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100 Lafayette St
Baton Rouge, LA, 70801
United States


The Louisiana Smart Growth Summit is the premier interdisciplinary forum promoting dialogue focusing on resilience, livability, planning, design  infrastructure, development, placemaking, public transit, transportation, connectivity, policymaking and economic development.




The Louisiana Smart Growth Summit convenes world-class experts, thought leaders, and practitioners from various disciplines around the country. Read below to learn more about the lineup from 2016.

Click here to download a printable version of our speakers




Harriet Tregoning

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Keynote Speaker

Harriet Tregoning leads the Office of Community Planning and Development at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. She recently led HUD's Office of Economic Resilience, helping regions, cities, counties and towns across the country build a strong foundation for a diverse and prosperous economy based on enhancing community quality of place, economic opportunity, fiscal stability, transportation choice, and affordability.

She was previously Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning, where she worked to make DC a walkable, bikeable, eminently livable, globally competitive and thriving city. Her priorities included re-writing the city's zoning code for the first time in 50 years, planning the revitalization of National Historic Landmark St. Elizabeth's Hospital campus as part of the consolidation of the Department of Homeland Security's Headquarters, and collaborating with her transportation colleagues to bring the nation's (then) largest bike-sharing program to DC in 2010. Prior to this she was the director of the Governors' Institute on Community Design and co-founded with former Maryland Governor Glendening. She served Governor Glendening as Secretary of Planning. Prior to her tenure in Maryland state government, Tregoning was the director of Development, Community and Environment at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Tregoning's academic training is in engineering and public policy. She was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for 2003-2004.

Harriet will be participating in the "Rebuilding Smarter" lunch panel, and will deliver the closing keynote on Wednesday, November 2nd.

Click here to view Harriet's video content


ellen dunham-jones

Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology / Co-author, "Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Retrofitting Suburbs"

Ellen Dunham-Jones is a professor of architecture and urban design at the Georgia Institute of Technology. An authority on sustainable suburban redevelopment, she is co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley: 2009, 2011, 2013). The award-winning book’s documentation of successful retrofits of aging suburban property types into healthier, more sustainable places has received significant media attention in The New York Times, PBS, NPR, and other prominent venues and is the subject of her 2010 TED talk. She continues to grow her database of exemplary retrofits. She serves on several national committees, is a Fellow of the Congress for the New Urbanism, lectures widely and conducts studios and workshops to help communities plan for redevelopment.

Ellen will deliver the opening plenary address, "Retrofitting Suburbia," and will present the "Adaptive Reuse" session on Tuesday, November 1st.

Click here to view Ellen's TED talks


CHARLES L. "chuck" marohn

Founder and President, Strong Towns

Back by popular demand!

Known as "Chuck" to friends and colleagues, he is a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He has a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute. He is the author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1), the primary author of the Strong Towns Blog and the host of the Strong Towns Podcast and See it Differently TV.

Chuck grew up on a small farm in Central Minnesota. The oldest of three sons of two elementary school teachers, he graduated from Brainerd High School in 1991. Chuck joined the Minnesota National Guard on his 17th birthday during his junior year of high school and served for nine years. Besides being passionate about planning and small towns, he loves playing music, is an obsessive reader and is a season ticket holder of the Minnesota Twins.

Chuck will deliver the opening plenary address, "Transportation in the Next America City" and will participate in the "Next Wave of Mobility" panel on Wednesday morning, November 2nd.

Click here to view Chuck's video content


dekonti mends-cole

Vice President for National Policy, Center for Community Progress

Dekonti Mends-Cole serves as the Director of Policy for the Center for Community Progress.

Prior to joining Center for Community Progress in September 2015, Dekonti worked in Detroit as the Deputy Director of Dispositions for the Detroit Land Bank Authority overseeing disposition, property management and compliance programs.  In addition, she served as a fellow with the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative embedded in the City of Detroit’s Law Department.

Dekonti brings international experience and best practice having previously worked on local economic development projects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa including infrastructure investment strategies in Iraq and Zambia for the United Nations and community development projects tied to the 2012 London Olympics.

She holds an MSc from London School of Economics in Urban Regeneration and Affordable Housing, a Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law Center, and a BA from University of Miami in International Studies and Economics. 

Dekonti will deliver the "Strategies for Addressing Vacancy and Abandonment" session [which is approved for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit] on Wednesday, November 2nd.

Click here to view Dekonti's video content





Senior City Planner, New Orleans City Planning Commission (New Orleans)

Bio coming soon



Associate, McGlinchey Stafford

Rudy Aguilar III is an Associate in the firm's Real Estate section, and practices from the firm's Baton Rouge office. He works with clients in the real estate, commercial development, and finance industries. Rudy assists with transactional real estate matters including sales and purchases, mortgaging and financing, planned community development, and commercial leasing. As a licensed Louisiana title insurance agent for all major title insurance companies, Rudy issues title insurance policies to owners, lenders, purchasers, and lessees of property in Louisiana. In addition, Rudy has assisted with business and tax matters, including securing nonprofit status for clients. Rudy also serves as Editor-in-Chief for McGlinchey Stafford's Flood Law Blog. While attending law school, Rudy served as a law clerk within the firm's Corporate Law and Real Estate Law practices. He served as a legal extern for Judge Toni Higginbotham, Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2013.


Steve Albert

Harris County

Steve Albert is the Principal for Sherwood Design Engineers in Houston. He has practiced civil engineering for 38 years with the past 20 years focused on the effective application of Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. Steve has extensive experience in land development, water and sanitary sewer systems, and stormwater management design and modeling with a specialization in LID design.  Creating design teams with landscape architects, ecologists, and environmental experts, he has completed a variety of projects using LID for stormwater runoff quantity reduction and quality enhancement applied to residential subdivisions, commercial developments, and individual building sites. Steve is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois and is a Certified Floodplain Manager.  He serves as an Advisor to the Houston Land/Water Sustainability Forum, previously served as an Advisor to the Conservation Foundation in Naperville, IL, and has made numerous presentations to municipal and professional groups on the cost-effective use of LID methods. He holds a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University.


