Brenda Guess Named Louisiana Assistant Secretary of Economic Development
BATON ROUGE — Brenda Guess, a 35-year Louisiana economic development veteran with leadership experience in state and municipal governments and private sector companies, has been named the agency’s deputy secretary, the agency announced. LED secretary, Don Pierson.Guess, who has served as director of LED’s office of business incentive services since 2012, will be primarily responsible for guiding LED programs that grow Louisiana’s small business sector. State support for small businesses has increased significantly since Governor John Bel Edwards took office in 2016 and will expand further in 2022 with the injection of at least $74.2 million in government funding. ‘State Small Business Credit Initiative by the US Treasury. The LED has been designated as the state agency responsible for overseeing the disbursement of these federal funds, which are designed to provide credit support and investments to small businesses, and to increase access to capital for socially-minded business entities. and economically disadvantaged and underserved communities. “I am delighted to promote Brenda Guess to this key leadership role at LED,” said Pierson. “She has been an important member of our leadership team for many years, overseeing critical initiatives that have significant impacts on Louisiana’s economy. Brenda’s experience administering complex programs affecting every sector of our economy and every region of our state has prepared her well to lead the SSBCI effort in our state. I can think of no one better qualified to partner with Louisiana’s small business owners and the communities they serve.” As Director and Head of Business Incentive Services at LED, Guess served as an administrator for various state programs developed for the creation, retention, and expansion of Louisiana businesses and industries. Prior to joining LED in 1987, Guess spent six years in Baton Rouge municipal government and six years managing private sector businesses. She holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern University. “I am honored by this appointment and look forward to serving LED in this new capacity,” Guess said. “Small businesses represent 53% of Louisiana workers and 99% of Louisiana employers, and our mission is to provide them with the support they need to succeed. The State’s Small Business Credit Initiative offers a unique opportunity to empower a new generation of small business owners and expansion, and I look forward to beginning to work with Secretary Pierson and our local stakeholders and regions to maximize its impact on Louisiana. Governor Edwards’ appointment of Guess as assistant secretary is subject to confirmation by the Louisiana Senate. She replaces Mandi Mitchell, who became president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority in November.