The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center has named Dawn Mellion-Patin as vice chancellor for extension and outreach.

Mellion-Patin has been with the Southern University Ag Center since 2003, where she served as agricultural specialist and associate specialist in agriculture, both in the cooperative extension program. Mellion-Patin held several positions at the Southern University and A&M College, which included assistant director of the division of agricultural sciences; assistant professor of the Louisiana Family Farm Technical Assistance Project; and director of the College of Education. She has been awarded approximately $7.5 million in grants.

Mellion-Patin earned a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences and a master’s in agricultural education from Southern University, a Master of Business Administration degree in program management from Jones International University and a doctorate in agricultural and extension education from Iowa State University.

Lane Regional Medical Center's board of commissioners has named Larry Meese as chief executive officer, effective Feb. 21.

He will succeed Randy Olson, who is retiring in early March after serving the organization for almost 14 years.

Meese has served as CEO at Jackson Hospital in Marianna, Florida, for eight years. The Pittsburgh native earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis and a master of business administration from Cornell University.

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has named Jordan Gleason as communications director and government relations associate.

The New Roads native was a legislative adviser and the press secretary for former Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany in Washington, D.C.

John Brown Jr. has joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

Brown was segment vice president of retail service operations for Humana in Louisville, Kentucky. He holds a bachelor's degree from DeVry Institute of Technology in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance Inc. has named Brandon Smith as manager of safety, health and security.

Smith was a safety specialist at Pool Corp. in Covington and previously a loss control consultant for the Timberman Fund and a safety technician for Hartt Safety Services at ExxonMobil. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor's degree in occupational safety, health and environment.

Lisa Warm Bonfanti, director of human resources at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Greater Baton Rouge Society for Human Resource Management.

Other officers are Theresa Jones, of Theresa B. Jones Consulting, vice president/president-elect; Kate Stuckwish, of Sparkhound, secretary; Tina Vince, of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office, treasurer; Ryan Lloyd, of Cox Communications, vice president of membership; Karen Breaux, of Postlethwaite & Netterville, past president; Jerry “Jay” Stovall Jr., of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP, legislative director; Marty Mansfield, of Louisiana State Civil Service, workforce readiness director; Heather Folks, of Givens-Guarantee Restoration LLC, SHRM Foundation director; Devin Bonner, of Raising Canes, college relations director; Libby Hotard, of St. James Parish government, diversity director; Helene Wall, of Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC, certification director; Kenyetta Sewell, of Louisiana Lottery Corp., affiliate liaison chairwoman; Holly Anderson, of Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority, hospitality chairwoman; Sandy Michelet, of Sparkhound, fall conference chairwoman; and Jo Lynn Hall, of Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC, public relations chairwoman.

Kacie Stewart, office manager and owner of Stewart Family Medicine & After-Hours, has been named to the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Stewart is a lifelong resident of Livingston and alumni of Doyle High School. She obtained her bachelor's in accounting from Southeastern Louisiana University.

Gregory Robertson has been named chief financial officer of Business First Bancshares and Business First Bank.

Business First Bank named Keith Mansfield as chief operations officer; Philip Jordan as chief commercial officer; Alicia Robertson as chief retail officer; and Donald A. Hingle II as chief credit executive.

Robertson was the bank's chief banking officer. Mansfield was the bank's chief information officer. Jordan was the bank's western region chief executive officer. Robertson has served retail banking areas. Hingle was the bank's southeastern region chief executive officer.

Lee Jenkins, vice president of Performance Contractors Inc., will serve as chairman of Baton Rouge Area Chamber's board for 2017.

Other officers are Ric Kearny, senior vice president of Capital One Bank, first chairman-elect; Randy Cangelosi, a partner at Kean Miller, second chairman-elect; Janet Olson, Baton Rouge market president for JPMorgan Chase, secretary; Michael S. DePaul, chief operating officer of LUBA Workers’ Comp, treasurer and finance committee chairman; Ann Forte Trappey, president and CEO of Forte and Tablada, FuturPac chairwoman and past board chairwoman; and Claude Reynaud, a partner at Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP, general counsel.

