Deborah Nutt Whiting, 83rd International Rice Festival President
Whiting is 83rd IRF President
The International Rice Festival Association has selected Deborah Nutt Whiting as its 83rd president to preside over the 2019 festivities.
The annual event, the oldest and largest agricultural festival in Louisiana, will be held Oct. 17 - 20 in downtown Crowley.
Having lived in Crowley the majority of her life, Whiting is the daughter of Kenneth and Dolores Nutt. She is from a family with long-standing ties to the International Rice Festival as her mother was president of the 65th International Rice Festival in 2001 and her sister, Connie, was president of the 78th International Rice Festival in 2014.
Collectively, these three ladies, have more than 100 years of volunteer service with the festival.
Whiting is the proud mother of two boys — James “J.W” and Keith Whiting.
A graduate of Notre Dame High School of Acadia Parish in 1984, Whiting continued her education obtaining an Associate Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor Degree in Psychology.
She has spent most of her professional career working in the business office of several companies specializing in payroll and accounting. For the last three years, she has been employed by Kergan Brothers, Inc., where she is a payroll specialist and accounting assistant.
For as long as she can remember, Whiting has participated in the International Rice Festival in some capacity. She has served as chairman of the window decorating contest and chairman of the queens’ contest judging committee. She has also served as assistant chairman and choreographer for the International Rice Festival Ricettes.
In 2015, she was awarded the President’s Choice Award, recognizing her 30 plus years of volunteering for the festival. Currently, she is serving as the chairman of the emcee committee.
As an active member of the community, she has been a member of the Crowley Business and Professional Women’s Club, Child Activity Club, Beta Sigma Phi and several Relay for Life teams. She has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Crowley Town Club, vice president of the Ladies Auxiliary and treasurer of the Town Club Kings and Queens Association.
In 2007, she was chosen to reign as queen to King Cimmer LII for the Town Club Mardi Gras Ball.
Whiting said she is honored to be chosen as president of a festival that has been such an integral part of her life. She recognizes that the rice industry plays an important role to our community and our economy — past, present and future — and she is looking forward to celebrating the rice industry with everyone this October in downtown Crowley.