At their annual state convention in New Orleans last weekend, four new members were inducted into the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana’s Hall of Fame.
Charlie Willis, Pierre and Suzie Villere and Andy LeBlanc were honored on Friday, Jan. 31.
“CCA is the ultimate volunteer organization,” said David Cresson, CCA Louisiana’s executive director. “Each year we like to honor special people who have helped make CCA into the organization it is today. Without their dedicated service, we would never be able to make the progress we have on conservation issues in Louisiana.
“I’m happy to say that the group of volunteers receiving their much deserved recognition this year is as strong a group as we’ve ever had.”
LeBlanc, from Jefferson Parish, is an original member of the East Jefferson chapter and has served on the state board, successfully expanding attendance and profitability of CCA banquets through his merchandising and marketing efforts.
Suzie and Pierre Villere, the first couple inducted into the Hall of Fame, were instrumental in building the North Shore CCA chapter from its inception in 1993. Since then, they have helped build statewide membership from about 2,500 to more than 17,000 members today. Both have served on the state board, and Suzie worked on the STAR Tournament, and also served on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
Auctioneer Charlie WIllis has auctioned at CCA membership banquets for more than 20 years, helping to raise more than $10 million for CCA at 500-plus banquets around the state. In addition, WIllis has helped to recruit more than 50 additional Life Members for CCA.
Camp Matens received the Albert Bankston Volunteer of the Year Award for his work on the CCA National Government Affairs Committee, the Gulf of Mexico Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
And the 2014 Jerry Stone Conservationist of the Year Award was presented to Randy Pausina, assistant secretary for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, for his work in partnering with CCA on the artificial reef program.