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Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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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


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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Coming Soon!


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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»»» View all Topics!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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