Barrow says Research Park Corp. will benefit from her legislation targeting its board

    The author of legislation that will transform the structure of the Research Park Corp. leadership says both the organization and the entrepreneurship advocacy organization it oversees known as NexusLA will benefit from downsizing and other structural changes.

    In a statement to Daily Report, Sen. Regina Barrow did not address questions about what prompted her bill or the timing of amendments late in the session to a bill that originally addressed only sickle cell anemia. She also noted that beyond her statement, she will not comment on the matter moving forward.

    “It’s a pleasure to be a strong advocate for NexusLA Tech Park, which I have demonstrated over the years,” Barrow wrote in her statement. “As someone who has been actively involved with Nexus over the years, I can attest to the tremendous value it brings to our community and state. I believe the board can benefit from a few structural changes, including downsizing and ensuring representation for individuals from the business industry.” 

    Barrow pointed to potential international opportunities and the importance of NexusLA adapting to the evolving business landscape.

    “Nexus can position itself as a leader in the industry and open up new avenues for growth,” she wrote. “I am committed to supporting these changes and ensuring that our state continues to benefit from the incredible resources and opportunities provided by Nexus Louisiana.”

    Barrow prefiled the bill on Feb. 9. Its purpose then was to enact changes to the Louisiana Sickle Cell Commission membership and its responsibilities. 

    The bill was revised to target the Research Park Corporation during a session of the House Committee on Health and Welfare last month. 

    If Gov. Jeff Landry signs the bill into law, it would reduce the board of directors from a range of nine to 12 members to a minimum of seven and no more than nine. It would also give Barrow and Rep. C. Denise Marcelle of Baton Rouge control over two appointments and reduce the maximum number of business sector appointees from seven to two.

    In an interview with Daily Report last week, NexusLA Chair Anita Byrne said the board’s input on those and other changes was never sought.

    The legislation could affect NexusLA in its search for a new CEO following the departure of longtime executive Genevieve Silverman in 2022.