Acadiana Business

Mandi Mitchell heads govt. affairs at LED

by Leslie Turk

Mandi Mitchell, owner of the Lafayette-based lobbying and consulting firm Mandi D. Mitchell LLC, announced to friends in an email Tuesday afternoon that she's accepted a job with Louisiana Economic Development. Mitchell says she has joined the state agency as director of governmental affairs.

"I thoroughly enjoyed starting and growing my lobbying/consulting firm and working to fulfill the legislative and business development needs of various clients, but when presented with the opportunity to work within such a premier organization within our state, I simply could not refuse," Mitchell writes in the email.

Mitchell, one of ABiz's Women Who Mean Business honorees this year, was unavailable for comment Wednesday morning.

Mitchell has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from UNO and spent the first six years out of college working in the technology sector for BellSouth. When she wanted to move up in the ranks of the corporation, she learned that the only area for promotion was in governmental affairs. It was a "drastic switch," Mitchell told ABiz earlier this year when profiled for the WWMB cover story, one that led her to pursue a master's degree in business from her New Orleans alma mater.

Her governmental affairs role at BellSouth led her on what she calls a tour of Interstate 10, first to Lake Charles then back to Lafayette in 2006. She spent three years working for AT&T when it took over BellSouth as the company's regional manager of external affairs.

She said her "leap of faith" came in 2009 when she decided to branch out on her own and begin a consulting business.

As LED's director of governmental affairs, she will manage the department's interactions with local government officials and the Louisiana Legislature as well as help develop legislative proposals and manage associated governmental communications. "I will also support LED's interactions with Louisiana's Congressional delegation," she says.

Read more about her new post in the December issue of ABiz and read view the full profile of Mitchell here.