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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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CAP hires Jim Clinton as CEO
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CAP hires Jim Clinton as CEO

Jim Clinton - recognized as one of the nation's leaders in economic development, quality-of-life advancement and regional prosperity - has been named the new chief executive officer of Cenla Advantage Partnership, CAP officials announced today.

"This is a major triumph for Central Louisiana," said Mike Madison, CAP board chairman.

Clinton, who is executive director of North Carolina-based Southern Growth Policies Board, will begin his new position on Sept. 15. In a news conference on Monday, Aug. 4, Clinton said he and his wife, Susan, are excited about moving to Central Louisiana.

"Susan and I have both spent the majority of our lives in Louisiana, so this is very much a homecoming for us. I believe that Central Louisiana has enormous potential. It is already a great place to live and, working together, we can make it even better," he said.

CAP leaders said they were thrilled to be able to recruit Clinton. He is regarded as the South's leader in quality-of-life and prosperity issues and has more than 30 years experience in public policy.

It's a perfect choice for CAP, whose mission is to generate better jobs and more economic opportunity in Central Louisiana. CAP does that by: helping existing companies grow and expand; starting new companies; and supporting strategic recruitment efforts.

CAP's creation was a joint effort by Central Louisiana's private sector leaders and The Rapides Foundation. CAP is governed by a board of business leaders throughout Central Louisiana.

"We are excited to bring Jim to Central Louisiana," said Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. "His expertise is beyond compare. His experience will help CAP continue its work to improve Central Louisiana's economic growth and prosperity."

Alexandria Realtor Rod Noles, was on the steering committee that led to the formation of CAP, has known Clinton for nearly two decades. "Jim's a scholar, he's a gentleman, and he's well connected throughout the United States. The community is lucky to land somebody with this much talent and this many contacts. Jim living here is going to make Central Louisiana a better place."

Clinton most recently led the Southern Growth Policies Board, a non-partisan public policy think tank based in North Carolina. The board develops and advances visionary economic development policies by providing a forum for partnership and dialogue among a diverse cross-section of the Southern region's governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic and community-development sectors. This unique public-private partnership is devoted to strengthening the South's economy and creating the highest possible quality of life. It is supported by memberships from 13 Southern states, including Louisiana.

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer applauded CAP for recruiting Clinton. "In Jim Clinton, you have the best. I'm ready to follow his leadership when he develops a business plan for the area. Well done, Cenla."

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, who described Clinton as "an economic development guru" and "government policy genius," said, "Cenla Advantage Partnership is very fortunate indeed to have won his services."

Clinton previously was president of the Louisiana Partnership for Technology and Innovation and president of the Gulf South Research Institute.

He also served in a variety of state government positions in Louisiana and was lead author of the plan that reorganized Louisiana's executive branch from more than 250 governmental units into 20 principal departments. He managed the Louisiana Superdome's transition from public to private management.

Clinton serves on the boards of directors for the Southern Arts Federation and the National Policy Consensus Initiative. He serves on advisory boards for the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Policy Issues. In 2007, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley appointed Clinton as a Special Advisor to the Executive Council of the Rural Alabama Action Commission. The commission works with state and local officials to recruit industries, engage local development groups and work with a broad range of citizens on economic development efforts and other activities to improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin appointed Clinton to serve a two-year term as a member of the FCC's Consumer Advisory Committee. Clinton has been a lead author for a number of Southern Growth Policies Board reports, including Brave New South, EnterpriseSouth.biz, The New Architecture of Rural Prosperity, The Mercedes and the Magnolia, The Globally Competitive South (Under Construction), Reinventing the Wheel, The Southern Innovation Index and Invented Here: Transforming the Southern Economy. He has written for regional and national publications, including "Southern Cultures," "Spoon River Poetry Review," "CrossRoads," "Chattahoochie Review," "WORD" and "Coast and Sea." His book of poetry, "What is Fair," was published by the Louisiana State University Press.

Clinton is a frequent keynote speaker at the regional and national levels on a wide variety of topics involving economic opportunity. He is also an experienced facilitator on public and institutional issues. At Southern Growth Policies Board, he has led the effort to involve more Southerners in meaningful conversations on the future of the South. Southern Growth's listening and information gathering process now attracts the participation and feedback of more than 4,000 Southerners annually.

Political and business leaders who have worked with Clinton offered the following comments about Clinton:

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer: "Recently, I heard an expert making a presentation before a group of business people, and he described people as being either "left" or "right" brain. Jim Clinton is "bright" brain. Economic development is a challenge in a fast and complex world. And a bright and knowledgeable brain housed in your new CEO is essential. In Jim Clinton, you have the best. I'm ready to follow his leadership when he develops a business plan for the area. Well done, Cenla."

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter: "Jim Clinton is one of the ablest, most thoughtful, most creative leaders in the South. I have had the privilege of being closely associated with him in the work of the Southern Growth Policies Board, and he has demonstrated there an inspired understanding of what the future of the South ought to look like. I keep a copy of his book "Is It Fair" on my desk. The name suggests what his values are. He is a truly remarkable man."

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry: "Jim Clinton is an economic development guru, a government policy genius, a published poet, and my dear friend. Cenla Advantage Partnership is very fortunate indeed to have won his services."

Kettering Foundation President David Mathews: "Jim Clinton not only knows as much about economic development as anyone in the South, his skills as an imaginative administrator makes him a real catch for your partnership. Our research foundation is only one of many national organizations that have profited from working with Jim in the past and hope we will have opportunities to do that in the future."

Suzanne W. Morse, president of Pew Partnership for Civic Change based in Charlottesville, Va.: "Jim Clinton is a southern visionary. He understands our region and the opportunities that abound for the future. Central Louisiana is fortunate to have his expertise, knowledge and commitment as the region moves to new heights."

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