LPA members and guests packed the room at the Baton Rouge City Club April 23, at the association’s Stockholders Luncheon

La. Governor John Bell Edwards was the keynote speaker.

LPA President Renette Dejoie-Hall, Publisher of the Louisiana Weekly, presented her President’s Award to Jeff Zeringue, a long-time Louisiana journalist and currently the does editing and public relations for the Louisiana Forestry Association. Jeff was recognized for his work with LPA in recent years in a number of areas but particularly for his work with LPA’s annual Better Newspaper contests. 

Hall presented a second President’s Award to LPA Governmental Affairs Liaison Kevin Hayes for his work in helping the association in its work with state and other governmental entities.

Two new members of the LPA 50-Year Club were inducted. The club recognizes persons with ties to Louisiana newspapers or news websites who have 50 years or more cumulative years of affiliation in some capacity with newspapers.

Tom Kelly was presented, with more than 60 years of work with newspapers, while Henri Bienvenu had more than 53 years of newspaper work.

In addition to giving some history of LPA and mentioning some of the association’s recent accomplishments, Hall announced the new officers and board that were confirmed at the Stockholders Meeting prior to the luncheon.

Officers are: Hall, President; Sam Hanna Jr., President-elect (Ouachita Citizen); David Francis, Secretary Treasurer (NOLA/Times-Picayune); and Garland Forman, Past-President (Ville Platte Gazette).

Board members are: Norris Babin (St. Bernard Voice); McHugh David (Livingston Parish News); Pat Denofrio (The Advertiser); Darrell Guillory (Eunice News); Christina Pierce (The Daily Iberian); Wilbur Reynaud (News Examiner-Enterprise); Dan Shea (The Advocate); David Specht Jr. (Minden Press Herald); and Mary Terry (Teche News).

Following the luncheon, a number of newspaper representatives met at the capitol just ahead of the day’s convening of a session to meet with their local legislators to show their support for LPA’s and the industry’s interests in a number of bills being considered.