Natchitoches Tourism Director elected as newest Jefferson Highway Association Board Member

The Jefferson Highway Association is its meeting the week of April 17 elected its newest Board Member. We are proud to announce that member is Arlene Gould from Natchitoches, Louisiana. Arlene was the special host of our 2019 conference in Natchitoches and also is a charter member of the Jefferson Highway Association.

Arlene started in the Hospitality Industry in Natchitoches, LA while studying at Northwestern State University and worked for Upper Crust Corp. assisting in opening several Mr. Gatti’s Restaurants located in Natchitoches, Shreveport, Bossier and Alexandria, La and stores located in Marshall, Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas.

Her food and beverage experience took her back to her hometown of New Orleans where she worked for the Doubletree Hotel overseeing the Food and Beverage outlets. Arlene continued her studies at the University of New Orleans Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Program and studied at Delgado Community College to become a licensed tour guide for the City of New Orleans.

Arlene later worked for LeMeridien Hotels and Resorts as Director of Human Resources and was responsible for the recruitment, orientation, training, benefits administration and employee counseling for over 300 employees in New Orleans before transferring to LeMeridien Hotel in Beverly Hills where she lived and worked for 5 years before returning to Natchitoches.

Upon her return to Natchitoches she was Curator at Melrose Plantation, a National Historic Landmark and worked with APHN (Association for Preservation of Historic Natchitoches) before joining the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In addition to the Jefferson Highway Association Arlene serves as a board member for Louisiana Travel Association and the Louisiana Association for Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Arlene’s hobbies include spoiling her nieces, nephews and dogs, traveling, cooking and photography. She has been to 16 countries and 22 states and claims she hasn’t been everywhere but it’s on her list.

We are now honored to have her on our Board of Directors from the great state of Louisiana.

The Jefferson Highway Association, named after Thomas Jefferson, was formed in 1915 to build a highway from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States. The highway was the idea of Edwin T. Meredith (of Iowa), publisher of Successful Farming and Better Homes and Gardens and later Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson, who thought the highway would be economically beneficial to the region’s farmers.

In November of 1915 a meeting was held with representatives from all the Louisiana Purchase states to organize an association for the purpose of constructing an international highway from Winnipeg in Canada to New Orleans, Louisiana.

Flash forward to March of 2011. Thanks to the hard work of Mike Conlin, interested individuals met in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, to discuss the re-birth of the Jefferson Highway Association. They wrote the current by-laws and elected the first executive board of officers at this meeting.

The Jefferson Highway Association is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes and shall work for and promote the preservation of the Jefferson Highway in the United States of America and Canada.