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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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Panelist Bio


John Warner Smith
Secretary of Labor Louisiana Department of Labor

John Warner Smith has been appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Labor.

His background features an array of high-profile positions of public trust, with noteworthy accomplishments in both the public and private sector.

In his most recent position, Smith served as vice president of Bank One where he was responsible for developing and managing banking relationships with public and non-profit clients such as universities, state agencies and local governments in four metropolitan markets.

He also served as Assistant City Manager of Development and Transportation Services for the City of Tallahassee, Fla. In this position he administered the development arm of the city, comprising the departments of growth management, planning, public works, economic development, aviation and transit.

Smith's previous positions include Chief Administrative Officer with Lafayette Parish Government/Lafayette Consolidated Government and Economic Development Manager for the City of Lafayette. He also served as Undersecretary of the Louisiana Department of Labor.

Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from McNeese State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

His affiliations include: Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Board of Trustees; Leadership Louisiana, Council for a Better Louisiana; and Leadership Lafayette, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recording Monday, February 20)


Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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