Are you a community leader in Louisiana looking to deepen your understanding of free-market policy solutions, expand your network, or build up important skills? If so, Pelican Institute’s Leadership Academy is for you, and we will begin accepting applications for the 2024 class in October.

In the weeks leading up to the opening of the application window, we’ll highlight the stories of several alumni of the program. Meet State Representative Elect Beth Billings, an alumna of the class of 2022:

Tell us a little about your background and bio so our readers can get to know you.

I was born in Little Rock, AR, but grew up (mostly) in Memphis, TN. I met my husband, David, in high school in homeroom. We married 38 years ago in 1985, and we moved to Louisiana in 1989 when Shell Oil recruited David during his senior year at Memphis State University. We have three grown daughters, Danielle Billings Breaux, Autumn Billings, and Savannah Billings.

I have been a small business owner, a student recruiter, a real estate agent, and an area sales supervisor for Calvin Klein fragrance. I have always been politically minded, but my political activism began in earnest in 2011 when I qualified for the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee and won that race. I have been active in the Republican Women of St. Charles Parish, RPEC, and RSCC ever since.

In 2021, I was asked to consider running in a special election for Council at Large, Division A. I chose to enter the race and won in the primary. This year, I chose to run for the open seat for House District 56 and ran without opposition. I am now the Representative District 56 – Elect.

Why do you think it’s so important to get involved in trying to chart a new course for Louisiana?

One of the best things about Louisiana is our spirit. The youthful sense of fun and play among us is palpable and might be the magic charm that brings so many visitors to our state. However, running a successful government is not playtime. It is serious business and requires serious thought and vision.

We have some grave problems that, if not correctly charted now, will lead to a massive failure of all of Louisiana. Insurance, education, crime, taxes, budgetary silos, infrastructure? All these things come at a cost; imagine the costs if we do not fix them. I want to be a part of the solution to save our state.

How will you solve some of the biggest challenges facing our state?

I don’t imagine that I can solve the problems of Louisiana. I can be a part of the whole that can solve the problems by making the right choices that are best for our state and remembering that the legislature works for the citizens of Louisiana.

What was your favorite aspect of your Pelican Leadership Academy experience?

It’s hard to select just one part of my Pelican Leadership Academy experience. I know that I looked forward to every class. The classes were not only informative and thought-provoking, but fun. It is more of a conversation rather than a lecture.

What is your advice for someone thinking about getting more involved, and why would applying to the Pelican Leadership Academy be a good idea?

Do it. You won’t regret it! Worth every minute of your time!

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ribeye steak, baked potato with cheese and lots of butter, a side of steamed broccoli, warm rolls, iced tea, and cherry cobbler for dessert – or pizza.