People & Flashes


Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, a history professor at UL Lafayette and interim dean of the Graduate School since August 2013, has been named dean. The dean is the principal academic and administrative officer of the Graduate School. Farmer-Kaiser began her UL career as an assistant professor of history and member of the graduate faculty in 2000. She became graduate coordinator of its Department of History and Geography in 2004 and was elected to the Graduate Council in 2011 by graduate faculty. The following year, council members elected her chairwoman. As interim dean, Farmer-Kaiser led the University Task Force on Graduate Education Governance and presented its preliminary and final reports to the graduate faculty and provost. The final report is a plan for future governance of graduate education at the university.

PRAL Acadiana, the local chapter of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana, an affiliate of the Southern Public Relations Federation, announced its 2015 board of directors: president, Kate Durio (Downtown Lafayette); immediate past president, Amanda LeRoy (Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital); president-elect, Lana Fontenot (South Louisiana Community College); secretary, Emily Doré (Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce); treasurer, John Claude Arceneaux (UL Lafayette Alumni Association); communications chair, Beth Chiasson (Lafayette Public Library); programming chair, Skyra Rideaux (LITE); membership chair, Julie Gauthier (BBR Creative); and at large, Gina Betanski (The Daily Advertiser); Susan Holliday (REALTOR Association of Acadiana); and Patricia Parks-Thompson (Cox Communications).

Drs. Mehandi Haran and Kenneth M. Spiller have joined the Lourdes Physician Group. Haran, who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine, earned her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi, India, and completed both her residency and a fellowship at Maimonides Medical Center/Department of Medicine in Brooklyn, N.Y. Haran is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is also board certified in Pulmonary Diseases. Haran joined the practice of Dr. Fei and Dr. Courmier, located in the James Devin Moncus Medical Building on Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Spiller joins LPG after practicing internal medicine in Acadiana for more than 26 years. He is board certified from the American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of the American College of Physicians. Spiller also is located in the James Devin Moncus Medical Building.

IberiaBank has promoted Mary Q. Nain to vice president and private banker for the Lafayette market. Nain has 21 years of banking experience and has served 16 years as branch manager for IberiaBank at various locations throughout the Lafayette market. She has also served as an acquisition and conversion team member through various bank mergers, and as Community Reinvestment Act liaison for the Lafayette area. Nain attended UL Lafayette and is a longtime resident of Lafayette Parish. She serves as an auxiliary board member of the Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic and is a member of the Upper Lafayette Economic Development Association.

Ashley Thom of Selective Hearing, David Dupuis of Dupuis Heating & AC and Freida LeBlanc of La Revista have been chosen to serve on the local Better Business Bureau’s board of directors for a three-year period. The members were elected by BBB accredited businesses to represent the Acadiana community.

Louisiana Turfgrass Association elected Lafayette business owner Brooke Inzerella president of its board. Inzerella has been a member of LTA for seven years. Founded in 1956, LTA is a professional nonprofit organization available for anyone interested in the production, maintenance and management of turfgrass, along with the chemicals, equipment and services associated with it.

Dr. Rebecca Roques-Davis has joined Cancer Center of Acadiana at Acadia General Hospital. Davis is an internal medicine physician who specializes in hematology oncology. She earned her bachelor of biomedical engineering degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and her medical degree from the LSU in New Orleans. She completed her internship and residency at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge. Before joining CCA, Davis was a hematology oncology physician at Pontchartrain Hematology Oncology in Hammond and a hospitalist at Christus Health in Shreveport. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and in medical oncology.

John Blohm (pronounced bloom) was named vice president for University Advancement at UL Lafayette. He was previously interim vice president for Advancement at the University of New Haven. Blohm’s career in institutional advancement spans universities across the South. Prior to his tenure at New Haven, he was vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has had advancement leadership roles at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Emory University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Florida.

Lafayette-based Gauthiers’ has added a new location in Port Fourchon. Thanks to a working partnership with Edison Chouest Company, Gauthiers’ now directly services clients via the Martin Terminal North Dock at 120 17th St. The new location enables Gauthiers’ to quickly and efficiently provide equipment or emergency assistance required by offshore customers operating in Port Fourchon. Working in close coordination with the company’s full-service Houma facility, this new site offers roundthe-clock support for customers needing offshore equipment, including containers, baskets, skids and certified slings.

John Fenstermaker has been named vice president of business development at Fenstermaker. Fenstermaker has been with the company since 1982 and was most recently VP of survey and mapping and energy market leader. Greg Palmer has been named VP of contracts and acquisitions. Palmer has been with Fenstermaker since 1984, having served in various capacities throughout the years and having been involved with every discipline within the company. In addition to his most recent leadership position as VP of business development, he also held a dual title as VP of government contracts. Also at Fenstermaker, Marc Broussard was named VP of survey and mapping. Broussard’s most recent position with the firm was manager of the Lafayette survey team. Broussard rejoined Fenstermaker in 2013, having previously been with Fenstermaker from 1983 until 1996.

Drs. Craig Walker and Ankur Lodha with Cardiovascular Institute of the South were among the first in the state to use a new minimally-invasive device to treat a patient with peripheral arterial disease at Regional Medical Center of Acadiana. The new device, called the IN.PACT Admiral, is a drug-coated balloon manufactured by Medtronic. Recently approved by the FDA, the drug-coated balloons are a breakthrough medical device for the treatment of PAD in the upper leg. PAD occurs when arteries in the thigh and behind the knee become narrowed or blocked from a build-up of plaque inside the artery walls. The device is designed to restore blood flow by reopening the blocked arteries and delivering a medication to the artery wall, which clinical studies have shown keeps the artery open longer than other available treatments.

Jennifer Burdette was promoted to associate brand strategist at Russo. Burdette was hired after demonstrating extraordinary research skills and commitment to team collaboration as one of the company’s interns. In her new role, she works closely with brand managers in Lafayette and New Orleans to coordinate research and keep current of industry trends and technology. Burdette previously worked for Communications Direct, the Children’s Museum of Acadiana, Event Rental and UL Americorps. Born in Southern California and raised between Louisiana and the West Coast, she graduated from UL Lafayette magna cum laude in honors, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in organizational communications. Burdette served as president of Sigma Gamma Mu, UL Lafayette’s communication honor society.

Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate honored the success and dedication of its sales associates for 2014 at its annual Awards Banquet at The City Club. Recognized during the event were top producers in several categories, including Wendy McCombie as Overall Top Residential Agent and Hamilton “Hammy” Davis as Overall Top Commercial Agent. The Top Five Commercial Producers for 2014 were: No. 5 Tiffany Chiasson, No. 4 Flo Meadows, No. 3 Paul Bako, No. 2 Phillip Brupbacher and No. 1 Hamilton “Hammy” Davis. Top 10 Residential Producers for 2014 were: No. 10 Sandy Thibodeaux, No. 9 Angi Trahan, No. 8 Dawn Deare, No. 7 Debbie Gill, No. 6 Carol Grindrod, No. 5 Sue Dupont, No. 4 Midge Parker, No. 3 Tommy Hayes, No. 2 Cindy Bailey and No. 1 Wendy McCombie. Recognition of the top producers is the highest honor in Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate.

Ashley Simon has joined Keaty Real Estate as an agent. Simon, who resides in Breaux Bridge, has more than a decade of restaurant experience, having served as general manager at Tsunami Sushi for three years before relocating to Houston where she continued in the business for another two years before moving back to Acadiana.

Karen Primeaux of the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission was installed as a director of the Louisiana Society of Association Executives.