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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 2017.



Tyler Antrup | Urban Water Program Manager, City of New Orleans

Jim Barbaresso | Senior Vice President, HNTB

Jackie Baumann | Chief Engineer, City of Gonzales

Dave Baxter, Director of Strategic Alliances, Sparkhound

Ryan Benton | Project Manager, Center for Planning Excellence

Haley Blakeman | Director of Implementation, Center for Planning Excellence

Camille Manning Broome | Senior Vice President, Center for Planning Excellence

 Sharon Weston Broome | Mayor-President, City of Baton Rouge-Parish of East Baton Rouge

Boyd A. Bryan | Partner, Jones Walker LLP

Steven Bryan | VP of Government Division, GovSpend

Lisa Creasman | Associate State Director, The Nature Conservancy

Kurt Culbertson | Chairman & CEO, Design Workshop

Rachel DiResto | Executive Vice President, Center for Planning Excellence

Frank M. Duke | Director, Baton Rouge City-Parish Planning Commission

Justin Ehrenwerth | President and CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf

Jason Engen | Director of Client Development, Southern Earth Sciences, Inc.

Pat Forbes | Executive Director, Office of Community Development

Donna D. Fraiche | Senior Counsel, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Lamar M. Gardere | Executive Director, The Data Center

Gwen Hamilton | President & CEO, East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority

Cordell Haymon | Senior Vice President, SGS Petroleum Service Corp.

Michael D. Hebert | Attorney, Becker & Hebert LLC

Jeff Hebert | Deputy Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Resilience Officer, City of New Orleans

Pamela Jenkins, Ph.D. | Professor, University of New Orleans

Chip Johnson | former Mayor, City of Hernando, MS

Jessica Kemp, Ph.D. | Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Center for Planning Excellence

Ramesh Kolluru | VP for Research, Innovation and Economic Development, UL Lafayette

Justin Kozak, Ph.D. | Researcher + Policy Analyst, Center for Planning Excellence

Warren Kron | GIS Manager, City of Baton Rouge - East Baton Rouge Parish

Will LaBar | Vice President, CGI Federal

Charles A. Landry | Partner, Fishman Haygood, LLP

Joel Mahoney | CEO, OpenCounter

Jared E. Munster, Ph.D. | Director, Department of Safety and Permits - City of New Orleans

J. Dyke Nelson | Founder/Lead Designer, DNA Workshop, LLC

Jay Noland | Owner, Noland Development, LLC

Jerry Paffendorf | Co-Founder and CEO, LOVELAND Technologies

Maria Papacharalambous | Waggonner & Ball

Nick Popovich | Account Manager, Esri

Robert D. Rivers | Executive Director, New Orleans City Planning Commission

 Joel Robideaux | Mayor-PresidentLafayette Consolidated Government

Andre Rodrigue | Principal, Stantec

Jacques M. Roy | Mayor, City of Alexandria

Randy Roussel | Partner, Phelps Dunbar LLP

Mathew Sanders | Resilience Program and Policy Administrator, Office of Community Development

Jeff Sauser | Senior Urban Planner, Stantec's Urban Places

Ashley Shelton | Executive Director, Power Coalition 

John Snow | Partner, Emergent Method

Scott L. Sternberg | Partner, Sternberg, Naccari & White, LLC

John Spain | Executive Vice President, Baton Rouge Area Foundation

Janet Tharp | Director of Planning, Center for Planning Excellence

Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas | President/CEO, Center for Planning Excellence

Greg Trahan | Director, Economic Development, Louisiana State University

Christopher J. Tyson | Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Associate Professor of Law, LSU Law Center

Ronny Walker | Mayor, City of Ruston

Amanda Spain Wells | Of Counsel, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC


Andy Berke


Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Andy Berke served as State Senator for Tennessee’s 10th District from 2007 to 2012 before becoming the 65th Mayor of Chattanooga in 2013.

As Mayor, Andy is focused on growing the local economy, ensuring every child has the opportunity to succeed, making Chattanooga’s streets safer and neighborhoods stronger -- all while running a high-performing and effective government. Under Mayor Berke’s leadership, Chattanooga has maximized their gigabit infrastructure and become a leader in the 21st century economy.

In 2014, Mayor Berke established the first Innovation District in a mid-sized city and has since focused his efforts on digital equity, to ensure more citizens have the opportunity to participate in this burgeoning tech sector. To increase connectivity in the home, Mayor Berke has partnered with Chattanooga’s local fiber optic provider, EPB, to offer reliable, low-cost, high speed broadband to all families with a child on free or reduced lunch. In addition to digital equity, Mayor Berke works hard to strengthen Chattanooga families through a variety of initiatives, including Baby University which provides new parents with the tools and resources they need to get their child off to a great start in life and a Pre-K Scholarship program to increase access to early learning for families caught in the gap.

In 2017, Mayor Berke established an Office of Workforce Development in City Hall to help build paths to the middle class for more Chattanoogans. Mayor Berke was named 2015’s Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and County magazine for these innovative initiatives and for his leadership during a domestic terror attack on July 16, 2015, that took the lives of four Marines and a Naval Officer. 


