The head of the committee charged with finding Gerald Breaux’s replacement at the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission would not confirm the names of the two finalists, but sources close to the selection process say Renee Areng and Ben Berthelot are the only remaining candidates.
In terms of tourism experience, Areng, executive vice president for sales and marketing at the Baton Rouge Convention and Visitors Bureau, has the edge. She also was convention marketing manager at LCVC from October 1990 to November 2002. Berthelot is director of Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Community Development department.
The selection committee, which includes and was appointed by Hilton General Manager James Thackston (president of the LCVC board), is comprised of businessmen Rob Robison and Thomas Rogers and Holidome General Manager Ed Buchert. Thackston would not confirm the finalists Friday morning, saying the three candidates who did not make the cut may not have received their notification letters yet.
Susan Holliday, Mark Mouton and Dave Domingue were also semifinalists.
Areng and Berthelot are vying for the top post, executive director, which is opening up after almost 31 years due to Breaux's retirement.
Thackston chose the selection committee members based on their length of service on the board, according to Breaux. Ema Haq, who has been on the board since December 2001, however, declined to serve, saying he had too many other commitments. Both Rogers and Robinson joined in December 2003; and Ed Buchert joined in December 2005. Amos Batiste, whose service began in August 2008, was not named to the board because Thackston, who has been serving since March 2009, took a seat on the selection committee. The remaining board members are Lionel Prejean (3/3/09), Charlie Goodson (1/4/11) and Kendall Banks (12/21/10).
The LCVC board will meet in executive session to interview Areng and Berthelot on May 4. Thackston says no consideration was given to holding the interviews in the open, despite that this is a publicly funded position."We were told we didn't have to conduct the interviews in the full public," he says.
LCVC is supported by a hotel-motel tax in the parish. The bureau was created in 1974 to promote tourism and coordinate marketing efforts for Lafayette Parish.
The board hopes to make an offer May 1, with employment to begin no later than June 1.
Breaux will help with the transition process for about a month, as his last official day is June 29.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
APR 18 So Gov. Jindal's new press secretary already has blocked blogger CB Forgotston from her Twitter account, CB tells us in this post. Sure, CB hasn't exactly been sugar sweet to the lady, but if his blogs are all it takes for her to get in a huff she better find some intestinal fortitude somewhere, because that's just the tip of the iceberg.
APR 18 Pooyie! Robert Kennedy Jr. isn't pulling any punches in this column on Huffington Post about the flood board's lawsuit against Big Oil and Bobby Jindal's involvement in efforts to kill it. Kennedy, who is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, describes Jindal as 'genuflecting to Big Oil's pressure' and 'the industry's chief indentured servant.' Dang!
APR 18 Here's a video of UL Coach Mark Hudspeth showing he can pump some serious iron. It sure impressed the Dr. Saturday blog, which calls his press of 370 pounds a "ridiculous" number for a coach -- and opines that no other college coach could beat ours.
APR 18 Columnist John Maginnis offers some advice to Vance McAllister on this post: Don't quit. Republicans have demanded he resign, but offer no "sensible answer" to the question of why David Vitter shouldn't leave, too, he says. McAllister needs to do his duty and serve out his (abbreviated) term, Maginnis says.
APR 18 Blogger Lamar White Jr. comments upon the plan to make a Bible Louisiana's "official book" in this post. He argues his point by telling us the story of an immigrant couple who moved to Louisiana: Amar and Raj, whose oldest child is now our Governor. This action would have a much larger impact, he opines.
APR 18 There's only one major bill left defending public education, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. He's also got a few choice words for state Superintendent John White, who implies that Louisiana teachers would be thrown into chaos and disarray if they didn't have a test to teach. (Maybe kids would actually get an education then? Nah!)
APR 18 An effort to set up speed cameras on the Interstate has been shut down before it even got started, columnist Stephanie Grace tells us in this post. A bill to block the practice is sailing through the legislature -- where apparently no one wants visitors to our fair state to arrive home to a ticket. (These guys must never drive on I-10 with people from Texas).
APR 18 Blogger Tom Aswell reassures everyone worried about the staffers for Rodney Alexander -- the ones who didn't go to work for McAllister or Candid Camera, anyway -- with this post. Apparently one staffer for the retired Congressman (who also worked for a preacher accused of sexual assault) already has been hired by Alexander in the state department he now runs, Aswell says.
APR 17 At the start of the Tuesday board meeting that ended with his removal from the President's post, Joe Aguillard told the governing board of Louisiana College that SACS, the accreditation agency, requires the board to adopt a confidentiality agreement regarding board actions. Later that day, SACS told the Town Talk that confidentiality agreements would never be required. Calvinist or not, isn't lying wrong?
APR 17 Here we are, looking like backwater dummies again in the national media. This story on Huffington Post tells the nation that our legislators are so scared of the Louisiana Family Forum that they won't vote to repeal a law that was ruled illegal years ago. (Guess these particular Christians don't cotton to that "love one another" thing.)
APR 17 Here's an interesting column from Paul Stanley, political opinion editor of the Christian Post. He breaks down the differences between David Vitter and Vance McAllister, in terms of political realities. What he found surprising was the fact that many GOP leaders are swinging a self-righteous sword at McAllister which had remained sheathed when Vitter's "sin" was revealed. He does have an interesting theory -- that Jindal's people want the Vitter issue to be revived.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly