Acadia LSDAR names Isabella de la Houssaye Outstanding Woman in American History

CROWLEY - Acadia Chapter LSDAR traditionally recognizes the roles of women in American history by honoring local women whose outstanding contributions made a difference in their communities. The 2010 Outstanding Woman in American History, chosen by Acadia Chapter and nominated by Barbara de la Houssaye, is Crowley resident, Isabella Livaudais de la Houssaye.

There are few people in Acadia Parish who are unfamiliar with de la Houssaye’s professional work and accomplishments as a former Mayor of Crowley. But, de la Houssaye wears many other hats.

A resident of Crowley since 1969, she is the wife of Dr. Cason de la Houssaye, Jr. and the mother of four grown children: Isabella de la Houssaye Crane, Nadia de la Houssaye Vreeland, Benton de la Houssaye III, and Elise de la Houssaye Frantzen.

Isabella de la Houssaye, Crowley’s first female and Republican mayor, left a legacy of many significant accomplishments. As part of her expansion program, Mayor De la Houssaye secured funding for lighting at Exits 80 and 82 on Interstate 10 and the service road on the north side of I-10 and managed major drainage improvements for the city, and the restructuring of West Hutchinson Avenue into a state of the art boulevard, while also resurfacing all of Crowley’s city streets.

Mayor De la Houssaye supervised the expansion, renovation, and beautification of a number of buildings in the city of Crowley including the complete restoration of the historic Miller Stadium, the total restoration of the Rice Theater, the expansion of programs and facilities at the Recreation Center, and the purchase and remodeling of the J. D. Miller building (historic Crowley Motor Co.) to house the new City Hall and museums.

In addition, under her supervision, the city of Crowley partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to establish the Enterprise Center as a business incubator for new and emerging companies.

On a lighter note, she was instrumental in beginning two major Crowley festivals, Carnival d’Acadie and July Fete. While she was Mayor, the city of Crowley was recertified as a Tree City USA, a certified Main Street Community, a certified Retirement Community, and, when it attained its ISO certification, became the first city in the country (and second in the world) to be ISO 9001 certified.

During Mayor dela Houssayes’ terms the city underwent the largest expansion and period of economic development in its history.

Politically, de la Houssaye has served in many capacities which include her work on the Louisiana State Republican Steering Committee Member, 2000-2004, Mayor of the City of Crowley, Louisiana, 1997-2006, Crowley City Council, Alderwoman, 1978-1994; Recreation Committee; Chairperson 1990-1994; Comprehensive Zoning Committee, Insurance Committee, Tourism Committee, Historic Preservation Committee, Crowley Beautification Committee, Public Works Committee; Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Public Safety Committee; Chairperson 1982-1986, Vice Chairperson 1986-1990, Finance Committee; Chairperson 1978-1982, and Vice Chairperson 1982-1986.

Besides her distinguished service in the political arena, de la Houssaye has a continued commitment to community service. She holds membership in the Acadia Arts Council, Acadia Chapter DAR, American Legion Auxiliary, America Society of Clinical Pathologists, Charter Member of the Crowley Art Association, Crowley Chamber of Commerce, Crowley Garden Club, Crowley Women’s Club, World Trade Center Organization, Acadiana Regional Development Board and the Louisiana Museum Association. Her charitable work includes supporting the American Heart Association, Crowley Christian Care Center, Easter Seal Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Way of America and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Isabella de la Houssaye is also Lector and Lay Minister at Saint Michael Catholic Church.

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