Carol Coletta

SENIOR FELLOW, The Kresge Foundation’s American Cities Practice

Carol Coletta is a senior fellow with The Kresge Foundation’s American Cities Practice. She is leading a $40 million collaboration of foundations, nonprofits and governments to demonstrate the ways in which a connected set of civic assets – a civic commons – can yield increased and more widely shared prosperity for cities and neighborhoods. 

She formerly was vice president of Community and National Initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. She led the two-year start-up of ArtPlace, a public-private collaboration to accelerate creative placemaking in communities across the U.S. and was president and CEO of CEOs for Cities for seven years.

She also served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation. 

For nine years, she was host and producer of the nationally syndicated weekly public radio show Smart City, where she interviewed more than 900 international leaders in business, the arts and cities.


Seleta J. Reynolds

General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation 

Seleta Reynolds is General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) appointed by the Administration of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Ms. Reynolds is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelinos and the region.

Ms. Reynolds has over 18 years of transportation experience throughout the United States. She has advised transportation technology companies like WalkScore, contributed to the state-of-the-practice as an Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Board Member, mentored young professionals through Women’s Transportation Seminar, and nurtured research on Transportation Research Board committees. Ms. Reynolds serves as the President of the National Association for City Transportation Officials. 


Denice Ross

Public Interest Technology Fellow, New America

Denice W. Ross is a Public Interest Technology Fellow at New America.  She specializes in data transparency and civic engagement, with a focus on action at the local level.

Before joining New America, Ross was a senior advisor in the Obama White House, where she leveraged data and innovation to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of community-based federal programs. As a presidential innovation fellow in 2014, she co-founded the White House Police Data Initiative, one of the most tangible responses to the 21st Century Policing Task Force report, and she worked with the Department of Energy on crowdsourcing private-sector data to improve community resilience in disaster-impacted areas. Earlier, she served as director of enterprise innovation for the City of New Orleans, where she built a digital services team and established open data as the cornerstone for performance management and public engagement. 

Prior to her roles in government, Ross co-directed the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (GNOCDC), a non-profit data intermediary and member of the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. When Hurricane Katrina propelled New Orleans into the national spotlight, Ross collaborated with Brookings to track the city’s recovery through The New Orleans Index. In addition, she actively participated in numerous post-Katrina community planning initiatives, and co-founded the first new childcare center after the storm.

Ross began her technology career building web sites, and holds a bachelor of science from the University of Arizona. She lives in the D.C. area with her husband and four children.


Tyler Antrup 

Urban water program manager, City of New Orleans

Tyler Antrup serves as the Urban Water Program Manager in the Office of Resilience and Sustainability for the City of New Orleans. He leads coordination of the city’s drainage, green infrastructure, and water quality programs across all departments and agencies. He holds a Master's degree in Sustainable Real Estate Development from Tulane University, and a Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning and Design from the University of Missouri- Kansas City.


Jim Barbaresso

Senior Vice President, HNTB

Jim Barbaresso has more than 39 years of experience in transportation planning, traffic operations, and ITS in both the public and private sectors. He leads the HNTB ITS Practice and provides subject matter expertise on highway and tolling projects across the United States, including some of the nation’s most challenging emerging mobility programs like Smart Columbus and the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot. He has written numerous white papers and articles on public agency considerations regarding new mobility solutions in our age of connectivity and automation.

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Jackie Baumann

Chief Engineer, City of Gonzales

Jackie is a professional, civil engineer. She graduated from the LSU College of Engineering in 2000 and began her career designing residential and commercial developments. Ten years ago, Jackie transitioned from private design work to municipal project management as Ascension Parish Engineer.  For the past 7 years, Jackie has been dedicated to the City of Gonzales as Chief Engineer, where she has manages water, sewer, gas, and roadway infrastructure projects.  Jackie serves on numerous committees representing Gonzales and works to improve roadway safety, utilities, and economic development within the City.

She is actively involved in Grace Life Fellowship church, has been happily married for 15 years, and has a beautiful 12-year-old daughter.    

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Dave Baxter

Director of Strategic Alliances, Sparkhound

Dave is an accomplished business and IT veteran with a wealth of diverse experience. A Sparkhound team member since 2007, he oversees the management of client strategies, business goals and education, while challenging his team to better understand and fulfill our customers’ needs. He began his career as a network technician with the University of Connecticut Health Center, moved to EDS as a project leader at Exxon, then spent the next 10 years as IT director for several private and non-profit agencies, leading his organizations through the computing world’s move from the mainframe to Windows and the Web. Dave earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York), and is an active member in a variety of professional and civic organizations. He and his wife, Kitzia, have two children.

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Ryan Benton

Project Manager, Center for Planning Excellence

Ryan, a native of south Louisiana, is a Project Manager 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.

