Leslie Turk

UL's Simon-Dronet joins Cox

by Leslie Turk

Longtime UL Lafayette spokeswoman Julie Simon-Dronet will join Cox Louisiana as director of operations for Acadiana next week.

Cox announced today that Dronet "will provide leadership and focus for Cox Louisiana’s Acadiana operations by working closely with functional leaders to ensure strategic focus, operational alignment and customer satisfaction to benefit both residential and business customers." The company also said she will assume responsibility for building and maintaining Cox’s image and reputation in the six parish region.

"Cox contacted me, and I was intrigued by the opportunity," Dronet tells the INDsider. "I felt like if I was going to make a move, the Cox organization is very strong," the 49-year-old continues. Dronet says she was attracted to the company in large part because of its track record for not only success in business but also for strong support of the community, which she witnessed firsthand at UL. "The other advantage is that Cox and the university already have a strong partnership," she says. "I will continue to be a very strong supporter of the university; it's my alma mater."

"With Julie’s lifelong personal and professional devotion to the Acadiana region, she brings unique and valuable perspectives that will further our dedication to customer care, product innovation, community involvement and employee engagement," Jacqui Vines, senior vice president and general manager for Cox Louisiana, said in making the announcement.

A Maurice native, Dronet has served for more than 18 years as the director of communications and marketing for UL. Before joining UL, she was director of marketing at Cypress Hospital.

Dronet, who was making $85,300 a year at UL, confirms that Kathleen Thames, associate director for communications and marketing, will serve as acting director until the university makes a final decision on the position. Because of severe budget cuts, Dronet says, the university has decided to hold off on advertising the position.

UL President Joe Savoie could not be reached for comment this morning.