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Be the change – A guiding light for one LHCG employee

by Apr 19, 2024Culture0 comments

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

These words – attributed to Mahatma Gandhi – have inspired millions around the world to fight for what they believe in; not wait on others to take the steps that create change. They’re also a guiding light for Alee Khambounleuang, LHC Group’s director of corporate development.

Throughout her life, Alee has followed this guidance in driving positive change, both for herself and others in her community. In April 2024, she was honored for her dedication and leadership during the “20 Under 40” award ceremony in Lafayette Louisiana. Alee says that the recognition was a reminder that “hard work and passion do make a difference.”

“Receiving the 20 Under 40 honor in Lafayette is truly special to me,” she said. “It highlights my professional efforts and my deep involvement in our local community. It motivates me to continue making meaningful impacts in our community; striving to make my family proud and set a positive example for the next generation.”

See more from Alee’s 20 Under 40 Acadiana recognition.

Alee was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, in 1984. Growing up, her parents worked two jobs, so she spent a good deal of time with her grandmother. Although her grandmother could not read or write, she encouraged her granddaughter to get good grades in school, always do her best, and care for others.

“She made sure I knew my schoolwork was important; always pushing me to get good grades,” Alee said. “Her strength and my parents’ hard work taught me a lot about not giving up. Her way of living life – full of love and effort – guides me every day and inspires me.”

Growing up in South Louisiana and being of Laotian American descent, Alee had two communities providing her with an upbringing that would guide her in her adult years.

“[They] taught me a lot about being strong, helping others, and staying true to where I come from,” she said. “These lessons have been important in making me who I am now. They’ve shown me the value of hard work, sticking together, and never forgetting my roots. This background has helped me choose what I do for work and how I live my life, always remembering the importance of family, learning, and doing my best in everything.”

She’s experienced a few significant firsts in her life: She was part of the first graduating class of Westgate High School in New Iberia in 2002, and she was the first in her family to graduate college.

“That holds a special place in my heart, symbolizing not just personal success but the breaking of new ground with the help of mentors who guided me every step of the way,” she said.

After graduating with a BS in Accounting and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana, Alee began working as an auditor. It was there that she experienced one of her proudest moments.

“A moment that fills me with pride is how I rebounded after being laid off from my first job out of college,” she said. “That experience shook me; I felt lost and questioned my abilities. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Joining LHC Group opened new doors for personal and professional growth I hadn’t imagined possible. It taught me resilience, the value of perseverance, and ultimately led me to a place where I could thrive and contribute meaningfully.”

Alee has now been with LHC Group for 15 years, growing in her career from a financial reporting account/analyst to director of corporate development. Some of her proudest career highlights involve collaborating with her LHC Group colleagues on projects big and small.

“My most cherished achievements are the feedback from my LHC Group colleagues – whether they’ve moved on or remain with us – acknowledging the influence I’ve had in their professional lives,” she said. “Whether it involved simplifying tasks with an Excel formula, clarifying MEDPAC details, or facilitating connections within the organization, mentoring and collaboration were essential. These acknowledgments highlight the lasting imprint we can leave through sharing knowledge and support, reinforcing my passion for nurturing professional growth.”

Alee’s passions extend beyond her professional life. She also works to make meaningful contributions in her community and advocate for positive change. She serves her Junior League Chapter in Lafayette and advocates with the Louisiana Basic Needs Coalition. She also provides support to the Laotian American National Alliance, a national, community-based non-profit that amplifies underrepresented voices and empowers the Laotian multi-ethnic community through education, visibility, and collaboration.

During challenging times, Alee says she is reminded of the importance of active participation and fostering positive change.

“I’ve always felt led to be actively involved in various organizations that align with my values,” she said. “My goal is to leverage my time and resources to create a positive impact.”

Her latest endeavor of change and growth is focused inward. Alee is currently working on her MBA at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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