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Haley Blakeman

Director of Implementation, Center for Planning Excellence

Haley is the Director of Implementation for CPEX’s Statewide Planning initiative, which assists our communities to grow more sustainably by facilitating citizen-driven planning processes, building planning capacity, and working with them to implement projects from their plans. Haley has worked on planning and implementation projects throughout Louisiana including Jena, Thibodaux, St. Francisville, St. Charles Parish, and Vernon Parish. In addition, Haley led the Better Block BR demonstration on Government Street in Baton Rouge, which showed how the street could be reconfigured to accommodate all modes of transportation, street trees, pop-up businesses and urban parks.

Since 1999, Haley has been practicing urban planning and landscape architecture at a variety of scales, from comprehensive planning to detail site design. She has contributed to projects ranging from residential master plans, commercial and institutional site designs, hike and bike trail designs, open space and greenway plans, and stream restorations.

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.  She is a licensed landscape architect and a certified planner.

Haley is involved in both the American Planning Association and American Society of Landscape Architects, where she has held many leadership roles including state chapter president and national Chapter Presidents Council Chair. She has also helped implement Complete Streets policy at the state and local level through the Complete Streets Implementation Workgroup.

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Camille Manning-Broome

Senior Vice President, Center for Planning Excellence

With experience in both social and natural sciences, Camille has developed and oversees multi-disciplinary statewide resiliency and planning efforts that leverage funding, provide technical assistance and model land use tools to communities across the state. Camille has spearheaded and directed cross-agency projects, publishing documents such as the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit, Coastal Best Practices Manual, View From the Coast, and has worked on Comprehensive Plans in more than 30 communities.

Prior to working at CPEX, Camille gained both private-sector and government experience working on a host of issues from strategic planning to hazard mitigation. She first worked for the Federal government creating recovery plans for all the communities impacted from Katrina and later worked at the Shaw Group where she worked on Louisiana’s first Coastal Master Plan. Camille has been an invited guest and participant on Congressional delegation trips to the Netherlands and Japan to study water and disaster management, both led by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.  Most recently, she become a Mentor for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, where she is part of an international effort educating individuals on climate change. A native of Baton Rouge, Camille earned her bachelor’s degree at LSU, and later, working under a National Science Foundation grant and assistantship, she received a M.S. in Environmental Sciences with an emphasis on Disaster Science. Her thesis research focused on risk perceptions and adaptation strategies for coastal fishing communities. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Sciences at LSU with her research focusing on climate change adaptation in South Louisiana.  


Sharon Weston Broome

Mayor-President, City of Baton Rouge-Parish of East Baton Rouge

Sharon Weston Broome was sworn in as the mayor-president of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish on Jan. 2, 2017. She is the first woman to be elected as the leader of the capital city of Louisiana. Since the campaign trail, her focus has been to unite the citizenry around the common goals of equality in education, economic development, justice, housing and other quality ways of life.

Immediately following her election, Mayor-President Broome convened a team of 300 diverse residents to be part of her transition team. Residents ranged from millennials to seniors, who represented various races, education levels and socioeconomic statuses. Among the issues covered were flood recovery, community-police relations, education, economic development, race relations and transportation. Using this feedback directly from the community, Broome’s administration immediately took action, accomplishing much within the first 100 days in office.

Among these actions were: updating the Baton Rouge Police Department’s Use of Force Policy to align with national best practices; continuing to maximize FEMA Public Assistance funds for reimbursement from repairs and restructuring related to the historic flood of August 2016; launched the Equity in Business initiative, which aims to increase contract opportunities and entrepreneurial activity in all neighborhoods; entered into an agreement with the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce that now includes a focus on small businesses, and those owned by minorities and women; held first joint meeting with East Baton Rouge Parish School Board members and Metro Council; and launched an implementation plan for a “Cradle to K” initiative.

Prior to her current post, Broome served as a Metro Council member; Louisiana State Representative (District 29); and Louisiana State Senator (District 15). While in the legislature, she became the first woman to hold the leadership position of pro tempore in the House and Senate.

Over the years, Broome has been recognized for her service and leadership by several organizations, including the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Louisiana Health Freedom Coalition, American Heart Association, Every Child Matters and Morehouse College.

With a B.A. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse and an M.A. in communications from Regent University, Broome has served as an adjunct instructor at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge Community College and Southern University. In addition, she was a reporter for five years for WBRZ-TV, the Baton Rouge ABC affiliate.

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Boyd A. Bryan

Partner, Jones Walker LLP

Boyd Bryan represents clients in a wide range of environmental matters, including environmental issues in transactions, environmental litigation, and regulatory issues from permitting to compliance advice. He was recognized in "Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in the area of Environment (listed annually since 2010) and was listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC) in the area of Environmental Law (listed annually since 2016).


Steven Bryan

VP of Government Division, GovSpend

Steven brings over 10 years of marketing and sales experience, and a love for the outdoors. He began his career working in NYC as a media buyer for Warner Bros., and then went on to pursue his passion of operating his own water sport business after negotiating a contract with the State of Maryland. He then went to join SmartProcure as the 1st sales hire and is passionate about leveraging data to help build efficiencies between the public and private sector.

