What People Say

GAEDA is a driving force in helping to spur economic growth for the citizens of Alexandria, LA.
We work with government and private partners, as well as other stakeholders to develop projects and implement programs that enhance the overall quality of life for our residents. Our website will provide you with detailed information on GAEDA and it will provide you with helpful information on other useful resources.

“It has been a delightful and rewarding experience to work with the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority. The Staff is knowledgeable, professional and above all, sincerely interested in seeing the City of Alexandria grow and prosper. GAEDA’s funding has touched almost every segment of our community including affordable housing. Thanks to them we just completed a $350,000 Federal Home Loan Bank Grant to repair 50 homes for low-income senior homeowners and we were recently awarded another $495,000 FHLB repair grant. GAEDA has been a catalyst for bringing quality entertainment, sports, and cultural activities to Alexandria.”

Willie Spears

Executive Director​, GAEDA Revitalization Corporation

“The Disabled American Veterans Organization (DAV) has been working with the GAEDA Organization for the last four (4) years. We have had and continue to receive outstanding service and support from this organization. They are there to help with all aspects of the grant process. We have seen positive changes in the Alexandria Area, since we have been coming back into the Alexandria area, which I believe is due to their work and dedication to the area.
We are a Non-Profit Organization. They have supported our organization with monetary assistance, which is crucial to the operation and mission of the Department of Louisiana DAV. Based on the grants they have provided; we have been able to not only spend money in the local area, but it also allows us to fund and support Disabled Veterans in the State of Louisiana.”

H. Paul Hermann, Jr. PDC

Dept. of Louisiana Adjutant

“GAEDA has been a great help to the Louisiana Early Childhood Association in helping us defray some of the expenses of our having our annual conference at the Riverfront Center.
Ms. Varnado is always available to answer our questions. Thank you GAEDA.”

Mary Lou Maples

Louisiana Early Childhood Association

“For the past 10 years, I’ve have the privilege to partner with GAEDA for the Dixie Girls Softball World Series. With the help of GAEDA, we have successfully brought 46 divisional World Series to Central Louisiana that enhanced the economic impact to the area. Working with GAEDA has been beyond honorable. Mr. Moller and his team has been there to accommodate all of our needs. Thank you GAEDA for what you do!!!”

Dr. Keith "Skip" Fox

Board President, Alexandria Dixie Girls Softball

“From the initial event in September, 2012, GAEDA has been a stanch supporter of Le Tour de Bayou, a major fundraiser for Kent Plantation House. Their grant for this first event enabled Kent House to advertise in a much broader reach than we could have possibly done without the funds. And, this support has helped to get the word out through the years. Cyclists have come from all over the state as well as surrounding states.

September 17 & 18, 2021 will mark year #10, and we are anticipating, and planning for, 500 cyclists. Plans are underway to make this anniversary ride special.

Many thanks to GAEDA for their continued confidence and support for this event. The staff and board have been great to work with and we appreciate everything they do for Kent House and for the community.”

Alice V. Scarborough

Executive Director, Kent House

“Our firm has partnered with GAEDA for more than 14 years to help promote, encourage and spark economic development in Cenla. We have found the GAEDA staff to be very professional, responsive and proactive. GAEDA was the catalyst for the Masonic Drive corridor enhancement projects completed over the past 10 years. Under the leadership and vision of Clifford Moller, GAEDA worked with the City to leverage local funds by obtaining State grants that stretched the local dollars. What a valuable organization our community has in GAEDA to improve the quality of life!”

Keith Hillman, VP/CFO

Meyer, Meyer, LaCroix & Hixson, Inc.

“River Oaks Arts Center has been able to expand its mission and vision as a creative hub on both regional and national levels with help of cooperative endeavors through GAEDA. This partnership has allowed us to bring renowned artists and guests from across the U.S. to the arts center and the community, securing our place as a cultural destination on a national scale. As River Oaks celebrates 37 years of visual arts, the past eight years have featured stellar exhibitions and programming that was made possible by the support and underwriting from GAEDA. We appreciate your commitment to the arts and anchor organizations within our community!”

September 17 & 18, 2021 will mark year #10, and we are anticipating, and planning for, 500 cyclists. Plans are underway to make this anniversary ride special.

Many thanks to GAEDA for their continued confidence and support for this event. The staff and board have been great to work with and we appreciate everything they do for Kent House and for the community.”

