communications degree and is a graduate of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XVI. She serves on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Little Rock (Club 99) and Junior Achievement of Arkansas.
About Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.