Charity Cook Named 2023-2024 AEMA LEAP Dean

Thu., Mar 2, 2023 | Ergon

Congratulations to Ergon’s Paragon Technical Services (Paragon) Group Leader Charity Cook on being named the 2023-2024 Dean of the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association (AEMA) Leadership Education for Asphalt Preservation (LEAP) program.


LEAP is a program focused on increasing knowledge and promoting a broad understanding of various facets of the asphalt industry. “The program provides a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the asphalt emulsion industry and pavement preservation, while also cultivating relationships with current and future industry leaders,” said Cook.

LEAP participants are required to attend various industry facility tours for a greater understanding of the inner workings of asphalt emulsion production, as well as complete continued education courses and contribute to AEMA publications. As Dean, Cook will oversee the work of the LEAP participants, advising and providing support as they advance through the program. “As a former LEAP student, I can provide a unique perspective on how participants can take advantage of the resources available to them and get the most out of this program,” she said.

Prior to becoming Dean, Cook served as part of the inaugural LEAP class alongside other industry representatives, including Paragon’s Ty Hughes and Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions’ Cade Sherman and Ernesto Santillan.

“Asphalt emulsions have been used over 100 years and are still thriving,” said Cook. “As much as is known about asphalt and asphalt emulsions, there is still so much more to explore. I look forward to immersing myself in this exploration and contributing to the body of knowledge on this material.”

Cook joined Paragon in 2016. In her current role as Group Leader, she works alongside fellow Paragon chemists in the asphalt emulsion lab to support Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions facilities through troubleshooting, existing product optimization, and new product development and research. Cook is also responsible for task delegation, training, lab supervision, record maintenance, and data review and analysis. She attended Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.


Ergon encourages employees to participate in associations to not only strengthen skill sets but to contribute to a greater cause that impacts the industries we serve. Additionally, the growth and success of our employees allows us to maintain our reputation as a resource that provides high-value solutions for customers in these industries. That’s what we call Purposeful Growth.

Learn more about how we encourage the Purposeful Growth of our family of employees.

About Paragon

Paragon is Ergon’s state-of-the-art product development laboratory with an expert team that specializes in designing, developing and testing formulations manufactured by various Ergon companies as well as external customers.