Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area People in Business for Sept. 24, 2017

Sep 24, 2017


Jill Roshto has been named chief executive officer and president of the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising organization affiliated with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The biomedical center conducts research into nutrition and obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.

For the past two years, Roshto has served as the chief executive officer of Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge. Roshto, an LSU graduate, previously worked for LSU’s Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute and LSU Foundation in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Water Institute of the Gulf has named Alyssa Dausman as vice president for science and as chief scientist of the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana, effective Oct. 2.

Dausman is the science director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, or RESTORE Council, formed after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She previously was science adviser and Gulf Coast science coordinator for the southeastern region of the U.S. Geological Survey, where she was a senior representative to the U.S. Department of the Interior to support the RESTORE Council and restoration monitoring for the natural resource damage assessment process.

The Mississippi native received her bachelor’s degree at Tulane University, master’s degree from the University of New Orleans and doctorate from Florida International University in Miami.

Investar Bank has named Chad Cornett as a commercial lender and senior vice president in the greater Baton Rouge market.

Cornett was vice president of commercial banking at Regions Bank. He received a bachelor's degree in business with a specialty in finance and a master’s in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi and graduated from LSU’s Graduate School of Banking.

Mike Polito, chief executive officer at MAPP Construction, has been named chairman of the American Heart Association’s 2018 Capital Area Heart Walk, with support by an executive leadership team.

The Heart Walk raises funds to support the American Heart Association and promote cardiovascular health.

Louisiana Future Farmers of America has named Eric Smith as executive director and Cade LeJeune as executive secretary.

Smith’s main roles will be in curriculum and governmental relations. Smith will serve on the state’s Agricultural Education Commission and work with Louisiana’s Workforce Investment Council and the Louisiana Department of Education. LeJeune will work on the student side of FFA, growing membership, preparing members for leadership roles and organizing events.

Smith recently received a doctorate in human resource education and was an agriculture teacher at Lakeview High School in Natchitoches Parish for 14 years. LeJeune taught agriculture education in Springfield.


Diane Broussard has been named vice president of human resources at Women’s & Children’s Hospital, effective Oct. 2.

Broussard was senior vice president of human resources for Schumacher Clinical Partners. Her experience includes six years as a system planning associate with Lafayette General Medical Center, where she later served as human resources director for six years.

Broussard earned a bachelor's degree in social work from the former Northeast Louisiana University, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She received a Master of Social Work from LSU and professional training in mediation from Loyola Law School.


Timothy W. Thomas, co-owner of Thomas Financial Group, has been elected chairman of the Boys Town Louisiana board.

Jacquelyn C. Harris, founder of Castain Consulting LLC, was elected secretary.

Other newly elected board members include Magdalen Bickford, of McGlinchey Stafford LLC, and David Winkler-Schmit, of DWS Communications.

The remainder of the board includes Cliff Buller, Anne Doussan, Ken Gootee, Lex Kelso, Alvin Johnson, Terry McCall, Brandi Nye and Barbara Waiters.


The LSU AgCenter has named Kurt Guidry as its southwest region director and Chiquita Briley as southeast region director.

Guidry, a professor in the LSU AgCenter Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, succeeds Steve Linscombe, who is retiring after 35 years with the AgCenter. The southwest region includes 14 parishes and three research stations. Guidry’s office will be at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley. Guidry has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a master’s degree in agricultural economics from LSU and a doctorate in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University.

Briley was head of the Department of Human Sciences at Tennessee State University. She replaces Regina Bracy, who retired. The region includes programs in 16 parishes and three research stations. Briley received a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Southern University, a master’s degree in nutritional sciences and dietetics and a doctorate in human sciences from the University of Nebraska.