Letter to the Editor: Jones explains why he’s stepping away from St. John Economic Development chair

Published 11:22 am Friday, November 16, 2018

Over the last nearly three years I have had the opportunity to serve as the Director of Economic Development for St. John the Baptist Parish.

During this time period, I’ve been fortunate to eat my fair share of Andouille and experience St. John’s greatest asset … its people. Please know that I view St. John Parish as more than just a place of employment. This community, its people and most certainly the food has left a huge impact on me. I am a better man both personally and professionally because of my time spent here in St. John.

I would like to thank Madam President Natalie Robottom for her willingness to select me as her Director of Economic Development. The Parish is lucky to have her serve in this capacity. Her love for this community has made my experience serving the citizens of St. John one that I am grateful for.

I would like to thank the Parish Council, Assessor, Sheriff and all of my stakeholders like Chassity McComack, Linda Prudhomme, Wayne Aucoin, Buddy Boe, Ana Gale-Orellana, Steven Fraker, Cullen Curole and etc., who assist in helping to ensure the business community has access to the necessary tools to become successful.

The Economic Development Department set forth a goal to work with small businesses and provide an enhanced experience in Small Business Workshops, Lunch and Learns and etc.

This is a testament to the great team our department boasts. I would like to thank Denise Burrell and Terri Abadie for their hard work.

The department was recently recognized by the International Economic Development Council. We received an Excellence in Economic Development award for the 2018 St. John Economic Development Week.

I have no doubt the time and effort that Denise and Terri poured into these events are what made it so successful. It was our goal to show the business community that we valued you all. I sincerely hope we were successful in our efforts.

It is with a sad but an optimistic heart that today (Nov. 16) is my last day serving as the Director of Economic Development.

I have accepted the Executive Director role for the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District. It has been an absolute honor serving you all in this capacity.

As a graduate of Southern University, I recognized my familiarity with North Baton Rouge, which allowed me to see a value in accepting this new role and opportunity. I retain fond memories of this great community.

I truly thank you all for the support exhibited over the years. Again, thank you Madam President and St. John!

— Warmest Regards,

Jerry W. Jones Jr.