Baton Rouge area

Jake Henry has been named assistant dean of student affairs at the LSU Law Center.

He has served as director of admissions at LSU Law since January 2011. Henry will administer the center’s interactions with its students and work with other administrators to ensure that students experience a supportive, inclusive and successful legal education.

Marshall Grodner, a member at McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, has been named chairman of the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s commercial finance committee.

The committee provides guidance for commercial finance, real estate finance and restructuring lawyers and the evolution of laws in those areas. Marshall also is serving as 2019 vice president of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers.

Don Allison, a founding partner at Advantous Consulting, has assumed a consulting role with the company after retiring.

His more than 40-year includes 38 years as a certified public accountant and 30 years as a governmental affairs professional. Allison and business partner Jimmy Leonard founded Advantous in January 2006, providing services in  Louisiana state and local taxes, particularly business incentives programs, sales/use tax and property tax. His career included stints with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, KPMG and Cajun Contractors.

New Orleans area

Xavier University of Louisiana has named Patrice Bell Mercadel as vice president of administration and chief of staff; Rae Borden as deputy chief of staff for the Office of the President; Ashley Irvin as communications and external affairs manager; and LaTanya Graham as special initiatives coordinator.

Bell Mercadel joined Xavier as chief marketing and communications officer in 2017 and was selected chief of staff in fall 2018. She oversees operations of the president’s office, university’s marketing and communications efforts, public affairs, government relations, community relations and strategy. Bell Mercadel has 30 years of experience in the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors. 

Borden was the administrative director to the senior vice president of academic affairs and provost for Georgia State University in Atlanta and was a longtime staff member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. She also worked as an undergraduate administrator in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University.

Irvin will oversee all presidential communications and external affairs relations. She was Xavier's marketing communications specialist, leading the marketing for the BUILD program. She previously served with former Mayor Mitch Landrieu as the communications assistant and liaison for the city.

Graham will oversee strategic implementation, partnerships and operational initiatives and efficiencies of the Office of the President.

Verizon Wireless has named Tandra LeMay as government affairs director in Louisiana.

LeMay has more than 15 years of experience, including special projects manager and government and public affairs specialist for BP America, marketing project manager for the National Football League and associate vice chancellor of workforce solutions at Fletcher Technical Community College. LeMay earned a juris doctorate degree from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans and a bachelor's degree in general business administration from LSU.

Around Louisiana

Judge Guy Bradberry, of the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles, has been elected president of the Louisiana District Judges Association.

Other officers are Judge Brady O’Callaghan, of the 1st Judicial District Court in Shreveport, first vice president; Judge Piper Griffin, of the Orleans Civil District Court, second vice president; Judge Scott U. Schlegel, of the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, secretary; Judge Danny Ellender, 4th Judicial District Court in Bastrop, treasurer; and Judge Lisa Woodruff-White, East Baton Rouge Family Court, immediate past president.