Who is Gary Beard and how does he keep landing public contracts?

    In his nearly 40-year career, Gary Beard has found work as an engineer, a state legislator, a failed candidate for statewide office and an inventor—according to his LinkedIn page. About a decade ago, he also dabbled in the state’s film industry, securing pre-certification for movie infrastructure tax credits that he sold but was never actually awarded, according to a lawsuit that he ultimately lost.

    But it has been at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport, as Business Report details, where he served as a member of the Airport Commission from 2013 to 2015, that Beard has found his niche. Since at least 2009, he has worked as a subcontractor to the various firms that have held BTR’s program management contract. At the same time, he has secured a lucrative program management contract of his own from one of the airport’s tenants, the Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control district, which is completing construction of a new $11.2 million facility on airport property.

    Together, the work from the airport and the MARC project has earned Beard and his small firm, Beard International, at least $1.7 million since late 2015, and that’s only a partial accounting because Beard’s complete billing records from the airport were not made available by the city-parish.

    Those who know Beard say they’re not surprised by his success saying that it is the product of years building connections through state politics. Read the full story here. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com

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