Editor’s note: This story has been updated since original publication. An earlier version stated the succession plan called for president-elect Bryan Fontenot to become president and Kelly Bienn to become president-elect. Since original publication, Forum 35 notified Daily Report that the succession plan has been changed and a new plan will be presented at this evening’s meeting.
In the wake of Forum 35 President Kasey Henry’s recent and unexpected decision to take a job in Houston, the Baton Rouge young professionals group will hold an emergency meeting tonight to vote on a new succession plan.
Henry sent out an email to Forum 35 members on Friday announcing that she is moving to Houston and calling tonight’s emergency meeting. Henry, who has been with the organization for about five years, has left her accounting job at Hannis T. Bourgeois in Baton Rouge for a similar position handling nonprofit accounting at Blazek & Vetterling in Houston. She is a native of Texas. She says some members knew she was looking for a new job, but they did not know she was looking in Texas.
“It was not an easy decision at all,” Henry says of her decision to leave Baton Rouge. “Forum 35 has been a huge part of my life for the past five years. It’s hard to walk away.”
She says she has spoken to several Forum 35 members in leadership positions, as well immediate past president Eric Dexter and other former presidents, during the transition to ensure it goes smoothly and all of the group’s bylaws are followed.
Forum 35 is an organization of young professionals all under 35 years old who strive to improve Baton Rouge through its three pillars: promoting the arts and culture, promoting cultural cultural diversity and building leadership in the community. The group sponsors several events throughout the year, including Art Melt and Viva il Vino. Otten says they have about 500 members total.
This evening’s meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Creative Bloc, 804 Main St.