METAIRIE, LA – The Jefferson Chamber Board of Directors selected Ruth W. Lawson to serve as President of the 25-year-old business organization.
Lawson, who will begin her new role on December 14, is currently serving as Executive Director of the Jefferson Parish Finance Authority where she managed an operating budget and portfolio of approximately $20 million in investments, cash and securities. She is a small business co-owner with her husband Brett of several Smoothie King franchises, a nutritional beverage company founded in Kenner. Lawson, a graduate of LSU Law School who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the same university, also served as a Senior Parish Attorney and as a Chief Administrative Officer in Jefferson Parish. She was a corporate attorney and compliance officer for Barriere Construction Company, L.L.C. following her years in Jefferson Parish government.
Lawson becomes the fourth president of the highly respected business organization. She replaces outgoing President Todd Murphy who resigned last month to start The M Group, a financial services company powered by Raymond James. Said Murphy, “I look forward to assisting Ruth with a seamless transition so that we may continue the organization’s momentum and influence in our region.”
A resident of Gretna, Lawson was a standout choice for the board to lead the award-winning chamber team and serve as a spokesperson for issues impacting free enterprise and business in Jefferson Parish and across our state. Chamber Board Chairman John Leblanc of Hibernia Bank noted that Lawson was selected from more than 100 applicants in a nationwide search guided by management consulting firm SSA Consultants. Said LeBlanc, “Ruth brings a strong acumen to the director’s seat and will serve us well in the halls of local government and the legislature.”
Stated Lawson, “I am both pleased and proud to rise to the challenge of leading one of the nation’s most recognized Chambers of Commerce. I will continue the organization’s tradition of boldly advocating for a more business-friendly environment in our state and holding leaders accountable for their actions. This is an honor, but mostly it is an opportunity for me to make a difference towards advancing our parish in many areas including workforce development, small business retention and growth, and diversifying our economy. I am eager to begin my new assignment.”
The Jefferson Chamber has been awarded three State Chamber of the Year honors in the past decade from the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (LACCE). In 2018, the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI), the largest business organization in the state, named the Jefferson Chamber the Economic Development Partner of the Year. Most impressively, the Jefferson Chamber is one of 132 out of 7,000 organizations to be distinguished as a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Jefferson Chamber works in tandem with the Jefferson Chamber Foundation and the Jefferson Chamber Political Action Committee and is funded by private investments.