February 22, 2017 (St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana): The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) is welcoming its new board members and executive officers, recently appointed at the January Board Meeting. 


The 2017 Executive Committee includes officers Deborah D. Keller, Chair; Sean Warner, Vice Chair; Drew Heaphy, Treasurer; and Zeljko Franks, Secretary.  Other Executive Committee members include Bill Haines, Walter J. Leger, Jr., Frederick J. Sigur, Jr., and Joseph S. DiFatta.


Chair Keller recently submitted a letter to the 2017 Board of Directors and community partners expressing her enthusiasm for being selected to lead the organization in setting new goals and working to progress the business community of St. Bernard Parish. Deborah Keller, Deborah D Keller, Deborah D Keller and Partners, St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, SBEDF, St. Bernard, St. Bernard Parish, Nonprofits in St. Bernard Parish, St. Bernard Businesses, St. Bernard Engineers, St. Bernard Parish Civil Engineers, SBEDF Board of Directors, St. Bernard Economy


“I like to describe an SBEDF meeting of its Board of Directors as convening the “Think Tank” of St. Bernard Parish.”  Explained Keller, “We serve without compensation, seek to foster business relationships, use our combine expertise to make advisory recommendations and informed decisions, and oversee the operations of the SBEDF staff.”


Keller brings her expertise as a professional civil engineer for over 40 years to help guide the organization.  She developed extensive knowledge as Chief Engineer at the Port of New Orleans and now operates her own engineering firm, Deborah D. Keller and Partners in Chalmette. 


Keller is the first woman to be appointed as Chair of SBEDF and is currently a member of the Nunez Community College Foundation Board and the UNO College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board.


Keller believes that the new board will be instrumental in addressing the needs of the community. “We bring our diverse knowledge and experience to focus on a single mission: to retain and create jobs, build prosperity, and improve the quality of life for St. Bernard citizens. We acknowledge our challenges, but are determined to focus on opportunities to meet this mission.”


“We look forward to having Keller serve as Chair of the Board. Her experience with infrastructure, public works projects, and non-profit organizations will be key in achieving success,” explained Andrew Jacques, SBEDF Executive Director.  “She is passionate about our organization and its role in growing the local economy.  As a life-long resident of St. Bernard Parish, Mrs. Keller is committed to fulfilling our mission.”