Kelli Bondy Troutman, 36
Assistant Vice President, Director of Communications and Community Relations, LUBA Workers’ Comp
- Securing resources for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina from then-Rep. Bobby Jindal’s Washington, D.C. office.
- Overseeing the overhaul and rebranding of the Louisiana Department of Labor into the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
- Developing the marketing strategy and branding efforts to expand LUBA Workers’ Comp beyond Louisiana and growing its regional presence.
A BRAC Leadership Program graduate who is active in a variety of organizations, including Baton Rouge Rotary Club, Emerge Foundation, LABI Emerging Leaders Council and St. Aloysius Catholic Church.
WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDATE?
NAME ONE BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU PROFESSIONALLY
Good to Great by Jim Collins
WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, HOW OLD WERE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
My first job was working for Ann Edelman at Edelman Advertising. I knew I had an interest in communications and it was that job that confirmed it for me. If it weren’t for that job, and everything that Ann taught me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
I wouldn’t say it was strange but perhaps the most unusual would be a horse wrangler in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While at LSU I spent a summer living and working in Grand Teton National Park taking tourists out on trial rides through the mountains.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN BATON ROUGE, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH THERE?
Gino’s. Starting with an order of Laurence Bread is a must.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
While in high school I went on a class trip to Washington D.C. and fell in love with the city and the idea of working on the hill. I set my mind on making that dream a reality and from that point forward I was always working towards it. After graduation from LSU I moved to D.C. where I worked on staff in the offices of then Congressman Bobby Jindal and Senator David Vitter. Reaching the goal I had set for myself was very fulfilling and my time in D.C. was an incredible experience both personally and professionally.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST FULFILLING MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
One of my roles at LUBA is Director of Community Relations which means I get to work with all of the non-profit organizations we support each year. There are so many wonderful organizations and people working in Baton Rouge to make a real difference in people’s lives every day. Seeing that firsthand really keeps things in perspective and to be a small part of filling their needs is extremely rewarding
WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL “AHA” MOMENT?
During the 2016 flood in Baton Rouge I saw the importance of the human side of business. Many of my coworkers were affected and the company immediately jumped in to help. LUBA gathered up much needed supplies and organized teams to go help coworkers gut their flooded homes. It was a reminder that what really matters in business are the people.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE HARD WAY?
An experience that I had while in the Leadership Baton Rouge program comes to mind (shout out to the best class ever!). Without giving too much away…a simulated society exercise is part of the program and you find that it reflects the challenges of real life. At the end of the exercise my biggest take away was how important communication is. It was a reminder that it’s not always easy to achieve it, but to successfully work as a team, you have to constantly work at effective communication.
WHAT GIVES YOU PROFESSIONAL INSPIRATION?
I work closely with my Dad, David, who founded LUBA over 27 years ago. Seeing him come to work every day with the same drive and dedication as he did on day one inspires me daily.
WHAT IS THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN FROM A COLLEAGUE OR BOSS?
That I have an attention to detail…although the flip side of that is sometimes I can drive myself, and probably my coworkers, crazy!
ARE YOU ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? IF SO, ON WHICH PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOST ACTIVE?
I’m not very active on social media but I do enjoy Instagram. I like seeing everyone’s pictures…and also, well, the shopping.
HOW MANY TEXTS DO YOU SEND ON AN AVERAGE DAY? HOW MANY EMAILS?
Texts, 30-40; Emails, probably close to 100
HOW LOW WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR REMAINING PHONE OR COMPUTER BATTERY LIFE GET (IN %) BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY ATTACK?
I’m religious about starting my day at 100%, anything less than that has me thinking about the next time I’ll have access to an outlet.
HOW MANY UNREAD MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR INBOX RIGHT NOW?
20…I view my inbox as a “to-do” list that I’m always trying to stay caught up with.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE APP AT THE MOMENT?
I’m really into podcasts. There is such a range of things you can learn about, a lot of which are topics I never would have sought out. I like stumbling upon new information.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT OF THE PAST DECADE?
WHAT TECHNOLOGY DO YOU WISH WAS NEVER INVENTED?
WHAT TIME DO YOU GET UP ON WORKDAY MORNINGS?
BREAKFAST AT HOME? BREAKFAST ON THE GO? BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK? NO BREAKFAST AT ALL?
I rarely eat breakfast … but always coffee on the go.
THE SAYING GOES: “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” SPECIFICALLY, WHAT ARE YOU “BEING” TO MAKE BATON ROUGE BETTER?
I think it’s important to be engaged in the greater community and gain exposure to things outside of your “day job” or normal routine. Most recently I’ve gotten involved at the Emerge Center for Autism. You cannot visit the center and not be impacted by the staff, children and families you will meet there. It’s a very special place.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE “GROWN UP”?
When staying up past 10:00pm became “staying up late.”
WHAT WAS THE BEST VACATION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?
Rome, Italy with my husband. The history in the city is amazing. Standing in the Sistine Chapel, something I’d grown up seeing pictures of, was awe-inspiring. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
FAVORITE GIFT YOU WERE GIVEN AS A CHILD?
A stuffed animal that my Dad gave to me when I was very young…which I may or may not have taken with me to college…
WHICH TALENT OR SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
Being in two places at once.
WHAT ARE YOU SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT?
Spilling salt and opening umbrellas inside.
WHO FASCINATES YOU?
A fountain coke with crushed ice from the BQuik on Perkins.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND OR SONG?
I was raised on classic rock so this is a tough one because there are so many good ones to choose from. I’ll have to go with Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
The Greatest Showman
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
Emma Stone…but only because then I’d be playing opposite Ryan Gosling.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?
To always keep the big picture in mind. Sometimes decisions and moves you make in life can seem so large and overwhelming, but looking back on them they weren’t as “make or break” as they felt at the time. Also to remember it’s all part of God’s plan and ultimately he’s the one in control.
Nope. But given my daughter’s love of animals I think we probably have several in our future!
Spending time on False River in New Roads, Louisiana, traveling, watching my daughter discover new things.
TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE.
When I met my husband. Building a career had always been important to me but when I met Eric and we started a family that was the beginning of the most fulfilling and meaningful chapter of my life.
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG PERSONAL OR CAREER CHALLENGE YOU PLAN TO TAKE ON?
Looking ahead I’m focused on doing my part to continue the future of LUBA Workers’ Comp. I think we have a bright one and I can’t wait to see where we go.
WHAT CONCERNS YOU MOST ABOUT THE FUTURE?
I’m concerned about how divisive things are in our country. Dialogue seems to be so heated and I wish there was more willingness to compromise.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST HOPE ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Although it’s not what you always see on the news or online there is so much good in the world. I believe in the good in people and I see it all the time, especially right here in Baton Rouge.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE FORTY UNDER 40 HONOREES?
Keeping working hard and setting new goals for yourself.
DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN THE CAPITAL REGION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Definitely. Baton Rouge is a very generous and very supportive community. My husband and I look forward to raising a family here. Also, the crawfish and LSU football don’t hurt.
IF NAMED QUEEN FOR A DAY, WHAT IS ONE CHANGE YOU WOULD MAKE IN BATON ROUGE?
I would relieve traffic.
DO YOU HAVE A BUCKET LIST? IF SO, WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS ON IT?
- Learn to speak a foreign language fluently
- See a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater
- Take my daughter on great travels