Wendy Benscoter

Project Director, Shreveport Common

Wendy Benscoter, project director for Shreveport Common, works with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, City of Shreveport and over 30 major public and private partners to advance an Arts-led revitalization of a blighted, historic area to a creative cultural community. Now $40M complete of a $100M portfolio of projects, Shreveport Common was featured in the M.I.T, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, Places in the Making as a “leader in Creative Placemaking,” named Louisiana’s 2015 Outstanding Cultural District, and voted #1 Community Development Project in the Nation by the 500-member National Development Council Academy, for innovation and excellence in community development. Ms. Benscoter is an instructor for the Creative Placemaking Master Practitioner Certificate program, most recently at Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture where she teaches Community Capacity Building. She served as the state liaison for the Louisiana Creative Community Initiative piloted by the Department of Culture and Tourism in partnership with the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation. A graduate of the University of Texas, Moody College of Communication and certified through the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking’s Master Practitioner program at Rutger’s University, Ms. Benscoter’s background includes over 20 years as an award-winning trainer in goal setting, strategic planning, team facilitation and newspaper management in Houston and Shreveport, and as an adjunct professor of Communications at Louisiana State University, Shreveport. 


Steven Bingler

Principal, Concordia Planning + Design

Steven Bingler is the founder and president of Concordia, a community-centered planning and design practice. Concordia’s projects include a wide range of housing, education, recreation and cultural facilities.  The firm’s award winning work has appeared in national publications, including Metropolis, Architecture, Architectural Digest, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. Steven’s research papers have appeared in books and journals in the fields of urban planning, architectural design, education, public health and smart growth. He has served as a special consultant to the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education for policy related to the design of schools as centers of the community. Research alliances have included the MIT Media Lab, Harvard University’s Project Zero, the University of New Mexico, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Thornburg Institute, the Appalachian Education Lab, and the West Ed Lab.  Steven is also a frequent speaker at national symposia and conferences related to innovation in community-centered planning and design.


Ryan Benton

Designer, Center for Planning Excellence

Ryan, a native of south Louisiana, is a Designer with CPEX’s Planning and Implementation team, where he contributes an analytical and holistic approach to projects in communities throughout Louisiana. He has experience in a number of different areas including campus and urban planning, bike and pedestrian planning, and streetscape design. Prior to joining CPEX in 2014, Ryan completed an internship at Reed Hilderbrand, an award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm in Boston, where he worked on design projects at a range of scales. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and is pursuing his Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) license. Outside of CPEX, Ryan spends time riding his bike, tending to his front stoop garden, and helping his grandfather sell his flowers and veggies at the Red Stick Farmers Market.


Haley Blakeman

Director of Implementation, Center for Planning Excellence

Haley Blakeman is the Director of Implementation for CPEX’s Statewide Planning initiative, which assists small towns and parishes throughout Louisiana to grow in a more sustainable manner by facilitating long-term, citizen-driven comprehensive planning processes, building planning capacity, and working with them to implement projects from their plans. Haley has worked on planning efforts and implementation projects with the Town of Jena, City of Thibodaux, St. Charles Parish, Vernon Parish, Lafayette City-Parish, East Feliciana Parish and Lafourche Parish. In addition, Haley led the Better Block BR implementation on Government Street in Baton Rouge, which was a live demonstration of how the street could be reconfigured to accommodate all modes of transportation, street trees, pop-up businesses and urban parks. She has also worked with the National Association of Realtors to educate their members about Smart Growth. Haley has more than 14 years of experience in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture. During that time, she has been exposed to design at a variety of scales, from comprehensive planning to detail site design. She has contributed to projects ranging from residential master planning, commercial site design, institutional site design, hike and bike trail design, open space and greenway plans, stream restoration and water quality testing, as well as Traditional Neighborhood Developments throughout the Gulf South. Haley holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Louisiana State University and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of New Orleans. Haley is involved in the state American Planning Association and is the current President of the Louisiana Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects. She is currently on the Complete Streets Implementation Workgroup, helping to implement Complete Streets policy at the state and local level.


Matthew Block

Executive Counsel, Office of Governor John Bel Edwards

Bio coming soon


Boyd Bryan

Partner, Jones Walker LLP

Boyd A. Bryan is a Partner in the Baton Rouge office of Jones Walker LLP.  His practice focuses on environmental law.  Mr. Bryan’s experience covers a wide range of environmental matters, including environmental issues in transactions such as due diligence and allocation and management of environmental liabilities, regulatory matters from permitting to compliance advice, defense of agency enforcement actions, and environmental litigation. He is a past Council member and Chairman of the Louisiana State Bar Association Section of Environmental Law. Mr. Bryan is recognized by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Environment and by The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Environmental Law. He is a frequent author and lecturer on environmental law issues.


Jeffrey A. Carney

Director, LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio

Jeff Carney is an associate professor at the LSU School of Architecture and director of the Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS). Carney’s work in Louisiana has centered on trans-disciplinary efforts to plan and design in the dynamic Gulf Coast environment. Working with a broad range of scientists, engineers, and designers, CSS offers design solutions to the most pressing and complex problems that face Gulf Coast communities. Carney received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and master’s degrees in both architecture and city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he was a recipient of the Branner Travelling Fellowship, which allowed him to study community design in many parts of the world. Throughout the first five years of CSS, Carney has been involved with the development of numerous projects. Recently, he directed the Mayors’ Institute on City Design’s 2013 Southern Regional Conference, held in Baton Rouge. He is currently directing a multi-year project, the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program, sponsored through HUD and the Kresge Foundation.


James Carpentier

State & Local Government Affairs, International Sign Association

James Carpentier is State and Local Government Affairs Manager with the International Sign Association (ISA). In this capacity James works with and educates local officials and planners in the creation of reasonable and effective sign codes.  Prior to that James was the owner of Carpentier Consulting LLC, where he specialized in sign variances, entitlements and sign legislation. In addition, James was Director of Government Relations for one of the largest and most respected sign companies in the country.  James also has over 25 years’ experience as a certified planner in the public and private sectors. He has Bachelors from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and Masters studies in Public Administration and Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.


