Chamber recognizes M’elise Trahan as Humanitarian of Year

CROWLEY - The Board of Directors of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce has announced the selection of Judge M’elise Trahan as the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year.

M’elise Beslin Trahan became the first female City Judge of Crowley effective January 1, 2009. She is the wife of District Judge John D. Trahan of Crowley and they have two children in college, Adrienne (20) and Andre’ (19). She is the daughter of retired Rayne City Judge Denny and Claire Beslin of Rayne.

Judge Trahan graduated from Notre Dame High School with Honors in 1977 and received her undergraduate degree from LSU in Baton Rouge in Business Administration and then her Law Degree from LSU Law School in 1984. She served as a law clerk for Judge E. L. Guidry, Jr. of the Third Circuit Court of Appeal for three years before going into private practice with her father in Rayne with the law firm of Chappuis & Beslin, where she later became a partner and practiced civil law. She was appointed by the 15th Judicial District Court in 1995 to serve as the FINS (Families in Need of Services) Coordinator and as a Hearing Officer for both Acadia and Vermilion Parishes, which she did for 13 years.

Judge Trahan has always had a passion for the youth of our community and served on the Acadia Parish Headstart Advisory Board for three years. She has been a weekly volunteer reader at Miss Bea’s Reading Program at Ross Elementary School since the program’s inception and served as a member of the Acadia Parish Solutions to Poverty Coalition. She has also given her time to serve as a judge for the annual American Legion Oratorical Contest on all levels for the past 19 years, and has served as a judge on several occasions for the International Rice Festival cooking contest. Judge Trahan has strongly supported the efforts of many local youth programs including Israelite Baptist Church’s Boys to Men Program, Young Ladies With a Purpose and Book Club Literary Program, and the S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P. literacy project. She has also been a mentor with the Acadia BASE (Business Assisting Students to Excel) Mentoring program sponsored by the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office since its inception 11 years ago.

While serving as the FINS Coordinator, M’elise served as member, Director and Secretary for the Louisiana FINS Association and also established the TASC (Truancy Assessment and Services Center) for Acadia and Vermilion Parishes. She served as the Chairperson of the TASC Advisory Boards for both parishes from 2001 – 2008. She was also instrumental in setting up the Acadia Parish Children Youth Services and Planning Board where she serves as Vice President.

In 2001, M’elise was the recipient of the Notre Dame High School “Shoe of Fame Award” and the 2001-2002 Notre Dame Achiever and Supporter of the Year Award. In 2008, she was chosen as the Honoree at the National Association of University Women Black History Celebration. M’elise also served on the steering committee for the Crowley National Day of Prayer Celebration for 7 years. She was also one of the charter members of the Board of Directors of Community Outreach Corporation, which has spearheaded the renovations of The Welcome House, north of Crowley. M’elise also serves on the newly formed Acadia Parish Family & Consumer Sciences Advisory Leadership Council, the goal of which is to provide effective and efficient programs that result in improved quality of life for people of Louisiana through research and education. She has also served as a past Team Captain for the Acadia Parish Relay for Life.

M’elise has been an active member of The Crowley Rotary Club and participates each year in the Rotary Christmas Food Basket Drive, Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly(RYLA) conference at Lake Fausse Point, La, Rotary Scholarship Po-boy sale, Thanksgiving meal at the Welcome House and Rebuilding in April. She is also a regular supporter of Miss Helen’s Soup Kitchen. M’elise has served on the Board of Directors of The Crowley Rotary Club and currently is the Program Chairperson. M’elise was selected as Rotarian of the Year for 2007-2008.

M’elise is an active member of St. Michael Catholic Church here in Crowley where she serves as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. She is a past member of the St. Michael Elementary School Board and a past member of the St. Michael Church Parish Council, where she served as Parish Council President and Trustee.

On December 15, 2009, Judge Trahan was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve on the Louisiana Judicial College Board of Governors for a term of office which concludes September 30, 2012. And on March 4, 2010, Judge Trahan was awarded the Don E. Wydra Memorial Award at the 30th Annual Louisiana Governor’s Conference on Juvenile Justice for her “extraordinary contribution to Juvenile Justice and delinquency prevention.” She is a member of the Acadia Parish Bar Association, where she has served as President, Secretary and Treasurer. She has directed the Leadership Excel Mock Trial of the Acadia Parish Bar Association for the past 6 years. She is also a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, The Louisiana City Judges Association, The Judges Association of the Third Circuit, the Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Association of Women Judges.

M’elise served on the Board of Directors of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce from 2006-2008, where she was very active in numerous Chamber events, including, the annual Gumbo Cook-off, the Annual Golf Classic, the Annual Banquet, Ribbons & Rice, and the Legislative Breakfast. She served as co-chair of the Farmer’s Appreciation Dinner and Chairman of the Legislative Committee. She also volunteers each year during the Career Expo, either in the Reality Store or in the Bar Association Booth.

M’elise has been unwavering in her support of the youth, the greater Crowley community, as well as the endeavors of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce. For the time and resources she has directed to the betterment of our community and for the moral character she exemplifies, the Chamber is proud to recognize Judge M’elise Trahan as the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year. All are invited to attend the Chamber’s Annual Banquet on Thursday, May 27, where Judge Trahan will be honored along with the Chamber’s Board of Directors, the Business Person of the Year, and Outstanding Young Citizens. The Chamber will also celebrate its 25th anniversary in conjunction with this year’s banquet. Fezzo’s will cater the event, which will begin with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 6:00 p.m. During the cocktail hour, the crowd will be entertained by a jazz trio, and guests will have the opportunity to bid on items in a silent auction. The banquet will begin with dinner service at 7:00 p.m. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling the Chamber office, at 788-0177. Individual tickets are $30, and a table for ten may be reserved for $250.

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