The Team

Jim Harris
President

Jim Harris

With more than 40 years of experience working in all facets of governmental and public affairs, Jim possesses the ability to quickly assess an issue, determine the critical components and recommend the appropriate solution. Jim specializes in strategic communications planning, organization and response, and has developed and implemented many communications issues management and public/community relations programs nationwide. In addition, he has lobbied the legislature, executive and regulatory branches of Louisiana government for clients on a daily basis for more than 30 years. Over the years, Jim has developed and managed numerous multi-industry coalitions in the legislative and public policy arenas. Prior to establishing HDA, Jim served as a working member of the media, press secretary to a Louisiana governor and held key management positions in several state agencies, including those managing transportation, health, economic development and environmental quality. In addition, Jim specializes in political and media consultation and has served as a campaign coordinator in several statewide elections.
Renwick P. DeVille
Vice President

Renwick P. DeVille

Renny brings nearly forty years of real world experience in strategic planning to support business development and expansion. His methodical, no-nonsense, common sense problem-solving approach to business challenges has produced exceptional results and successes. Renny's forte is the ability to assess concerns, anticipate their ramifications on a client's programs and develop the appropriate issues management strategies. Using public opinion assessment techniques, he has the expertise to measure the pulse of an area on specific issues and incorporate those opinions into proactive communications programs. Renny has developed successful communications strategies for managing many volatile issues, including litigation public relations, environmental justice and crisis communications. Renny holds a master's degree in natural science from Louisiana State University and has extensive experience in governmental and public affairs.
Susan Aguilar
Associate

Susan Aguilar

Susan has worked for more than 25 years in administrative management at HDA and provides coordination and support of the firm’s office financials and project activities. She manages HDA’s polling and data, coordinates communications training, and organizes media workshops. She specializes in events planning and maintains her professional and technical knowledge by cultivating personal networks.
Susan is also responsible for coordination of client contracts and proposals and oversees administrative activities for the Baton Rouge office.
Shannon Brunet
Associate

Shannon Brunet

Shannon has more than 16 years of administrative management experience at HDA. She manages HDA’s administrative support staff, front office operations, as well as, client, legislative and administrative databases. Shannon is also the Legislative Coordinator for staff and client lobbyists. She is involved in special event coordination and assists the associates with the implementation of communications projects and campaigns. Additionally, Shannon serves as HDA’s event manager for various legislative campaign fundraisers and events. She manages communications between clients, state, parish and local elected officials. Shannon is the go to person to distribute information to the registered Lobbyists in Louisiana for all upcoming events. Prior to joining HDA, she served in administrative management at a major corporation.
Michael Hayes
Associate

Michael Hayes

Mike brings more than 30 years of governmental relations and community affairs experience to HDA. His unique insight into to the stakeholder engagement process brings added value to the development of strategic communications plans. Previously, Mike served as manager of public affairs for Sasol North America and led communications efforts for several major projects including, most recently, Sasol’s ethane cracker and derivatives project in Westlake, Louisiana. In this capacity, he developed and led strategic government and public affairs plans for the company’s Louisiana assets. As the company representative for Sasol’s Voluntary Property Purchase Program, Mike brought extensive experience to the community empowerment and conflict resolution process.

Mike was a board member of the Chamber Southwest and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He served as a District Governor of the Rotary Club and continues as a Rotary Trainer. Previously, he has served on the board of the North American Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Prior to joining Sasol, Mike managed the environmental department for Conoco Chemicals, Vista and CONDEA Vista.
Michelle Hultberg
Associate

Michelle Hultberg

Michelle specializes in strategic communications planning, development and implementation of public affairs programs, crisis communications and community and media relations. Skills also include copy writing, website development, video production, event planning and public opinion assessments. She works extensively on public affairs and communications for a global energy development project and manages communications for a national water infrastructure project. In addition, she coordinated a major multi-industry engagement program to assist non-profits in delivering an educational and preventive health program. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and minors in business and French. Michelle also received a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from LSU with an emphasis in communications.
Jaci Juneau
Associate