Aron Chang

Urban Designer, Waggonner & Ball

Aron is an architectural designer at Waggonner & Ball Architects, where he is working on the strategic use of vacant lots in St. Bernard Parish. At Louisiana State University he has taught architecture and landscape studios which focus on planning and design strategies for local communities, and he has worked on planning and design-build projects in New Orleans, Boston, and Biloxi, Mississippi, as well as Mumbai and Nicaragua. A native of Irvine, California, Aron studied art and German at Williams College, and architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


Rachel DiResto

Executive Vice President, Center for Planning Excellence

Rachel has been with CPEX for over fifteen years since its inception as Plan Baton Rouge and she has played an integral role in building the organization into what it is today. Rachel has overseen numerous CPEX initiatives, and she is dedicated to cultivating progressive planning practices for the future livability and economic vitality of Louisiana communities.  Specializing in transportation issues, Rachel has developed policy platforms and proactive strategies for advancing solutions to complex community and regional planning issues. She currently spearheads the CONNECT Coalition, which is a regional transit and housing coalition advocating for improved connectivity between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Rachel led the update of the downtown master plan, Plan Baton Rouge Phase Two. Rachel also played a central role in coordinating the Louisiana Speaks process, a regional long-term recovery plan for Southern Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Rachel has an M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from UNO, and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Dallas.


Derek Chisholm

Planning Section Lead, Transportation, New Orleans, AECOM

Derek is a senior planner with AECOM in New Orleans. Derek specializes in complex projects, with significant public involvement components. He has managed TDM programs in Oregon and Washington, and is now leading TDM projects in Southeast Texas, and in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Derek is a contributing author to two books due out in 2017 – Bicycle Urbanism, Reimagining Bicycle Friendly Cities; and Engineering for Sustainable Communities. Mr. Chisholm is AECOM’s national lead for Complete Streets.


Steve Cochran

Associate Vice President, Coastal Protection, Environmental Defense Fund

Bio coming soon


Jeannette Dubinin

Project Manager, Center for Planning Excellence

Drawing on her background in Natural Science, Jeannette co-creates and manages coastal planning and research projects. In this role, Jeannette develops tools and resources specifically for coastal communities and ensures that hazard mitigation is as much a part of coastal communities’ effort towards resiliency as natural resource protection. As a member of CPEX’s Planning + Implementation team, Jeannette also contributes to various projects across the state. During a summer program at Louisiana University Marine Consortium in her last undergraduate semester in Biological Science, Jeannette developed a strong interest in the dynamics of coastal Louisiana and a desire to spend her time assisting coastal communities in efforts to live in this beautiful but challenging environment. She earned a Master of Science in Energy and Environmental Science from University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 2010. During this time she expanded her understanding of the dynamics of living in coastal areas and learned about innovative water management methods as well as the effects of climate change on coastal areas. Jeannette is applying and building on this knowledge in her work with coastal communities. In addition to her work at CPEX, Jeannette, together with her husband, enjoys raising their two daughters, attend to their small urban farm, and spending time with friends.


Frank M. Duke

FAICP, Planning Director, Baton Rouge/East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission

Frank Duke is Baton Rouge’s Planning Director. He has more than 25 years of experience, including working as the Planning Director in Norfolk, Virginia; Durham, North Carolina; and Palm Beach and Bay counties in Florida. In each of these localities, Mr. Duke was responsible for the development of a new comprehensive plan as well as major revisions to land development regulations. Mr. Duke holds degrees from Auburn University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Florida State University. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, the Congress for New Urbanism, the Local Government Commission, and the Urban Land Institute.


Lynley A. Farris

Creative Director, Mid City Studio

Lynley Farris was made Creative Director for Mid City Studio in 2016 - a not-for-profit community design collaborative focused on Mid City Baton Rouge. Farris has a degree in Art and Design and earned a Master of Art History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2009, specializing in African and African Diaspora art. She has lectured on the Art of Hip Hop at the Kansas City Art Institute, Charlotte Street Foundation, Hallmark Cards Inc., and LSU Museum of Art. She has worked for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Hallmark Cards, and the Springfield Art Museum as an art historian. Farris has participated in three artist residencies, creating original work that was exhibited in galleries in Kansas City, Brooklyn, Knoxville, Urbana-Champagne IL, and Springfield, MO.


Mark Fenton

Adjunct Associate Professor, Tufts University

Mark Fenton is a national public health, planning, and transportation consultant, an adjunct associate professor at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and former host of the "America's Walking" series on PBS television. He's author of numerous books including the best-selling "Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness" (Lyons Press, 2nd edition 2008). He was a developer of the University of North Carolina's Safe Routes to School clearinghouse, and facilitator for the walkable community workshop series of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking; he now provides technical training and community planning as an independent consultant. Mark was a member of the United States national racewalking team from 1986 to 1991, and competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Trials in the 50-kilometer (31-mile) racewalk. He studied biomechanics at the Massachusetts Institute Technology, was a researcher at the Olympic Training Center's Sports Science Laboratory in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and manager of Reebok's Human Performance Laboratory. Mark has research publications and articles related to exercise science, physical activity promotion, and community level interventions. He's a vocal advocate for non-motorized transportation, a frequent consultant on bicycle and pedestrian community plans, and recognized authority on public health issues and the need for community, environmental, and public-policy initiatives to encourage more walking, bicycling, and transit use.


Pat Forbes

Executive Director, Office of Community Development, State of Louisiana Division of Administration

Bio coming soon


Mark Goodson

Director of Resiliency Solutions, CB&I

Mark Goodson’s career spans over ten years, and has been primarily focused on urban planning and redevelopment, as well as public finance.   He currently serves as Director of the Resiliency Solutions service line at CB&I, which helps commercial and governmental clients survive, adapt and thrive when faced with shocks and stresses.  In this role, Mr. Goodson and his team have quickly established CB&I as a national leader by providing technical assistance to dozens of commercial and governmental clients across the U.S., and by helping clients design and implement resiliency programs, as well as integrate resiliency and sustainability into existing capital programs.  Prior to joining CB&I, Mr. Goodson served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, and Assistant Executive Director of the East Baton Rouge Community Development Entities.  During his tenure, these two organizations participated in over $200 million of investment and financed over 750 affordable and mixed-income residential units.  He holds degrees in landscape architecture and public administration from Louisiana State University.


