LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- Shortly after finishing his first 100 days as the chief executive officer and president of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Jason El Koubi referred to the Lafayette Parish School Board as being in a state of "dysfunction."

"The thing I hear more than probably anything else about the issues is that there is a huge degree of discontentment right now in the business community about what's going on in the school board," El Koubi said. "Almost everybody I talk to tells me that they really want a school board that can work together to make steady progress on implementing the Turnaround Plan for the kids."

"I don't think they're [the public] seeing it right now," El Koubi said.

While El Koubi said the Chamber doesn't support or endorse specific candidates, it does have a political action committee that "engages in political races," and he said "it is a time to really focus in on this issue as a big priority for our community as we go into 2014."

"This is our time as a community to rally together to encourage good people to run, to support them, to advance a strong agenda about improving education," El Koubi said.

First 100 Days

El Koubi characterized his first 100 days as "great," a period in which he said he focused on getting out and listening to the community. He said two things stood out and will be implemented:

  1. The business community wants a structure to advance big initiatives for the entire region.
  2. A Chamber focus on the school board elections.

Staff Enhancements

El Koubi also announced a set of "staff enhancements":

  • Bruce Conque will become Vice President for Community Development, focusing on strengthening the community at the grassroots level.
  • Nicole DesOrmeaux will become the special assistant to the CEO, helping on a wide range of special projects.
  • Jeff Bashaw has been hired as a policy manager.
  • Haley Armand will serve as events director.