Jaci Juneau

Jaci provides client and media relation services for HDA, including legislative bill tracking and reporting, as well as in-depth issues research. She also assists in crisis management and governmental relations issues in the environmental arena. Jaci has more than a decade of experience in public and governmental relations, media relations and crisis management. Prior to joining HDA, she served as the assistant caucus administrator for the Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation, where she managed nearly 90 members, maintained records, organized large events and worked with legislators both in the Capitol and in their districts. She has experience as a media buyer and project manager and has organized advertising campaigns and coordinated media buys. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University with degrees in History and Political Science.
Payton Keith
Associate

Payton Keith

Payton specializes in public opinion research, opposition research, strategic planning, governmental relations, and community outreach logistics. As the “boots” on the ground in Texas, Payton brings a depth of local and state knowledge to the table when assessing critical issues facing industry clients in the region. His positioning in Southeast Texas ensures that matters of local governmental relations and community outreach receive personal attention. Payton currently provides comprehensive research, strategic planning, and guidance on local issues for global leaders in the petrochemical and refining industry. Other duties have included legislative and public opinion analysis for a leading industry group in the region, due diligence on facility and siting investment, management of charitable outreach efforts, and site support for clients. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Payton has more than six years experience in state governance and campaign politics in Texas.
David LaPlante
Associate

David LaPlante

David specializes in issues management, public affairs, and strategic communications planning. He is also involved in media and governmental relations, public opinion analysis, and media and crisis communications training. He draws on knowledge of governmental and public relations accrued over five years working at the Louisiana State Senate. In addition, David has a background in feature and newspaper writing, which he employs to craft messages that bridge communication voids, establish connections and express key ideas. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication with a B.A. in Public Relations.
Ginny Martinez
Associate

Ginny Martinez

Growing up “inside the Capitol,” and with more than a decade of experience in governmental relations, Ginny brings her unique knowledge of Louisiana’s political process to the table. As a consultant to numerous political campaigns, including that of a former Louisiana governor, as well as her experience working in the communications office for a U.S. Senator, Ginny is able to effectively communicate a “beyond the headlines” perspective to both clients and lawmakers. Although Ginny has worked on numerous political and communications campaigns for industrial manufacturing and transportation sector clients, she has also played an active role on behalf of clients in the ever-increasingly important health sector. Ginny graduated with honors from the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.
Libby McKerley
Associate

Libby McKerley

Working as HDA’s chief accountant for more than 20 years, Libby controls all financial operations for the firm, including contracts, project cost analysis, firm accounting and investments, as well as personnel accounting. She acts as our computer network administrator, assessing and procuring all staff technical needs. After graduating from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Management and Administration with a concentration in finance, she worked in the accounting and finance fields as she continued her education at LSU in accounting and computer software and system management.
Elizabeth Perry
Associate

Elizabeth Perry

Elizabeth serves as art director and production manager for HDA and has more than 30 years of experience in graphic design, advertising, print production and media placement. Her responsibilities include designing and producing all print material and providing overall quality assurance. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design Technology from Louisiana State University and has been awarded professional recognition locally, regionally and nationally for her graphic design work and creativity. Her previous work experience has been with advertising agencies, printing companies and publishing firms. Elizabeth currently serves on the board of directors for the American Advertising Federation - Baton Rouge and received their E.A. "Pete" Goldsby Silver Medal lifetime achievement award in 2010. She is a Past District Governor of the American Advertising Federation and received the AAF District 7 Otis Dodge Memorial Award in 2005 and was named LSU College of Art & Design's Most Outstanding Professional in 2006. Elizabeth has also been honored for her volunteer work with the Downtown Baton Rouge Lions Club.
Alisha Prather
Associate