Sasha Hauswald

Director of State & Local Policy, Grounded Solutions

Sasha Hauswald has over 10 years of experience crafting and implementing housing policies and programs. Her expertise spans the housing and planning fields, from inclusionary housing and zoning issues to affordable ownership program design.  She is currently the Director of State and Local Policy for Grounded Solutions Network where she often serves as an advisor to municipal government leaders seeking to improve their local affordable housing policies. She has assisted organizations and city staff from dozens of municipalities including Detroit, New York, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the team at Grounded Solutions, Sasha was the Public Policy Manager for the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development.  Sasha has a Master of Public Policy Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley and a BA in psychology from Wesleyan University.


Cordell Haymon

Chairman of the Board, Center for Planning Excellence

Cordell Haymon is a Baton Rouge attorney and businessman. He has a B.A. in Economics from Rice University and a J.D. from the LSU Law Center. He was engaged in the active practice of law for 25 years and served as President of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and on the Board of Governors of the Louisiana State Bar Association. He is a member and past President of the Louisiana State Law Institute. For over 20 years Mr. Haymon was principal owner and CEO of Petroleum Service Corporation which does barge and ship loading and unloading, marine dock operations, and industrial product handling. In 2004 the company was acquired by SGS, a global firm based in Geneva. Mr. Haymon continues to serve as Sr. VP of SGS Petroleum Service Corporation and on the Board of SGS North America. Mr. Haymon has been an advocate for proactive planning and, while serving on the Board of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, chaired the committee which created a plan for the revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge (Plan Baton Rouge) in 1998.  He has also served as chair of Teach for America – South Louisiana since 2004. Mr. Haymon is married to Louisiana’s Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon, has two children and three grandchildren, and attends University Presbyterian Church.


Rosa Herrin

Gulf Coast Policy Officer – US Regional Office, Oxfam

Mrs. Rosa Herrin is an urban planner with over fifteen years of professional experience addressing complex social issues including workforce development, chronic homelessness, housing and disaster recovery, access to affordable healthcare, and sustainable development. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.A. in Sociology, and holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans (UNO). Mrs. Herrin is currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Studies at UNO focusing her research on Latino Urbanism in the Greater New Orleans area. She has worked in Perú, Mississippi and Louisiana as an advocate and organizer, focusing on improving social and economic accessibility for historically disenfranchised communities. Mrs. Herrin currently works for Oxfam America as the Gulf Coast Policy Officer focusing on coastal restoration, workforce development and anti-poverty programs/policies. She serves on two boards of directors; locally, she serves as Secretary of Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation; and nationally, she is the current President of Arte Sana (art heals), a national Latina-led nonprofit committed to ending sexual violence, other forms of gender-based aggressions and engage marginalized communities as agents of change.


Rev. Raymond A. Jetson

Pastor, Star Hill Church; Executive Director, MetroMorphosis

Raymond A. Jetson is President and CEO of MetroMorphosis, a nonprofit formed to accelerate and expand on the efforts he started after completing a year-long fellowship on advanced leadership towards social impact at Harvard University. The mission of MetroMorphosis is to develop and mobilize a critical mass of engaged citizens in inner city neighborhoods to design and implement sustainable solutions to persistent community challenges. The vision of MetroMorphosis is to re-invent the inner city by strategically convening and catalyzing both community leaders and residents – who have never seen themselves as leaders before – and lead to the design of new approaches, strengthen social networks and move communities forward to implement lasting change. Raymond is also the pastor of the Star Hill church in Baton Rouge, La. This progressive congregation of 1,500 members is continually recognized for its impact on the local community. As pastor, Jetson has challenged the group to become “spiritual entrepreneurs” in order to develop innovative approaches to community needs. One of the hallmarks of the church is its intentional strategy of mobilizing and deploying the human and other resources of the congregation to address critical issues impacting the community. He has a breadth of experience in the public sector and human services arena. From April 2006 through December 2009, Raymond served as CEO for the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps in the coordination of local, state and national efforts to connect people and families with the resources needed to return, recover and resume their lives after surviving disastrous situations. Prior to joining the Recovery Corps, Jetson was the deputy secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). In this capacity, he provided leadership for the state’s largest agency. Raymond served as the state Representative for District 61 in the Louisiana House of representatives for more than 15 years. His many years of public service and experience have made Raymond a resource for major media outlets across the country. Jetson has served as a source for USA TODAY, The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Jetson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the New Orleans Theological Seminary. He and his wife Tammy are the proud of J’Erica Nicole and Jeremy Louis.


Bryan Jones

Central Division Strategic Planning Officer, HNTB Corporation

Bryan Jones is an Associate Vice President and Strategic Planning Leader for HNTB Corporation, a national engineering and architecture firm. He leads the firm’s internal strategic planning process and manages the external and government relations programs in the Gulf Coast region. He served in project leadership roles on both Louisiana passenger rail feasibility studies and the recently-completed Baton Rouge modern streetcar environmental and conceptual design project.

Bryan is civically engaged with a number of organizations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans including the Super Region Committee, a joint organization of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and GNO Inc., to promote the Baton Rouge to New Orleans metropolitan areas as one region. He is a founding board member of Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School, a new Catholic high school and was founding chairman of Mentorship Academy, a downtown Baton Rouge charter high school, one of the largest charter schools in Baton Rouge, now in its seventh year of operation with more than 400 students. 


Jason King

Principal, Dover, Kohl & Partners

Jason King serves as Principal and Senior Project Director at Dover, Kohl & Partners. He has directed multidisciplinary teams around the country and has served as the project director and prime author on over 200 plans for cities, towns, neighborhoods and corridors. From the first plan he worked for the Tarautao Islands of Thailand, to the multiple plans he authored in Coastal Louisiana, and finally to Seven50 the Plan for Southeast Florida that he directed and continues to advise on, Jason’s work has focused on social, economic, and climate change resilience. Jason’s work is featured in numerous planning texts such as Sustainable Urbanism and Form-Based Codes and he has been interviewed by the New York Times and National Public Radio.