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Lisa Creasman

Associate State Director, The Nature Conservancy

Ms. Creasman received an undergraduate in Biology from the University of Tennessee in 1984.  Following three years working in outdoor education and oceanographic research in the Florida Keys, Boston Harbor and Savannah, Georgia, she earned a Master’s in Marine Science from Louisiana State University.  After working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, MS and for Governor Buddy Roemer, she joined the staff of The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana in 1991.  She became state director in 1994 and served in that capacity until moving to North Carolina in 2000, where she worked for Conservation Trust for NC.  Ms. Creasman and her family returned to Louisiana and The Nature Conservancy in 2013. 

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Kurt Culbertson

Chairman & CEO, Design Workshop

Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, is the Chairman and CEO of Design Workshop. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Culbertson holds a master’s degree in business administration in real estate from Southern Methodist University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate from the Edinburgh College of Art. Kurt joined Design Workshop in 1979. He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, participating in the Recreation Development Council, and served as chapter chair of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. He has served as a fellow of Dumbarton Oaks, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Institute of Urban Design and received a Fulbright Scholarship to the Wirtschaft Universitat in Vienna, Austria. He also has served as co-chair of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. He is a registered landscape architect in Colorado, Louisiana and South Carolina as well as a LEED®-certified designer and a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

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Rachel DiResto 

Executive Vice President, Center for Planning Excellence

Rachel has been with CPEX for over seventeen 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 transportation coalition advocating for improved connectivity between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She currently serves on the DOTD Statewide Complete Streets Advisory Committee and the Baton Rouge Complete Streets Advisory Committee which are both working to implement complete streets policies at the state and local levels. She also served on the Community Advisory Committee for the DOTD Statewide Plan update and the Capital Region Transportation Safety Coalition.  In these roles, she has contributed research, policy expertise and practical solutions while advocating for more multi-modal investments at every scale.  

Previously, Rachel led the update of the downtown master plan called 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. In 2005, she received the 40 Under 40 award. Rachel has served on the Forum 35 Board of Directors, Arts Council Board of Directors and currently serves on the Baton Rouge Gallery Board of Directors.

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Frank M. Duke 

Director, Baton Rouge City-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 local governments, Mr. Duke was responsible for the development of a new comprehensive plan as well as major revisions to land development regulations. Projects for which Mr. Duke was responsible have been recognized by the American Planning Association, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Managerial Technical Assistance Centers, the Florida and North Carolina chapters of the American Planning Association, and 1000 Friends of Florida, a citizen’s planning advocacy group.  In 2014 Mr. Duke was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. At his induction ceremony, he was described as “one of the most effective planning directors in the Southeast.” He is a member of the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the Congress for New Urbanism.

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Justin Ehrenwerth

President and CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf

Justin R. Ehrenwerth took the helm as President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf in early 2017. Ehrenwerth previously served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, created in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and tasked with restoring the ecosystem and revitalizing the economy of the Gulf Coast. Prior to joining the council, Ehrenwerth served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Assistant Counsel to the President. Ehrenwerth is a summa cum laude graduate of Colby College and holds an MA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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Jason Engen

Director of Client Development, Southern Earth Sciences, Inc.

Jason Engen was raised in New Orleans and started working as a teenager in his father’s construction materials testing laboratory. Following an enlistment in the Air Force as an Arabic Crypotologic Linguist, he returned home to manage the Baton Rouge office for his father’s company. Following an acquisition by a national engineering firm, Jason continued in the business and is currently the Director of Client Development for Southern Earth Sciences, Inc. Additionally, in 2014 Jason was appointed to the East Baton Rouge Industrial Development Board where he currently serves as the Vice President of the Board and in 2015 he was appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission where he served last year as the Vice Chairman and beginning this year, now Chairs the Commission.

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Pat Forbes

Executive Director, Office of Community Development

Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes oversees the state’s Community Development Block Grant programs funded by HUD. Forbes’ oversight includes housing, economic development and infrastructure programs for recovery from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac, and the 2016 floods.

Previously, Forbes managed the Louisiana Recovery Authority’s infrastructure section. Before Hurricane Katrina, he served as an engineer in the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities.  Prior to his state service, Forbes worked as a consulting environmental engineer, owned and operated his own company and worked at Georgia Pacific’s Port Hudson paper mill.

Forbes earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degree in business administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

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Donna Fraiche

Senior Counsel, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Board Member, Center for Planning Excellence

Ms. Fraiche is past chair of the Firm's Nominating Committee and past chair of Women's Initiative. She serves as the Honorary Consul-General of Japan for New Orleans. She served as the first female president of the organization now known as the American Health Lawyers Association and is currently a Fellow of the Association.

