During the summer, the Lafayette City Parish Council created the position of Chief Development Officer.

Lafayette City Parish President Joey Durel announced today that he has appointed local attorney Kevin Blanchard to the post.

As the new CDO, Blanchard will coordinate planning and development efforts across local government,

Durel says,

"This new position will formalize a 'one-stop shop' process that will bring all the various departments to the table when new developments are proposed. In an era where cities are competing with one another for economic development opportunities, it is critical for the development process to be predictable and easy to navigate.  Kevin will be responsible for leading the government's effort to solidify Lafayette's reputation as a great place to start and grow a business."

Blanchard will report directly to Joey Durel, and he will serve as the liaison between the development community and local government staff.

Blanchard has been practicing commercial and oil and gas law with the Onebane Law Firm since 2011.

He is the current chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, and he will retain that post.

Taking on the new job as CDO, Blanchard will lead efforts to implement the comprehensive plan.

Durel says,

"Over the last 18 months, Kevin has been helping lead the comprehensive planning effort, and he's made a positive impression on the community. His passion for the issues, as well as his understanding of the workings of business, government, and the law make him an ideal choice to take over this new responsibility."

Before becoming an attorney, Blanchard worked at the Acadiana Bureau of the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Blanchard is also a member of the board of directors for the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, a board member for the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association, and was recently named to the Top 20 Under 40 by the Daily Advertiser and the705.

Blanchard says,

"I'm honored by this appointment and grateful for the opportunity to serve. We are poised for positive changes in our development and land use practices that will benefit businesses, the economy, and taxpayers. As this is a new position, I expect there will be a healthy learning curve, but I am very excited to be part of the team."