The Downtown Development Authority has hired the chamber’s senior vice president to be the new Chief Executive Officer.
Anita Begnaud, who most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Communications at the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, One Acadiana, will replace outgoing CEO Geoff Dyer. She starts October 22.
Lafayette’s DDA is the organization that oversees development in the downtown district.
“Anita is ready to hit the ground running and brings experience; energy; and strong relationships with business leaders, partners, and government officials to the role,” said Miles Matt, DDA chairman and Partner at Law Offices of Matt & Allen. “Her strategic vision for where DDA needs to go and passion to strengthen and improve our Downtown corridor will be great assets to lead our organization.”
As CEO, a press release states that Begnaud “plans to build upon planning efforts undertaken by the Downtown district to attract new amenities, new buildings, new developments, new jobs, and new residents, while building on the district’s unique character that already exists. At the same time, she will focus on increasing stakeholder engagement by providing existing businesses with resources they need to be successful, being the unifying organization of Downtown, and serving as the driving force of advocacy for its businesses.”
“For the past eight years, my professional focus has been on serving this community and region. This new role provides an opportunity to build up on the great work of organizational leaders who came before me, and I plan to focus on positioning DDA to be a leader in ensuring Downtown Lafayette is the key asset our area needs to secure a bright economic future,” said Begnaud. “A strong region requires a strong core, and Downtown Lafayette’s development is the catalyst to ensure Acadiana is competitive in the race to attract business and talent.”
According to the release, Don Broussard, former DDA board member and current One Acadiana chairman, “noted the opportunity for increased synergy between” the DDA and the chamber.
“Anita has been a key player in the development and success of One Acadiana…” Broussard said in the release. “She understands the critical role Downtown Lafayette’s development will play in Acadiana’s future success. I wish Anita the best in her new role pursuing a parallel mission, and One Acadiana leaders look forward to working alongside her in this new capacity.”