Governor-elect Bobby Jindal named five new appointees to his 11-member cabinet Wednesday. All but one of the appointees is from the immediate Baton Rouge area. Jindal was casually dressed when strolled into his transition headquarters in Kirby Smith Hall on the LSU campus, eager to introduce the talent he wants in place in some of the highest offices in the state. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity today to announce to you the incredibly talented, incredibly passionate, dedicated people standing behind me. In each and every case, they are committed to using their talents to help move Louisiana forward," Jindal says. Here are the five picks of the day:
Tim Barfield - Secretary of Labor
T.A. (Tim) Barfield, Jr. is the former president and chief operating officer for The Shaw Group Inc., an engineering, technology, construction, environmental and industrial services company servicing federal agencies, federal, state and local governments, and private sector clients throughout the world. During Barfield's tenure as president from 2003 to 2006, The Shaw Group's revenues rose from $3.1 billion in 2003 to $4.8 billion in 2006. Barfield was responsible for all operations of the company, which includes approximately 22,000 employees within more than 180 locations.
Barfield previously served as the president of Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. from 2002 to 2003, managing the integration and operations of the IT Group, Inc. and Stone & Webster Environmental to form Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. From 2000 to 2002, he served as the Senior Vice President for Special Projects for the company, managing mergers and acquisitions and project development.
Barfield formerly served as president of Shaw APP, Inc. based out of Shreveport, and as the Secretary & General Counsel for the company from 1994 to 1999. He has also served as the Managing Director of Shaw Group U.K. Limited and as a corporate attorney at Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Dallas, Texas.
Barfield has a bachelor's of science in business administration and a law degree from LSU. He is also a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management's Executive Development Program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Cynthia Bridges - Secretary of Revenue
Cynthia Bridges has served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue since 2000, managing a $95 million budget and 902 employees. At the Department, Bridges has secured funding and presided over the conversion of 20 taxes from a 30-year old mainframe system to a server-based Integrated Tax System. She promoted process improvement initiatives that transformed obsolete, redundant, and inefficient processes, and reorganized business units to improve the delivery of services and minimize costs.
Bridges also implemented LaTAP, Louisiana's Taxpayer Access Point, providing business tax-payers around-the-clock secure internet access to tax accounts for various transactions previously done by mail or phone, culminating in a total of 31 percent of business returns being filed electronically in Fiscal Year 2006-2007. Additionally, she led the formation and implementation of legislation to establish uniformity with other states for tracking motor fuel movements and tax collections. Bridges also worked to improve the public's understanding of tax requirements and to encourage voluntary compliance through community partnerships and multi-media campaigns.
From 1998 to 2000, Bridges served as the Deputy Secretary Director of the Department of Revenue, and she previously served as the Director of the Excise Taxes Division of the Department of Revenue from 1997 to 1998.
Bridges was named one of Baton Rouge's 2007 "Influential Women in Business" and was instrumental in obtaining the "2005 Award for Technology Application by Federation of Tax Administrators" and the "2005 Partnership Award from the Internal Revenue Service." Bridges is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the Strategic Leadership for State Executives course at Duke University in Durham, NC, the Re-engineering Management Training at the IBM Business Partner Executive Institute in New York, the Fundamentals of Money Management Program at the Wharton School of the Aresty Institute of Executive Education in Philadelphia, PA, and has a bachelor's of science from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.
Lane Carson - Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Lane A. Carson of Covington is a Vietnam war veteran and a former legislator. From 1976 to 1982, Carson served in the Louisiana House of Representatives, representing New Orleans. He was the first Vietnam War veteran to serve in the legislature, and he served on the House & Governmental, Civil Law and Health and Welfare Committees, and the Veterans and Elderly Sub-Committees. In 2001, Carson was appointed to the Louisiana Veterans Affairs Commission representing the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Carson was commissioned as a second lieutenant through LSU Army ROTC in 1970, and later served as a combat platoon leader in Khe Sahn, South Vietnam. He was wounded by North Vietnamese artillery during the Dewy Canyon II operation, resulting in a six-month hospitalization and a 50 percent disability from the Veterans Administration.
