The committee in charge of finding a replacement for Gerald Breaux at the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission has finished its work, and the full LCVC board is conducting final interviews today in anticipation of a vote this afternoon on whether to hire Ben Berthelot or Renee Areng to the top post.

Areng and Berthelot are vying for the top post, executive director, which is opening up after almost 31 years due to Breaux's retirement. The new executive is expected to begin June 1. Breaux's last day is June 29.

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.

Only six of the nine LCVC board members are attending the final interview process, Amos Batiste, Thomas Rogers, Jimmy Thackston, Ed Buchert, Rob Robison and Lionel Prejean, with three absent. Not in attendance are Charlie Goodson, Ema Haq and Kendall Banks. The interviews are being conducted in executive session.

“We haven’t gotten there yet,” selection committee member and board member Rob Robison says of what might happen should there be a tie vote. Robison says he only learned six members would be attending when he got to the interview with Berthelot this morning.

A decision on the new chief is likely today, Robison says, but not definitive.


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