Gov. Edwards Announces Statewide Business Summit: Louisiana First

BATON ROUGE — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana First, a Feb. 21 statewide business summit connecting the state’s top business and industry leaders with administration leaders, including cabinet members from throughout state government. Louisiana First will provide a full exchange of information on state priorities, and will enable private-sector leaders to share their concerns and recommendations with Gov. Edwards and members of his cabinet.

The event will take place Thursday, Feb. 21 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd. Register here, and visit the Louisiana First event site for agenda and event details.

“What binds us together as a people in Louisiana is our fervent desire to put Louisiana first,” Gov. Edwards said. “That goal is far stronger than anything that might divide us. With this statewide business summit, we want to hear from the people who drive our economy. We want to know what’s working, and what needs to change. There is plenty of work ahead of us, but by communicating in a frank and genuine way, we can capture Louisiana’s economic momentum and build a lasting blueprint for future success.”

Conceived as an annual event, the initial Louisiana First business summit will provide an opportunity for business and industry decision-makers to interact with the governor’s leadership team on issues critical to the state’s economy. The event begins with a continental breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

At 8:30 a.m., Gov. Edwards will welcome participants and deliver a keynote address. Four major panel discussions will address the following topics:

  • Infrastructure: Investing in Our Future, 9 a.m., moderated by CSRS President Tim Barfield.
  • Financial Stability: Tax Policy and Financial Reform, 10 a.m., moderated by PAR President Robert Travis Scott.
  • Forward Momentum and Opportunity: Louisiana Economic Development, 11:15 a.m., moderated by LED Secretary Don Pierson.
  • Bold New World: Water, Cyber and Advanced Manufacturing: 12:30 p.m., with presentations accompanied by a working lunch.

Mark Cooper, chief of staff for Gov. Edwards, will conclude the event with remarks and discussion at 1:45 p.m. Cabinet leaders and private business leaders will lead the panel discussions, and additional, confirmed event participants include Committee of 100 President and CEO Mike Olivier; Port of New Orleans President and CEO Brandy Christian; DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson; Department of Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson; and LSU Alumni Professor of Economics and Public Administration Jim Richardson.

Other participants will include Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne; Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie; military consultant John Simmons of The Roosevelt Group; President Trey Burvant of Second Line Stages; Executive Director Craig Spohn of the Cyber Innovation Center; and President and CEO Justin Ehrenwerth of The Water Institute of the Gulf.

Presenting sponsors of Louisiana First include: C100, the Committee of 100 for Economic Development Inc.; LACCE, the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Executives; LIDEA, the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association; and LPFA, the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority.

Additional sponsors from throughout the state are supporting Louisiana First and are listed here. For information about becoming a sponsor, visit the Louisiana First sponsorship page.

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