Darrell Whaley, a native of Mer Rouge, was recently appointed President of the Northeast Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

The mission of this organization is to advance and protect Louisiana's restaurant and food service industry. They offer training for managers and employees in the areas of SerSafe food service, alcohol, food handler and allergens.

Whaley's appointment is for 2018 and 2019. He is the first African American to hold this position. He has been a member of the organization for five years and held the positions of vice president and secretary.

Whaley has 30 years of experience in the food service industry. He is the Director of Operations for six Taco Bell Stores with two stores in Monroe, West Monroe and Ruston. He is a graduate of Grambling State University with a degree in Institutional Management.

"I am proud to have a career using my education in a field to serve my home state in an industry that is vital to our economy," Whaley said.

He is the son of Alice Whaley and the late John Whaley.