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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LT&C

Adam Knapp to Lead Louisiana's Committee of 100 , Aims to Propel State's Private Sector Growth

Adam Knapp, who has served as the President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) since 2008, is embarking on an exciting new chapter in his career. Knapp has accepted the prestigious role of CEO at the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, a prominent statewide coalition consisting of top-tier business executives. His appointment follows an exhaustive nationwide search to succeed Michael Olivier, the former Louisiana Economic Development secretary who announced his retirement earlier this year. Knapp will officially take the reins on November 1, 2023.

The Committee of 100, commonly referred to as C100, comprises CEOs and university presidents united by a common goal: to harness their private-sector expertise to stimulate economic growth within the state. The organization collaborates closely with regional and state economic development bodies to bring vital projects to fruition.

C100's Executive Committee Chair, Wayne Brown, founder, and senior vice president of Brown Builders Inc. of Bossier City, expressed his enthusiasm for Knapp's appointment, stating, "The vision and energy Adam will bring to C100, coupled with his proven track record of advancing business and industry growth, is exciting for our organization and Louisiana, as a whole."

Reflecting on his decision to join C100, Knapp revealed that the organization had approached him about the role. In discussions with C100 officials, they explored how they could elevate the Committee of 100's mission by involving the private sector more extensively in economic development efforts.

Knapp underscored the significance of C100's RESET initiative, a comprehensive statewide policy platform developed in collaboration with the Council for a Better Louisiana and the Public Affairs Research Council. He sees RESET as an exciting avenue for providing clear direction and a playbook of innovative ideas to guide Louisiana's future.

A native of Lake Charles, Knapp holds a degree from Davidson College, where he graduated in 1996. He also pursued further studies at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Julius-Maximilians Universität in Germany. Before entering the public sector, Knapp worked at the consulting firm Accenture.

Prior to his tenure at BRAC, Knapp served as the Deputy Director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, a state entity instrumental in facilitating recovery efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He also held advisory roles in state economic development under two Louisiana governors.

Knapp is a vocal advocate for instilling a "sense of ambition and urgency" in economic development, not just in Baton Rouge but across Louisiana. He believes that this sense of urgency, combined with a "bias toward action," is crucial for achieving significant economic progress.

Reflecting on his time at BRAC, Knapp highlighted over 200 economic development announcements for the region in the last 15 years. He also emphasized legislative victories related to economic development funding, tax reform, blight law, public safety, and transportation. Additionally, Knapp mentioned successful initiatives such as the Drive minority business accelerator and the transformation of BRAC's downtown headquarters into a vibrant new hub.

BRAC officials bid Knapp farewell and praised his unwavering commitment, leadership, and boundless energy that have propelled both the organization and the region forward over the past 15 years. Under Knapp's stewardship, BRAC has secured more than 200 business development projects throughout the region, championed key legislative changes, and played a pivotal role in making BRAC one of the leading state economic development organizations in the United States and the South.

BRAC's board leadership is set to convene in the coming days to plan the next steps for leadership transition. The organization remains committed to finding the best talent to continue fostering economic growth in Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

In his previous role as BRAC CEO, Knapp earned $322,774 in 2021 and collected an additional $42,677, according to IRS data filed by the nonprofit organization in 2021. Michael Olivier, Knapp's predecessor and former CEO of C100, earned $300,000 as CEO of the Committee of 100 in 2022, according to IRS data.


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