The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) is passing the gavel, once again.
In a controversial vote due to the former association with the Jindal administration, the LABI board has picked Stephen Waguespack for replace Dan Juneau to head the organization. The nomination had gather an unusual amount of debate from outside of the organization since some feared that Waguespack, an ex-Chief of Staff and and former Counsel for Jindal, would not be independent from his prior employer. the governor.
Here is the press release issued LABI:
La., September 6, 2013-The Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) named Stephen Waguespack as president of the statewide business organization.
Waguespack, a career veteran of Louisiana and Washington, D.C. politics, follows Dan Juneau who has led LABI since 1989. Earlier this year, Juneau announced his plans to retire, and the LABI Board then began a nationwide search for the next president.
Jay Lapeyre, president of Laitram, LLC, and chair of LABI’s search committee said, “Stephen is exceptionally talented and well qualified to lead LABI and further advance our unique mission. We’re fortunate to have Stephen join us, and I am confident that our work together will positively impact the quality of life for all citizens in this state,” said Lapeyre.
“The process to select our new President of LABI was objective and comprehensive, presenting a broad range of outstanding talent for consideration. Stephen Waguespack is an innovative and thoughtful leader who exceeded our search committee’s expectations,” said LABI search committee member, John Finan, Jr., President and CEO of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.
“We believe Stephen has the talent, the energy, and the strategic vision to build on Dan Juneau’s legacy. He understands the implications of government action to business, and through Stephen’s leadership LABI will continue to be the ‘go-to’ policy voice for Louisiana,” said search committee member and former LABI Chairman Clay Allen, Managing Partner of Allen & Gooch Law Firm.
Waguespack joined Jones Walker last year where he served as special counsel, directing the firm’s multi-state government relations practice. Prior to joining Jones Walker, he served in Governor Jindal’s administration in several key positions, most recently, as the governor’s chief of staff. Prior to joining Governor Jindal, Waguespack worked in Washington, D.C. for a decade on federal issues important to business interests.
“LABI will benefit greatly from Stephen’s leadership,” stated William H. Hines, managing partner of Jones Walker LLP, “Stephen has been a great addition to the firm and our economic development team. While we hate to lose him, we anticipate continuing our ongoing support and great relationship with LABI.”
Mr. Waguespack earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication and a J.D. from The Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar and a native of Gonzales, Louisiana. He, his wife Colleen, and their three sons live in Baton Rouge. Waguespack will begin at LABI on September 16.
LABI is the statewide chamber of commerce and manufacturing association and the champion of economic growth and free enterprise in Louisiana.