Gov. Edwards And LED Secretary Pierson To Address 2017 Statewide Economic Development Summit

Event set for April 11 in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson will be featured speakers for the 2017 Statewide Economic Development Summit in Baton Rouge. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 11 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center on Constitution Avenue. 

Topics at the statewide conference will include site selection trends; infrastructure and transportation as economic development drivers; small and emerging business strategies; how to sustain a regional workforce; and how communities can prosper in the digital age. 

“Economic development works best as a partnership,” Gov. Edwards said. “The Statewide Economic Development Summit enables us to focus together on ways to keep our business climate strong and vibrant. I look forward to joining together with regional and local partners from throughout Louisiana on April 11 as we explore how to make our great state even better.”

Gov. Edwards will give the summit’s keynote address. Secretary Pierson will discuss Louisiana’s economic development outlook for 2017. 

“Louisiana has a broad array of great assets to attract and sustain business and industry, and we are building on that foundation to create greater opportunities in communities throughout our state,” Pierson said. “From new small business initiatives to major project wins, we are providing the elements necessary to drive economic success today and in the future. We know this requires a skilled workforce, competitive energy costs, strong advantages in logistics, and an attractive business climate. LED is proud to build a strong economy in partnership with our state’s economic development organizations and community stakeholders.” 

The event will begin with registration and continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by opening remarks from Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge at 9:15 a.m. 

Other speakers will include Greg Burkart of Duff & Phelps; Roberto Gallardo, Ph.D., of the Intelligent Community Institute at Mississippi State University; Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp.; and Edward Mortimer, executive director for transportation infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber. Lunch will be provided, and the event will conclude at 2:30 p.m. following the governor’s address at 1:45 p.m.

The summit is hosted and organized by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and sponsored by Entergy.

Premier sponsors of the summit are LED; the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, or LIDEA; NRG Energy; and Taylor Porter.

Supporting sponsors include the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, GNO Inc., Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Louisiana Regional Leadership Council, Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance, North Louisiana Economic Partnership, One Acadiana, South Louisiana Economic Council and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.  

Summit attendees also will receive invitations to a companion legislative reception that BRAC is hosting from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 10 at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge. 

The inaugural Statewide Economic Development Summit last year was a sellout. To register for this year’s event, or for more information, visit The event web page includes information on discounted lodging for summit registrants at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center.