One Acadiana’s Jim Bourgeois Interim CEO During Transition
Lafayette, LA – Today, One Acadiana (1A) announced Jason El Koubi has been selected by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the state economic development authority for the Commonwealth of Virginia, to serve as its executive vice president, the no. 2 position in the organization. El Koubi served as 1A’s President and CEO since September 2013 beginning with 1A's predecessor organization, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
Jim Bourgeois, currently One Acadiana’s Executive Director of Business Development, will serve as interim CEO effective immediately. “Jim has been with One Acadiana since its inception. His leadership over the last 2 ½ years gives us every confidence in his ability to guide our organization through this transition,” said One Acadiana’s Chairman Frank Neuner, Managing Partner of NeunerPate.
“Jason has made the kinds of transformational impacts on our organization, community, and region that we aspired to achieve when we hired him four years ago,” said Julie Simon-Dronet, Vice President, Cox Acadiana Market. “He has positioned One Acadiana for great success as one of the state's strongest regional economic development organizations, and we wish him well on his next endeavor.”
Since joining One Acadiana in September 2013, El Koubi worked with top business and civic leaders to develop and launch "The Campaign for One Acadiana," a five-year, $15 million initiative to deliver a new, nationally competitive regional economic development program for the nine-parish region.
Pursuing a vision to make the Acadiana Region one of the most sought after in the South, the organization has established an unprecedented platform for regional leadership and cohesion across nine parishes; helped secure public support to catalyze major infrastructure projects including the new Lafayette Regional Airport terminal and the I-49 Lafayette Connector; and launched a business-focused regional workforce development strategy that has among other things supported rapid retraining and reemployment for hundreds of displaced oilfield workers.
Focused on creating jobs and opportunities for the region, One Acadiana launched a business attraction, expansion, and retention program with an accompanying target industry strategy to generate more economic development project leads and wins, as well as created a site development program that has dramatically increased the inventory of Acadiana’s certified industrial sites.
Other notable accomplishments under El Koubi’s leadership include achieving a new level of alignment and focus on urban revitalization and development as a top economic development priority for the area and producing hundreds of engaging events, programs, and other activities for its investors and members.
“We are disappointed to lose Jason, who has been an exceptional leader for our organization and community; however, the ongoing initiatives that Jason developed in partnership with our Board of Directors, investors, members, and partners, coupled with a very capable and committed staff, position One Acadiana to accelerate its impact on improving our area’s economic competitiveness,” said Donald Broussard, CFO of The Lemoine Company and One Acadiana Chair-elect.
“Jason’s ability to bring together business leaders from across the region, including the CEOs of many of Acadiana’s largest organizations, will provide an enduring foundation for Acadiana’s future success. He has helped focus our efforts on the biggest opportunities and generated momentum through meaningful progress on our strategic priorities. As a result, One Acadiana is in a great position to secure another talented leader to carry out this important work,” said David Callecod, President of Lafayette General Health, who served as Chairman of One Acadiana’s CEO Advisory Council during its first two years.
El Koubi said, “Leading One Acadiana has been one of the greatest privileges of my career, uniting my passion for our state and region with my professional interests. I’m particularly grateful to the leaders who had the courage and vision to create One Acadiana, the group of investors whose leadership and commitment turned the One Acadiana vision into reality, and the tremendously capable One Acadiana staff for their commitment to passionately advance our mission every day."
He also emphasized the importance of continuing One Acadiana’s work, “One Acadiana is a catalyst for unlocking our area’s tremendous potential through business and civic leadership. Sustaining these efforts will have a direct and positive impact on the long-term economic trajectory of our community, region, and state.”
Prior to joining One Acadiana, El Koubi served as assistant secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. He had previously served as policy director of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, or BRAC; performance auditor with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor; and project consultant/environmental engineer with Trinity Consultants.
El Koubi will remain with One Acadiana through the end of July. Plans to begin a nationwide search for a permanent replacement will unfold in the coming weeks.
About One Acadiana One Acadiana is the leading economic development organization for the nine-parish Acadiana region located in south Louisiana. With more than 1,200 investors, members, and partners, One Acadiana serves as the voice of the regional business community. The organization is located in the city of Lafayette and serves a region of roughly 700,000 people with a vibrant culture and unique entrepreneurial spirit. Learn more at OneAcadiana.org