BATON ROUGE, LA – The Ports Association of Louisiana (PAL) Board of Directors elected its new officers who will take office for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2020. The new officers form the Executive Committee for the board, which is tasked with representing the organization, along with its Executive Director. The Committee serves to keep PAL’s membership abreast of any legislation, educational opportunities, or potential partnerships pertaining to the advancement of the maritime industry. The PAL Board is comprised of 29 corporate members, each representing a different port from across the state. PAL also has nearly 100 associate members representing ancillary businesses and stakeholders from across the nation.

The new officers are:

Lynn Hohensee, President; Port Director, West Calcasieu Port

Paul Aucoin, Vice President; Executive Director, Port of South Louisiana

Jay Hardman, Treasurer; Executive Director, Port of Greater Baton Rouge

David Rabalais, Secretary; Executive Director, Terrebonne Port

“Our entire organization could not be more grateful for the leadership team that has stepped forward to lead PAL over the next two years,” Executive Director Jennifer Marusak said. “Their expertise, efforts and time will prove invaluable to not only our Corporate members, but our Associate members, as well.

“It is a great personal honor to have been elected to serve as PAL’s president for the next two years,” Hohensee said.  “The incoming slate of officers represents deep water ports, coastal ports and inland waterway ports, and represents the diversity of maritime public ports across this great state.”

Lynn E. Hohensee takes over the role of PAL President from outgoing President Executive Director of St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District Drew Heaphy. Hohensee owns and operates LEH Communications, LLC, under which he is under contract with the West Calcasieu Port where he has served as port director since June 2006. 

The West Cal Port is a 203-acre inland waterway port on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Southwest Louisiana, and its port tenants specialize in maritime transportation support, including shallow-water barge fleeting, barge cleaning/stripping/repair services, maritime construction, marine fueling and construction materials sales/service.

Prior to opening his business in August 2005, Hohensee served as executive director of The Chamber Foundation/Southwest Louisiana in Lake Charles, La.  He joined The Chamber/SWLA in June 2003 as the Director of Economic Development & Investor Relations for the Chamber/SWLA.

In February 2003, Hohensee formally retired from ConocoPhillips (formerly Conoco) after 22 years of service. In his final position with ConocoPhillips, he served as the regional director-public relations for the company’s Gulf Coast Business Unit headquartered in Lake Charles, from March 1999 to September 2002.  Prior to joining Conoco, he held corporate communications/community relations positions for Shell Oil Company in Louisiana and Texas for eight years.

Hohensee is a 1971 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism/geography (double major). Paralleling his civilian corporate communications career, Hohensee pursued a 28-year public affairs career in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve. He is a graduate of the Department of Defense Information School and the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College.  He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1998.

Paul G. Aucoin was born and reared on the Westbank of St. John the Baptist Parish in Wallace, Louisiana. He attended Loyola University for undergraduate school and received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Loyola University Law School in May of 1970. Aucoin has practiced law since graduating from law school, acquiring his own private practice in May 1971. He maintains his private law firm to this day. Aucoin is the proud father of two girls, Shelley and Leah.

In July 2013, Aucoin was selected to serve as executive director of the Port of South Louisiana. A year prior to his appointment as executive director, he was the Port’s legal counsel. He has long-standing affiliations with the American and Louisiana State Bar Associations. Furthermore, he has served as director and chairman of various organizations and boards including the 29th Judicial District Indigent Defender Board, the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System,  the South Central Planning Regional Loan Foundation, the River Parishes Community College, the River Parishes Tourist and Visitors Commission, the River Region Chamber of Commerce, the St. James Bank and Trust Company, the St. James Bank Corporation, and the St. James Parish Economic Development Board. He has close ties with other local groups such as the St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Pastoral Council, the River Region Arts and Humanities Council, and the New Orleans Chamber River Region Committee.

Aucoin was appointed to the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center of New Orleans and participates in the organization’s Government Affairs, International Business and Transportation committees.  Most recently he was appointed to the Louisiana Board of International Commerce and the Louisiana River Pilot Review and Oversight Board.

Aucoin was named as one of the “21 of Industry’s Most Influential Leaders of the Corridor” in 10/12 Industry Report in 2016.  He was honored to receive the World Trade Center 2017 Eugene Schreiber Award and the Plimsoll Mark Award at the World Trade Center International Jubilee.

John G. “Jay” Hardman, P.E., was appointed as executive director by the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission in November 2006. Hardman has held a number of key staff positions since joining the port in May 1999 as the director of engineering and environmental services and then its managing director.

In his role as executive director, he is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management of the port. Hardman, along with the port commission and other port stakeholders, have the responsibility to build on the port’s mission of supporting international and domestic commerce and facilitating economic development.

In recent years, the port has made significant improvements to its marine assets to meet the growing demands of transportation and trade in local industry.  Hardman has been responsible for the design and implementation of more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements to the port’s general cargo docks, road and rail. He has also been involved in enhancing port security measures and designing and developing new economic development projects such as the wood pellet plant, bulk sugar storage and distribution complex, container-on-barge facility, Maritime Security Operations Center and other improvements and rehabilitation projects at the port’s Inland Rivers Marine Terminal and other upgrades to the port’s public maritime infrastructure.


David Rabalais has served as the executive director of the Terrebonne Port Commission since 2006. In that role, Rabalais built an oil & gas service port from conception to more than $300 million in assets supporting thousands of jobs. He interfaces between government and private industry building millions of dollars in infrastructure for private companies using grants and lease revenue. The Terrebonne Port, under Rabalais’ leadership, recently completed a government Multi Use Complex that houses US Customs & Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Terrebonne Parish Sheriffs water patrol and Terrebonne Port’s Office.

Prior to joining to Terrebonne Port, Rabalais served as construction project manager for T. Baker Smith, Inc., and at Picciola & Associates, Inc. In those roles, he managed a group of inspectors and project managers overseeing various municipal and commercial construction projects with a budget of more than $5 million annual billable income.

Working in the oil and gas industry, Rabalais worked for Lowe Offshore, Inc. and RCI and a project manager, estimating, scheduling, and inspecting the fabrication and installation of Caissons, Offshore Platforms, Facility Equipment and Pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rabalais also worked at Cytec Industries, operating a 600,000 gallon-a-day methanol plant and at Bollinger Machine Shop & Shipyard, Inc., where he directed a team of engineers in the development of the overall Stability Programs for the U.S. Navy 10-meter RHIB vessels, 170′ Patrol Coastal (Cyclone Class) vessels and 110’ US Coast Guard Island Class vessels.

About the Ports Association of Louisiana

The Ports Association of Louisiana (PAL) is a nonprofit trade association that serves to promote the exchange of information between ports relative to new techniques or technologies on development, organization, administration and management; to facilitate the formulation of common positions, policies or plans on questions of common interest and to present such positions at regional, state, national and international discussions; to initiate measures which represent the interests of Association members within intergovernmental and other organizations in order to improve conditions and efficiency of the state’s port system; to promote academic research and educational interest in the ports and marine sectors; and to foster and encourage economic development within the State of Louisiana. For more information, visit www.portsoflouisiana.org.