The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) of Lafayette has appointed Kevin Blanchard as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1st. He replaces Anita Begnaud. This decision follows an extensive search that began in November 2023.

Blanchard, previously the Executive Director of the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority since 2020, has a background in community development. His experience includes roles in journalism, law, and various leadership positions in civic organizations.

Miles Matt, DDA Chairman, expressed confidence in Blanchard’s capability to handle the new role. He noted Blanchard's familiarity with the DDA’s ongoing projects and goals, as well as his understanding of the needs of downtown stakeholders.

In his career, Blanchard has held positions such as Chief Operating Officer for Southern Lifestyle and Development, and Public Works Director at Lafayette Consolidated Government. He has also practiced law and served in editorial roles in the legal and journalistic fields.

The CEO of the DDA is responsible for advocating for downtown issues and policies, promoting businesses, supporting residents and property owners, and managing Downtown Lafayette Unlimited (DLU), the district's nonprofit marketing organization.

Upon accepting the role, Blanchard emphasized his readiness to work with stakeholders to maintain Downtown Lafayette as a key economic area.

Luke Sonnier, President of DLU, welcomed Blanchard’s appointment. He highlighted Blanchard’s experience with local business owners and policymakers and his understanding of DLU's mission. Sonnier also mentioned plans for a new fundraising event in the fall, anticipating Blanchard's leadership in this initiative.

Blanchard’s appointment marks a change in leadership at the DDA, with expectations of continued development and growth for Downtown Lafayette.

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