Alisha Prather

Alisha helps thought leaders and organizations analyze and translate complex ideas into effective messages for diverse audiences. She brings proven communication strategies to practice for clients relying on nearly 25 years of experience in public affairs, strategic/crisis communications, issues management, media relations and policy analysis across government, political, academic and nonprofit sectors. She spent more than a decade in Washington, DC directing communications for members of Congress, influential Congressional coalitions, and for the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology. She also directed communications and marketing for world leaders in science and research, including LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch. A native of Crowley, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Jim Rich
Associate

Jim Rich

Jim Rich has spent the past 19 years providing leadership and expertise to a wide range of economic development and community development activities in Southeast Texas. He continues to serve as the Executive Director for the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation with a mission to promote the region. He served as CEO/President of the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce for 14 years, ending June 2015. He also served a 25-year federal law enforcement career with the United States Department of Justice. Jim has great insights into politics and administration. What works and what doesn’t work. He is a former Commissioner for the Sabine Neches Navigation and Waterway District. In February 2013 he was recognized as Executive of the Year by the Sales & Marketing Executives of Southeast Texas and in June 2014, he received the Marvin A. Hurley Award which is the highest recognition from the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives for career excellence and service. Jim holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Kent State University and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History. He completed the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
Alexis Schlatre
Associate

Alexis Schlatre

With 15 years of experience in journalism, public relations, governmental affairs and crisis communications, Alexis has successfully carried out communications strategies on behalf of many clients. She served as communications director for the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, providing strategic communications and political counsel on a variety of issues affecting the state. Alexis also managed a media relations agency, overseeing all major clients and the day-to-day operations of the business. Her expertise includes writing, editing, developing grassroots campaigns, creating advertising and collateral materials, website content, videos and event planning. Alexis is the Executive Director of Solutions Through Science, a partnership of the chlorine and vinyl industries in the state of Louisiana. She graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish. Alexis also received a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Carol Scott
Senior Counselor

Carol Scott

Carol's reputation for excellence and integrity makes her a highly sought-after counselor for clients in all sectors of business including manufacturing, energy, financial and transportation. She brings powerful insight and clarity to the process of strategic communications and public engagement. After a multi-faceted career including ownership of agency in Corpus Christi, Carol has joined the HDA team as a senior counselor. She holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Texas A&M University – Kingsville, earned her Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and has completed the course in public participation from the International Association for Public Participation. Professional highlights include being honored with the Paul M. Lund Public Service Award from the PRSA in 2013, her induction into the PRSA’s College of Fellows in 2005 and receiving the Golden Spur Award from the Texas Public Relations Association in 2004.
Clark Vega
Associate

Clark Vega

Clark is HDA's project and legislative researcher for more than 20 years. He is responsible for collecting and maintaining various in-house databases, including media lists, public officials rosters and company site profiles, and coordinating project tasks for multi-member industry groups. He is also responsible for maintaining the legislative bill tracking system and coordinating the flow of information to and from clients during legislative sessions. In addition, Clark monitors the progress of client issues in the environmental, tax and business development arenas. He also has experience in conducting opinion research. Clark holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University.
Renée D. Verma
Associate

Renée D. Verma

Renée specializes in strategic communications planning, the development and implementation of comprehensive public relations image campaigns, marketing and branding projects, as well as community and media relations. She is well-versed in video and print production, Web site development, copy writing, special events planning and public opinion research. During her 18-year career with HDA, Renée earned professional recognition for her extensive campaign work and earned her accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Louisiana State University and continued her education at Loyola University's School of Mass Communication in New Orleans.
Randall Womack
Associate

Randall Womack

Randall has spent his time over the past 17 years, on behalf of HDA clients, lobbying the legislative, executive and regulatory branches of state government. He has served as a special assistant to two Louisiana governors and also served as an appointed director of Boards and Commissions for the state of Louisiana. He has provided a wide range of services to political campaigns, including logistics coordination and campaign strategy. He has extensive experience in legislative lobbying and is a veteran in congressional, gubernatorial and legislative campaigns. Prior to entering the political arena, he worked in law enforcement.