Skip to content

2024 Salute to Community Heroes

3rd annual event

May 14, 2024

This event is a special one as we honor those who keep our community going, day in and day out. We are so proud to be able to honor hardworking individuals. 

This is the third year the Bossier Chamber is hosting an event to honor community heroes. Through this event, we hope to redefine what you think of as a hero.  

Our 20 finalists are the epitome of what you think of when you think of a Northwest Louisiana Community Hero.

24-Salute to Community Heroes Sponsor web graphic

Meet our Community Hero Finalists


Dr. Tracey Burrell – Bossier Parish Schools 

Dr. Tracey Burrell's dedication to education in Bossier Parish is incomparable. Through her innovative initiatives like Bossier CARES and the "Teach Reach Inspire" podcast, she has significantly increased teacher retention rates and actively recruited diverse educators to match the community's demographics. Dr. Burrell's positive approach, including attending job fairs and fostering homegrown talent, has been instrumental in addressing the nationwide teacher shortage. With over 25 years of experience and a steadfast commitment to excellence, she continues to make a profound impact on both the school system and the broader Bossier community. 

Karen Recchia - BPCC 

Karen Recchia's forty-year career in education and community service, notably as Executive Director of Athletics at Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), has left an incredible mark on our community. Her leadership is characterized by unwavering dedication to student welfare and fostering inclusivity. From mentoring emerging leaders to spearheading initiatives like the Cavalier Care Center, Karen's impact transcends administrative duties, breaking down barriers to education and providing vital support. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, her coordination of essential resources and vaccination drives underscores her commitment to service. Through advocacy and leadership, Karen Recchia continues to enrich the lives of those around her. 

Lindsey Tuberville – Calvary Baptist Academy 

Lindsey, a K4 teacher at Calvary Baptist Academy, exemplifies dedication and compassion. Her wonderful teaching methods foster a love for learning among her students. Beyond academics, Lindsey's quick thinking and selflessness saved a student's life during a grand mal seizure. Her swift action and commitment saved her student’s life. Lindsey's impact extends far beyond the classroom, making her an invaluable asset to the community.  

Tammy Reyna – Kingston Elementary 

Tammy Reyna's path from military service in the United States Air Force to her role in special education reflects a profound commitment to public service. Her multifaceted contributions to her community, both as an Air Force spouse and as an educator, underscore her dedication and sense of duty. Despite encountering personal obstacles, Tammy's decision to resume her teaching career in 2015, informed by her experiences as a mother of a child with special needs, showcases her resilience and empathy. By using tailored instructional methods, promoting familial engagement, and offering support to military families, Tammy not only enriches the educational experience for her students but also fosters a sense of belonging and support within her community, solidifying her significance as a valuable asset. 

First Responders 

Deputy Camellia Williams – Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office 

Camellia's role as the Crime Victims Reparations Deputy at the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office represents her commitment to aiding the community. She assists survivors of violent crimes and families of deceased victims in accessing financial assistance through state programs, addressing needs such as counseling and relocation. Deputy Williams’ proactive approach extends to collaborating with nonprofit organizations supporting victims of domestic abuse and ensuring her contact information is readily available to emergency responders and the public. Despite challenges in meeting all citizens' needs within program guidelines, her dedication to researching and providing assistance reflects her vital contribution to the community's well-being. 

Captain Aaron Naquin – Shreveport Fire Dept.

Captain Naquin's steadfast commitment to the Shreveport Fire Department and his neighborhood is evident through his dedicated service at the same station for many years. His leadership extends beyond his rank, as he constantly advocates for the department's improvement and public image. Recently, Captain Naquin's courageous actions led a crew into a burning home to rescue a wheelchair-dependent citizen, showcasing his bravery and dedication to saving lives. His proactive approach and unwavering commitment make him an invaluable asset to both the Shreveport Fire Department and the community. 

Corporal Cody Smith – Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office 

Corporal Cody Smith of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office demonstrates dedication and expertise in law enforcement. When a 79-year-old woman with dementia went missing, Deputy Smith's decisive actions and specialized skills as a member of the K-9 Unit played a crucial role in locating her in the woods off Old Plain Dealing Road. His commitment to community safety was evident as he ensured her safe recovery, providing assistance until a medical team arrived. Deputy Smith's dedication to serving the community highlights his invaluable contribution to public welfare. 

David Bonillas – Shreveport Police Department 

David Bonillas, a member of the Shreveport Police Department, has demonstrated exceptional commitment to youth engagement and community development through his creation of a basketball team at Caddo Middle Magnet. By coaching basketball, Officer Bonillas fosters positive relationships and mutual respect between law enforcement and young people, serving as a positive role model and mentor. His involvement promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles while imparting valuable conflict resolution skills to players. Despite challenges such as negative perceptions of law enforcement, Officer Bonillas perseveres by hosting inclusive events and mentoring programs to build trust and foster positive relationships within the community. Through his dedication to youth involvement and community building, Officer Bonillas exemplifies the invaluable impact of law enforcement in creating safer and more cohesive communities. 

Detective Drew Harris – Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office  

Drew's remarkable bravery and quick response during a dangerous confrontation with a wanted criminal highlight his exceptional commitment to public safety. As a member of the US Marshals Western District of Louisiana Violent Offender Task Force, Drew's selfless actions in removing another Deputy from harm's way and administering immediate first aid underscore his bravery and dedication to his fellow law enforcement officers. Drew’s capability to stay composed when faced with danger and offer help during a life threatening moment is truly inspirational

Detective Jason Warren – Bossier City Police Dept.

