Senator A. G. Crowe-Photo

Former Senator A.G. Crowe – President

At Large- Appointed by the Governor

A.G. Crowe earned a degree in Business Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University.  After rapidly moving up the corporate ladder working for national and international companies A.G. and his wife Linda settled in St. Tammany to raise their family.  He has always been very active in the community, taking part in civic and charity functions as well as being a member of numerous organizations.

As founder and CEO of The File Depot, an offsite records storage franchise company, A.G. has taken his company to the national level with over 50 locations in 12 states and still growing.  The File Depot is the only national company headquartered in Slidell, LA.

After serving two terms as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, A.G. was elected to the Louisiana State Senate where he served two terms as State Senator for District 1.  During his term, he served on the following Senate Committees:

  • Labor and Industrial Relations (Chairman)
  • Commerce, Consumer Protection, and International Affairs
  • Environmental Quality
  • Retirement
  • Coastal Restoration and Flood Control
  • Oversight of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility

In 2008 Senator A.G. Crowe authored the legislation that was passed to establish the Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority (LIGTT) and has since presided over the Authority Board as both Chairman and President.  This $10 billion, privately funded, deep water port is to be constructed just east of Southwest Pass at the southern end of his legislative district.  This international port project will establish over 34,000 jobs in Louisiana and have a positive economic impact in 32 other states along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.  Senator Crowe is very passionate about this project and what it will do for trade in the State of Louisiana and The United States.  He has been diligent in establishing strong working relationships locally, nationally and internationally with others in support of this impressive project.

John Hyatt- PhotoJohn Hyatt – Vice President

Nominated by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mr. Hyatt holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, and a MA in history from the University of New Orleans.
As Vice President, he has been associated with The Irwin Brown Company since 1975, holding a license from the Treasury Department to transact Customs business.

On October 29, 2008, Mr. Hyatt was appointed by Governor Jindal as a Commissioner to the Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority (LIGTT) where he currently serves as Vice-President. He is also is an Industry Commissioner on the Louisiana Pilotage Fee Commission (LAPFC). He is a director of the Louisiana Maritime International Chamber of Commerce (LMICC)  and in his second term as member of the United States Department of Commerce-Louisiana District Export Council (USDOC/LADEC).  He has served and continues to serve on several other professional and community boards and is a member of various associations.

Mr. Hyatt has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and has been involved in all aspects of International Trade ventures for decades.  Members of his family have owned and run businesses and banana plantations in Central America and have managed operations for multinational fruit companies over the past two generations.

Dennis Crawford-PhotoDennis Crawford – Vice-President

Nominated by the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives

Dennis C. Crawford CLU is a founding principal in First Financial Resources and has developed a substantial practice in the financial services industry over the last 50 years.  He works with a growing number of business owners and successful individuals throughout the Southwest USA.

Mr. Crawford has been a member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) for over 30 years, Court of the Table (COT), Top of the Table(TOT), and has received the National Quality Award (NQA) and National Sales Achievement Award (NSAA).  He has served as President/Chairman of six regional professional financial organizations, which include the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP), and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) service corporation where he was named regional Man of the Year.  He is registered to practice in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.

Mr. Crawford attended LSU in Baton Rouge, Tulane University in New Orleans, and he received his professional degree from the American College of Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU) in Bryn Mawr, PA.  He is a national/local continuing education qualifier, and has been listed in Who’s Who nationally.

He has served as the presiding officer of the United Way of East Jefferson, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana, Holy Name Parish Council, and the Serra Club of Downtown New Orleans.  He has served on the executive boards of Boy Scouts of Southeast Louisiana, The Christian Health Ministries Foundation, Catholic Diocese Foundation Executive Committee-Insurance Chairman, President of the Celtic Club of New Orleans, and is currently the immediate past president of France-Amerique de la Louisiane.

In 2009, Dennis Crawford was appointed by Governor Jindal as commissioner to the Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority where he currently serves on the Executive Board and as Vice-President.

