Drew M. Heaphy
Executive Director, St. Bernard Port Harbor & Terminal District
Mr. Heaphy assumed the duties of Executive Director of the St. Bernard Port, Harbor, and Terminal District on July 1, 2017. His previous position at the St. Bernard Port, since 1999, was as the Director of Administration/Planning Services. He has an extensive background in financial management, holds a master in Business Administration, is a Certified Public Accountant and is a recipient of the American Association of Port Authorities Professional Port Management Certification.
During Mr. Heaphy’s tenure at the Port, several major acquisitions of new business development have taken place at the Port’s four industrial park terminals. Boasso America Corporation, a premier intermodal container service company, consolidated its headquarters operations at the Port. This endeavor has brought in $5 million in port revenue and has produced over 200 jobs. This 45-acre project is also the largest rejuvenation of port property to date, as it orchestrated a unique transformation of a 216-acre former industrial plant site to a modern facility.
In 2002, Associated Terminals of St. Bernard took over cargo operations at the Arabi Terminal and Industrial Park, marking the first time cargo was being worked on the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish waters. Marine operation has taken a dramatic increase in capacity and cargo. They have increased ten-fold.
The Violet Terminal was acquired in 2013. It is comprised of 4,300 linear feet of riverfront property and 36 acres of land with 5 ship berths. In 2015, it was put into operations and has seen significant growth in cargo handling. During the first full year of cargo operations, there was an increase in both dry bulk tonnage and breakbulk tonnage which resulted in 254,000 tons of total cargo transfers at the Violet Terminal.
Mr. Heaphy is leading one of Louisiana’s newest deep-water ports in a direction that will help it fulfill its goals of bringing renewed economic development and growth to St. Bernard Parish. He is accomplishing this not only by his work at the Port but by being the President of the Ports Association of Louisiana and a member of the American Association of Port Authorities Finance Committee.
Mr. Heaphy is not only interested in the success of the St. Bernard Port. He is also committed to helping the St. Bernard Parish community. Mr. Heaphy is a member of the St. Bernard Economic Development Committee, United Way St. Bernard Leadership Council, Our Lady of Prompt Succor Fair Committee, Cabrini Dads Club and also serves as a board member of the St. Bernard Community Foundation.
Port Director, West Calcasieu Port
Lynn E. Hohensee owns and operates LEH Communications, LLC, a communications consulting company in Lake Charles, La., specializing in marketing communications and public relations support for businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations.
Through LEH Communications, Hohensee has been under contract with the West Calcasieu Port where he has served as port director since June 2006. Hohensee also is a member of the management team of Temple Mountain Energy, a Vernal, Utah-based oil sands company. From 2005-2009, he held a contract position with the United Way of Southwest Louisiana serving as Coordinator, Housing Initiatives.
Hohensee served as Executive Director of The Chamber Foundation/Southwest Louisiana in Lake Charles, La., prior to opening his business in August 2005. He joined The Chamber/Southwest Louisiana in June 2003 as the Director of Economic Development & Investor Relations for the Chamber/SWLA.
In February 2003, Hohensee formally retired from ConocoPhillips (formerly Conoco) after 22 years of service. In his final position with ConocoPhillips, he served as the regional director-public relations for the company’s Gulf Coast Business Unit headquartered in Lake Charles, from March 1999 to September 2002.
Hohensee is a 1971 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism/geography (double major). He joined Conoco in 1981 in Houston as editor-corporate publications and later served as senior coordinator for marketing communications and senior coordinator for speaker services. Prior to relocating to Lake Charles in 1999, Hohensee served as the company’s director of public relations for the Northwest area (1987-1988) and regional director-public affairs for the company’s Mid-continent Business Unit (1988-1999) out of Ponca City, Okla.
Prior to joining Conoco, he held corporate communications/community relations positions for Shell Oil Company in Louisiana and Texas for eight years.
Paralleling his civilian corporate communications career, Hohensee pursued a 28-year public affairs career in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve. He is a graduate of the Department of Defense Information School and the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1998.
