Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal Announces Leads for Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal Announces Leads for Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council

BATON ROUGE - Thursday, Nov. 1, Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal announced that Roy Martin of Alexandria will chair the Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council and Jacqui Vines of Baton Rouge will serve as vice chair.

The Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council has seven groups of focus, including Business Retention and Recruitment, Environment, Higher Education, Natural Resources, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Transportation, and Workforce. Each of the seven groups within the Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council will conduct public hearings to collect testimony and make recommendations on the specific issues related to their area of focus.

In their roles as chair and vice chair of the Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council, Martin and Vines will also serve as chair and vice chair of the Business Retention and Recruitment group.

Bob Thomas of New Orleans will serve as chair of the Environment Group and Tim Hardy of Baton Rouge will serve as vice chair. Claude Bouchard of Baton Rouge will serve as chair of the Higher Education Group and Craig Spohn of Shreveport will serve as vice chair. Ray Lasseigne of Bossier City will serve as chair of the Natural Resources Group and Steve Jordan of Lake Charles will serve as vice chair. Kevin Langley of New Orleans will serve as chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Group and Michele Ezell of Lafayette will serve as vice chair. Livingston Parish President Mike Grimmer of Livingston will serve as chair of the Transportation Group and Winnsboro Mayor Jack Hammons will serve as vice chair. Woody Oge of New Orleans will serve as chair of the Workforce Group and Kathy Sellers Johnson of Alexandria will serve as vice chair.

Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council Chair and Business Retention and Recruitment Group Chair: Roy O. Martin of Alexandria is president of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, L.L.C., Martin Timber Company, L.L.C., and Martin Companies, L.L.C. He began his career in 1982 at Martco Limited Partnership in LeMoyen, LA, working through the ranks as accounting manager and sawmill superintendent. Martin has a bachelor's degree and an M.B.A. from LSU.

Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council Vice Chair and Business Retention and Recruitment Group Vice Chair: Jacqui Vines of Baton Rouge serves as vice president and region manager of Cox Greater Louisiana. She formerly served as vice president and general manager for the Baton Rouge market. Vines has previously served Cox as vice president of Human Resources in San Diego, CA. She also serves on the Boards of Directors of Blueprint Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. She has a bachelor's in business administration and management from the University of Redlands.

Chair of the Environment Group, Robert (Bob) Thomas of New Orleans is the Loyola University Chair in Environmental Communications and the director of the Center for Environmental Communications at Loyola. Thomas was the founding director of the Louisiana Nature Center, where he served as the liaison for the community in information pertaining to science education, environmental issues, and natural history. He is the past president of the Association of Nature Center Administrators and has served on the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums and as chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Thomas received his doctorate in vertebrate zoology from Texas A&M University and holds adjunct professorships at the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Louisiana State University. 

Vice Chair of the Environment Group, Tim Hardy of Baton Rouge is a partner in the New Orleans-based law firm of Lemle & Kelleher, L.L.P., focusing on government and environmental affairs. He also serves on the firm's Executive and Management Committees and leads the Baton Rouge office. He formerly served as a member of Governor's Environmental Transition Panel in 1990 and was later appointed Executive Assistant for Environmental Affairs within the Governor's Office. Additionally, he previously served as an assistant secretary within the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and as Assistant Attorney General in the Louisiana Department of Justice under former Attorney General William J. Guste, Jr. in the Environmental Enforcement Section. Hardy has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a law degree from Southern University.

Chair of the Higher Education Group, Claude Bouchard of Baton Rouge is the executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the George A. Bray Chair in Nutrition. His research deals with the genetics of adaptation to exercise and to nutritional interventions as well as the genetics of obesity. He has authored and coauthored several books and more than 900 scientific papers. Among other awards, he was the recipient of the Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine in 1992 and the Honor Award in 2002, the Benjamin Delessert Award in nutrition from France in 1993, the W. Henry Sebrell Award from the Weight Watchers Foundation in 1999, an in 2003 he received the Alumnus of the Year Award from Laval University. Bouchard has a degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in population genetics.