Ms. Fraiche concentrates her practice in the general representation of health care organizations, companies and individuals in major regulatory, public policy and litigation efforts. Past chair of the Louisiana Health Care Commission, she is a former member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) responsible for addressing the planning needs post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita where she served as chair of the Long Term Community Planning Task Force and the Health Care Committee. She is president of the Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Society and is a member of the American Hospital Association Council on Governance; secretary of the Board of Woman's Hospital; and on the Board, Investment and Strategic Planning Committee of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. She has served as chair of the Board of Trustees of Loyola University and delivered the commencement address at the Law School graduation in 2001. She served as president and chair of the Board of the World Trade Center, was a founder of the New Orleans Regional Medical Center, and is a diplomate of the American College of Health Care Executives. Ms. Fraiche is past president of the Louisiana Bar Foundation who honored her with the 2017 Distinguished Attorney Award. She is chair of the marketing effort for Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy of the Greater New Orleans, Inc.

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Lamar M. Gardere

Executive Director, The Data Center

Lamar Gardere is Executive Director at The Data Center. Lamar is responsible for guiding The Data Center’s mission of democratizing data into realistic action, ensuring quality standards and the ongoing impact of the organization. In addition, he is responsible for leading The Data Center’s ongoing efforts to transform local culture to one that embraces data as an intrinsic component of sound decisionmaking.

Lamar joined The Data Center after six years with the City of New Orleans Office of Information Technology and Innovation, most recently as the Chief Information Officer. As CIO, he was responsible for delivering stable, value-added IT services to City of New Orleans employees and constituents – a task accomplished through development of sustainable, forward looking strategies for growth, and expansion of IT services. Lamar is nationally recognized for his work implementing and developing the open data policy for the City of New Orleans. This work facilitated release and upkeep of many of the City’s most valuable datasets and led to the development of extensive data sharing resources, now available through the City of New Orleans’ Open Data portal.

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Gwen Hamilton 

President & CEO, East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority

Gwen has a long and deep commitment of service to the Baton Rouge community. Prior to joining the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, Gwen was head of Community Affairs for New Schools for Baton Rouge. She also previously served as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the Mayor–President of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge. As Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, she was responsible for the management and administration of the Department of Human Development Services, the Office of Community Development, the Office of Work Force Development, the Department of Juvenile Services, and the Office of Community Engagement. Before joining the mayor’s team, Gwen served in other executive level positions, including senior vice president of education reform for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, senior director for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation/Plan Baton Rouge, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Social Services, and executive director of the Children’s Cabinet in the Office of the Governor for State of Louisiana. A Baton Rouge native, Gwen is married to Leo Hamilton.  They have three daughters, a son-in-law and granddaughter.

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Cordell Haymon

Senior Vice President, SGS Petroleum Service Corp.

Board Chair, 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.

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Michael D. Hebert 

Attorney, Becker & Hebert, LLC

Michael D. Hebert is a founding member, principal, and co-manager of the law firm of Becker & Hebert in Lafayette, Louisiana. His primary areas of practice include consulting and litigation in the areas of land use, local government law, economic development projects, public utilities, telecommunications, business disputes, construction, and governmental relations.

Mr. Hebert counts among his current and past clients over 50 Louisiana municipalities around the state for which he has handled a wide array of matters over 32 years. From 2011-2015, Mr. Hebert served as Lafayette City-Parish Attorney, and continues to serve in the capacity of Assistant City-Parish Attorney. His recent projects include lead litigation counsel in the successful defense of Lafayette’ s $125,000,000.00 bond issue to finance its pioneering fiber-to-the-home telecommunications system, and he was lead counsel for the City of Lafayette in acquisition and development of Moncus Park, a public- private partnership for the establishment of a cutting-edge recreational space in the center of Lafayette. Mr. Hebert is a frequent lecturer and writer on topics pertaining to municipal development, expansion, and land use. 

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Jeff Hebert

Deputy Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Resilience Officer, City of New Orleans

Jeff Hebert was appointed Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer on August 15, 2016, and continues to serve as the City of New Orleans’ first Chief Resilience Officer. In this capacity, he oversees the administration of City Hall. The Deputy Mayor also leads the Mayor’s efforts to improve city government performance and the Mayor’s charge to return the city to fiscal stability. Hebert is a city planner by profession, and has previously served as the Executive Director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) where he oversaw $42.5 million in direct investment and leveraged over $191 million in additional capital. Prior to being appointed to NORA, from 2010 to 2012, Hebert served as the Mayor’s Director of Blight Policy and Revitalization, where he developed The Blight Strategy, which was awarded a 2012 Bright Idea Award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, reducing blight by 10,000 units in the first three years of the Mayor’s term. Before joining the Landrieu Administration, Hebert led the state’s Regional Plan for Recovery and Growth following the devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as the Director of Community Planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority. Over the past eight years, Jeff has advised government officials across the globe on disaster recovery planning and implementation including the State of Iowa after floods in 2008, Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Australia after floods in 2010, prefectural and national agencies in Japan after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and New York City government agencies after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As Chief Resilience Officer, Hebert oversees the implementation of the nation’s first Comprehensive Resilience Strategy, development of the city’s climate action plan and sea level rise and climate adaptation strategies, and was recently appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration, and Conservation. Mr. Hebert holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Design and Architecture Studies from New York University, a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the NeighborWorks® America Achieving Excellence in Community Development program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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Pamela Jenkins, Ph.D.