Executive committee vice chairs are Tim Barfield, executive vice president of CSRS, legislative committee chairman; Jim Ellis, of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, building committee chairman; Ty Harvison, sales associate at Latter & Blum, BDAC chairman; Kelvin Hill, vice president at Georgia Pacific, education/workforce committee chairman; Carter Leak, executive vice president of the Bank of St. Francisville, personnel committee chairman; Jeffrey Martin, community banking executive at Regions Bank, investor development advisory committee chairman; Kim Sanders, a partner at L.A. Champagne & Co., small business/entrepreneurship committee chairwoman; and Ed Silvey, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Clinic, talent development working group chairman; and members Dennis Dawsey, vice president of transmission and distribution at Entergy; Flynn Foster, president of Guaranty Broadcasting Co.; Fran Gladden, vice president of governmental affairs at Cox Communications; Mark Northcutt, refinery manager for ExxonMobil, Preston Peterson, Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge Foundation; Brad Roberts, CEO of Excel Group; Monique Scott-Spaulding, owner and CEO of JaniKing Baton Rouge; Jennifer Vosburg, president of NRG Energy; and Dean Williams, vice president of operations at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Joseph Quinlan, chairman, president and chief executive officer of First National Bankers Bank in Baton Rouge, has been elected chairman of the board of directors for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.

He has served on the board since 2008 and has more than 40 years of experience in the financial sector. The board consists of nine member directors and eight independent directors from the five-state district of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

Josh Yarborough, director of food safety and quality assurance at Manda Fine Meats, has been installed as president of the Louisiana Meat Processors Association.

The statewide organization represents food processors and suppliers. Yarborough also serves on the board of directors of Southwest Meat Association and as an alternate board member on the Louisiana Egg Commission.


Elizabeth “Terry” Fontham, founding dean and emeritus professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, has been appointed to the advisory board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine’s Gulf Research Program.

The Gulf Research Program was created following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion when, as part of legal settlements with the companies involved, the federal government asked the National Academy of Sciences to establish a new program to fund and conduct activities to enhance oil system safety, human health and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf regions that support oil and gas production.

Fontham's recent research includes studies of the long-term, human-health effects of the exposures to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Steven F. Griffith Jr., a shareholder in Baker Donelson's New Orleans office, has been elected to the law firm's board of directors for a three-year term.

Griffith is a member of the firm's business litigation group, with a national practice assisting clients in various industries, including affordable housing, construction, hospitality and marine.

Griffith is a graduate of the Loyola University School of Law.

Casey Pellerin Westguard, head of business development for Westguard Solutions, has been elected as chairwoman of the Legacy Donor Foundation's board of directors.

Westguard has a background in marketing, brand strategy and event planning.

Modjeski and Masters, a bridge design and engineering firm, has named Ralph Eppehimer as vice president in its New Orleans.

He was manager of field services and since 1982 has served in a variety of positions with the firm.

Dr. Richard DiCarlo has been appointed as senior associate dean of faculty and institutional affairs at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.

DiCarlo remains a professor of medicine. He graduated from Haverford College with a degree in sociology and anthropology, moved to New Orleans for his medical training and graduated from LSU School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine, served as chief resident and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases, all at LSU Health New Orleans. He joined the faculty and served as clinical director of the city of New Orleans STD Clinic for five years.

Tulane Health System has named Amy Lassiter-Holsapple as director of emergency services and Paul Genco as program director for inpatient rehabilitation services.

Lassiter-Holsapple will have responsibility for the emergency rooms at Tulane Medical Center and Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children. She was interim director of emergency services and previously clinical manager. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Genco was director of business development at Cobalt Rehabilitation. He received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University and a master’s degree in health administration from the University of New Orleans.

Mark Tipton, the Georgia regional president of IberiaBank, has joined the board of Tulane, the university’s main governing body.

Tipton was co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Georgia Commerce Bank, which was acquired by IberiaBank in 2015. He earned his bachelor's degree from the College of Arts & Sciences and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Baylor University.

Grant Laborde has been elected president of the New Orleans Toastmasters club.

Other officers are Michael Reid, vice president of education; David Domenicone, vice president of membership; Carling Dinkler, vice president of public relations; Dr. Ignatius Thomas, secretary; Bernhard Fraling, treasurer; and Rick Davis, sergeant-at-arms.

Coats Rose PC, a business transaction and litigation law firm in Houston, has elected Brian D. Grubb, from of counsel, to director in the New Orleans office.

Grubb focuses his practice on representing owners, general contractors and subcontractors on all aspects of construction law. He received his law degree from John Marshall Law School.

Timothy Clements has been elected president of the Professional Insurance Agents of New Orleans.

Other officers are Brittany Davis Stoudt, president-elect; Eric Vocke, secretary/treasurer; Alicia Stanley, immediate past president; and Courtney Sherman Lane, executive director.

The board of directors are Andrew Marin, Donna Thornton, Jeremy Scobey, Brent Lawson and Jessica Clayton.


The Louisiana Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus has elected Travis Napper, of the Ruston-Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau, as president.

Other officers are Kimmie Carlos, of the River Parishes Tourist Commission, vice president; Eric Edwards, of the Livingston Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau, secretary; Timothy Bush, of the Bayou Lafourche Area Tourist Commission, treasurer; and Paul Arrigo, of Visit Baton Rouge, immediate past president.