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Lagcoe Executive Director Recognized As Women Who Mean Business Honoree

Lagcoe Executive Director Recognized As Women Who Mean Business Honoree

Lagcoe Executive Director Recognized As Women Who Mean Business Honoree
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Lagcoe Executive Director Recognized As Women Who Mean Business Honoree

May 07, 2024

Women Who Mean Business: Fumy Rita, Lagcoe director, finds much value in making connections

BY KATHERINE FRAZER | Contributing Writer 

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Fumy Rita has her a lot of people to thank for her constant push toward a better community. “I didn't get where I am without the support of other people and without being myself,” Rita said. Rita was born in Russia and grew up in Portugal before moving to the United States to study in 1998. Her roots are from a small island nation called São Tomé and Príncipe off the coast of Africa. She has a bachelor’s degree and she earned two master’s degrees at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — one in international communication in 2020 and one in Francophone studies in 2017.

She is one of six women being honored during the United Way of Acadiana’s Women Who Mean Business Awards presented by Home Bank. A banquet will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at The Jefferson, 500 Jefferson St. Once she moved to Lafayette, Rita grew into the professional opportunities that came her way. She started at Lagcoe in 2019 as a programs coordinator and was named as the executive director in 2023. In her time there, she has advocated for awareness and support of the energy industry in Acadiana. Lagcoe is a nonprofit based in Acadiana that promotes innovations and advancements in the energy industry. “We have three pillars,” she said. “We connect people, we promote commerce and we foster education. Many things that I do are in those three arenas.”

She was named as the LAGCOE executive director last year. In her time there, she has advocated for awareness and support of the energy industry in Acadiana. Rita said she finds most value in connecting people with the energy industry. “When we are able to advocate for the industry, when we are able to connect people, when we are able to make somebody understand the value of this industry, I love that,” Rita said. “I love to see the connection and the progress that we provide the industry.” Outside of her career, Rita is involved in the community. Rita said her involvement with the community started when she first arrived here for college and has grown ever since. She is a member of the Junior League of Lafayette and a member of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana.

“I stand on the shoulders of many, many, many women who helped guide me toward a new trial or career,” Rita said. “I have always been myself and there is an element of resilience that I carry. I am very thankful to mentors for that.”