Personnel moves at Blue Cross, Kean Miller, Emergent Method | Business


Baton Rouge

Blaine Briggs has retired from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. after 36 years.

Briggs served as executive vice president and state manager since March 2010. Under his leadership, Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance saw its AM Best rating increase from a B+ to an A. That better rating came despite severe hurricanes that caused billions of dollars worth of damage to property in Louisiana. Biggs was also instrumental is finding a site for a new Louisiana Farm Bureau state office. He was heavily involved in the design and construction of the building, which opened in August.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance from what was then the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

Brian Badinger has been promoted to to vice president, technical programs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Badinger joined Blue Cross in 2001. He will be responsible for developing, overseeing and ensuring the successful completion of large, strategic, cross-company programs.

He most recently served as director of enterprise strategic programs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.

J. Christopher Dippel Jr. has joined Kean Miller as special counsel in the firm’s downtown Baton Rouge office.

Dippel focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, government investigations, internal investigations for businesses and organizations, and litigation. His experience includes 10 years as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, including serving as a deputy criminal chief.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Dippel served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Evan Scroggs will lead the new Baton Rouge office for Lee & Associates.

Lee & Associates is the largest broker-owned commercial real estate firm in North America. 

The Baton Rouge office will specialize in industrial, office, land and retail brokerage and plans to build a team to grow its capabilities across South Louisiana. 

Scroggs has more than 13 years experience in office and industrial sales. He was formerly a senior advisor for NAI/Latter & Blum. 

Emergent Method, a management consulting firm, has named three new managing directors.

Nikki Godfrey has been with the firm since 2020, serving as a strategy consultant for various high-profile clients. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, communication and leadership development.

Robyn Stiles has been with the company since 2018. She has an extensive background in public policy, research, data analysis and organizational assessment. She manages the firm’s qualitative and quantitative research initiatives and has been integral in implementing several large-scale, multiyear organizational assessment and strategic planning efforts for clients such as North Carolina State University, Kansas State University and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

Therese Walker has been with the company since 2018, is a multifaceted consultant. She has developed public relations, crisis communication and outreach strategies for some of the firm’s most complex projects. Additionally, Walker manages Emergent Method’s creative and web development service lines.

Emergent Method also announced the following staff promotions:

Dwayne Judice to manager

Annie Landry to manager

Curtis McGinity to manager

Sonya Murray-Wade to manager

Twila Arrington to senior consultant

Keesler Morrison to senior consultant

Taylor Stirling to senior consultant

Clarissa Walton to senior consultant

Shannon McNemar to senior associate.

Dr. Aaron DeWitt has been named chief medical officer at Baton Rouge General’s Mid City campus.

DeWitt has worked for BRG since 2017 as a hospitalist. He has taken on various leadership roles, including faculty member for BRG’s Internal Medicine Residency Program, medical director for BRG’s skilled nursing unit and medical director at local assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

He earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Mississippi College and a medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean. DeWitt completed his internal medicine residency at Baton Rouge General. 

Lou Patalano has been named senior vice president and chief legal officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Patalano succeeds Michele Calandro, who announced her retirement after more than 30 years at Blue Cross. Calandro will continue to serve as executive vice president and special adviser to the CEO until her retirement on March 31.

Patalano has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry in a variety of settings, including private practice, the payer side, the provider side and for the government. Patalano was most recently of counsel in the health care practice group at K&L Gates, a fully integrated global law firm that employs close to 2,000 lawyers across five continents.

He also served as chief legal officer, senior vice president and corporate secretary for Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health, a large integrated delivery network headquartered in Virginia and deputy general counsel and vice president for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

New Orleans

Justin Swaim has been promoted to member of Stone Pigman after serving as an associate since joining the firm in 2015.

Swaim is a business litigation lawyer specializing in energy regulation and utilities as well as appellate law.

He earned an undergraduate degree from Southeastern Louisiana and graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Swaim served as a Loyola Law Review Board Member and was recognized for numerous achievements including the Loyola Law Review Warren E. Mouledoux Editor-in-Chief’s Award and Professional Responsibility Award.

Matthew S. Chester has been elected as a member of Baker Donelson‘s board of directors.

Chester is a shareholder in the firm’s New Orleans office and chair of the Government Enforcement and Investigations Group.

He has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the private sector and at the U.S. Department of Justice. Before joining the firm, Chester worked at the Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Orleans.

He is an honors graduate of Tulane University Law School.

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