The Council for A Better Louisiana says the state is preparing for what many are calling a “new industrial revolution.” Fueled by affordable and abundant natural gas, groundbreaking new technologies and historic public and private sector investment, Louisiana, CABL believes, has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform its economy and build a stronger foundation for a vibrant and lasting future. But are we prepared to do that?

That question will be the focus of CABL's 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference, which will be held Thursday, Dec. 12, at the L’Auberge Event Center in Baton Rouge. CABL is a reform-minded nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works on state issues in the public interest. Founded in 1962, its focus has been education, governmental ethics and state fiscal policies.

The meeting will feature a series of dynamic speakers who will challenge conventional thinking with a focus on envisioning a future for Louisiana based on smart planning and making the most of an unprecedented economic expansion.

A morning panel of experts will focus on the future by looking at three distinct areas which Louisiana should not ignore. Panelists include:

Kenneth Dawson
Ken Dawson

• Ken Dawson, CAO for Ascension Parish, who will use that parish as a case study to show how strategic state planning for industrial expansion can maximize its benefits for a long and lasting return.

• Dr. Charles “Chip” Groat, president & CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf, who will look at one of our most valuable, but threatened, 21st century assets – water – and discuss the imperative of preserving it for ourselves and our economic security.

• Tom Dalton, WINROCK International, who will explore how we can add value to the industrial expansion now under way and build new sectors of our economy focused on innovation, technology and the digital future.

Three keynote luncheon speakers will follow, looking at Louisiana’s industrial economy from the perspectives of past, present and future. Panelists include:

Chip Groat

• Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, who will explore Louisiana’s rich past to describe how Louisiana developed into an energy-based global industrial powerhouse.

• Paul Payne, Americas regional director for Exxon Chemical Company, who will explain the present investments In Louisiana and what they will mean for our state over the next decade.

• Former Gov. Buddy Roemer, who will envision a path to a future where Louisiana is a bastion of 21st century economic prosperity.

“At CABL we believe Louisiana has a period of tremendous growth and opportunity ahead as a result of this huge economic expansion,” CABL President Barry Erwin said in announcing the lineup. “The challenge before us is to leverage that opportunity so that the benefits to our state are broad, long lasting and ultimately sustainable.”

Registration for the event begins at 9 a.m. Dec. 12. The morning conference gets under way at 10 a.m. followed by the keynote luncheon at 12:15 p.m.

For more information contact Elizabeth Morgan at (225) 344-2225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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