Transition Advisory

Welcome Letter from Mayor Perkins

My fellow Shreveporters,

Shreveport is more than a city. It’s more than roads, buildings, and bridges. Shreveport is its people. It’s where we live, work, and play. It is our home. I ran for Mayor because it pained me to see my hometown in decline. Crime, low-wages, and outdated infrastructure have stalled progress in Shreveport. We need a new, community-oriented approach to policing, as well as mixed-income growth to tackle these problems. We must also invest in our city’s technological infrastructure for Shreveport to be competitive in a 21st Century economy.  This was my campaign platform. Now, it is time to translate that platform into policy—into the future of Shreveport.

I am excited to announce the “Future of Shreveport” Advisory Board.  This board is comprised of leaders from diverse backgrounds, each offering a unique perspective. Their viewpoint diversity, coupled with their expertise, will enable them to more effectively manage the work of their committees which are reflective of Shreveport’s varied communities.

The Advisory Board will oversee the development and production of a transition report compiled by its committees. There are eight committees: Technology, Infrastructure, Public Safety, Quality of Life, Economic Development, Education, Entertainment, and Faith Leader Partnerships. These committees will issue a report that consists of high-level, actionable policies that can be implemented in my first term as Mayor. This report will serve as a roadmap for my administration.

Co-Chairs

The Honorary Co-Chairs are business leaders and altruists who have devoted their lives to serving others. Their work on the “Future of Shreveport” transition team is a continuation of those selfless efforts. They will advise the Mayor-Elect on a broad range of transition and governance issues. The Honorary Co-Chairs will also serve as a resource to the entire transition team, lending their experience and expertise to the development of an in-depth, actionable Transition Report.

Graham Walker

is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fibrebond, a Northwest Louisiana-based manufacturing firm that builds complex engineered-to-order projects for the data center, petrochemical, power and telecom markets. As President, Graham has led the company’s diversification and growth initiatives through both organic growth and acquisitions. Today, the company employees 690 people throughout the United States. Graham has served in several local business and charitable organizations, including Holy Angels Residential Facility, The Committee of 100, the Finance Council of The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, and the Advisory Board of The Monastery of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy. Graham graduated from Sewanee and has an MBA in Finance from Louisiana State University. Prior to joining Fibrebond, Graham worked in corporate banking in Birmingham, Alabama and Shreveport, Louisiana. A native of Bienville Parish, Graham has lived in Shreveport with his wife Susannah, a local pediatrician, and their three daughters since 2004.

Anthony “Tony” Williams

 is the CEO of Global Resource Solutions (GRS).  As CEO, Tony is responsible for the planning, preparation, execution and direction of the company. From one small contract, Tony was able to build GRS into a global firm with over 250 consultants around the world that specialize in Intelligence, Supply Chain Risk Management(SCRM), Specialized Security Solutions, Cyber-Risk Management Framework(RMF), Information Technology, System Engineering, Business Process Improvement, Strategic Planning, and Socio-Cultural support within the PACOM (J2) and Human Resources and Administrative professional services to customers in the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC),The Social Security Administration(SSA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency(DTRA),  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The White House-Executive Office of the President (EOP).  

 

Before founding GRS in late 2006, Mr. Williams served for over three years as the Chief of Strategic Planning Group for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Vice Deputy Director for Human Resource Management and Administrative support for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (J2). Mr. Williams is responsible for standing up the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) first Strategic Planning Division (CS2) in 2004, and therefore produced the first DIA Strategic plan and brought forth “new” multi-functional direction for DIA that had not been in place in the forty years of DIA’s history.

 

Mr. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State University and Executive Leadership from Harvard School of Business; he also holds several Masters certificates in Program Management, Aligning Project Management with Corporate Strategy and Organizational Change from George Washington University.

Transition Advisory Board

The Transition Advisory Board is comprised of a diverse group of leaders with backgrounds in law, military, business, and academia. They will work closely with the committee chairs and subcommittees, overseeing the development and production of a transition report. This report will reflect the charge of its committees and the overall vision of Mayor-elect Perkins. It will include actionable policy recommendations and strategies the Mayor-elect can implement in his first term.

Dr. Ray L. Belton

serves as the 10th President of the Southern University System, the nation’s only historically black university system.  Prior to this appointment, he served as Chancellor of the Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA) campus, a leadership role that expanded over 14 years.  To date, Belton brings more than 30 years of experience in higher education and administration.