Whitney LaNasa

Director, Stonehenge Capital Company

Whitney LaNasa is a Director at Stonehenge Capital Company and manages the operations of the Tax Credit Services business line. She is responsible for overseeing tax credit origination, syndication and asset management for a wide variety of tax incentives, including but not limited to federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits, federal and state renewable energy tax credits, film, brownfield, low-income housing, mill and several other types of federal and state tax incentives. Prior to joining Stonehenge Capital in 2009, Ms. LaNasa was an attorney assisting clients in a wide variety of corporate, banking and regulatory matters. Ms. LaNasa received her joint JD and diploma in Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law School at Louisiana State University and a Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM in Taxation) from the University of Alabama. In addition, Ms. LaNasa serves on the Board of Directors for The Foundation for Historical Louisiana and represents Stonehenge as a member of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition.


Bryan C. Lee

Director Place + Civic Design, Arts Council New Orleans

Bio coming soon


John Lopez

Coastal Sustainability Program Director, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Dr. John Lopez is a coastal scientist who has been LPBF’s Director of the Coastal Sustainability Program since June 2005.  He has multi-disciplinary training in Geology, Engineering, and Biological Sciences and has handled project assignments for CWPPRA while working for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Dr. Lopez developed the Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy which integrates flood protection and coastal restoration. He has chaired the Lake Pontchartrain Artificial Reef Working Group that has constructed nine reefs in the lake.  Dr. Lopez received the Conservationist of the Year Award in 2008 from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Coastal Zone 05 Conference Award from NOAA.


Camille Manning-Broome

Senior Vice-President, Center for Planning Excellence

Building upon her background and experience in social and environmental sciences, Camille has developed and oversees multi-disciplinary statewide resiliency and planning efforts that leverage funding, provide technical assistance and land use tools to communities across the state. Camille has spearheaded and directed cross-agency projects such as the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit and Coastal Best Practices Manual, and has worked on Comprehensive Plans in over 22 communities. Prior to working at CPEX, Camille worked in private and public sectors on issues ranging from strategic planning to hazard mitigation. She first worked for the Federal government creating recovery plans for all the communities impacted by Katrina and later worked at the Shaw Group where she co-authored portions of the first Louisiana Coastal Master Plan and led other various planning projects for clients. Camille has been an invited guest and participant in Congressional delegation trips to the Netherlands and Japan, both led by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, to study water and disaster management. A native of Baton Rouge, Camille earned her bachelor’s degree at LSU, concentrating in Art History and Classical Studies. Later, working under a National Science Foundation grant and assistantship, she earned a M.S. in Environmental Planning & Management with an emphasis on Disaster Science. Her thesis research focused on risk perceptions and adaptation strategies for coastal fishing communities. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Environmental Sciences at LSU. In addition to her work at CPEX, Camille and her husband, Devin, purchase and rehabilitate blighted properties. This work has contributed to the rejuvenation of historic neighborhoods and increased property values in Mid-City Baton Rouge. In her free time, she enjoys being a mother to her sons Isaac and Emerson, international travel, reading, yoga, and scuba diving.


Lauren Marschall

Project Manager, Center for Planning Excellence

Lauren is a Project Manager with CPEX’s Planning and Implementation team, facilitating comprehensive planning and code writing in communities around Louisiana. She has worked with communities including the City of Gonzales, City of Thibodaux, and Vernon Parish on comprehensive planning, public outreach and meeting facilitation and contributes to many other CPEX projects, including neighborhood transportation planning and streetscape demonstration projects. Lauren also brings several years of experience with Geographic Information Systems to CPEX.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Louisiana State University in her hometown of Baton Rouge, and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from The University of Texas at Austin. Lauren is a member of the American Planning Association and currently serves as Treasurer for the Capital Section of APA’s Louisiana Chapter.


Martin Mayer

Chief, Regulatory Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District

Martin S. Mayer currently serves as Chief of the Regulatory Branch with the New Orleans District of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  In this capacity, he is responsible for the District’s administration of the regulatory program, specifically Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.  He earned a BS degree from Tulane University in 1983 and a MS degree from University of New Orleans in 1986, with both his undergraduate and graduate curricula having an environmental focus.  He has over 30 years of experience with the New Orleans District regulatory program, and has particular interest in wetlands mitigation, environmental sustainability, and coastal resource management.


Alexandra Miller

Principal, Asakura Robinson

Alexandra Miller is an urban planner and community development professional who specializes in planning for inclusive, equitable economic development and community revitalization. Her work focuses on economic and social empowerment of communities that helps residents shape their own urban environments. Her areas of expertise include economic development planning, community development finance, physical and economic resilience, and public engagement. Alex is dedicated to leveraging bottom-up community development strategies with connections to regional resources in order to create real community-driven improvements in local opportunities and quality of life. She is a co-founder of Social Agency Lab, a collaborative of urban planners and anthropologists who engage communities in creative projects and urban interventions. Alex has a BA in Anthropology from Northwestern University and a Master of Urban Planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.


Sue Mobley

Community Engagement Manager, Tulane City Center

Sue Mobley comes to Tulane from New Orleans non-profit sector. She has served as Strategy and Communications Lead for the Organizing and Facilitation Committee of the Music and Culture Coalition New Orleans, where she now serves as President of the Board of Directors. Her prior work has included Executive Director at Sweet Home New Orleans and Community Coordinator for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. In both roles Mobley built coalitions with individuals and organizations throughout New Orleans. She has served as a Community Advisory Board member for WWOZ FM and St. Claude Main Street. Mobley holds a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University New Orleans in Anthropology and a Masters of Arts in Political Science from the American University in Cairo. Her primary independent research interests are in political sociology with a focus on race, class, and gender. Mobley has provided research and data collection for issues of police response to domestic violence, low income housing, healthcare access for Latino migrant laborers, and policies affecting New Orleans cultural economy. She is the author of Human Rights, Human Wrongs, Observation of Human Rights Law and Norms in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.


