Press Releases

The Water Institute board appoints new officers during March meeting

Apr 11, 2024

BATON ROUGE, La. (April 11, 2024) The Water Institute welcomes new board chairman Merritt Lane succeeding long-time chairman Kevin Reilly Jr. who will remain on the board of the Institute. During their March meeting, the board also elected Christy Brown as the new vice chairman and reaffirmed Jerry Jolly in his long-time role as secretary/treasurer for the board.

The Institute’s Board of Directors represents a group of highly skilled and accomplished scientists, engineers, business leaders, and public servants who are deeply committed to the mission, vision, and values of The Water Institute.

“The Water Institute’s impact on the communities we serve has grown significantly under the leadership of this remarkable board, and we are immensely thankful to Kevin Reilly and Rick Richard, outgoing board chair and vice chair, for their guidance and continued participation on the board,” said Beaux Jones, Institute president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing that momentum under the expertise and leadership of Merritt Lane and Christy Brown toward more resilient and equitable communities, healthy ecosystems and thriving economies.”

Lane, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Canal Barge Company, Inc., has been involved in inland waterway management in Louisiana and across the country for decades. Lane has served as Chairman of the Board of the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council, Inc., and currently serves as a board member of the National Waterways Foundation, the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation, and the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition.

Brown is the managing member of NOLA Holdings, LLC and chair of McIlhenny Company. He serves, or has served, on numerous community and foundation boards including Audubon Louisiana, Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the Selley Foundation locally and the James Beard Foundation and National Audubon Society’s Leadership Council (retired) nationally. Brown’s family has a long history of coastal conservation starting with his great-grandfather who was the founding president of Audubon Louisiana’s office.

“Having served on the board of directors since 2021, I’ve watched the immense growth of the Institute not just in the experts who have joined the organization, but also in the depth and breadth of work we are doing,” Lane said. “I’m excited to be a part of an organization with a mission to create impactful work at home, along the Gulf and in the Mississippi River watershed.”

More information about The Water Institute’s Board of Directors is available here.