The LMA Executive Director Search Committee was composed of Mayors: Hilda Curry of New Iberia; Vern Breland of Sterlington; David Camardelle of Grand Isle; Glenn Brasseaux of Carencro; Lawrence Henagan of DeQuincy; Kathy Richard of Ardnaudville; Bill Robertson of Minden; and Bob Rust with the Municipal Employees Retirement System. With six very qualified candidates the LMA Executive Search Committee narrowed the list to three finalists to be recommended to the board.
The three finalists were as followed: Mayor Ronnie Harris of Gretna, Former Mayor of Cankton and Past Parish President of St. Laundry Don Menard and Norman Morris, Jr. with the Louisiana Realtors Association.
A special LMA Executive Board meeting was held Jan. 16 to select the next LMA Executive Director, Mayor Ronnie Harris. Mayor Harris will succeed LMA Executive Director, Tom Ed McHugh, who has served as LMA’s chief executive officer for the past 12 years.
A native of New Orleans, Harris holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Southwestern Louisiana, which he received in 1975, and Master’s in Business Administration from Tulane University, which he received in 2003.
In 1985, Ronnie Harris was elected mayor of the City of Gretna and is presently serving his seventh term in office. As Mayor for the City of Gretna, Harris served as the chief executive officer governing a city with a $30 million budget and a population of over 17,500 residents.
Additionally, Mayor Harris was appointed by the former Governor Kathleen Blanco and reappointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry and is the chairman of the State of Louisiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
A former President of the LMA Executive Board, Harris is no stranger to the Louisiana Municipal Association.
Currently, Harris serves a member of the Louisiana Municipal Advisory and Technical Services Bureau Corporation (LaMATS) and Mid-Sized City Conference, a roundtable organization of Louisiana cities that he co-founded.
“In addition to Harris’ familiarity with local government and his professional relationships with key elected and appointed officials in the state, he truly has a passion for the LMA. The LMA Executive Board could not have selected a better candidate” stated LMA President Hilda Curry.
A member of the Knights of Columbus and the Gretna Historical Society, Mayor Harris is married to the former Donna Hayne of Lafayette with two children.