Cohab Board Officers
Stuart Clason - Chairman
Businessman and Entrepreneur
Stuart A. Clason, is a founding board member of the CoHab, and he presently works for PPM Consultants, Inc., a national environmental consulting firm based in Louisiana, as the Director of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs.
In this capacity, Stuart assists clients in overcoming perceived and real environmental and development obstacles to project objectives. He approaches regulatory issues from a business perspective striving to resolve agency/client issues in a mutually beneficial fashion combing theoretical and practical knowledge together into a final solution. Stuart has participated on several major projects providing strategic insight and asset coordination.
Stuart has over 10 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors with expertise in public/media relations, project management, strategic planning, regulatory affairs, environmental justice, economics, and governmental relations. His primary area of expertise is economic geography, development, environmental economics and governmental relations.
He attended Louisiana State University for undergraduate studies, and then London School of Economic and Political Science where he received an MSc in Economic Development. His professional career has included legislative and executive positions in federal, state and local government as well as key management roles in several business ventures.
His professional career has included legislative and executive positions in federal, state and local government as well as key management roles in several business ventures.
Stewart Hamel - Vice Chairman
Stewart Hamel, 35, serves as Managing Principal of Hamel Interests and Private Equity, LLC, a Shreveport, LA-based private investment company with subsidiaries engaged in aviation, real estate, energy, private equity and digital marketing.
In his early twenties, Stewart began his career as a business intermediary, where he facilitated the buying, selling and financing of privately-held business. In 2002, Stewart and fellow Shreveporter Dean Harrold (former President of Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas) co-founded Empire Mergers and Acquisitions.
In 2004, Stewart was recruited to join the launch team of a venture-capital-backed internet marketing firm, ReachLocal, Inc. As National Sales Manager, he specialized in building high-performance sales teams, winning 11 of the 17 intercompany national sales awards. By 2009, ReachLocal had grown to over 850 employees with 35 offices in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The same year, based on its five-year revenue growth, ReachLocal was named by Deloitte as the fastest growing company in North America (Technology Fast 500TM). ReachLocal is the only Internet Company to top the list since Google’s inclusion in 2004 and of all No. 1 companies since 2004; ReachLocal’s growth rate remains second only to Google’s.
ReachLocal filed its S-1 on December 22, 2009 and followed with an IPO on May 20, 2010 (NASDAQ: RLOC). As a founding member of ReachLocal’s distribution organization, Stewart became one of its largest individual shareholders. After six years with the company, Stewart left to launch Hamel Interests and Private Equity, LLC. a Shreveport-LA based private investment company engaged in aviation, real estate, energy, private equity and digital marketing.
Since 2004, Stewart has served as President of Hamel’s Farm, LLC, a family owned real estate business in Shreveport, LA, where he helped procure one of the largest urban natural gas partnerships within the Haynesville Shale; a formation now recognized as the largest natural gas field in the continental United States. The Hamel Family Partnership selected Petrohawk Energy Corp (NYSE: HK) as its natural gas exploration partner. The first Petrohawk-Hamel well was reported on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, on April 30, 2009.
Stewart is active in a variety of business and community interests. He serves on the board of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC), Co-Habitat, SB Magazine, is a Shreveport ambassador for CABL’s Leadership Louisiana and serves on the Advisory Council and Development Board of the London Symphony Orchestra.
As a board member of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, Stewart was asked to design a plan that would increase alumni donor participation, which he then architected and beta tested. A few months later he was credited with creating the highest alumni class participation rate in Oxford’s 800 year history while setting a new business class fundraising record.
Walker Coburn - Treasurer
CPA, Heard McElroy Vestal
Walker is an Audit Manager at Heard, McElroy & Vestal, working out of the firm’s Shreveport location. He received his Bachelor of Administration in Accounting and a Masters of Accountancy from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. Prior to joining HMV in June of 2009, Walker worked for KMPG in Jackson and Memphis, and as a financial reporting advisor for FedEx Corporate.
Walker is a 2010 NWLA 40 Under 40 recipient as well as past participant in the Greater Shreveport Chamber Leadership Shreveport program and the Louisiana Association of Not-for-Profit Organizations (LANO) Community Leaders Program. Walker also serves on the board of Holiday-in-Dixie and the Louisiana CPA Auditing and Accounting Conference Committee.
Dr. Mark Goadrich - Secretary
Broyles Chair of Computational Mathematics, Centenary College of Louisiana
Dr. Mark Goadrich joined the Centenary College of Louisiana faculty in the fall of 2007 as the Broyles Eminent Scholars Chair of Computational Mathematics, and an assistant professor of computer science.
Dr. Goadrich earned his Ph. D. in Computer Sciences from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2007, where he was recognized as the computer science department’s Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor in 2000. Since arriving at Centenary, Dr. Goadrich has revised the computer science curriculum, taught introductory and upper-level courses, advised student teams in the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling and the ACM International Programming Competition, and published articles on combinatorial game theory, inductive logic
programming, and computer science education.
He is currently incorporating Android application development into the computer science curriculum, and has published papers related to this work in the proceedings of the Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) and the workshop on Smartphones in the Curriculum (SMACK). Dr. Goadrich serves on the board of Cohabitat Shreveport, a
nonprofit dedicated to developing the creative community in North Louisiana, and is a co-designer of the board game Nanuk, published by Steve Jackson Games.