In 1982, Carson became Assistant Secretary at the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources and later began work as an Assistant District Attorney in St. Tammany Parish, where he has served as the Chief of the Civil Division of the Civil Division, 22nd Judicial District Court, for more than 20 years.
Carson also previously served on the Veterans Administration's Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans. President Reagan later appointed Carson to serve on the Architectural and Transportation Barrier's Compliance Board. In 2003, Carson was appointed by President Bush to serve on the National Institute of Building Sciences.
Carson has been awarded the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. His father is a war veteran of WWII, and his son is currently serving in the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf. Carson has a bachelors of science in public administration from LSU and a law degree from Tulane University.
James "Jimmy" LeBlanc - Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections
James "Jimmy" LeBlanc of Jackson (East Feliciana Parish) has served as the warden of the Dixon Correctional Institute since 1995. There, he is responsible for the operation of a 1,552 bed minimum, medium and maximum adult male prison with more than 500 staff members and an annual operating budget of $11 million. He has worked to promote public safety strategies aimed at reducing victimization, improving public safety, and reducing the cost of incarceration while focusing on improving education, job skills, and character-based training to reduce the rate of recidivism.
LeBlanc also currently serves as the Acting Chief of Operations for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections where he oversees the management and operation of 11 adult prisons and the Division of Probation and Parole. He also provides oversight to the Department's Internal Investigative Division and technical assistance to local jail facilities which house more than 16,000 inmates. Additionally, LeBlanc is also currently serving as a Regional Warden at the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, overseeing the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center, the Rayburn Correctional Center, and the Dixon Correctional Institute.
LeBlanc has previously served as the Undersecretary for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections from 1992 to 1995, and from 1989 to 1992 he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary II for the Division of Enterprises.
He is a member of the American Correctional Association, the ACA Corrections Industry Committee, the ACA Adult Correctional Committee, and the ACA Nominating Committee. He is the vice president of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections Credit Union, and serves as secretary of the Louisiana Prison Chapel Foundation and the Louisiana Association of Wardens and Superintendents. LeBlanc has a bachelor's of arts in business administration from Southeastern University in Hammond.
Stephen Moret - Secretary of Economic Development
Stephen Moret currently serves as the President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC). Since Moret began leading the organization in 2004, BRAC has grown into a national-caliber, regional economic development organization. BRAC's revenues tripled following the highly successful launch of "The Campaign for a Greater Baton Rouge" - a five-year, $15 million economic development initiative for the nine-parish capital region.
Moret successfully brought all nine parishes in the region together behind a coordinated business development strategy, an approach that has generated 1,400 direct jobs from business retention, expansion, and recruitment efforts in the last 18 months alone. At BRAC, Moret has emphasized that business retention and expansion efforts are just as important as business recruitment efforts, and that Louisiana must address its fundamental economic issues by working to eliminate unorthodox business taxes, improve workforce development, adopt comprehensive governmental ethics reform, and address statewide transportation priorities. Moret also led the formation of a 50-organization coalition, LA Ethics 1, focused on transforming Louisiana into a national leader in governmental ethics laws and enforcement.
Moret previously served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, from 2002 to 2004 in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining McKinsey, Moret served as a public policy fellow with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) in 2002, as well as an independent consultant to Harvard University in 2001. His research at PAR on restructuring Louisiana's higher-education system received the "Most Distinguished Research" award from the National Governmental Research Association.
Prior to attending Harvard Business School, Moret served as assistant to the chancellor of LSU and as a project supervisor with Trinity Consultants, an environmental engineering firm where he advised industrial facilities in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi on environmental issues related to major plant expansions.
Moret holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from LSU, where he was elected president of the student body, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was elected co-president of the student body and was a recipient of the Dean's Award for Exceptional Leadership and Service.