Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association Awards Local Nonprofit For Community Service

Denise Durel accepting award from the state of Louisiana

Photo L to R: Casey Tingle, Director, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Denise Durel, President & CEO, United Way of Southwest Louisiana; Vicki Travis, Deputy Director of Tangipahoa Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, President of the Board, Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association

LEPA Award BadgeCasey Tingle, Director of the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), and Vicki Travis, President of Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA), awarded United Way of Southwest Louisiana with the 2022 LEPA Dedication Award. The award ceremony is part of the annual Louisiana Emergency Management Conference (LEMC) at Golden Nugget Lake Charles.

Denise Durel, President and CEO for United Way of Southwest Louisiana, accepted the award following a brief opening by Governor John Bel Edwards and GOHSEP Director Casey Tingle. The LEMC includes education, outreach and training tailored to the needs of federal, state and local government, business, labor, industry and volunteer organizations specifically pertaining to homeland security, emergency preparedness, disaster recovery and mitigation.

"United Way of Southwest Louisiana responded to each disaster with promptness, generosity and flexibility," said Sister Miriam MacLean, Director for Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana. "Denise Durel found a way to keep United Way responding to people's needs and collaborating with other agencies, even while her own offices were damaged."

"We are honored to have been awarded the 2022 LEPA Award today for our response before, during and after the natural disasters in the past two years," said Denise Durel. "United Way of Southwest Louisiana is a proud member of LEPA, a nonprofit formed of many dedicated and caring emergency personnel and organizations. We also thank all volunteers and supporters who made the award possible."

LEPA is a nonprofit statewide organization of emergency preparedness and response organizations. The common goal is improving public safety in emergencies. Learn more about them online at lepa.org.

"Lake Charles has had four federally declared natural disasters occur in the last year and a half… United Way of SWLA was front and center in the intervention efforts to bring a measure of hope and stability to a community that had suffered great devastation," said City of Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. "As we champion the quality of life for all of our citizens, we consider it a privilege to have impactful partners like United Way that take the work of community enhancement seriously."

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About United Way of Southwest Louisiana

Working with the community and many partners for 82 years, United Way of Southwest Louisiana tackles the critical human services issues facing our five-parish footprint of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis. Our United approach is changing the odds for all children, families and individuals in the community, so that we all have the opportunity to succeed. Learn more about our life-changing work at Unitedwayswla.org and follow us on social media @UnitedWayofSWLA

- Operating in the TOP 9% of all U.S. United Ways. –TOP 125 out of 1300 United Ways!
- Maintains a 4-STAR charity rating with Charity Navigator and a PLATINUM SEAL OF TRANSPARENCY with GuideStar