Rachael L. Dauzat, Executive Director

River Oaks Square Arts Center, Downtown Cultural District - Alexandria, LA
“The Alexandria Museum of Art has been successful because of the support we have received from the community, our grantors, and partners. We are especially grateful for the support we have received from GAEDA. When funding for the arts was dwindling, GAEDA recognized the importance of arts and culture to the quality of life in our community and stepped up to partner with our museum by supporting exhibitions and programming. They know that the quality of life in a community directly impacts economic development and sweetens the package when corporations are recruiting. Arts are also an important partner in revitalization of downtowns across America – that is a fact that cannot be denied. AMoA has weathered many challenges because of our partnership with GAEDA. I’m not sure how we would have managed without that support.”

Catherine M. Pears, Executive Director

Alexandria Museum of Art

“Many organizations hosted here at The Hotel Bentley have benefited from the resources provided by GAEDA over the years. The entire staff has been consistently amazing to work with and we are grateful to have the privilege of this partnership for our community.”

Molly Michiels

Restaurant Manager, The Bentley Room Restaurant

“For years, GAEDA’s project funding has made a real difference in enriching quality of life in Cenla. We’re grateful to them for supporting our work in this community.”

Mary Ann Clary

Board President, Rapides Symphony Orchestra

“The opportunities offered by GAEDA have helped to grow the annual Louisiana FFA State Convention since 2018. Our convention attendance has increased by nearly 1,000 people since our time in Alexandria due in large part to enhanced convention experiences funded by GAEDA. We are excited to continue expanding our convention by supporting local Alexandria and Pineville businesses, and this is only possible through our partnership with GAEDA.”

Cade LeJeune

Executive Secretary, Louisiana FFA Association

“I’ve worked with GAEDA for several years on our APT Pro Golf Tournament benefiting the Manna House. Angela Varnado is always very helpful and provides us with the necessary information needed to have a successful event. She is also very professional and truly engaged in the importance of Economic Development in Central Louisiana. Mr. Moller is also very professional and helpful in continuing to provide funds that will impact our community. GAEDA serves our community well!!”

Theresa Slater

Chairperson, Manna House

“The Louisiana Catholic Daughters host a State Convention biennially. We try to move the Convention around the state as most of our Courts (groups) are located throughout the state. Each Regent (president) selects a location to have the Convention. During my term I wanted to be more central to the state. One of our newest members mentioned the Randolph Riverfront Center and the convenience of hotels connected to the Riverfront Center. We visited Alexandria to determine if this location would be a suitable fit. All we can say is everything was AWESOME! From the location, the food, the hospitality, to the wonderful, friendly and helpful people we encountered. We are so very appreciative of the Greater Alexandria Economic and Development Association. We could not have had such a fantastic experience without their help and guidance. Thank you to all of the wonderful people who embraced us and helped us to have a very successful Convention. If you are looking for a place to host your large event, I truly recommend working with GAEDA and the Randolph Riverfront Center.”

Dawn Fortenberry

State Treasurer, Louisiana Catholic Daughters of the Americas

“We are eternally grateful for the support given to our Alexandria Epsilon Psi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., for the financial assistance and guidance given to us by the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority for the hosting of our statewide district conference held here in Alexandria in January 2019.  Over 200 men from across the state gathered here in Cenla to discuss and carry out the service business of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Without the support of GAEDA, the hosting of this grand affair would have been most difficult for a chapter our size.  The men of Alpha are grateful for the hospitality and support shown to us through GAEDA.  With their help we were able to defray conference costs which allowed the fraternity to assist more youth in funding scholarships and community service related activities.  We cherish the partnership between Alpha and GAEDA and we look forward to a continued relationship as we host the state wide conference again here in Cenla in the next few years.”

Ron Smith

Executive Director-LA District, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

“The Alexandria Museum of Art is grateful for support from GAEDA. The funding allows the museum to continue to bring thoughtful and impressive exhibitions to Central Louisiana while providing engaging programming for all ages. Their process is clear and the staff is responsive to questions and happy to provide assistance when needed. GAEDA is a terrific asset to our community because of their support for a wide variety of events, festivals, and programming that bring vibrancy and a higher quality of life to Central Louisiana.”

Catherine Pears

Executive Director, Alexandria Museum of Art

Thank you for all of your help, GAEDA! The entire team at Bulls, Bands and Barrels loves bringing our event to Alexandria each year. This year, you helped make it possible for us to sell out Rapides Parish Coliseum with Zach Bryan as the headliner, becoming only the second event to sell out at RPC since 1977 when Elvis Presley performed. You helped put us on top with the King of Rock-n-Roll and that’s pretty good company! We look forward to continued partnership with GAEDA, with Rapides Parish Coliseum and the

community as we bring more exciting events to Alexandria year after year. Thank you, sincerely, once again!

Tricia Smith

Marketing Communications Specialist, Bulls, Bands and Barrels

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"GAEDA is a visionary leader and catalyst to promote economic development creating a better quality of life for Alexandria's citizens."