Andreanecia M. Morris

Executive Director, HousingNOLA

Andreanecia M. Morris is Executive Director of HousingNOLA, the nonprofit responsible for the New Orleans’s 10-Year housing strategy and implementation plan. HousingNOLA offers a road map to insure that strategic choices are made to address inequity issues in housing.   The plan indicates the need for 33,600 additional affordable housing opportunities in the city by 2025 for households at almost every level. Since graduating Loyola University, Morris has worked to create affordable housing opportunities in both the public and private sector—having helped approximately 500 families to become first time homebuyers. Morris also supports real estate developers and community leaders though her role as President & Chair of the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA). In 2016, Morris was named Outstanding Advocate for Affordable Housing by UNITY of Greater New Orleans.


vayong moua

Director of Health Equity, Community Initiatives and Health Equity, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Vayong Moua is a Senior Advocacy and Health Equity Principal at the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.  He has also held positions at the American Cancer Society and Achieve! Minneapolis. He has worked with Minneapolis Public Schools as a Story Teller working with the program to Preserve Culture Through Story Telling.  Vayong received his M.P.A. from Robert M. La Follette Institute of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his B.A. in Philosophy, Sociology/Anthropology, and Asian Studies as St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.


Dyke Nelson

Founder/Lead Designer, DNA Workshop, LLC

Dyke Nelson is the owner of DNA Workshop, LLC. After earning a Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University, he has been in continuous architectural practice since 1996 and is licensed in LA, MS, CA and AR. Prior to starting his own practice, he was a partner and lead designer at Chenevert Architects in Baton Rouge for eight years. While at Chenevert, Nelson designed a variety of projects ranging from single-family homes to a 90,000 square foot Cancer Center. Before moving to Louisiana, Nelson was a job captain for Gensler- Architecture, Design and Planning Worldwide in San Francisco, California. There he was responsible for coordinating large corporate office projects and commercial interior projects such as the corporate headquarters for Peoplesoft. While in San Francisco, Nelson also worked with RLS, an audio, visual and technology consulting firm, providing architectural design on highly technical spaces including several broadcast facilities. Since moving to Louisiana, Nelson has worked on numerous projects ranging from historic renovations to large mixed-use buildings, where he has become one of the region’s leaders on sustainability. He is a LEED accredited professional and has completed three LEED certified projects and has six more projected to be, including the historic Tessier Building the oldest commercial building in Baton Rouge. He also remodeled and expanded his family home, which was featured on the show “Renovation Nation” on Discovery’s Planet Green channel. Dyke Nelson is a member of the United States Green Building Council and is actively involved in the AIA. In addition to these professional commitments, he believes strongly in civic involvement and serves on a variety of boards such as, Baton Rouge Area Red Cross, Friends of Hilltop Arboretum, and the Greater Baton Rouge Arts Council.


Tommy Pacello

President, Memphis Medical District Collaborative

Tommy Pacello is an attorney and city planner. He is the President of the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, a non-profit community development organization focusing on the redevelopment of the Memphis Medical District. The Memphis Medical District is a 2.5 square mile area consisting of 8 major medical, educational, and research anchor institutions. Prior to working with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, Tommy served as a member of the Innovation Delivery Team in Memphis, Tennessee. This non-profit, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is charged with developing strategies to address the city’s most pressing urban challenges.


Marc Pastorek

Founding Partner and Landscape Designer, Pastorek Habitats, LLC

Marc Pastorek is a prairie restorationist, consultant, and land manager and founder of Pastorek Habitats, an ecological landscape firm dedicated to producing natural grass landscapes that are high in botanical richness and diversity. We harvest and sell a variety of local-genetic native prairie grass and wildflower seed mixes that can be used for constructing sustainable herbaceous gardens. Pastorek Habitats manages prairie landscapes in the three-state region including the Black Belt Prairie Demonstration Gardens at the University of Western Alabama, in Livingston, Alabama and the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society’s restored project site in Eunice, Louisiana. Since 1996, he and his wife, Candi, have established and lovingly manage their ten acre native prairie seed farm near Picayune, Mississippi, that doubles as a genetic refuge.


Erik Piazza

Partner, Phelps, Dunbar LLP

Erik Piazza practices in the area of business. He represents a variety of commercial developers. His practice is primarily focused on real estate matters, including commercial and residential developments, commercial leases, banking/financing, condominium regimes and other commercial transactions.


Creighton Randall

Program and Development Director, Shared Mobility Center

Creighton leads SUMC’s work with cities to develop pilot programs, funding and policy environments for shared-use mobility so that programs can work better for everyone. As the former Executive Director and Co-Founder of Buffalo CarShare, Creighton helped to grow the program from an idea in a startup competition at the University at Buffalo to a successful non-profit organization providing car and bike sharing services to over 1000 members. Buffalo’s carshare program is known for leading the industry in serving a diverse population, and the non-profit was the first in North America to launch and maintain a “smart bike” bikeshare network. Before joining SUMC, Creighton also assisted the startup of Capital CarShare in Albany, NY which launched in 2014.  Creighton holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo.


Claudette Hanks Reichel

Professor and Director, LaHouse Resource Center

Dr. Claudette Hanks Reichel is Professor and Extension Housing Specialist with Louisiana State University AgCenter. She serves as Director of LaHouse Resource Center, a demonstration of high performance housing solutions and hub of Extension education programs to advance resource-efficient, durable and healthy housing for the southern climate and natural hazards. Reichel has developed numerous educational outreach programs relating to housing, including energy-efficiency, indoor air quality, hurricane and flood resilience and others. She has authored more than 100 Extension publications, presented at numerous professional events, was twice a featured speaker at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, and has received 11 national and state level awards for program excellence and impact.