Professor, University of New Orleans

Pamela Jenkins is a Research Professor of Sociology and faculty in the Women’s Studies Program at the University of New Orleans. She is a founding faculty member of UNO’s Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART). Before Katrina, her research interests were diverse but focused on how communities respond to a variety of problems. Her research interests post-Katrina include documenting the response to Katrina as part of a national research team on Hurricane Katrina evacuees. She has published on first responders, faith-based communities’ response to the storm, and the experiences of elderly during and after Katrina. Throughout her career, she has evaluated a number of national and local efforts focused on community sustainability. At a community level, she is involved in several projects that work directly with best practice for violence prevention, including domestic and community violence.


Chip Johnson

 Former Mayor, City of Hernando, MS

The former mayor of Hernando, Mississippi, a town of about 15,000 people, Mayor Chip Johnson was a leading figure in promoting many public health issues throughout the city, including those to promote healthy eating and active living.

Mayor Johnson helped establish a new city parks department that built five major parks and other recreation facilities that enjoy wide use among Hernando residents young and old. He was influential in making Hernando a more pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly town by passing a Complete Streets policy, requiring every new street to have a sidewalk, and developing miles of new bicycle lanes. Under Mayor Johnson’s leadership, the city worked with local schools on joint-use agreements, which allowed school facilities to be open to city residents during non-school hours.

Providing more healthy food options was also a priority for Mayor Johnson. He helped start the Hernando Farmers’ Market, which has grown into the largest in Mississippi and is regularly ranked one of the most popular in the nation. In addition, Mayor Johnson worked with local schools through the “Eat Right, Play More” program, which promotes healthier foods in the cafeteria and vending machine, extra recess time, and Safe Routes to School projects to help students safely walk or bike to and from school. The school district is now home to twelve Project Fit America playgrounds.

His efforts led the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Foundation to name Hernando as the “Healthiest Hometown in Mississippi” in 2010, a designation accompanied by a $50,000 grant for health and wellness activities.  In addition, he has been recognized as a national spokesperson for obesity prevention initiatives and was one of two mayors invited to kick off First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. In 2013, Mayor Johnson received the Leadership for Healthy Communities’ Childhood Obesity Prevention Award.

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Jessica Kemp

Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Center for Planning Excellence

As Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Jessica is responsible for advancing CPEX’s mission in public policy for the CONNECT coalition and issues related to housing, equity and planning throughout the state. Her work includes the development, monitoring, coordination, implementation and evaluation of policy and advocacy efforts at the municipal, state and national levels. Jessica is also responsible for assisting executive leadership with strategic planning and resource development at CPEX.

Jessica’s professional and academic career has been focused on research, communications, fund development and social justice philanthropy. Before coming to CPEX in 2013, Jessica served as Vice President of Communications for the Foundation for Louisiana where she led communications and outreach efforts as well as resource development strategies to advance program and policy objectives focused on economic development, affordable housing and equitable access to opportunity.

Jessica completed a Ph.D. in English at Louisiana State University, specializing in critical theory and consumerism; a M.A. in English from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York; and a B.A. in English from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Jessica has served on the YWCA’s Public Policy Committee and participated in Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s Build. She currently sits on the boards of the Environment and Health Council of Louisiana and the Capital Area March of Dimes. She is a lifelong fellow of the Effective Leadership Program, a joint endeavor of Duke University, Southern University and the University of Cape Town to cultivate leaders committed to social justice in Louisiana and South Africa.


Ramesh Kolluru

VP for Research, Innovation and Economic Development; Professor, School of Computing and Informatics, UL Lafayette

Dr. Ramesh Kolluru is vice president for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

In this role, he drives the University's transition to a top-tier, modern research university — one that is committed to research for a reason — through research, scholarship, and innovation. His leadership efforts include stimulating activities related to sponsored research, doctoral programs, technology transfer, corporate and governmental relations, and economic development. Additionally, he oversees operations of the University Research Park, as well as various research centers and institutes at UL Lafayette.

He is a nationally recognized leader in the application of computing and informatics research to solve challenges in health care, disaster management, supply chain management, public-private partnerships, big data analytics, among others. During his research career, he founded three premier applied research centers at UL Lafayette, including the nation's only National Science Foundation "big data" center of excellence; he also generated more than $65 million in research grants and contracts. Under his leadership, the University translates applied research to stimulate innovation and economic development in the region.

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Justin Kozak, Ph.D.

Researcher + Policy Analyst, Center for Planning Excellence

Justin completed a PhD in Environmental Resources & Policy at Southern Illinois University (SIU) where his research focused broadly on working solutions to water resources issues in Louisiana and beyond. Drawn to Louisiana through work in the Atchafalaya River Basin as part of a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship in Watershed Science and Policy, he moved with his wife to Baton Rouge where he dabbled in stay-at-home husbanding and housekeeping on a shoestring before being hired by the Center for Planning Excellence.

