Levee board hires new executive director

PATTERSON — The St. Mary Parish Levee District has hired a new executive director who has prior experience with the levee district.

The board unanimously approved the hiring of Hilary J. Thibodeaux, business line manager with Shaw Coastal’s Houma office, as its new director.

He submitted his resignation with Shaw on Thursday evening and will begin work with the levee district on Oct. 14.

Levee commission member Andrew Mancuso recommended Thibodeaux and the board subsequently approved the hiring on a 6-0 vote. Commission Secretary Barry Broussard and commissioners Phillip Luke and Luther Smith all were absent.

“He had expressed interest during our previous search but due to some professional obligations at the time, was not able to apply,” Mancuso said. “He’s now since applied for the position to fill the vacancy. I would have recommended him for the position before and I’d like to recommend his hiring today.”

Thibodeaux replaces Allen Kelly, who resigned his post on Sept. 6, after roughly six months on the job.

As executive director, Thibodeaux will receive an annual salary of $105,000, a monthly $600 car allowance, unless the levee district decides to purchase a vehicle for him, and other benefits Kelly received.

Thibodeaux holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette.

He holds Louisiana and Georgia licenses as a registered professional civil engineer, too.

He joined Shaw in 2004 as a design engineer and within four years, he was named Business Line manager for the Houma office where he managed the facility and 25 employees.

During his time at Shaw, he performed project manager duties on high profile or complex projects along with designing and permitting projects on an as-needed basis.

Locally, he has worked as project manager for each of Shaw’s assigned tasks for work on the Franklin Canal, Hanson Canal and Yellow Bayou projects.

He also has worked as project manager for the Morganza to the Gulf, Donaldsonville to the Gulf, the Terrebonne Parish Barrier Plan and Terrebonne Parish Levee/Pump Station Master Plan projects.

Before joining Shaw, Thibodeaux worked for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Restoration Division from 1997 to 2004 where he gained experience in project management, feasibility studies, engineering and design, regulatory permitting, construction administration and developing operation and maintenance plans for more than 50 coastal restoration projects.

Thibodeaux also gained experience in procedures in funding multi-government projects, including the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection Restoration Act, Water Resource Development Act, Coastal Impact Assistance Program and other grant programs.

Among the projects he worked on were Whiskey Island Restoration and Point Au Fer Island shore protection.

He is a member of the Louisiana Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers.

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