Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and six others were named Wednesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards to replace the entire board that oversees the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Governor’s Office announced late Wednesday.
Blanco, who was governor from 2004 to 2008, advised Edwards on his run for governor.
The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District is a seven-member state board that serves at the pleasure of the governor. The board’s primary purpose is to plan, finance, construct, develop, maintain and operate facilities located within the district.
The facilities include the John A. Alario Sr. Event Center in Westwego, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, TPC Louisiana golf course in Avondale and Zephyr Field in Jefferson Parish.
“I committed to the people of Louisiana that my administration would look like the state as a whole. I am certain that the team I have assembled lives up to that promise,” Edwards said in a prepared statement.
The board had been composed of seven white businessmen, only one of whom was not from the Baton Rouge or New Orleans areas. The Edwards-appointed board has two African-American members and three women.
The chairman will be Kyle France, of Covington, president of Kehoe-France School and Kehoe-France Northshore, and a member of The Advocate editorial board.
Also appointed to the state board are Henry Baptiste, of Baton Rouge, co-owner of the Chicken Shack restaurants; attorney Hilary Landry, of Metairie; Renee Lapeyrolerie, of New Orleans, a client service leader at the engineering firm of CDM Smith and former executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party; Gregory Morrison, a vice president at Quality Transport Co. in Bossier City and a member of the governor’s transportation transition advisory committee; and Casey Robin, a commercial insurance agent from Mandeville.