As a member of CPEX’s Planning + Implementation team, Justin is currently researching climate change adaptation as it pertains to coastal Louisiana.

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Warren Kron

GIS Manager, City of Baton Rouge - East Baton Rouge Parish 

Warren Kron has worked for the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge over the last 19 years in the Department of Information Services and the Office of the Planning Commission, and his public service has been focused on the development of an enterprise GIS program. This effort has involved many multi-disciplinary projects, developing a data model, building applications to extend GIS throughout City-Parish government, and playing a key role in the City-Parish's shift to Open Data. Warren earned a bachelor's degree of landscape architecture from the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. He serves as the Louisiana Municipal Association member and chair of the 2017 Louisiana GIS Council.  Warren is a certified GIS Professional and enjoys gardening, golfing and traveling.


Will LaBar 

Vice President, CGI Federal

Will LaBar is a Vice President at CGI and provides support for the US Environmental Protection Agency (focused on the collection, exchange and use of environmental data) as well as CGI’s Onshore Delivery Program (focused on helping create high quality technology jobs in non-metropolitan areas through unique public-private partnership models). Will was born in the great state of New Jersey and after 17 years of living in Lafayette, Louisiana and eating a ton of crawfish and boudin, has officially been named an “Honorary Cajun” by the Mayor-President of Lafayette Consolidated Government.


Charles A. Landry

Partner, Fishman Haygood, LLP

Charles Landry is a partner and member of Fishman Haygood's Business Section. Charles concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate development, real estate finance, land use and zoning. He has represented numerous parties in a wide range of real estate transactions, which included residential developments (including Traditional Neighborhood Developments) office buildings, shopping malls and centers, hotels and medical facilities, golf course communities, and industrial developments.

He is a leading expert in public private partnership in Louisiana having represented parties in numerous complex projects. He is also widely recognized as one of the leading land use attorneys in Louisiana.  He was a founding member and has served as the Chairperson of the East Baton Rouge Zoning Advisory Committee since its formation in 2003.

He has also been very involved in advancing Greater Baton Rouge’s high-tech, information, and entrepreneurial economic sector. He was instrumental in the formation of the Louisiana Technology Park, and serves as General Counsel to the Research Park Corporation. Charles is the co-Editor of The Foreign Investor’s Guide to the Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Louisiana, an extensive analysis of the laws of the United States and the State of Louisiana as those laws may impact a party wishing to invest in Louisiana.

He has been a frequent lecturer at Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center and numerous continuing education seminars on the subjects of complex real estate transactions, title examination, land use planning, secured transactions, and real estate workouts.


Joel Mahoney

CEO, OpenCounter

Joel Mahoney is Co-Founder and CEO at He was an inaugural fellow at Code for America, and served as a technical advisor to the organization. Before Code for America, Joel founded companies in the health and hospitality sectors. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times. He won the International Design for Experience Award for his work with the City of Boston, and was one of GovTech Magazine's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in 2012.

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Jared E. Munster, Ph.D

Director, Department of Safety and Permits - City of New Orleans

Dr. Jared E. Munster has been the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits for the City of New Orleans since 2012. Safety and Permits is the regulatory body charged with enforcement of the zoning ordinance and development standards within New Orleans. Dr. Munster holds an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and Planning, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree, and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans, and is also a Certified Floodplain Manager and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is responsible for coordinating the review and inspection of all development and businesses within the City of New Orleans and ensuring compliance with all applicable codes. Additionally, Dr. Munster serves as an adjunct instructor of political science at Tulane University.

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J. 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.

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Jay Noland

Owner, Noland Development llc

Board Member, Center for Planning Excellence

Jay Noland is an attorney and real estate developer in Baton Rouge. He graduated from the University of Richmond, BA, in 1993, then Tulane Law School in 1997 and LSU’s Executive MBA program in 2005. Following law school, he was Judge Frank J. Polozola’s judicial law clerk for a year, then an attorney at Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips. For the nine years Jay was an associate and partner at Taylor, Porter, he primarily practiced in the areas of real estate and commercial litigation. For the last four years, he has been engaged in the real estate business in the Baton Rouge area with business partner Scott Bardwell.

In addition to his interest in Plan Baton Rouge and the smart growth principles advocated by CPEX,  Jay has served on a number of not-for-profit boards.  He is a board member and past chairman of the Manship Theatre, and serves as a board member of Episcopal High School, St. James Place, and the Friends of Rural Life Museum.   He has also served as a vestry member of St. James Episcopal Church, where he, his wife Elizabeth, and their two children are parishioners.


