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Monday, Dec. 14, 2020

Young Professionals Initiative

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YPI announces top 40 Under Forty recipient Jessica Comegys

On Saturday, Dec. 5, Jessica Comegys found out that she had been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Young Professional of the Year, to her reported shock and surprise.

For 14 years, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce has been nominating 40 young professionals from the area to compete in the 40 Under Forty Award. The of Northwest Louisiana created the competition to honor those candidates who have excelled in their careers, education, professional development, community leadership and volunteer efforts. One of the 40 is selected to receive the honor as Young Professional of the Year.

Comegys is the owner of Caspiana Catering, Glow Alchemy Kitchen and Tyler Properties. She is described as a holistic health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as studies in culinary arts from Bossier Parish Community College.

Claire Childs, 40 Under Forty chair for 2020, said, “Jessica represents a home-grown entrepreneur who has followed her passion for making a significant impact in the community.”

On Dec. 6, Comegys reached out to her social media followers to express her gratitude for the award.

“This award is not mine alone because I couldn’t have done it alone. It was a team effort to get to this moment in time. My family, my Glow team, my friends, my clients … thank you for diligently working to achieve the goals I set for us. Thank you for having lunch at Glow and ordering meal prep every week. Thank you for all the support, even when I was hard to deal with at times. I love you! We won! Together.”

This year’s ceremony was live-streamed due to Covid restrictions. Usually, the award is given during a gala held in December. This year, honorees held private watch parties around town, which permitted participation and maintained social distancing. Chamber officials noted that the streaming allowed friends and family members, even those from out of town, to be a part of the ceremony and remain safe.

Ironically, Comegys said she canceled her own watch party for personal reasons. “So, when I got the knock at the door and saw three people dressed in sequins to hand me this award … I burst into tears again. We weren’t able to have a gala [because] of Covid restrictions; in some ways it was better [because] I got to spend that moment with my 6-year-old William and my husband in the comfort of our own home. It will never be replaced. My heart is full of gratitude and validation. 2021 here we come!” Comegys admitted that catering and running a restaurant during Covid-19 has not been the easiest job she’s tackled. “It’s kind of been day to day,” she said. Even after having a few days to absorb the fact she was the Young Professional of the Year, she said the award still had her in shock. But she’s not too much in shock to slow down.

She’s just launched an online course to help people clean up their diets. If you need help living what she calls the “Lustrous Lifestyle,” you can go to ww.caspianacatering.com and sign up.

Comegys said participants can “learn from their smart phones and on the go to avoid one-on-one health coaching because of the [COVID] crisis we’re having. It’s on our website, and once you purchase it, the material is yours forever. There are modules and videos and recipes and step-by-steps on how to clean up your diet.”

Chamber President Dr. Timothy Magner said of Comegys, “With her combination of business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit, civic engagement and a passion for our community, Jessica exemplifies this year’s class of young leaders. Through her efforts in nutrition and culinary preparation, she is helping transform our community literally from the inside out.”

The Young Professionals Initiative is designed to create a network of community leaders under the age of 40. The goal is to attract and keep young professionals who take part in the economic development of Northwest Louisiana through networking and special projects. 318 Forum magazine is a presenting sponsor of this event.

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