Two at LU named 40 Under 40 honorees

Lamar University is proud to announce that Kristin Helm, Cardinal success coach in the College of Business, and senior communications major Gina Taylor have been named as 40 Under 40 honorees by the Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization.
Annually, the Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization, the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and the Beaumont Enterprise accept nominations for the best and brightest professionals under the age of 40. Honorees are selected based on academic achievements, professional success and community involvement. 
Helm, a Massachusetts native who joined LU in early 2019, said she still can’t find the words for her excitement. “To see my name up there with people that I know and people that I hold to a high regard has made me so proud. To know that someone out there believes in me like I believe in a lot of people – I am grateful.” 

When it comes to community involvement, Helm currently serves on the Steering Committee with Leadership Beaumont, she is a foster parent for homeless pets through the Humane Society of Southeast Texas and has more recently joined nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace as a volunteer. She is currently earning her doctoral degree in leadership education at LU and has more recently co-authored a book focusing on tackling COVID-19 in higher education.

For nearly a decade, Taylor has been an active member of the Southeast Texas community having participated in countless volunteering opportunities, organizations and community events.  
“I’m elated – this has been a goal of mine for years,” she said “If I could give advice to anyone out there, it’s don’t give up. Get involved and don’t do it for the recognition, but out of the kindness of your heart.”
Taylor is the co-owner of De' Luxe Cheveux Salon in Beaumont and a constituent of the Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization, Junior League Beaumont, the Good Trouble PAC, Beaumont Top Ladies of Distinction and more recently founded her own nonprofit organization “A Heart for Purpose.”

Kristen Helm
Gina Taylor


In addition to Helm and Taylor’s distinction, Lamar University also celebrates 14 of its alumni who were named as 40 Under 40 honorees for 2021, including:

Janna M. Bartz ’14
Christy M. Boudreaux ’10
Clinton C. Burges ’07
Heather J. Clark ’13
Tiffany P. Eckenrod ’08
Edreauanna R. Fowler ’18
Kevin M. Grissom ’13

Amber M. Hawk -06
Miles A. Haynes ’12
Jacqueline Hernandez ’15
Shonte' R. Leonard ’06
Erik O. Morgan ’10
Kristen V. Placette ’08
Tyler Thomas ’13
The 40 Under 40 honorees will be formally celebrated at the 9th Annual 40 Under 40 reception on Nov. 11, 2021 at the MCM Elegante’ Hotel & Conference Center. To view a full list of 40 Under 40 honorees, visit