Margaret Robinson

Principal, Asakura Robinson

Margaret holds over 26 years of Planning, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture experience in Texas, California and abroad. Her particular expertise is in large-scale Project Management, Land Planning and Development Processing. Prior to founding Asakura Robinson Company, Margaret served as Planning Director for Richfield Investment Corp.’s 10,000 Acre area holdings. She also held a Principal position at M2L Associates, was a Senior Associate at SLA Studio Land Inc. in Houston and an Associate at EDAW in Irvine, California. In 2004, Margaret and Keiji Asakura created Asakura Robinson Company which has quickly grown in reputation for notable civic and development commissions. Margaret held leadersip roles for the Gene Green Regional Park project for Harris County Precinct Two as well as the Urban Corridor Planning pedestrian realm recommendations for six METRO Guided Rail Transit Lines. In August of 2013 Margaret opened our Austin office. The firm excels at providing sustainable and “green” design guidance to many civic and private Clients with Margaret serving as the firm’s first LEED Accredited Professional. The firm is currently providing LEED consulting on numerous office, library, school, park and other projects.


Randy Roussel

Partner, Phelps, Dunbar LLP

Randy is a partner in the business group in the Baton Rouge office of Phelps Dunbar LLP.  His general business practice is concentrated in the areas of real estate, banking, and commercial transactions. Mr. Roussel has represented Wampold Companies, Waffle House, Whitney National Bank, Carmouche Construction and a variety of multifamily and commercial developers. Prior to joining Phelps Dunbar, Randy was a certified public accountant for Arthur Andersen & Company in New Orleans from 1978 to 1981. He served a judicial clerkship for the Honorable E. Grady Jolly, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, New Orleans from 1984 to 1985.


Mathew Sanders

Resilience Policy & Program Administrator, Louisiana Office of Community Development

Mathew is the resilience program and policy administrator for the State of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development. The state has received a $92.6M award in conjunction with the HUD-funded National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), including a $40M fund to support its resilience policy framework, Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE), and a $48.3M award to resettle the Isle de Jean Charles community in Terrebonne Parish. Mathew was the state’s project team lead for the NDRC application and currently leads the development of the two awarded projects. Mathew holds degrees from Louisiana State University and New York University in mass communication and as a master of urban planning, respectively. Additionally, he is accredited by the American Planning Association’s American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).


Robert Seemann

Program Director, Baton Rouge Green

Robert Seemann joined Baton Rouge Green as program director in2012. His educational background focused on Landscape Architecture (Louisiana State University) and Forest Resource Management (University of Montana). Professionally, Robert’s career has always revolved around trees. He has worked for the USDA Forest Service, run a small forest management company (Telluride, Colorado), as well as worked as a professional Arborist. He has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2005 and a Louisiana State Licensed Arborist since 2010. 


Mark Shafer

Assistant Professor, Geography & Environmental Sustainability, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, Oklahoma Climatological Survey

Mark Shafer is the Associate State Climatologist for the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, overseeing climate services and outreach programs for the Oklahoma Mesonet and state climate office. Dr. Shafer holds a Master’s of Science in Meteorology and a Ph.D. in Political Science. His research focuses on the use of scientific information in public policy decisions, particularly on the topics of drought and climate information. Dr. Shafer serves on the Implementation Team for the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).


Ashley Shelton

President & CEO, Power for Change

Bio coming soon


James E.A. Slaton

Member, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C.

Mr. Slaton serves as the Chair of the Land Use and Environmental Group of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section.  He also is a member of the Louisiana State, Baton Rouge and New Orleans Bar Associations. Mr. Slaton serves as an Associate Member of the Urban Land Institute where he serves on the Programming Committee for the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Chapter.  He is on the Lighthouse Louisiana Board of Directors and is the Chair of its Baton Rouge Advisory Board.  He also serves as the Chair of the Center for Planning Excellence Smart Growth Summit Planning Committee.


Stephen B. Smith

Sales Director, East, RideCell

Stephen Smith is the Director of Sales at RideCell and brings with him 27 years of Silicon Valley tech sales and business development experience. He has built and managed teams evangelizing new technologies across both the consumer and enterprise marketplace. He’s been contributor and manager on teams that introduced the Apple Macintosh, Apple Laserwriters, Wireless data devices (with Novatel Wireless), in car GPS Navigation systems (with Magellan) and Navigation and Advertising Saas solutions for mobile devices (with NAVTEQ/Nokia.). Stephen has a proven track record of building and leveraging partnerships internally and externally to generate significant revenue opportunities.


Patti Snyder

Senior Pastor, University Presbyterian Church

Patti Snyder has been the senior pastor at University Presbyterian since spring of 2002. Her years here have been rich with adventure, joy, and the beginning of many shared ministries including our tradition of Taize style worship services, our Katrina shelter and the subsequent opening of the dorm for visiting work teams, our involvement with Together Baton Rouge, and the recent redevelopment of our campus in order to make it better express the hospitality and welcome of this congregation. Coming here from Rochester, NY, Patti has also served congregations in Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia and spent some time as a college chaplain. She is happily married to Jim Hanifen and unabashedly proud of her two daughters (Anna and Jane), and her son-in-law (Anna’s husband, (Kevin). She is an avid cook and gardener and would love to find new ways to return to her love of singing and theatre.


John Spain

Vice Chairman, Southern Rail Commission; Executive Vice President, Baton Rouge Area Foundation

John Spain oversees projects that aim to solve fundamental problems across South Louisiana. John’s work has included healthcare and education reform, economic development and renewal of inner-city neighborhoods. Recently, he spearheaded a project that created the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, which won $60 million in federal tax credits for inner city rebuilding in its first try. John’s latest projects include implanting passenger rail linking Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and master plans for the Medical District in Baton Rouge and for the lakes next to LSU.


Stephen Stansbery

Vice President, Kimley-Horn and Associates

Bio coming soon


Missy Stults

Program Officer, The Climate Resilience Fund

Dr. Missy Stults is a Program Officer with the Climate Resilience Fund and a consultant to the Kresge Foundation. In these capacities, Missy provides thought leadership and support to advance community-level climate resilience initiatives. Prior to this work, Missy served as a researcher fellow at the University of Michigan where she assisted with writing the Adaptation chapter of the U.S. National Climate Assessment and provided communities and tribes support in preparing for climate change. Missy holds a PhD in urban climate resilience from the University of Michigan.


