Recognizing the absence of a unified voice from the greater business community advocating for Coastal Restoration, GNO, Inc. has created the Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE).  This neutral, non-partisan group of leaders from the Southeast Louisiana business community is positioned as an informed, educated voice of advocacy for sustainable restoration efforts in Louisiana’s wetlands, river, delta and coastline.

CCRE is a business-led group whose mission is to:

  • Market the business case for coastal restoration in Louisiana
  • Maximize RESTORE and other federal funds that are allocated to Louisiana
  • Ensure that RESTORE and other funds are spent on their intended purposes (LA Coastal Master Plan)
  • Leverage RESTORE to secure other revenue streams (e.g. WRDA, revenue sharing,)
  • Create opportunities to engage local businesses and workforce in the implementation


Key Principles
This business-led and business-focused advocacy Coalition limits its focus to the following:

  • Tracking flow of funding to intended uses
  • Communicating in lay terms the urgency of coastal restoration and critical restoration projects
  • Advocating on the federal, state and local level for sustainable coastal restoration solutions
  • Fostering the growth of coastal restoration expertise along Louisiana coast, increasing commerce for local firms

Through the support of diverse business community leaders this Coalition has:

  • Educated business leaders on restoration priorities
  • Testified in support of the Coastal Master Plan during Louisiana’s legislative session
  • Met with former-DOC Secretary Penny Pritzker and Congressman Scalise to express the business community’s support of coastal restoration
  • Broadened the collective voice of coastal advocacy and ensure various perspectives are being heard


  • Brandon Nelson, Vice President of Commercial Banking, Hancock Whitney (CCRE Chair)
  • Justin Augustine, Regional Vice President, Transdev
  • Louis Bartels, Vice President, Commercial Banking, Fidelity Bank
  • Dale Benoit, Owner, Print-All, Inc.
  • Sharon  Bergeron, Vice President of Commercial Lending, Coastal Commerce Bank
  • Dickie Brennan, Owner & Managing Partner, Dickie Brennan & Company
  • Leah Brown, Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager, Chevron
  • Chett C. Chiasson, Executive Director, Greater Lafourche Port Commission
  • Patrick Cresson, Sales Director, Outfront Media
  • Donna Fraiche, Founding Member of Baker Donelson’s Louisiana offices, Former Board Member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority
  • Philip Gunn, Managing Director of New Orleans Office, Postlethwaite & Netterville
  • Caroline Hayes, Marketing Director, AOS Design
  • Ben Hales, Senior Vice President and COO, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans
  • Will Hales, Managing Director, Robertson Capital
  • Merritt Lane, President & CEO, Canal Barge Company, Inc.
  • Jay Lapeyre, CEO, Laitram, LLC
  • Pat LeBlanc, Managing Member, LeBlanc Butler
  • F. Gay Le Breton, Managing Director, Chaffe & Associates
  • Marty Mayer, President & CEO, Stirling Properties
  • Dan Pancamo, Counsel, Phelps Dunbar
  • Nyka Scott, Counsel/Client Development Liaison, Baker Donelson
  • Mark Spansel, Partner, Adams & Reese
  • Lizette Terral, President, New Orleans Region, JP Morgan Chase Bank
  • Mickey Thomas, President & CEO, South Louisiana Bank
  • Joni Tuck, External Relations Advisor, Shell
  • James Yockey, Co-Founder, Landdox