 

Dr. Belton has held several national leadership positions including serving on the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (COC-SACS), as a Commissioner on Diversity and Inclusion for the American Association of Community Colleges, the Executive Board of the Louisiana Campus Compact, and the National Advisory Board of Community Renewal International.  His statewide affiliations include serving in senior leadership roles with the Consortium for Education, Research and Technology (CERT), Biomedical Research Foundation, Alliance for Education, Coordinating & Development Corporation of Northwest Louisiana and as a member of the local Chambers and Committee of 100s.

 

Early in his career, he served on active duty in the United States Army for eight years on assignments stateside and abroad and was recognized as one of the top non-commissioned officers of his brigade.  
 
Dr. Belton graduated from SUSLA and continued his studies at Southern University A&M College where he graduated first in his class.  He earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen

is a United States veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 43 years. His military career culminated in 2018 as the 59th superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

 

Before this assignment, Lt. Gen. Caslen served as the chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, where he served as the senior military commander in Iraq after the drawdown of U.S. and allied forces in 2011. Lt. Gen. Caslen also served as the commandant of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth. 

During his time in the U.S. Army, Lt. Gen Caslen held several other notable positions including commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, commanding general of the Multi-National Division- North during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Commandant of Cadets for the U.S. Military Academy.  He served as Chief of Staff of both the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) and the 10th Mountain Division, where he also served as Chief of Staff of TF Mountain during Operation Enduring Freedom.  He also has overseas deployments in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, JTF-B in Honduras, and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Gen Caslen holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Long Island University and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University. 

He is married to the former Michele Pastin for 41 years and has 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Lieutenant General Robert Elder

(USAF, retired) joined the George Mason University faculty as a research professor with the Volgenau School of Engineering following his retirement from military service at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana as the Commander of 8th Air Force and U.S. Strategic Command’s Global Strike Component.  He currently conducts research in the areas of command and control, deterrence, escalation control, competition short of armed conflict, crisis management, and international actor decision-making.  General Elder served as the Central Command Air Forces Deputy Commander for Operation Enduring Freedom, Air Operations Center Commander and Deputy Air Component Commander for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Commandant of the Air War College.  He was the first commander of Air Force Network Operations and led the development of the cyberspace mission for the Air Force.  He received his Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Detroit, and resides in Shreveport Louisiana.  He is active with the Strategic Alternatives Consortium at LSU Shreveport, the Louisiana Military Affairs Committee, the National Defense Industrial Association’s Red River Regional Chapter and Cyber Augmented Operations Division, the Air Force Association, the Shreveport-Bossier Military Affairs Council, and the Louisiana Tech Engineering and Science Foundation.

Professor Gerald Frug

is the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Educated at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School, he worked as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., and as Health Services Administrator of the City of New York before he began teaching in 1974 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1981. Professor Frug’s specialty is local government law, a subject he has taught for more than thirty years. He has published dozens of articles on the topic and is the author, among other works, of a casebook – Local Government Law (5th edition 2009, with David Barron and Richard T. Ford) – and two other books: City Bound: How States Stifle Urban Innovation (Cornell University Press 2008, with David Barron), and City Making: Building Communities without Building Walls (Princeton University Press 1999). Professor Frug’s work has focused on local government issues both in the United States and around the world.

Rachel Lawler

 is a Northwest Louisiana native and local small business owner of RACHEL & Co. Realty in Shreveport. In 2006 Rachel graduated with Cum Laude honors from LSU-Shreveport with a BA in Foreign Languages and a minor in International Studies. Rachel has been a Louisiana Licensed REALTOR® since 2008, and is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the MLS Division of NWLAR, and the Louisiana Commercial Database (LACDB). Rachel has served on numerous committees of the Northwest Louisiana Association of REALTORS® and in 2019 she will serve on its Board of Directors. She recently received a nomination to serve on the Board of Directors for Cultural Crossroads of Minden, LLC—a 501c3 whose mission is to unite members of the community through the arts. Rachel is married to Joe Lawler, real estate attorney of Lawler Title. They live in Shreveport’s Spring Lake neighborhood with their two beloved dogs. She is a lover of theater, a travel enthusiast, and an active member of the local tennis community. 

Kay Medlin

is a founding Member and former Managing Partner of the law firm Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea L.L.C.  She received her B.A. and J.D. from Louisiana State University. Kay is a member of the Council of the Louisiana State Law Institute and has served on the Louisiana State Mineral Law Institute. She is married to Dale Earwood and has two children and two grandchildren.