Janet Tharp

Director of Planning, Center for Planning Excellence

Janet works closely with clients using a problem-solving approach that focuses on understanding the client’s needs and goals. Janet has more than 30 years of planning experience, specializing in project management, comprehensive and special district planning, ordinance drafting and public outreach and values research. Janet has practiced in both the public and private sectors, and has experience directing large and mid-sized city planning departments. While working for the city of Dallas, she managed the development of the ForwardDallas! Comprehensive Plan. She was a part of the management team for the East Baton Rouge Parish Comprehensive Plan and is currently on the team preparing a plan for Lafourche Parish. Janet has also drafted numerous zoning and subdivision ordinances and managed a city-wide Complete Streets initiative for Dallas.


Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas

FASLA, President & CEO, Center for Planning Excellence

Well-versed in local community planning activities, Thomas has led neighborhood redevelopment efforts in Baton Rouge since obtaining her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from LSU. As the former head of Plan Baton Rouge and the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance, Thomas has been an advocate for smart growth in Louisiana throughout her career. While Thomas’ work at Plan Baton Rouge focused in the revitalization of the downtown area, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she led CPEX in facilitating the Louisiana Speaks recovery process, which was the largest planning effort ever undertaken in Louisiana and set national records for public participation. The process resulted in the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan, a comprehensive plan created through the participation of over 27,000 South Louisiana residents. Thomas has continued to build on that plan, overseeing CPEX’s planning efforts in parishes across the state. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to Louisiana, Thomas has been honored by the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Baton Rouge Business Report, LSU and the Louisiana Architecture Foundation. In September 2009, Thomas and CPEX were awarded the Olmsted Medal by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for “incredible leadership and set the standard for bringing community members and leaders together to work toward a shared vision for future growth and development.” One year later, Thomas became the second woman in Louisiana named to the ASLA National Council of Fellows, one of the highest honors the organization can bestow on an individual.


Michael Tipton

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation

Michael Tipton began as President of the Blue Cross Foundation in June, 2015 after having served as Executive Director of Teach For America – South Louisiana from 2007 until early 2015 and after having founded Tipton Consultants which worked with non-profit organizations on talent recruitment, strategic representation and expansion across Louisiana. Michael is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of LSU with degrees in political science and history. He earned a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in New York while teaching high school English and History in the South Bronx through Teach For America. Michael is a graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Leadership Baton Rouge and the Council for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana programs, was named to the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Top 40 under 40 list in 2007 was LSU’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 2013 and received the John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in 2012.


Bruce Tolar

Principal, Architect Bruce B. Tolar, P.A.

Bio coming soon


Christopher J. Tyson

Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Associate Professor of Law, LSU Law Center

Professor Tyson joined the Law Center faculty in 2010 as an Assistant Professor. He teaches and writes in the areas of property, real estate development, local government law and urban land use and development. Professor Tyson earned his B.A. in Architecture, with honors, from Howard University; a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. While at Georgetown, Professor Tyson served as articles editor of the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and received the Dean's Certificate of Recognition of Special and Outstanding Service to the Law Center Community. Prior to earning his law degree, Professor Tyson worked in management consulting and in the Washington, DC office of United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu. After earning his law degree, Professor Tyson worked as an associate in the Real Estate Practice at the law firm Jones Walker, LLP in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has been honored as one of the Baton Rouge Business Report’s 2010 Top Forty Under 40, the National Bar Association’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 for 2011 and the New Leaders Council’s 2011 Top 40 Under 40. He is also a recipient of the National Bar Association and Impact’s 2011 Excellence in Activism award. Professor Tyson was the 2015 Democratic candidate for Louisiana Secretary of State.


Troy Villa

Partner, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.

Troy Villa practices extensively in the areas of business transactions and advisory services, traditional and non-traditional financing services, including advising clients in leveraged bank financing, mezzanine financing, private equity investments, venture capital and other high-yield credit facilities. Additionally, he has represented clients in various capacities in tax credit financing transactions involving New Markets Tax Credits and historic rehabilitation tax credits. He also represents business clients and entrepreneurs in a wide variety of business transactions involving the purchase and sale of privately-held businesses, mergers, consolidations, reorganizations and other similar transitions. He has extensive experience in the structuring and negotiation of terms related to these types of transaction, and the drafting of related contracts and agreements. He has advised client with respect to both domestic and international transactions.


J. david waggonner, III

President, Waggonner and Ball Architects

David Waggonner is president of Waggonner & Ball, an internationally active architecture and environment practice located in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Yale School of Architecture, a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, and a recipient of the AIA Louisiana Medal of Honor. Waggonner & Ball’s portfolio, recognized by scores of AIA and other awards, ranges from historic preservation and modern institutional work to urban and ecological design and connects past through present to future. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, David saw an opportunity for New Orleans to reinvent itself as a sustainable city that embraces its lifeblood: water. He championed a process that examines history, soils, biodiversity, infrastructure networks, urban space and habitation, along with the forces of water. This combination serves as a holistic foundation for design, initiated during the Dutch Dialogues, developed through the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, and now being implemented in multiple projects including the city’s winning National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) entry. Related processes and efforts have produced Rebuild by Design and other NDRC awards for Bridgeport and the States of Louisiana, Connecticut, and Virginia.


Lindsey West

Executive Director, Baton Rouge BikeShare

Lindsey West, CEO of Bantam Strategy Group, founded and operated the first electric pedal-assist bikesharing system in the Western Hemisphere and 5th in the world, Zyp BikeShare (Birmingham, AL). West has more than 12 years of operations experience in public transportation and healthcare. She was instrumental in transportation and air quality programs while serving as Deputy Director of Operations at the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham for 6 years prior to bikeshare. West launched Bantam in 2016 as the premiere bikeshare consulting, management, and operations company for small-medium size cities. Bantam is headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA and collaborates with multiple entities to make the bikeshare vision a reality. West also represents the bikeshare industry on various national platforms promoting vibrant and cycle-friendly communities.