Detective Warren is a dedicated community hero, known for his exceptional work ethic and commitment to justice. He has solved numerous violent crimes, bringing closure to families and ensuring criminals are held accountable. Despite his demanding role, he also fulfills his duties as a husband and father of three. Additionally, he has served in the National Guard Reserve and now the U.S. Army Reserve, including tours in the Middle East. Detective Warren actively patrols neighborhoods in need of police presence, making our community safer. His selfless dedication to duty and unwavering commitment to justice make him a true asset to our community.

Jerome Anderson – Bossier City Fire Dept.

Jerome Anderson is known for his bravery and caring nature as a paramedic. During a hostage situation in Shreveport, Jerome and the Bossier City Fire Dept. SWAT team aided the Shreveport Fire Department to help rescue a 13-year-old from a domestic hostage situation. An incident that showcased Jerome’s dedication to saving lives. People often praise him for how well he treats patients. Besides being a paramedic, Jerome is also part of the Special Response SWAT team, showing his commitment to keeping our community safe.  

Victoria Wells – Bossier City Fire Dept.  

Victoria Wells has been a paramedic for 12 years, serving 5 of those with the Bossier City Fire Department, and three of those as a SWAT medic for the Bossier City Police Department.  During a hostage situation in Shreveport, Victoria's service as a SWAT member was needed as the agency aided the Shreveport Fire Department to help rescue a 13-year-old from a domestic hostage situation. Victoria will soon add nurse to her resume as she is currently in nursing school as well.  


Danny Talley – Brentwood Hospital  

Danny Talley is a true hero in our community, especially for first responders and military members. He goes above and beyond to support them, even beyond his job responsibilities. From helping veterans in crisis to guiding mental health providers, his dedication shines through. His experience in law enforcement and the military, combined with his ongoing education, makes him a trusted leader and mentor. Danny's commitment to making a positive impact on others is truly inspiring and makes our community a better place. 

Laura Alderman Baxter – LSU Health Shreveport 

Laura Alderman Baxter has dedicated herself to helping those who need it most. As the Director of the Institute for Childhood Resilience at LSU Health, she leads important research projects to improve the lives of foster children and their families. Laura doesn't stop there – she's also worked tirelessly to change policies, like reducing kids' time in juvenile detention and fighting against spanking in schools. Her passion and hard work have made a big difference in our community for over 25 years. Thanks to Laura's leadership, children and families in Northwest Louisiana have a brighter future ahead. 

Terry Jones – Willis Knighton Health Bossier 

Terry Jones has been leading with excellence as a nurse manager in our area's busiest Emergency Department at Willis Knighton Health. Despite the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic, he's made significant improvements, mentoring new nurses and championing critical care initiatives. Terry goes beyond his hospital duties, actively participating in community activities like disaster response efforts and mental health awareness campaigns. His dedication to patient care and empathy makes him a true inspiration to both his team and the community. 


Sergeant Joseph Apple – US Army 602nd MP CO 

Sergeant Joseph Apple works tirelessly to support his fellow soldiers, ensuring they have everything they need for readiness. His leadership shines through in his approachable communication style and his willingness to put his soldiers' well-being first. Even during personal challenges, like missing the birth of his child to support his unit, he remains dedicated to their success. His selflessness and commitment make him a true inspiration and an unsung hero in our community. 

Tommie Andres – Barksdale Air Force Base Defense Commissary Agency  

Tommie Andres, Flight Commander in the US Air Force Reserves and a budget and safety technician at the Commissary, embodies the essence of a community hero. He demonstrates remarkable dedication and leadership. Despite juggling two jobs and sacrificing personal time, he ensures the integrity of his employers remains intact. With almost two decades of military experience, he diligently oversees budgets, safety standards, and product quality, ensuring military families receive safe and reliable goods. Andres's unwavering commitment, ethical conduct, and resilience make him an exemplary figure, both in his community and within the military. 


Angie White – North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) 

Angie White is a driving force for change in North Louisiana, dedicating more than 16 years to boosting the region's economy and workforce. Starting in 2008 with the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, she's played a crucial role in improving job opportunities and economic growth. As the COO of NLEP, she oversees important operations and works hard to enhance workforce development. Angie's impact goes beyond her official role; she's involved in initiatives like FAME at Bossier Parish Community College, connecting students with manufacturing careers. She also organizes events such as North Louisiana Manufacturing Month, giving high schoolers a chance to explore career options.  

Justin Haigler – Simple Church 

Justin is a true community hero, known for his selfless dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether it's through his ministry work, leading The Simple Church, or supporting communities locally and globally, Justin's kindness and generosity knows no bounds. His commitment to serving others is evident in everything he does, from providing support to those in need to offering guidance and comfort as the chaplain for the Bossier City Fire Department. Born and raised in the Shreveport/Bossier community, Justin's passion for helping others has been a lifelong journey. Through his leadership and tireless efforts, Justin continues to inspire those around him to do good and make a difference in the world. 

Mark Rodie – Men of Courage Louisiana 

Mark Rodie founded Men of Courage Louisiana, an organization dedicated to helping men become better fathers and husbands. Raised by a single mother in Bossier City, Mark understands the challenges faced by families in his community. Through Men of Courage, he has established 12 chapters throughout the Ark-LaTex and 2 in Mexico, impacting thousands of lives. His mission extends beyond men; he also reaches out to children in areas known for crime and fatherlessness, such as around Bossier Elementary School. His efforts have led to the creation of community gardens and centers for women and children, demonstrating his commitment to restoring lives and igniting hope. Mark's story is one of resilience, compassion, and unwavering dedication to serving others, making him a true hero in the eyes of many. 

Scroll To Top