Jim Patterson, a longtime staffer with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, has been named interim president and CEO of the influential business organization.
Patterson has been with LABI for more than 30 years and is currently in charge of the organization’s lobbying group. He also directs councils dealing with taxes and finance, employee relations, trade, transportation and tourism.
He replaces Stephen Waguespack, who resigned last week after nearly 10 years as head of LABI. Waguespack is running for governor, the fifth Republican seeking to replace Gov. John Bel Edwards.
In a statement, Patterson said he was honored by the confidence LABI officers have shown in his ability to serve the organization. “Our state is at a pivotal point in its history, and LABI is ready to advance the positive policies Louisiana desperately needs,” he said. “We’re ready to get to work.”
Jude Melville, LABI board chairman, said there was no one better served to act as interim CEO than Patterson.
“Jim is highly respected by the LABI Board of Directors, the LABI team and those at the Capitol,” Melville, b1Bank CEO, said in a statement. “I have total confidence that Jim will lead LABI effectively not only through the legislative session, but also through this season of transition.”
LABI has said it will conduct a nationwide search to find a permanent president and CEO. The details of the search are being finalized and its is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
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