Paul G. Aucoin was born and raised on the Westbank of St. John the Baptist Parish in Wallace, Louisiana. He attended Loyola University for undergraduate school and received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Loyola University Law School in May of 1970. Aucoin has practiced law since graduating from law school, acquiring his own private practice in May 1971. He maintains his private law firm to this day. Aucoin is the proud father of two girls, Shelley and Leah.
In July 2013, Paul was selected to serve as Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana. A year prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he was the Port’s Legal Counsel. He has long-standing affiliations with the American and Louisiana State Bar Associations. Furthermore, he has served as Director and Chairman of various organizations and boards including the 29th Judicial District Indigent Defender Board, the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, the South Central Planning Regional Loan Foundation, the River Parishes Community College, the River Parishes Tourist and Visitors Commission, the River Region Chamber of Commerce, the St. James Bank and Trust Company, the St. James Bank Corporation, and the St. James Parish Economic Development Board. He has close ties with other local groups like St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Pastoral Council, the River Region Arts and Humanities Council, and the New Orleans Chamber River Region Committee.
Paul was appointed to the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center of New Orleans and participates in the organization’s Government Affairs, International Business and Transportation committees. Most recently he was appointed to the Louisiana Board of International Commerce and the Louisiana River Pilot Review and Oversight Board.
Paul was named as one of the “21 of Industry’s Most Influential Leaders of the Corridor” in 10/12 Industry Report in 2016. He was honored to receive the World Trade Center 2017 Eugene Schreiber Award and the Plimsoll Mark Award at the World Trade Center International Jubilee.
Director of External Affairs, Port of New Orleans
Matt Gresham, Director of External Affairs, oversees the Port of New Orleans’ governmental relations activities. Gresham joined the Port of New Orleans in August of 2005, three weeks prior to Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. He worked as a Communications Specialist and legislative liaison during the Port’s recovery and was appointed Director of External Affairs in July 2012. A New Orleans native and a graduate of Nicholls State University, he has more than 20 years of communications and government affairs experience.
Jennifer L. Marusak, CPE
Ports Association of Louisiana Executive Director
Jennifer L. Marusak, M.A., C.P.E, was named the executive director of the Ports Association of Louisiana in October 2018.
In addition to joining the association management team, Marusak leads PAL’s governmental affairs and lobbying efforts. She is also tasked with partnering with the local port representatives to implement an effective grassroots strategy with civic organizations that will showcase Louisiana ports to the Legislature and community stakeholders.
After attending extensive and intensive course work, Marusak recently earned the designation of Certified Port Executive, under the instruction by the prestigious MACDONNELL group.
Marusak was previously vice president of governmental affairs for the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS). In that role, she headed the lobbying and grassroots advocacy efforts for more than 7,000 physicians across the state and served as the executive director for LAMPAC, the political arm of the LSMS.
Upon Governor John Bel Edwards' appointments, Marusak also previously served on the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council and the Prescription Monitoring Program Advisory Council.
She also owns and operates On Track with Marusak, the longest operating online news clipping service in the state.
The Natchitoches native holds a bachelor of art’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Louisiana-Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University).
Previously, Marusak was the spokesperson and chief lobbyist for Driving Louisiana Forward, a coalition of business organizations across Louisiana advocating for better intermodal infrastructure. She also formerly served as confidential assistant, press secretary, and legislative affairs director for both Secretary of State Al Ater and Secretary of State Fox McKeithen, executive director of the Louisiana River Pilots Association, legislative affairs director and communications director for former Governor Mike Foster, and as government and infrastructure vice president and communications director for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.
Jennifer also served on the Louisiana State Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Board of Directors for 13 years, two of those as chair.
Candace L Griffin
Ports Association of Louisiana Deputy Director
Candace L. Griffin, C.P.E. began working with PAL in August 2015 as the organization’s Association Manager. She was named Deputy Director in January 2018 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and management of its special events.
In 2017, Griffin earned the designation of Certified Port Executive under the instruction of the MACDONNELL group’s Certified Port Executive Program. She also holds a B. A. in English, with a concentration in professional writing from the University of New Orleans.
The St. Bernard Parish native is also the owner and operator of Griffin Consulting & Professional Services, LLC; a small business specializing in public relations and nonprofit management. She has been in business since 2014.