John Bel Edwards announces transition team for economic development issues: Read the list of names

By: Elizabeth Crisp

Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards continues to roll out the names of his closest advisers on key issues as he prepares to take office Jan. 11.

On Friday, Edwards’ transition team announced a group that will provide recommendations on economic development issues, including jobs training, research and development at colleges and universities and workforce development.

“Louisiana has always had a strong workforce and we need to ensure this workforce is attractive to diverse industries, while also responsibly incentivizing business and industry to invest in our state,” Edwards said in a statement. “This committee is critical to our long-term economic stability, and I’m confident they’ll help me develop a plan that is mutually beneficial to the citizens of Louisiana and industry.”

AT&T Louisiana President Sonia Perez and Greater New Orleans Inc. CEO Michael Hecht will co-chair the committee.

Other members include:

  • Calvin Braxton, CEO of Braxton Land Company and President of Natchitoches Ford-Lincoln-Mercury. He also serves on the Southern University System board.
  • Terrell Clayton, owner of Clayton Enterprises, a developer of affordable housing units in New Orleans.
  • Charles D’Agostino, executive director of LSU Innovation Park & Louisiana Business and Technology Center.
  • Joe Delpit, president of Joe Delpit Enterprises and owner of Chicken Shack, the oldest known continuously operating restaurant in Baton Rouge. He previously served in the state House.
  • Erika McConduit Diggs, President and CEO of Urban League of Greater New Orleans
  • Jason Engles, executive secretary and treasurer of Central South Carpenters Regional Council.
  • Fran Gladden, vice president of government and public affairs at Cox Communication. She previously worked for Louisiana Economic Development.
  • Rodney Greenup, president of Gulf South Engineering and Testing.
  • Roy Griggs, President and CEO of Griggs Enterprises, which operates McDonalds restaurants and hotels through franchising.
  • Robert “Tiger” Hammond, president of New Orleans AFL-CIO and Louisiana State Building Trades.
  • Randall Hithe, Owner of Hithe Enterprises, which operates custodial services and property management, among other services, including contracts for hospitals, hotels, higher education institutions, and secondary and elementary schools.
  • Sibal Holt, president of Holt Construction and former head of the Louisiana AFL-CIO.
  • Jeff Jenkins, Partner with Bernhard Capital Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on the energy sector.
  • John Jones, senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations with CenturyLink.
  • Adam Knapp, CEO of Baton Rouge Area Chamber​ who served in economic development roles under Govs. Mike Foster (R) and Kathleen Blanco (D).
  • Curtis Mezzic, business manager of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local 60.
  • Scott Martinez, president of North Louisiana Economic Partnership.
  • Phillip May, CEO of Energy Louisiana.
  • Charlie Melancon, Owner of CMA, LLC, and former congressman who lost to Edwards’ Republican rival U.S. Sen. David Vitter in a 2010 senate race.
  • Don Pierson, senior director of business development for Louisiana Economic Development.
  • Bonita Robertson, site director of New Orleans Works.
  • Gale Potts Roque, a member Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry
  • Robert “Bobby” Savoie, CEO of Geocent.
  • Lloyd N. “Sonny” Shields, attorney at Shields Mott, LLP.
  • Glen Smith, CEO of Magnolia Companies.
  • Collis Temple, former LSU basketball star and owner of Harmony Center, Inc., a system of residential health and mental health facilities serving foster children, the developmentally disabled, and adjudicated youth and adults.
  • Chris Tyson, professor of law at LSU Law Center and former candidate for secretary of state.
  • Ginger Vidrine, an attorney and Democrat who recently lost a state senate run against an incumbent Republican.
  • Lisa Walker, CEO and President of Health Systems 2000.
  • Arlanda Williams, vice-chairwoman of the Terrebonne Parish Council.
  • Sevetri Wilson, CEO of Solid Ground Innovations, LLC.