Johnny Bradberry is leaving his positions in state government as the governor’s executive assistant of coastal activities and chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to become president of Baton Rouge-based engineering firm GEC, Inc.
He will replace GEC owner Verdi Adams, who has been serving as acting president since September, when Sherri LeBas stepped down as president, transferring to another position with the firm.
Bradberry brings decades of public- and private-sector experience to the 32-year-old engineering firm. He has been the governor’s executive assistant of coastal activities—which automatically places him at the helm of the CPRA—since Gov. John Bel Edwards took office in 2016. He previously served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development during Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s administration. He also spent more than two decades in the oil and gas industry with Conoco Phillips.
Bradberry was unavailable for comment today. But Adams says GEC sought him out after LeBas stepped down and spent the next several months trying to recruit him.
“We’ve been talking to him for a long time now about coming to work for us,” Adams says. “With his background and visionary approach to problems, I think GEC will keep growing.”
GEC, which began as a structural design and engineering firm in 1986, has been expanding into the coastal and environmental spheres and is also interested in doing more petrochemical work, Adam says, so Bradberry’s experience in both arenas will help.
LeBas, who worked under Bradberry at DOTD and became secretary of the agency herself under Gov. Bobby Jindal, says she requested the transfer to senior vice president of business development earlier this fall because she felt her talents would be better utilized in that area. Earlier this year, she was named one of Business Report’s Influential Women in Business.
“I enjoy being out in the community, meeting with people and talking to them about what their needs are and how we can help provide service to them to fulfill those needs,” she says.