Our board of directors consist of community advocates and environmental experts based throughout the state of Louisiana. Board members are nominated by existing members or selected because of their leadership within their community and the expertise they can contribute to LEAN’s mission.
Current Board Members
Dr. Griff Blakewood
Renewable Resource Institute
Dr. Griff Blakewood served as Action Head of the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He had a long history of working with LEAN. Prior to his death, he was working to establish the “Discovery Trail” which is designed to connect primary and secondary school educators with opportunities to teach hands-on science in a natural setting.
(Photo Copyright Philip Gould)
Frank A. Bonifay
Bluff Swamp Wildlife Refuge
Frank Bonifay is a resident of Prairieville, but you are more likely to find him at Alligator Bayou. He is working to preserve 1,300 acres of old growth swamp and wetlands through a project that includes a wildlife refuge and an environmental and wilderness education program. The area being preserved is south of Baton Rouge and is threatened by industrial development, chemical contamination and urban sprawl.
Guardians of Our Land and Water (Grand Bois)
Clarice Friloux of Grand Bois in Lafourche Parish is a long-time board member who first came to LEAN over concerns with a oilfield waste disposal facility adjacent to her primarily Native American, low-income community.
When Exxon dumped more than 80 semi-trailer truck loads of waste from Alabama at the dump site she and her neighbors became sick. Her fight was the focus of a CBS hour long special hosted by Ed Bradley. She continues to lead the struggle through her community group, Guardians of our Land and Water
Oakville Community Action Group
Rose Jackson is a vocal activist who works on solid waste issues. She has a landfill in her “backyard” and she organizes and motivates her community around the issue. She is a consistent and honest community leader demanding accountability from the private companies that threaten her home and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Calcasieu League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN) / Sabine Riverkeeper
Paul Ringo is a resident of Lake Charles and works as a registered nurse. Paul has spent many years as a concerned citizen working to protect the people and environment of Southwest Louisiana, particularly in Calcasieu Parish. Most recently, Paul became the official Sabine Riverkeeper, a licensed organization of the international Waterkeeper Alliance.
Tulane Environmental Research Center
Jerry Speir is a resident of New Orleans and has a private law practice there. He is a former professor at Tulane University Law School and was a member of the LEAN founding committee. Jerry says that he was active in environmental organizations in the state for more than a decade before he lost his mind and went to law school. He received his law degree from Yale University.
North Louisiana Environmental Coalition / Ouachita Riverkeeper
Cheryl Slavant is a resident of Monroe and owner of an insurance agency. She has been involved in a variety of community battles including noise pollution from a dirt car race track, mismanaged and unsanitary private water systems, ground water contamination and water and air pollution from a large Paper Mill. Her experience and tenacity serves her well as the LEAN Board president.
Kathy R. Wascom
Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Kathy is the first woman to hold a statewide office with the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and is currently serving as 1st Vice President. Kathy serves as Vice-Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Task Force on Funding and Efficiency of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
She has represented LEAN as a legislative monitor for many years. Kathy was featured by The Baton Rouge Advocate in an article recognizing environmentally involved citizens. She also serves on the Earth Day planning committee for the city of Baton Rouge, one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the country.
Board Members (Emeritus)
Florence Robinson is a retired Professor of Biology who spent many years advocating for her community that faced threats to their health due to the surrounding industry. Her tireless work made her one of the iconic leaders of the environmental justice struggles in Louisiana and earned her the Heinz Award in the Environment.