Ben Berthelot won't be wasting any time in preparing to take over as head of Lafayette Consolidated Government's Community Development department. The 33 year-old, who served the past six years as assistant to city-parish president Joey Durel, was named to the post Tuesday and will officially take over on Feb. 19. In the meantime, Berthelot says he will spend this week and next meeting with the division heads within the department, as well as various stakeholders throughout the community.

"I intend to be very visible in the community and to be the face of community development," Berthelot says. "One of the things that I hope to be able to do is to be able to bring a lot of different partners to the table to help us to experience true community development. I think because of my involvement over the last 10 years in the community I think I’m somebody who’s been engaged in a lot of different organizations that we will be working closely with. I think I have excellent relationships with a lot of people and I think it’s our role in community development to be a convener and a collaborator on the issues that will help move the entire community forward."

Berthelot adds he wants to bring more awareness to the important services Community Development provides. He replaces Melanie Lewis Edwards, who is moving on to an as yet unnamed position with the federal government.

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