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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

A Champion for Bossier Parish


Lisa Friday Johnson, Bossier Chamber president

Lisa Friday Johnson celebrates 20 years leading the Bossier Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Friday Johnson had a successful career in the hospitality industry when friends suggested she apply for the position of president/CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce. She thought and prayed about it and submitted her resumé. She met with the search committee, and 20 years later, she is still here, celebrating a role she is still deeply passionate about.

“I am a native-born and raised resident of Bossier City, I graduated from Bossier High School, my children and grandchildren are here. When you have pride and passion for where you live, it is not hard to be excited about a job that ties into all of these things as well.”

It is hard to narrow down the Chamber’s accomplishments to one that stands out because there have been so many that have made a difference in the community. “I am proud of multiple accomplishments,” Lisa adds, “the service we provide our members, our partnerships that have grown significantly, and our relationship with the military community. In 2012, we were named a Military Friendly Chamber by Entrepreneur magazine, (and) we are very proud of that.” The Chamber has also earned a five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the highest possible, and was named the Louisiana State Chamber of the Year.

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce represents over 800 business owners throughout the region. “We cover Bossier Parish, and 30% of our members are in Shreveport,” Lisa says. “We collaborate on every level locally with the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce, as well as having involvement at the state and national levels.”

Twenty years can bring a lot of change.

“The Chamber has changed,” Lisa adds, “in following through with our vision of helping individuals, businesses and agencies that come to us. We have worked hard to put businesses in touch with one another and to keep money local. What keeps this job new and fresh for me is that we live in a region that is ever-changing and growing, we have elected leaders who are forward-thinking, there are constantly new industries, we watch the trends that affect our economy, and we change with them. I attend a lot of meetings and there is a lot of communication and relationships involved. I invite myself to the table, making it clear that the Chamber is there not to sway decisions but to gain more knowledge to move projects forward.”

As new businesses look at the benefits of joining an organization such as the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, Lisa is proud to list them. “The benefits of the Chamber are the four established pillars — Advocacy, Partnership, Education and Innovation. We are known as The Bossier Innovators. Many years ago, I reached out to local leaders and asked them, ‘How do you sell our area?’ Their answer was innovation — we are not afraid to take a risk; we are growing and constantly changing.”

“Twenty years is a long time to be at the same job,” Lisa admits, “but I believe I am here for a reason. Knowing this 20-year mark was on the horizon, I started sharing that when it hit; I really wanted things to change. We are working on a really strong strategic plan, a refocus of the Bossier Chamber and our community development, so be looking for that.”

Lisa is quick to point out that she is not on this journey alone. “Having a strong staff is critically important; having a strong second person makes all the difference in the world. What I want people to know about the Bossier Chamber of Commerce is that it is one of the most welcoming, open-armed organizations; we pride ourselves on listening and connecting people to areas they may need. And we do it through integrity and trust. And we have fun while we are doing it.”

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce is located at 710 Benton Road, Bossier City. Find them on social media and bossierchamber.com or contact them at (318) 746-0252.


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