Carola Lillie Hartley is a Louisiana native, preservationist, local historian, and the author of many published works. With a career spanning over 40 years in Community and Tourism Development and Downtown Revitalization, she has discovered and celebrated the histories of interesting and diverse cities from Louisiana to Kentucky to New Jersey; yet Opelousas still holds her heart.
Early in her professional career, Carola served as Executive Secretary for the Greater Opelousas Chamber of Commerce. She later worked as a decorating consultant, owning her own business for several years. She served as the Louisiana Open House consultant in 1990 while working for the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. She served on the Louisiana Rural Tourism Taskforce and worked with the Louisiana State University Sea Grant Program to create a plan for developing tourism opportunities in Louisiana’s rural communities. She directed Main Street downtown revitalization organizations in her hometown of Opelousas, LA, Greensburg, KY, Nicholasville, KY, Newton, NJ and Bridgeton, NJ. She served as a Regional Captain for Kentucky Main Street, and was the chairperson of the South Jersey Main Street Coalition. She worked as a columnist for the Daily World, part of the USA network, from 2017-2021.
Carola has not only managed and directed volunteers, but has been an active volunteer as well. She was involved in international Cultural Exchange for over twenty years serving as a Regional Director for International Cultural Exchange Services. She served as chairperson of the Opelousas Tourism and Activities Committee, Opelousas Historic District Commission, Opelousas Film Commission, Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, Le Vieux Village du Poste des Opelousas Historic Village, and volunteered for other community groups. She was a member of the Nicholasville, KY Rotary Club and the Bridgeton, NJ Rotary Club. She served on the Board of Directors for the New Sweden Colonial Farmstead and the Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame. She is currently heading the committee for the St. Landry Parish Women Hall of Fame.
Carola and her husband, Tim reside in Dubach and Opelousas. She has one son, André Andrepont, two step daughters, Heather H. Park and Danielle Hartley, and four grandchildren.