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Dr. Dan Groft, Coordinator
LIDEA CLED Training Program

Dr. Daniel Groft is the Director of the H.C. Drew Center for Business and Economic Analysis (the “Drew CBEA”). He is also an Associate Professor of Economics. After receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from Louisiana State University, Dr. Groft was Assistant Professor at McNeese for two years before becoming the sole economist at Louisiana Economic Development. Dr. Groft went on to be the economist at the Louisiana Department of Revenue. During his time in state government, he provided research, statistical data, reports, and overall fiscal and economic analysis for agencies, legislators, agency publications, and the general public.   


Apart from teaching and research duties as a professor, Dr. Groft is currently Director of the Drew CBEA at McNeese. His duties include tracking economic data related to the Southwest Louisiana economy, answering economic related inquiries, producing quarterly reports on the state of the regional economy, and conducting economic analysis for commissioned reports. He also hosts the Southwest Louisiana Economic Intel Podcast, which looks at economic issues affecting the five parish Southwest Louisiana region.

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Brittany LaCour Deal, Interim Dean
LIDEA CLED Training Program

Brittany LaCour Deal is the Director of Business Intelligence at the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) in Lafayette, LA. She is responsible for research planning, execution, and oversight, which includes, but is not limited to, GIS mapping, economic impact studies, real estate site evaluations, special community development projects and more. Brittany has acted as LEDA’s liaison to the City of Carencro and as project lead for many critical research and special projects, such as, the University Avenue Corridor Initiative, America’s Competitiveness Exchange-Louisiana, LEDA Covid Community 311 Response and Grant Program, Elevate North Lafayette, and Lafayette Parish Retail Ready Program.


Brittany began her career at LEDA in 2014 and has earned the coveted IEDC Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) Certification after completing a three-year program with Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute. Most recently in 2022, Brittany was also designated as a Certified Economic Research Professional (CERP) by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

Brittany graduated with her bachelor’s in communications from UL-Monroe in 2012 and her Master of Science degree in Communications from UL-Lafayette in 2015. Later in 2019, Brittany was honored as one of Acadiana’s Top 20 under 40 Young Professionals and became a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXXII. Most recently, Brittany has been announced as a member of the 2024 Leadership Louisiana Class.

Brittany married her college sweetheart, Jawaskie Deal, of New Iberia, LA, and in her spare time, enjoys traveling, event planning, baking cupcakes and highly competitive game nights with her family and friends.


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