Lori Melancon Named President and CEO of Baton Rouge Area Chamber

Baton Rouge, LA (May 21, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced that Lori Melancon has been selected as BRAC President and CEO following a nationwide search. Melancon returns to BRAC, where she began her economic development career in 2004, after making significant contributions at the state level in both Louisiana and Virginia. She will begin this new role on July 8. 

“During the president and CEO search, we were looking for a leader with tenacity, a bias for action, and a commitment to pushing beyond the status quo, and I am confident that Lori Melancon will be that leader,” said David Mullens, BRAC board of directors’ chairman. “With a 20-year career in economic development, Lori’s work has been recognized across the country, notably the Amazon HQ2 project (and win!) for Virginia, plus Louisiana Economic Development’s Come Home, Louisiana campaign. On behalf of the BRAC board of directors, I am excited to welcome her back home to the Capital Region after eight years in Virginia and South Carolina in economic development and location strategy roles.” 

“It has been an honor to serve as the Interim President and CEO of BRAC, but I cannot think of a more well-equipped individual to take the helm than Lori Melancon,” said Ann Trappey, BRAC interim president and CEO. “Lori not only brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships to BRAC, but also best practices from her previous roles that will elevate the BRING IT! strategic plan and accelerate economic opportunity in the Capital Region.” 

“I am delighted to be returning to my adopted hometown to be a part of this next chapter for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Louisiana’s Capital Region,” said Melancon. “My love for Louisiana and the Baton Rouge Area runs deep, and I’m inspired by the BRAC board’s energy and commitment to inclusive economic development, authentic growth, and a united vision for the future.”  

Melancon was most recently COO and Vice President of Marketing of Global Location Strategies (GLS), an international site selection consultancy known for its work siting resource-intensive projects. In this role, she was instrumental in opening the firm’s European office in Amsterdam, supporting the spinout of proprietary technology into a new company, and addressing critical operations upgrades for the organization. Prior to her role at GLS, Melancon was VP of Marketing for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) for six years, where she helped create Team Virginia—a private sector-funded partnership with the Virginia Chamber Foundation to market Virginia, co-led the management team for Virginia’s winning bid for Amazon HQ2, orchestrated the Commonwealth’s site selector cultivation effort, and implemented dozens of strategic marketing programs. 

In Louisiana, Melancon served as Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at LED. She was the lead architect of Louisiana Job Connection—the nation’s first ever job site to match candidates and employers based on skills, and the award-winning Come Home, Louisiana campaign. She was also a lead member of the team that improved Louisiana’s position in almost every state business climate ranking between 2008 and 2016.  

Melancon began her career in economic development at the then Chamber of Greater Baton Rouge in 2004 and led initiatives contributing to the transformation of the Chamber into a regional economic development organization. She was involved in the creation and communication of the Campaign for a Greater Baton Rouge, managed components of the statewide LA Ethics 1 grassroots campaign for ethics reform, led small business programs, and played an instrumental role in many of the Chamber’s early initiatives.  

Melancon earned a Bachelor of General Studies with College Honors from Louisiana State University and a Master of Occupational Technology from the University of Houston.  

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber   

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org

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