Grand Marshal Jerry LeBlanc
Jerry LeBlanc, owner of Big Daddy’s Sports Grill, is a native of Lake Charles and a proud graduate of St. Louis High School and McNeese State University. He moved several times while working for Piccadilly Cafeteria, Inc., but returned to Lake Charles in 1994. He worked for U.S. Foodservice until he had the opportunity to fulfill his dream and open up his own restaurant, Big Daddy’s Sports Grill. Jerry’s fondest memories have centered around the kitchen table, having coffee, sharing a meal, and visiting with family and friends, so he wanted his restaurant to have that true neighborhood feel. The next time you are visiting Big Daddy’s, don’t be surprised if Jerry pulls up a chair with his coffee cup in hand, ready to greet you like family.
Continuously striving to improve and evolve, the next phase of Jerry’s dream is Kat Daddy’s, a seafood drive-thru kitchen that will soon open in South Lake Charles
This busy man never fails to find time to support his community. He has been a member of the Petrochemical Club, the Cowboy Club, the Quarterback Club, and an all-around supporter of McNeese State University. Most fields or courts in Lake Charles have a Big Daddy’s sign up somewhere. He has also helped fund the newest technology for our youth at Barbe High School. He truly believes in encouraging and guiding the future generations of our community.
Jerry has served on the Southwest Louisiana Tourism Board, who bestowed upon him the honor of the Lasting Impression Award in 2018. He is a Third-Degree Knight and a parishioner at St. Marin de Porres Catholic Church. Above all, Jerry strives to make Lake Charles the best it can be, not only for his wife of 28 years, Tammy, and for his two girls, Lyndsey and Erin LeBlanc, but for everyone who resides in it.
He is truly one of the most generous, dedicated and selfless men I have ever had the opportunity of knowing. Everything Jerry does is done with great love. I am beyond proud to introduce my Dad, your Big Daddy and one of Lake Charles’s finest, as the 2019 Mardi Gras Grand Marshal of the Merchant’s Parade, Jerry LeBlanc.
Parade Marshal Shelley Johnson
Born in Lake Charles, Shelley Johnson was educated at McNeese State University and the San Francisco Hotel/Restaurant School. She has been the executive director of the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau and the new Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point since 1988. She administers a staff of 22 full-time employees and one part-timer, plus volunteers.
A Louisiana Certified Travel Professional, Johnson also earned the Certified Destination Management Executive Certification from Destination Marketing Association International. Johnson is a past board member of both the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and the National Scenic Byway Foundation and is a past member of the National Marketing Committee of the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways program. She is the past president of Louisiana Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus and past chairman of the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center.
Johnson was the Louisiana Travel Industry Person of the Year in 1994 and was a Presidential Appointee to the White House Conference on Tourism in 1995. She is the recipient of the Will Mangham Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award, the Southeast Tourism Society Beacon Award, and 2008 Southeast Tourism Society Dorothy Hardman Award, along with the Conservation Award from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region in 2008.
Chairman of the board in 2005-2006, Johnson was also the president of the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association in 1993-1994. The Southeast Tourism Society named the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau CVB of the year in 2015, 2000 and 1997, while the LA Office of Tourism gave it the award in 2012 and 2008.
Children’s Parade Marshal
Drake Quibedeaux, is a warrior who has been fighting DIPG for 11 months. DIPG is a terminal brain cancer that only 5% of children survive to 12 months and only >1% to 24 months. Drake is a typical “country boy” who loves hunting, fishing and mud riding. He is very compassionate and loves people.
Parade Marshal Larry Roach
Larry A. “Bee” Roach, Jr. was born on May 19, 1958 and went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 10, 2018. Larry graduated with honors from Barbe High School in 1976 and earned his B.S. from McNeese State University. He then attended Southern University Law Center where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Larry was an owner and Senior Partner in the Roach Law Firm, along with his brother, Barry A. Roach, where he practiced for 26 years. Larry looked forward to mentoring his son and niece into the legal practice. He served as a member in the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Association for Justice, the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, and Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
Larry was an active member of the community, serving as past president of Kiwanis Club of South Lake Charles, McNeese State Alumni Board, Quarterback Club, Cowboy Club, Cajun Mustangers, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana. Larry’s hobbies included piloting his airplane, riding his motorcycle, driving his muscle cars, and spending time with his friends and family. Larry loved all and all that knew him loved him as well.