GREATER SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA SUPER REGION BEGINS OUTREACH
The Greater Southwest Louisiana Super Region began formalizing its organizational structure last week as representatives from its 13 parishes met in Jennings.
Elected as its first president was Rob Guidry, President & CEO of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. George Swift, President & CEO of the Greater Southwest Business Alliance was elected as Vice-President.
The group was formed last February with the signing of the Acadiana-Southwest Louisiana Compact in Crowley. Its mission is to foster cooperation for mutual economic benefit.
The 13 parishes include Lafayette, Calcasieu, Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Evangeline, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion. The parishes are represented by chambers of commerce and economic development entities.
The purpose of the coalition is to drive outcomes on specific topics or issues that are of mutual regional benefit and support the area's economic competitiveness.
"While our members are economic development generalists we seek to partner with port and airport directors, downtown developers, agriculture agents and tourism officials,” said Guidry.
According to Swift, the super region will adopt a program of work over the next several months. "The experience level of our members is impressive. Our contacts are wide and varied. The aim is to leverage these resources and magnify the region's influence.”
The organizational meeting identified seven committees with specific areas of focus. Volunteers from all participating parishes stepped up to identify strategies for the balance of the year. Mike Tarantino, CEO, Iberia Development Foundation will serve on the Transportation and Infrastructure committee and Janet Faulk-Gonzales, of the Greater Iberia Chamber will serve on Research/Innovation/Technology committee.
"A priority for the first few months is to visit decision makers throughout the area to inform them of the organization and to offer structure for initiatives that create jobs,” said Guidry.