Putting together the list of women was much more difficult. Names were added and then names were deleted. All of the folks who helped me gather the names changed their minds several times about these women. It was also tough to put them in order. The top 2 were easy, but we argued a bunch about all of the others.

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    Liz Swaine

    Liz Swaine was a long time tv anchor at KTBS. She made an unsuccessful run for Mayor. She now serves as Executive Director of Downtown Development Authority. Liz is kind of the "gatekeeper" for anything going on in the heart of Shreveport.

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    Lydia Jackson

    Jackson is still considered a leader in the Democratic community in Shreveport even though she is no longer serving in office. She served in the State Senate from 2004 to 2012. Prior to that she served in the House. She has been a staunch supporter of education. She has also been a long time advocate for civil rights in our community.

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    Paula Hickman

    Paula Hickman is the Executive Director of the Community Foundation. This agency overseas the vast majority of charitable giving to local service organizations. If Paula gets behind a cause you are working on, you can bet she will work to help your agency succeed.

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    Ollie Tyler

    Tyler has been Mayor of Shreveport for 2 years. She previously had a lengthy career in education rising to the post of State Superintendent. She also served as top educator in New Orleans. She was also Superintendent in Caddo. Tyler is one of the hardest working women I know. She often works 12-14 hour days to get the job done. As any of her staff will tell you, she is a hands-on Mayor.

  • photo by Neil Johnson with permission from Margaret Shehee
    photo by Neil Johnson with permission from Margaret Shehee

    Margaret Shehee Cole

    Margaret Shehee is the daughter of the late Virginia Shehee who wielded massive power in Shreveport Bossier and Louisiana for decades. After lots of discussion with our panelists, most agree that Margaret now holds just as a high a position in our community even though she's never held elected office. She is President of Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home and Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer of Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company, both are family owned businesses. The Shehee family has been known to be quite generous for causes important to them and that looks to be continuing with Margaret.


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