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                                             Rick Ward, CEcD

                                             Director, Business Development 

                                             Louisiana Economic Development


Rick Ward joined the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) Office of Business Development in 2011. As Director of Business Development, Ward leads a team of project managers who work with companies interested in locating in, expanding in or relocating to Louisiana.

Previously he directed the statewide economic development program for the Louisiana Electric Cooperatives beginning in 1988, when he joined Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.  On April 1, 2000, NRG Energy, Inc. acquired Cajun Electric as a platform for growth in the South.


In his expanded role with the new company, Ward evaluated sites and developed new power plants and other business investment opportunities for NRG in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.  He also managed the assets of NRG New Roads Holdings LLC, a real estate subsidiary of NRG Energy.

Prior to moving to Louisiana he was CEO of a regional economic development organization in central Mississippi for five years, and was president-elect of the Mississippi Economic Development Council.

Ward is a graduate of Texas State University with a BBA Finance degree and the University of Southern Mississippi with a Master of Science in Economic Development.  He is a Certified Economic and Community Developer (CEcD), past-president of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, and is an instructor for the LSU Executive Education Basic Economic Development Course. He is also a member of the International Economic Development Council, has served on the Board of Directors of both the National Rural Economic Developers Association and the Southern Economic Development Council, and served on the national advisory committee for Touchstone Energy’s Business Development Group.

He is married to the former Nancy Lynn King of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and they have two grown children.

Don Pierson, CEcD
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