LAFAYETTE – Bently Senegal, Director of Community Services for Our Lady of Lourdes R.M.C. will address SLCC graduates during an 8:30 a.m. ceremony Thursday, Dec. 12 while Ema Haq, owner of Bailey’s Seafood and Grill will address graduates at a 1 p.m. ceremony.
Both ceremonies will be held at the Cajundome Convention Center. Graduates from Nursing and Allied Health, STEM, Energy and Transportation, and WorkReadyU will graduate at 8:30 a.m. Graduates in Business, IT and Technical Studies and Liberal Arts and Humanities will graduate at 1 p.m. Nearly 700 students are candidates for graduation.
Both ceremonies can be viewed online:
Senegal is a 1980 graduate of the University of Southwestern La (USL) where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), specializing in the healthcare industry for over 38 years.
He is employed by Our Lady of Lourdes RMC where he currently holds the position of Director of Community Services, which included his work to coordinate the completion of the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and the Implementation Strategies (IS). His previous positions with Lourdes were Decision Support Coordinator, Director of Finance and Controller.
Senegal is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Louisiana Society of CPA’s (LCPA) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXVI. Having been involved in the community many years, he has served on several boards including United Way of Acadiana, Hospice of Acadiana, Faith House and Acadiana Outreach. Currently he is the Immediate Past President of the SLCC Foundation Board, Treasurer of the board for Catholic Charities of Acadiana and serves as Treasurer for Lafayette Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.
Senegal is married to the former Angela Cary and they are the proud parents of one daughter, Brittany Briana.
Haq, born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, arrived in Lafayette in 1983 seeking a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He financed his education by working in Louisiana’s thriving food industry.
Since earning his degree from USL, Haq has found home in Acadiana, a community that has allowed him to combine his passions of engineering, cooking, and community service. Passionate about the food and restaurant industry, Haq opened Bailey’s Restaurant in 1993.
He worked for Mallard Drilling Company as a project engineer, drilling engineer for Domestic and International operations. While working for Mallard Drilling, he had an incredible opportunity to build an offshore drilling rig from the inception of the project.
Following his passions, Haq opened Bailey’s Offshore Catering in 1999 to provide hospitality services to the oil and gas industry. He later opened Ema’s Café in 2006 and Emaco Food Services in 2010.
Haq has hosted the Annual Bailey’s Thanksgiving Dinner at his restaurant to feed the needy and less fortunate for the past 26 years. He also adopted seven local schools since 1994, to work as a Partner in Education Program.
Haq is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette XVIII and has served/serving multiple boards such as United of Acadiana, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Lafayette, Lafayette General Health, SLLCC Foundation, Lafayette Parish Convention & Visitors Commission, Louisiana Restaurant Association, University of Louisiana Alumni Council, and many others.
He has received numerous awards including Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2007, Kiwanian of the year, Louisiana Public Citizen of the year, Chef of the Year in 2001, State Restauranteur of the Year in 2007. In 2017, Haq was awarded the first recipient of the UL Lafayette Outstanding International Alumni award and was inducted to UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2018.
Haq and his wife Zakia, have three children, Zadid, Tamim, and Sabriah.