Port of South Louisiana elects new president, awards grants

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 10, 2010

LAPLACE – As part of an agreement forged in 2007, representatives from the Port of South Louisiana recently presented $15,000 checks to the parish presidents of St. John, St. James and St. Charles parishes in an effort to promote economic development in the River Region.

In March of 2007, representatives from the tri-parish area joined with port officials to create the River Region Economic Development Initiative, a coalition designed to develop strategies to further the economic growth and diversification of the River Region.

“The economic development departments of the Port and the River Parishes have historically had a strong commitment and working relationship to attract and secure new industry and additional commerce to the area,” said Linda Prudhomme, director of business development for the Port.

“The growth of the River Region is a result of sound planning and patronage from a diversified cross-section of public and private stakeholders. The region’s overall strategy is to focus on diversifying its economic base by targeting industries that are conducive to its growth through initiatives like RREDI.”

At the end of 2009, the Port Commission adopted a resolution to award each of the River Parishes $15,000 for the specific purpose of promoting economic development. The grants were presented to each parish president during separate ceremonies at their respective council meetings.

In other Port news, the Port Commission also announced the election of Louis A. Joseph as president for the 2010-11 year. Joseph succeeds Joey Murray, who served the past five years as commission president.

Joseph has served on the Board of Commissioners since 1998 as the Governor’s appointee to represent St. John the Baptist Parish. He previously served as president from 2000 to 2003.

Elections were also held to fill the remaining positions of the Port’s governing panel. Murray, the Governor’s at-large appointee representing St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes, remains as executive vice president. Sheila Bonnette and Raymond Fryoux remain as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Gregory Gravois, Rusty Gaudet and Robert “Poncho” Roussel remain as vice presidents. All are one-year terms.