Mr. Crawford and his wife Madeleine recently celebrated their 51th wedding anniversary. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Chris Westbrook-Photo Chris Westbrook – Secretary

Nominated by the AFL-CIO

Chris Westbrook is the New Orleans port agent for the Seafarers International Union, the largest North American union representing merchant mariners.  Previously he served as one of the union’s safety directors.

Chris came up through the ranks, sailing on vessels operating in the Mississippi River and in the Gulf of Mexico.  He worked his way up to chief engineer during a five year shipboard career.

Both as a rank-and-file mariner and as a union official, Chris has completed numerous maritime safety courses.  He graduated from a number of those classes at the Maryland-based Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, a highly regarded facility that is affiliated with the SIU.

Chris is the president of the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department’s Port Council of Greater New Orleans and Vicinity.  He is a member of the nominating committee for the Port of New Orleans, Jefferson and St Bernard Parish board of commissioners.  He serves on the executive board of the Louisiana State AFL-CIO as Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Affairs and on the executive board of the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, respectively.  Additionally, Chris has served on the U.S. Coast Guard’s New Orleans Area Maritime Security Committee.

Chris is a native of Altoona, PA.  He graduated from Manchester High School in Richmond, VA.  He has lived in New Orleans for the last 21 years.  He attends St. Jude Catholic Church and has two young children and three who are adults.

In 2008, Chris was appointed by Governor Jindal to the Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority where he currently serves on the Executive Board and as board secretary.

LED Secretary- Donald M. Pierson, Jr.

Department of Economic Development

Sherri McConnell
Official Designee of Secretary Pierson

In January 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Don Pierson to serve as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development (LED).  Secretary Wilson, DOTD has named Sherri McConnell as his Official Designee to the LIGTT Authority where she will serve in full capacity as a board member.

Ms. McConnell serves as Assistant to the Secretary for Special Projects and Policy and previously served as executive director of the Office of Entertainment Industry Development, the state’s office dedicated to the development of Louisiana’s entertainment industry.

DOTD Secretary- Dr. Shawn Wilson

Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Thomas (Tommy) Clark
Official Designee of Secretary Wilson

In January of 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Dr. Shawn Wilson to serve as Secretary of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD).  Secretary Wilson has named Tommy Clark as his Official Designee to the LIGTT Authority where he will serve in full capacity as a board member. 

Mr. Clark is Commissioner of the Office of Multimodal Commerce, a newly formed division within the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) tasked with enhancing the state’s focus on multimodal transportation and coordinating the state’s programs for ports, railroads, aviation and commercial trucking.

Representative Kenny Havard – District 62

Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works

Representative Ray Garofalo
Official Designee of Representative Havard

Representative Kenny Havard serves as Chairman of the House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee and has named Representative Ray Garofalo as his Official Designee to the LIGTT Authority where he will serve in full capacity as a board member.

Ray Garofalo is an attorney who serves as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 103, which encompasses primarily St. Bernard Parish and four precincts each from Orleans and Plaquemines parishes.  He currently serves as Civil Law and Procedure, Chairman and on the Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation, Orleans Delegation.

Senator Page Cortez- District 23

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works

Senator Norby Chabert
District 20- Official Designee of Senator Cortez

Senator Cortez serves as Chairman of the Senate Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee and has named Senator Norby Chabert as his Official Designee to the LIGTT Authority where he will serve in full capacity as a board member.

Norby Chabert, a former political consultant, serves as a member of the Louisiana Senate from District 23 which encompasses Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.  Senator Chabert currently serves on the following Senate Committees; Finance (Interim Member), Health & Welfare, Judiciary B, Natural Resources as Chairman, and Retirement.


3Matthew Gresham

Nominated by the Ports Association of Louisiana

Matt Gresham joined the Port of New Orleans in August of 2005, just three weeks prior to Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. Mr. Gresham worked as a communications specialist and legislative liaison during the Port’s recovery and rebuilding. He was appointed Director of External Affairs in July 2012, overseeing the Port’s governmental relations, media relations and community outreach activities.

A native of New Orleans and graduate of Nicholls State University, Mr. Gresham has more than 20 years of communications experience. He began his careers as a sports reporter covering the New Orleans Saints and college and high school athletics in south Louisiana, followed by an award-winning stint covering state and local government for the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group. Mr. Gresham later worked as a political consultant, serving as communications director for former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Gen. Hunt Downer Jr. and served in the same capacity for Billy Tauzin III’s bid for Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District.

