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Election 2019: Randy Vincent prepared for Parish President role

Editor’s Note: Every Parish President candidate has had an individual profile story featured in L’OBSERVATEUR in recent editions. Please see lobservateur.com or visit the office at 116 Newspaper Drive in LaPlace to access other candidate stories. Early voting begins Saturday and lasts through Oct. 5.

LAPLACE — Randy Vincent, candidate for St. John the Baptist Parish President, feels well prepared for the position with decades of experience in private industry and government.

After choosing to make St. John Parish his family’s home in 2010, Vincent was called to serve the community as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer from January 2012 to October 2014.

Of his 30-plus years of business experience, 11 have been spent in parish government, and most of that time has been on the executive level.

In his current role as an independent consultant, Vincent works in the development of innovative housing technology, water purification, healthcare consulting, domestic and international project funding, international oil and gas joint venture funding, and more.

His vision for St. John Parish focuses on levee construction, water system expansion and maintenance, career development and collaboration.

Vincent will appear on the ballot in the Oct. 12 election alongside Parish President hopefuls Jaclyn Hotard, Charles Julien, Terry Lewis Sr. and Rodney Nicholas, all contending to become the chief executive leader of St. John the Baptist Parish.

In the event that no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off between the top vote getters will be held Nov. 16.

“I’m passionate about running for Parish President because, as the former chief finance officer and chief administrative officer, I see the opportunity to take the Parish forward,” Vincent said.

“I’m excited about the different opportunities that we have to grow. I’m confident that I’m prepared to lead the parish because I’m the only candidate with both government and private industry management experience at the executive level.”

Vincent’s first priority is to see the completion of the West Shore Levee Project. He has experience working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Corps individually recognized him for his role in establishing their base operations during Hurricane Rita recovery efforts in Calcasieu Parish.

The base operations Vincent helped established managed the activities of more than 300 subcontractors daily.

The next priority for St. John Parish is an overhaul of the water systems, including drinking water, water meters, drainage and sewage.

“We need the redundancy to feel confident that we will have water each and every day,” Vincent said. “We need to make certain that we have a long-term maintenance program. We have to worry about expansion, renovation and long-term financing of our water system.”

Vincent said the administration must pay special attention to internal drainage and how it can be altered to work well with the West Shore Levee development.

Jobs and community development are absolutely critical to the future of St. John, according to Vincent.

“We realize that we are very unique in that we are a heavy industry and agriculture community,” Vincent said. “I advocate that we focus on green energy jobs.”

Vincent has stayed abreast of technological advances in industry. He’s currently involved in overseeing patented construction technology in Utah and Ohio that would be ideal for the River Region.

He’s also involved in patented recycling projects being put together in Atlanta, Georgia. If such a project were to come to St. John, it would relieve some expenses and turn 95 percent of items thrown away into useable product.

Moving forward, Vincent would like to initiate collaboration between administration, the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, the School Board and industry partners. He said local clergy, business owners and civic organizations should also have a seat at the table.

According to Vincent, an effective Parish President must have the proper education to succeed. He or she must be a good listener, willing to serve and collaborate with others.

“A parish leader must have a vision that goes beyond the borders of our parish,” Vincent said. “So much business today is done outside of your local parish and even your local state.”

Vincent holds a bachelor’s degree in communication Stephen F. Austin State University at Nacogdoches, Texas. He is a licensed and ordained Baptist Minister, and he holds numerous certifications in National Incident Management System, Community Transportation Management and Hazardous Material Handling.

Prior to joining St. John administration, Vincent worked as a regional manager in education and served as president of AMI Kids Inc. of Southwest Louisiana. He served as director for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services and as client customer service advocate for what is now Bank of America.

In addition to working for numerous industries, Vincent has been recognized for successful management of DOTD, CDBG, CSBG and American Reinvestment Act grants. He’s received several customer service and sales recognitions.

In the River Parishes, Vincent has served as a board member of the River Parishes Transit Authority and the St. John Parish Library Board. He’s worked as a liaison for the Louisiana Workforce Commission in local, regional and statewide programs.

Vincent currently serves as Interim Pastor of St. Michael Baptist Church and a board member for the St. Andrews Estates Homeowners Association.