Jerry Paffendorf

Co-Founder and CEO, LOVELAND Technologies

Jerry Paffendorf is co-founder and CEO of Loveland Technologies, a mapping company based in Detroit that is focused on mapping ownership and land use for properties across the world. The company works with governments, developers, neighborhood groups, and passionate individuals to gather and present information about property in clear, actionable ways. Loveland’s Detroit projects include mapping tax foreclosures at, and digitizing the city’s property information to help fight blight at Paffendorf earned a master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

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Maria Papacharalambous

Waggonner & Ball

Bio coming soon

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Nick Popovich

Account Manager, ESRI

Nick Popovich is account manager at Esri. Esri is an international supplier of geographic information system software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. Esri is the creators of ArcGIS, which is extensively used in community planning and by municipalities.


Robert D. Rivers

Executive Director, New Orleans City Planning Commission

Bob Rivers was appointed the Executive Director of the New Orleans City Planning Commission in 2013, where he supervises a staff of twenty-four.  This appointment represents a return to the planning profession after a ten-year career as an attorney, first as a Special Counsel in the Real Estate Practice Group of the Jones Walker law firm in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and more recently as Chief Deputy City Attorney for the City of New Orleans Law Department.  Mr. Rivers was the Administrator of the Nantucket Historic District Commission from 1998-2000, and also held various planning and preservation positions with the Louisiana Urban Technical Assistance Center at UNO, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Institute for Urban Development Research at George Washington University, EDAW, Inc., and the Town of Herndon, Virginia.  From 2005 through 2013, Mr. Rivers served as an adjunct professor with the University of New Orleans Department of Planning and Urban Studies, teaching a number of courses in planning, law, preservation, disaster recovery and housing. Mr. Rivers holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from Princeton University, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from George Washington University, and a JD with honors from Tulane University.


Joel Robideaux

Mayor-President, Lafayette Consolidated Government

Mayor-President Robideaux was elected in October 2015, and officially took office on January 4, 2016.  Campaigning on the promise of “working together,” Mayor-President Robideaux has been working to understand the opportunities and challenges of government, regularly meeting with the other Mayors, LCG elected officials and staff, local business and civic leaders and constituents to understand parish-wide needs.

The unprecedented rainfall and the historic floods in August of 2016 turned out to be the biggest challenge of the administration’s first year in office. Mr. Robideaux was appointed to Governor John Bel Edwards’ Restore Louisiana Task Force and serves as the Chairman of the housing sub-committee and he knows the need to address drainage by working with officials from the local, regional, state and national levels.  Since the flood, Mr. Robideaux has sought new ways for the parish to become better prepared and quicker to recover from future challenges and has been working to build public and private partnerships to achieve that goal. The administration has participated in or conducted multiple workshops with renowned land use and planning experts to address the parish’s budget crisis and to create a more resilient community. Building resilient cities is a global movement to equip communities to handle physical, social and economic challenges by focusing on planning, response and an increased ability to better handle an unexpected event.

During his inaugural parish-wide address in March of 2017, Mr. Robideaux announced the launch of a new initiative to capitalize on Lafayette’s culture to further diversify the economy. CREATE (Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, Economy) is a parish-wide, interagency, multi-year initiative to expand upon one of our greatest and most innate qualities, our culture, as an economic driver. CREATE is the first step to rebranding the community as a cultural, recreational and entertainment destination, which will also be important to retaining and attracting future generations to the region.

As a major gateway to the city, parish and university, Mayor-President Robideaux has identified the need to improve University Avenue. In its current condition, the University corridor does not reflect the quality of place our citizens deserve and it does not appropriately welcome our visitors to Lafayette. At the 2016 Mayors’ Institute on City Design, Mr. Robideaux engaged with architects, urban designers, planners and fellow Mayors from around the country for input from experts and peers on opportunities and challenges surrounding the corridor. The Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization awarded Lafayette Consolidated Government more than $500,000 to fund two projects on the University Avenue corridor. One project will fund the design and construction of a roundabout on University Avenue at Renaud Drive, just north of the Interstate. A second project will be the development of a corridor plan for University Avenue to unify the planning efforts along the state highway. Together with the Council, funding will be dedicated through a bond sale to begin the esthetic improvements such as planting trees and building sidewalks along the corridor. Through these efforts, Mr. Robideaux believes University Avenue can provide economic prosperity and a quality of life for those who live and work along the corridor.

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Andre Rodrigue

Principal, Stantec

Mr. Andre M. Rodrigue is Principal at Stantec. He has been with the company since 1997, and previously served as the manager of the Site Design Division. He has served as the project manager on some of their largest-ever site development projects, including the Mall of Louisiana expansion and the current development of the new Woman’s Hospital campus. He was also a lead designer on the Desoto Park project, a 5.5-acre park in the batture of the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge, as well as the expansive Atchafalaya Basin Welcome Center project-a 70-acre cultural activity site involving walkpaths, fishing piers, rest areas, and water access structures on Lake Pelba. Mr. Rodrigue’s areas of expertise include site and land development for developments such as parks and recreation facilities, hospitals, schools, and a range of commercial property types. He has extensive background in hydrology, hydraulics and storm water management, wastewater design, site utility planning, and American Disabilities Act (ADA) codes for site accessibility. 

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Jacques M. Roy

Mayor, City of Alexandria