In 1995, Mario Chavez moved from California to Shreveport with the intent to stay for only one summer. Twenty-six years later, with the exception of a few breaks, Mario is still calling Shreveport his home. Those breaks include enlistment in the United States Army for formal training in Fort Benning, Georgia, advanced individual training for satellite communication and GPS tracking systems at Fort Gordon, Georgia, deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kuwait/Iraq, activation for Hurricane Katrina, as well as support for hurricanes Gustov and Lily.
Mario has served this country and community countless times and volunteered for every mission offered him. Mario stood up when the CDC needed transportation drivers to support the statewide distribution of the swine flu vaccine. Mario also not only attended the Youth Challenge program (Louisiana National Guard's youth high school equivalency program), but he graduated as the #1 Cadet in the program. Due to his experience there, he has a huge place in his heart for the Youth Challenge program and has since mentored seven young men.
Besides the Youth Challenge Program, he holds immense respect for our fallen veterans and it is apparent with his numerous Honor Guard ceremonies. Mario has performed graveside funeral honors for over 100 military funerals for our fallen heroes. He was asked to head up the northwest Louisiana honor guard team while his senior left for Iraq, and he gladly ran the team and worked his day job simultaneously. The honor of performing these duties is not easy and Mario was trained by the same soldiers that perform these honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Mario did his state proud and passed the rigorous training and testing that is mandated before a soldier can perform this task.
Mario was also nominated for "Soldier of the Year" for the 165th battalion in Bossier City, Louisiana, and was sent to Alexandria to compete against other soldiers chosen from their respective battalions around the state.
Mario has put his military life behind him and decided to settle down and raise his family. He and his wife, Megan, have three boys, Noah, Tanner, and Wilder. Mario utilized the skills he learned in the military and uses his technology expertise in the fields of communication and connectivity in his business offering billing and payment solutions over various mediums. He is the owner of a merchant service sales office and currently handles a portfolio of over 3,000 clients that he personally started from one customer.
After three years of being a civilian, Mario felt the need to serve again and decided to run for public office. He ran and was elected as Caddo Parish's first Latino Commissioner. Currently in his second term after successfully winning reelection, Mario was elected by his peers to serve as the Parish President during the very difficult year of 2020. Besides his countless awards achieved throughout his military career, he has received some notable civilian awards as well. Those awards include: "Business Owner of the Year" from the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, "40 under 40" , "Civil Servant of the Year", and "Elected official of the year” from the social workers association.