Vice Chair of the Higher Education Group, Craig Spohn of Shreveport is the director of the Cyber Innovation Center and has twenty years of business experience in the Information Technology field, working in international, commercial and federal government markets. Spohn formerly served as the Director of the Information Technology Consulting Group for Praeses, LLC. He has a bachelor's in finance from LSU.

Chair of the Natural Resources Group, Ray Lasseigne of Bossier City is a petroleum engineer with over 36 years of varied oilfield experience. He is president and co-owner of TMR Exploration, Inc., Sandia Drilling, LLC and Langston Drilling, LLP in Bossier City, Louisiana. Lasseigne joined Pennzoil Production Company (now Devon) in 1971 where his primary responsibility was the unitization and engineering supervision of one of the largest oil fields in Arkansas (Walker Creek). He also currently serves as a member of the Producer Advisory Group of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, chairman of Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), a member of the LSU Petroleum Engineering Department Industry Advisory Committee, and as a director of Campanile Charities which is a foundation that selects and sponsors three professorships in mineral law, petroleum engineering, and geology.  Lasseigne has a bachelor's science in petroleum engineering from LSU. 

Vice Chair of the Natural Resources Group, Steve Jordan of Lake Charles is CEO and President of Central Crude, Inc., Louisiana Tank, Inc. and Jordan Oil Company, Inc.  Jordan also currently serves as president of the Vacuum Truck Carriers Association of Louisiana and is on the Louisiana Independent Oil and Gas Association's Board of Directors.  Jordan has a bachelor's of science from LSU.

Chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Group, Kevin Langley of New Orleans co-founded Ellis Construction in 1996. He is currently the co-owner and CEO of the company, which New Orleans City Business has listed as one of the Top 100 privately held companies in the New Orleans area since 2003. He is a board member of the Association of Corporate Growth in Louisiana and is a past board member and past president of Self Storage Association where he was the youngest president in the association's 25-year history. He has a bachelor's degree from LSU.

Vice Chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Group, Michele Ezell of Lafayette owns Tsunami Restaurant in downtown Lafayette, and the restaurant's second location in downtown Baton Rouge. Prior to opening Tsunami, she worked as operations manager for the cluster of radio stations now known as Regent Communications, including KPEL, ESPN, KTDY, KROCK, The Dawg, Planet Radio, and KROF. Ezell has a degree from USL with a concentration in public relations. 

Chair of the Transportation Group, Mike Grimmer of Livingston is Parish President of Livingston Parish, and was first elected in 2004. He previously served as alderman of Walker, LA and also as mayor of Walker from 1986 to 2003. He is past president of the Livingston Parish Mayor's Association and is a current member of the Metropolitan Panning Organization (MPO).

Vice Chair of the Transportation Group, Jack Hammons of Winnsboro is currently in his third term as mayor, and prior to that served eight years as alderman. Hammons also serves as vice chairman of Northeast Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Hammons served twelve years on the Franklin Medical Center Board of Commissioners and six years as board chairman. He is a past president of the Winnsboro-Franklin Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Winnsboro Merchants Association, and also served as president of the Winnsboro Economic Development Foundation for seven years.

Chair of the Workforce Group, Woody Oge of New Orleans is the site director for Avondale Operations, reporting directly to the V.P. of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. Oge is responsible for all functions at the shipyard in support of ship construction and all community, local, state and federal business relations as they relate to Avondale Operations. Oge began his employment with Avondale in October 1969 at the Harvey Quick Repair Division and has held various management positions in manufacturing and engineering including program manager and vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. He is a graduate of LSU and Southeastern University with degrees in industrial engineering.

Vice Chair of the Workforce Group, Kathy Sellers Johnson of Alexandria is owner of the Sellers Group, a consulting firm managing public relations, marketing, human resources and career outplacement training for both the public and private sectors. She also currently serves on the National Board of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana's Board of Directors, and is a founding member of the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), first appointed by Governor Mike Foster and re-appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco. Sellers-Johnson is a graduate of Northwestern State University.

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