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East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority President/CEO Chris Tyson talks about the agency's tour of the Plank Road corridor, while standing in front of several new two-story townhomes built by LaFleur Industries and the Redevelopment Authority on previously disused land onPaige Street, just off Plank, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

After four months of working with stakeholders and a consultant, the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority has a new name and vision statement.

The organization will now be known as Build Baton Rouge, effective Thursday. A new website, buildbatonrouge.org, has been introduced and a rebranding campaign will be launched to promote the new identity. Plans are to hire a consultant to develop a new logo for Build Baton Rouge and other visual components. 

The vision statement for Build Baton Rouge said it supports: “A more vibrant Baton Rouge for everyone."

Chris Tyson, president and chief executive officer, said the time was right for a change. The agency is marking its 10th anniversary this year, and Tyson took over as head of the organization at the start of 2018.

Tyson said the former name of the organization “did not communicate well.”

“It was incumbent on us to pause a little bit and reflect on what a refreshed brand would look like,” he said. The new name speaks to the possibilities of Baton Rouge and positions the city to be a laboratory for problem solving.

Build Baton Rouge sent out surveys beginning in January about the name and the mission of the organization.

The organization did the work through a $27,000 contract with Converge, a New Orleans-based company that works with nonprofit organizations, to conduct the survey, meet with stakeholders and help develop the strategic vision. Converge interviewed about 25 local stakeholders and analyzed nearly 120 survey results filled out by people across the parish. 

Takema Robinson, a principal with Converge, said the new name fits with an ongoing national trend of local organizations going away from names like East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority and rebranding themselves descriptively. The Atlanta Development Authority is now Invest Atlanta and the Portland (Oregon) Development Commission is now Prosper Portland.

Rowdy Gaudet, assistant chief administrative officer for the city-parish, said the new name "is the future of Baton Rouge."

Fairleigh Jackson, executive director of Preserve Louisiana, which was known as Foundation for Historical Louisiana until November 2016, applauded Build Baton Rouge for making the change.

"We went through changing the name to make the mission of the organization more direct," she said. "Kudos for this."


Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.