Mr. Gresham is actively involved in the maritime industry on both local and international levels. He is a member of the Public Relations-Government Relations Committee of the American Association of Port Authorities and is an active member of the Gulf Ports Association of the Americas, Ports Association of Louisiana, World Trade Center of Greater New Orleans, Louisiana Maritime Association and the Coastal Ports Advisory Council. He also serves on the Board of the I-49 Coalition, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Navigation Focus Group and American Cancer Society of Greater New Orleans. When away from the office, Mr. Gresham can typically be found fishing, sailing or participating in one of the many music and cultural festivals in south Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast.

4Captain Ronald W. Branch

Nominated by the Louisiana Maritime Association
US Coast Guard (Retired)

Ronald Branch is the President of the Louisiana Maritime Association (LaMA).  LaMA is a non-profit trade association representing commercial shipping agents and other maritime concerns serving the maritime ports of the Lower Mississippi River. In his capacity, he performs regulatory liaison activities, coordinates daily vessel operations, and serves on local and national maritime committees.

Mr. Branch has served on the Mississippi Navigation Safety Advisory Board for four years. He also serves as a Vice Chairman of the National Maritime Security Advisory Council (NMSAC), a Board member of the Lower Mississippi River Waterways Safety Advisory Council, and Co-Chair of the Greater New Orleans Port Safety Council.

Captain Ronald W. Branch retired from the US Coast Guard in 2007 after serving over 28 years of honorable service.  His various tours included Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, various USCG Marine Safety Offices as well as staff tours at USCG Headquarters and District Offices. In April 2006, Captain Branch was assigned the Chief of Staff to the Eighth District Commander serving as Principal Assistant and advisor to the District Commander.

From May 2002 to July 2004, Captain Branch served as Commanding Officer of MSO New Orleans. As Commanding Officer, MSO New Orleans, he led the Coast Guard’s biggest and busiest MSO through a period of sweeping regulatory changes and responses to numerous high profile and complex maritime safety and security incidents. During this time he oversaw the implementation of the Maritime Transportation Safety Act (MTSA) and International Ship and Port Facility Security Act (IPSA).

Captain Branch has a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University, an MBA from Ashland University of Ohio, and is a graduate of the United States Naval War College National Security and Strategic Studies Certificate program.

Captain Michael Miller

Nominated by the Louisiana River Pilots Association

Senator Sharon Hewitt

Nominated by the President of the Louisiana State Senate

Senator Hewitt serves as member of the Louisiana State Senate from District 1 which includes the eastern side of St. Tammany Parish as well as portions of Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes.  She currently serves as vice-chair of the Senate Transportation, Highways & Public Works Committee, and is a member of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and the Senate Finance Committee.  Prior to serving in the Senate, as an engineering executive, Senator Hewitt managed major deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico for Shell.

Kelvin Dedner-PhotoKelvin Dedner

At Large, Appointed by the Governor

Kelvin Dedner is the divisional vice president of logistics for the Mississippi River Delta Division of Wal-Mart U. S.  He has operating responsibly for all general merchandise and grocery distribution centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Kelvin began his 20 year career with Wal-Mart in 1995, spending the first 3 years in Logistics Engineering as an Industrial Engineer, followed by 3 years as a Project Manager.  In 2001, Kelvin moved into operations holding positions at all levels within the distribution center.  In 2007, he was promoted to the support role Senior Director of Logistics Operations.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.  An Arkansas native, he currently resides in Madisionville, LA.

Mr. Dedner serves as an at-large member appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal in December 2013.

Nominated by the New Orleans Belt Railway

***All Nominees are Appointed by the Governor***
Lloyd Balliviera-His Vision
The State of Louisiana will be forever grateful for the wisdom and vision of Lloyd Balliviera who shared his dream to create the first deep water offshore port in the United States.  Because of his vision and work with our board in the earlier days, Louisiana will gain over 34,000 jobs and up to $10 billion in private investment funds.