Get to Know Executive Director Paul Aucoin
Even before he was selected as the Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana, Paul Aucoin was already demonstrating a steadfast commitment to the state and the River Region.
A graduate of Loyola Law School in New Orleans, Aucoin began working as a sole practitioner in 1971, marking the start of a prosperous legal career that continues today. Aucoin was selected by his peers to serve eight one-year terms as a member of the House of Delegates of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and in 1997 was appointed by St. James Parish President Dale Hymel to the St. James Parish Economic Development Board. That appointment continued for consecutive four-year terms until, in 2002, he was elected as Chairman of the Board. Although previous Chairmen were limited to one-year terms, the bylaws were amended to allow Aucoin to continue in his role, which he still holds today.
Other notable civic engagements include Aucoin’s work on the Attorney General’s Ad Hoc Committee on School Safety in 1999, where he assisted in formulating a statewide safe school program stressing the prevention of, response to, and counseling for violent acts at Louisiana schools. Part of the committee’s focus was installing mobile phones on every Louisiana school bus and equipping each vehicle with detailed contact information and instructions on appropriate responses to a wide range of emergencies.
In fact, education has always been a central focus of Aucoin’s career and advocacy, a passion which also led to his election to the First Board of Directors of the River Parishes Community College Foundation, where he began as Treasurer. Since then, Aucoin has served as Chairman of the board three times – in 2001, 2002, and 2003 – and continues to serve on the Foundation Board in various capacities. After 20 years, his commitment to ensuring a high-quality of education for all River Parishes students has never wavered, and along with fellow Board members, Aucoin has helped to oversee the opening of additional RPCC campus locations with diverse career training options.
Aucoin was also elected as the First Chairman of the River Parishes Tourist & Visitors Commission, an alliance formed by the Louisiana Legislature to promote tourism in the tri-parish region of St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles. Their efforts positioned the area as culturally and historically rich attraction for visitors, and due to the Commission’s success, Aucoin was re-elected as Chairman from 2001-2016.
To this day, Aucoin continues to hold positions on several boards focused on improving the economy and quality of life both locally and statewide, including the Board of Directors of the River Region Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center of New Orleans, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund Committee, among several others.
But through his many and varied accomplishments, Aucoin still considers his work with the Port of South Louisiana as the highest honor of his career. His long-standing relationship with the Port began in 2012, when he served as Legal Counsel, and culminated with his appointment as Executive Director on July 15, 2013. Under his tenure, the Port has grown exponentially in both community and economic impact, and as Aucoin enters his eighth year of leadership, he looks forward to pushing the scope of the Port’s work even further.