Elliott Rodgers

is Senior Vice President of Logistics at Ulta Beauty, where he leads retail distribution, transportation, and ecommerce fulfillment for the United States’ largest beauty retailer. Since joining Ulta, Elliott has spearheaded the transformation of the supply chain in support of the company’s strategic imperatives. Prior to Ulta, Elliott held various leadership roles spanning a breadth of functions at Target and Citi, including leading operations for Target’s online and mobile businesses, and leading Citi’s retail branch expansion and business development initiatives. Elliott started his career as an officer in the United States Army, where he served in various assignments, including leading logistics support operations for humanitarian service missions.

Elliott holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is a recipient of the Corporate Values Award from Target Corporation, the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Honorable Order of Saint Martin for distinguished military leadership in logistics. Elliott is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, class of 2017, and Jim Edgar Fellow, class of 2017.

Tangela Sylvie

is a native of Shreveport and product of public education. After graduating from Woodlawn she furthered her education by earning a Bachelor’s Degree from Grambling State University and a Masters Plus 30 from Louisiana Tech University. While pursuing her career and educational goals she married Earnest Sylvie and together they have three lovely children.


Tangela Sylvie currently serves as the Principal at Cherokee Park Elementary School where she leads the instructional process that enables teachers and staff to enrich the lives of the boys and girls that attend the school. Tangela began her teaching career at Cherokee Park Elementary some (15) years ago. She has since pursued multiple career paths that include Career Teacher, Mentor Teacher, Master Teacher, Instructional Coordinator and Principal. During this time Tangela has been instrumental in leading Professional Development on the local and state level which has earned her such recognition as being a two-time recipient of The Cecil Picard Excellence in Education Award, a feature story done on her by Channel 3 News and being featured on the cover of National Educational Publications. She is also the Founder of the R. Tammy Fleming Walk to End Lupus; North Louisiana Chapter, a local charity event dedicated to the awareness of Lupus in North Louisiana, and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Tangela is fully connected to the community as is evidenced by her engagement in neighborhood meetings as well as partnering with area businesses to foster a strong connection between all stakeholders. She believes that every child deserves to have someone who won’t give up on them; but will encourage, support, and reassure them that we believe in them.

Shante’ Y. R. Wells

was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.  He attended Captain Shreve High School, where he served as Senior Class Vice President, Sergeant at Arms of the Black Studies Association, and also holds the distinction of being the first African American to be elected by the student body to serve as Al E. Gator, the school’s Mascot.  Shante’ graduated from Captain Shreve in 1992 and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1997. He graduated from Southern University Law Center in 2000, and was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in 2001.  

Shante’ devotes his practice to Criminal Defense, Personal Injury and Municipal Bond Law.  Recently, he was recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of America’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyers in America by the same organization.  He has served on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana State Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  Shante’ has also been recognized as one of Shreveport /Bossier Magazine’s Top Attorneys, as selected by fellow attorneys, for the last 13 years.  

As a Municipal Bond Attorney, Shante’s clients include the city of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, and the Caddo/Bossier Port Commission.  His firm is one of only two minority-owned law firms in the state of Louisiana that is listed in the Municipal Marketplace Directory, “the Red Book.”  Washington and Wells has served as Bond Counsel on numerous transactions and in 2011 served as one of four lawyers on the largest municipal bond transaction in the history of the city of Shreveport ($170,000,000.00). 

Shante’  is the father of three children, Kennedy age 15, Sydnee age 14, and Shante’ II, age 6.

Dr. Cheryl White

 is an Associate Professor of History at Louisiana State University at Shreveport and holds the endowed Hubert Humphreys Professorship in History. She is the author of several books on local and regional history, and she lectures nationally and internationally on a variety of historical topics through various organizational affiliations.  In addition to serving as an active historic preservationist, she serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations in the broader Shreveport community and region.

Joshua K. Williams

is an assistant district attorney for Caddo Parish in Shreveport. He received a BS degree in business in 2009 from the University of New Orleans and his JD degree in 2013 from Southern University Law Center. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2014.

Joshua was a member of the 2016-17 Leadership Louisiana State Bar Association Class. He is a member of the Shreveport Bar Association, the Louisiana District Attorneys Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Joshua currently serves as the 8th district young lawyers representative for Louisiana State Bar Association.  He was recognized by SB Magazine as a “Top Attorney” in 2017 and 2018.