Attorney Briana L. Drescher has joined Preis PLC’s Lafayette office. Drescher obtained her juris doctorate degree, magna cum laude, and two bachelor of arts degrees from LSU in 2016 and 2013, respectively. She was elected to the Order of the Coif and was a member of Louisiana Law Review. Her main areas of practice include automobile liability, civil rights, first party property and bad faith liability, general casualty, insurance coverage, law enforcement professional liability, products liability, property damage and redhibition. Preis PLC is a regional defense law firm representing both domestic and international clients with offices in Lafayette, New Orleans and Houston.
The Family Tree, a Lafayette nonprofit that provides education and counseling resources, has named Marie Collins as its new executive director. Collins goes to The Family Tree from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, where for a decade she oversaw mental health, substance abuse and other services. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling from LSU, and is a licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, and a licensed addictions counselor.
Collins will oversee all aspects of TFT’s services and education. The nonprofit has also reestablished under Collins’ guidance its counseling program, which was suspended several months ago.
Kathryn Fenstermaker has been hired as business development consultant at C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates and is working to promote the company’s new GIS-based software, MapAnalyst. The software has already impacted assessors of Acadia, Lafayette, and West Baton Rouge parishes, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, both the city and Port of Lake Charles, St. Landry Parish Government, the Lafayette Police Department and the Acadiana Economic Development Council. Fenstermaker received a bachelor of arts in French from Millsaps College and a teaching certification from UL Lafayette. She taught French in the Lafayette Parish Public School System. She is a member of the705: Young Leaders for A Better Acadiana. Also at the company, John D. Foret, Ph.D., has joined as environmental operations leader. Foret has decades of experience in the coastal regions of Louisiana, most recently as a research fisheries biologist for the Department of Conservation, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service. He served as research fisheries biologist with DOC/ NOAA/NMFS Galveston Laboratory from 1998 to 2016 and was team leader within the Fishery Ecology Branch in Lafayette. He coordinated all activities associated with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act relating to coastal fisheries habitat restoration for the NMFS in southwest Louisiana.
Stokes & Spiehler, a petroleum engineering and consulting firm in the oil and gas industry, has named Blair LeBlanc VP – offshore operations; Russ Bellard VP – onshore operations; Tony Shell VP – sales and marketing; and Donnie Busscher engineering manager. A registered professional engineer who has worked for the firm since 2003, LeBlanc graduated from UL Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering; he previously worked with Unocal, Sperry Drilling Services, Transocean and Ocean Energy. Also a registered professional engineer who has worked for the firm since 2001, Bellard is experienced in supervising drilling, completion and workover field operations on wells, as well as detailed project design, procedure writing, cost estimate preparation and regulatory compliance. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and petroleum engineering from UL and previously worked with Halliburton. A senior account manager in Houston with more than 20 years of oil and gas experience, Shell will work with individual sales team members to ensure responsiveness to clients’ needs. Additionally, as Stokes & Spiehler moves into new oil and gas markets, he will guide these efforts to market more than 250 consultants specializing in drilling, completions, workover and concentric operations.
He previously worked in retail management and earned a degree in organizational behavioral management from the University of Houston. Busscher worked as an in-house engineer and wellsite consultant for land and offshore operations before joining the Stokes & Spiehler team after earning a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from UL in 2005. In his new role, Busscher will oversee daily engineering operations.
Kenneth Comeaux has been named to the Billeaud Companies’ board of directors. Comeaux, who works at Petroleum Helicopters Inc., replaces Clare Billeaud on the family-owned development businesses’ operating board. Clare is resigning from the board due to relocating out of state. Over the last 20 years at PHI, Comeaux has held the positions of senior business systems analyst, manager of business system projects and, for the past four years, operations financial manager. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from UL Lafayette.
Aimee Lejeune and Peter Barrilleaux have joined Victory Addiction Recovery Center as counselors. A New Roads native who has lived in Lafayette since 2000, Lejeune has 23 years of experience in mental health. She has worked with clients of all ages providing case management services in a medical setting, therapy in a psychiatric hospital, and individual counseling in a private practice. She brings a specialty of helping those who struggle with mental health and drugs and alcohol. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Louisiana Tech University and an MSW from LSU. Barrilleaux has worked with people battling addiction for over 10 years. He attended USL and completed training with the Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers. Barrilleaux has worked at residential treatment centers as well as long-term care facilities in the state. Originally from Larose, Barrilleaux will focus on working with clients in Victory’s Intensive Outpatient Program.
Broussard Poché, LLP, certified public accounting firm with several offices throughout Acadiana, has promoted three team members. Carlinna Bertrand was promoted to partner from director of audit services after 13 years with the firm. Erin Melancon, who has been with the firm for over 15 years, is now director of audit services after serving as audit manager. Jessica Naquin was promoted from senior accountant to tax manager after six years with the firm.
Minh Weldon has joined Postlethwaite & Netterville as a consulting manager in the firm’s Lafayette area office. Weldon has 12 years of diversified business and leadership experience in the energy industry focused on IT application support, business analyst support, and IT risk and security support. In her new role as a consulting manager, she plans and manages all phases of client engagements with a focus on business consulting and advisory. In other news, Postlethwaite & Netterville was named one of the top 100 accounting firms in the U.S. by Accounting Today magazine. With more than $57 million in net revenue, P&N was ranked the 65th largest firm in the U.S. P&N is the only Louisiana-based firm to make the list this year again.
Erik J. Billet has joined Home Bank as internal audit director. Billet brings extensive accounting and auditing experience to his role at Home Bank. He most recently served as director of operational accounting at Ecoserv in Lafayette and before that was manager of assurance services at Ernst & Young. Billet is a graduate of UL Lafayette with bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and finance, and he is a CPA. He serves as a board member of the Accounting Department Advisory Committee at UL.
Sam Kelly, who has eight years of marketing experience, has joined Russo as brand manager. She started her career working as an account executive for Acadian Broadcasting and Citadel Broadcasting before going on to serve as director of marketing for Unitech Training Academy. She is active in Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Operation Backpacker, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Food for the Hungry and Faith House.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration says new export data shows merchandise exports from the Lafayette metropolitan area totaled more than $1.1 billion in 2015. Exports from companies throughout the Lafayette area accounted for $1,16 billion, down 24 percent from 2014. Key merchandise export categories for the Lafayette metropolitan area in 2015 included machinery, except electrical; processed foods; and transportation equipment.