Dr. Jonathan Roberts has been appointed as a special government employee and member of the federal government’s Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald.

The committee advises the secretary on the VA’s schedule for rating disabilities and makes recommendations on VA benefits that affect transition assistance and rehabilitation.

Roberts served in the Army Medical Service Corps for seven years and was a major. He retired as chief academic officer of the LSU Hospital System and previously served as chief executive officer of Earl K. Long Medical Center.

Neil Manuel has been named the medical/surgical unit director at Lane Regional Medical Center and will be responsible for coordinating nursing care for the unit. Previously, he worked as a clinical nurse leader at Lane.


Kelley Blankenship has been named executive director of the Lafayette operations of St. Joseph Hospice, part of Baton Rouge-based Carpenter Health Network.

Blankenship will help oversee completion of The Carpenter House inpatient hospice center at 923 W. Pinhook Road. He was facility administrator of Camelot of Broussard.

Roy Payne has been promoted to Acadian Ambulance’s Hub City operations coordinator overseeing Lafayette, St. Landry, Vermilion, St. Martin and Iberia parishes. Payne manages staffing and is liaison between Acadian and the Lafayette fire, police, sheriff’s and marshal’s offices, Lafayette Regional Airport and the Lafayette City-Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Payne was an operations supervisor.


Harlan T. Bush has been named vice president by Hibernia Bank. He was a vice president of commercial banking for Whitney Bank.

Lauren S. Wilson has been elected president of Start the Adventure in Reading, or STAIR.

Other officers are Carroll Bernard, vice president; Harrison Frampton, treasurer; and Nora Bilbro, secretary. New board members are Michelle Cumberland, Franklin “Tad” Jones, Dr. Yolanda Page, Dylan Thriffiley and Danielle Trezek.


Erin O. Braud, staff counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. with the Law Offices of Robert E. Birtel in Metairie, was installed as chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s young lawyers division.

Other officers are Chair-Elect Scotty E. Chabert Jr., an assistant district attorney for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and a partner in the Baton Rouge firm of Saunders & Chabert; Secretary Bradley J. Tate, tax manager for the Lafayette firm of Prejean Romero McGee; and Immediate Past Chair J. Lee Hoffoss Jr., a partner in the Lake Charles firm of Hoffoss Devall LLC.

Members of the young lawyers division council from the local area are: in District 1, Dylan T. Thriffiley, an associate in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller LLP, and Scott L. Sternberg, an associate in the New Orleans office of Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer LLC; in District 2, Jason M. Baer, a partner in the New Orleans firm of Pandit Law, and Jeffrey D. Hufft, an assistant attorney general, criminal division, with the Louisiana Department of Justice; in District 3, Kassie L. Hargis, a law clerk for Judge John R. Walker, 32nd Judicial District Court in Houma; and in District 5, Kristi W. Richard, a senior associate in the Baton Rouge office of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, and Carrie LeBlanc Jones, an associate in the Baton Rouge firm of Shows, Cali & Walsh LLP.

The at-large representative is Kellen J. Mathews, an associate in the Baton Rouge office of Adams and Reese LLP. The American Bar Association representative is Graham H. Ryan, an associate in the New Orleans office of Jones Walker LLP. Young Lawyer member/American Bar Association House of Delegates is Ryan M. McCabe, an associate in Steeg Law Firm LLC in New Orleans.