His baritone voice revealed a big heart that moved team members and guests to honor him in his adopted Louisiana hometown.
Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel’s Director of Entertainment and Public Relations Nora Popillion is not only the velvet voice at the property’s special events, but an influential presence behind many festivals, non-profit events and charitable causes in Southwest Louisiana.
“My voice allows me to bring a lot of smiles to a lot of faces,” Popillion said. “Ever since I became Director of PR, I am so humbled by all of the opportunities I’ve been given and where I can use my talent.”
Popillion’s hard work and dedication to the state of Louisiana was recently recognized with two community awards: the Family and Youth Counseling Agency’s 2019 Humanitarians of the Year Award and the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitor Bureau's Chairman’s Cup Award presented to him by the Lt. Governor at the National Tourism Week Awards.
His key to success is simple. Show up and share the richest thing you own – yourself.
“Our parents taught us that the best thing we have to offer others is our best selves,” Popillion, one of 10 siblings, said.
Popillion served in the military for 20 years, where his deep, commanding voice often garnered attention and leadership roles. After retiring, he kept busy as a substitute teacher, community volunteer and held other positions that allowed him to give back to his community. Eventually, a former colleague asked if he would join the Boyd Gaming team at Delta Downs.
“Building relationships came easy for me and connecting with people has always been something I do well,” he said.
His position in promotions and entertainment at Delta Downs allowed him to use his voice behind the scenes. He announced winners, introduced local entertainers and more. He attributes his current success to fellow team members and guests who found his personality, voice and inspiring presence to be an uplifting part of a Delta Downs event.
He created a tagline that guests came to expect at each event, “AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A DELTA DOWNS PARTY!”
“People realized that I was really talking about the celebration of the many individuals that were connected with what we were doing,” Popillion said. “I was representing all team members. I was really promoting that there is no experience like a Delta Downs experience from the moment you walk in the door because of all the people who work so hard to create it.”
He was inspired. He realized he could use his voice in a way that could help others.
“I would look up community events that were going on and just show up,” Popillion said. “Delta Downs gave me the opportunity to support a lot of community organizations.”
Delta Downs Vice President and General Manager Steve Kuypers is proud of Popillion’s efforts to give back to their community.
“Nora is gifted with a golden voice and a larger than life personality that garners great attention, yet he selflessly lends both his voice and gives his time to countless charitable organizations within our community, making a difference and touching the lives of many,” said Kuypers. “His tireless efforts are a true reflection of the values expressed in our Company’s mission statement about supporting and enhancing the communities in which we conduct business. We are proud of the way he represents Delta Downs and Boyd Gaming and are so fortunate to have him as part of our Delta Downs team.”
Popillion’s contributions are recognized by many Southwest Louisiana charities. He now sits on a few boards, including the Family and Youth Counseling Agency.
“I have a passion for helping our youth be the best they can be no matter where they are in life,” Popillion said. “It’s been an honor to receive these awards and to serve my community.”