Board of directors

Garvin Pittman, chairman

Garvin Pittman grew up in Gonzales and lives in Baton Rouge. He is a leader in Louisiana’s coastal consulting industry. Garvin has extensive experience with the Coastwide Reference Monitoring Systems program, damage assessments of coastal wetland vegetation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, managing Coastal Wetland Planning Protection and Restoration Act projects and habitat restoration projects, giving him a considerable depth of knowledge about our coast, its communities and the industries that serve it.

Ashley Liuzza, vice chair

Ashley Liuzza is the chief operating officer and attorney at Stag Liuzza LLC in New Orleans. Her practice centers on litigating complex environmental pollution claims, toxic exposure claims and mineral royalty disputes. Ashley grew up in St. Bernard Parish. Preserving the coast and protecting our communities have always been priorities to her. She spent much of her youth fishing, canoeing and visiting areas along Louisiana’s coast that have changed significantly in the past 30 years.

James Wiltenmuth, treasurer

James Wiltenmuth, CPA, is an associate director in P&N’s Accounting and Assurance Services Group. He joined the firm in 2010. James has worked with a wide range of clients, including nonprofit organizations, public and privately held companies, and employee benefit plans, providing audit and attestation services in industries including not-for-profits, manufacturing, mining, construction and oilfield services.

Erin Rooney, secretary

Erin Rooney, PE, CFM, is a coastal project manager at HDR Engineering Inc. in Metairie, where she manages design of coastal restoration and protection projects across the state. A native of St. Bernard Parish, Erin has also lived in Acadiana and has family ties to southwest Louisiana. She earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s in civil engineering from Texas A&M, where she specialized in coastal engineering. Erin serves on boards for the American Society of Civil Engineers Louisiana Section and New Orleans Branch as well as the Louisiana Chapter of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute.

Mindy Nunez Airhart

Mindy Nunez Airhart is the president and CEO of Southern Services & Equipment Inc. (SSE), an AISC-certified structural steel fabrication contractor in St. Bernard Parish. As a federal contractor, SSE has overseen over $36 million of construction on the New Orleans Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). Airhart, who grew up in St. Bernard Parish, is the outgoing chairwoman of the St. Bernard Parish Chamber of Commerce. She also serves as the vice chairwoman of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of directors of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, the First Planning District of the Louisiana Workforce Development Board, and the Fidelity Bank POWER Advisory Board. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Tulane University and resides Uptown with her husband and two children.

Donald Brinkman

Donald Brinkman leads the ports practice and southwest Louisiana region for CSRS Inc., an architecture and engineering firm headquartered in Baton Rouge. Prior to joining CSRS, he was director of engineering for the Port of Lake Charles, the 13th largest port in the nation in tonnage. As director of engineering for 12 years, he was responsible for a capital construction budget that ranged from $25 million to $50 million annually. Donald has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in engineering management from McNeese State University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Louisiana and has a special port designation known as the PPM –  Professional Port Manager from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). He and his wife, Amanda, have four children and live in Lake Charles.

Steve Chustz

Steve Chustz has more than 30 years of experience in environmental management with the state of Louisiana.   A degreed geologist, he spent his first 20 years with the state working at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in surface water, groundwater and remediation programs. He then moved to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, where he served as director of the Atchafalaya Basin Program, assistant secretary of the Office of Coastal Management and secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources until his retirement in 2016. He also worked as part of the Governor’s Unified Command Group on many emergency response cases including hurricanes, floods and oil spills. Since his retirement from the state, he has worked as a consultant with CSRS Inc. in Baton Rouge, advising clients and co-workers on a variety of environmental issues.

Robert Gardiner

Rob Gardiner retired in 2002 from his position as president of Maine Public Broadcasting and went on to develop a large commercial wind power farm in western Maine. He has been involved in environmental advocacy both as a volunteer for 40 years and as full-time director of the Maine Bureau of Public Lands and as state director for the Conservation Law Foundation. On the national level, he has been chairman of the National Wildlife Federation and vice chairman of the PBS board of directors. He has studied the efforts to restore Louisiana wetlands for many years. He lives in New Orleans

Sarah Giles

Sarah Giles, a native of Mandeville, grew up hunting and fishing the marshes of south Louisiana. She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as an environmental consultant specializing in wetlands and as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sarah serves as a volunteer on marsh restoration projects and outreach events for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and CRCL and enjoys duck hunting and fly-fishing from her kayak in her spare time.

Brendan Hughes

Brendan Hughes is an attorney with Galloway who practices in the areas of environmental, maritime, insurance and construction law.  His federal litigation experience includes claims under the Clean Water Act, RCRA, CERCLA and the Clean Air Act. Prior to law school at Tulane University, where he was a member of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and Tulane Maritime Law Journal, Brendan was a senior project scientist at a national environmental engineering and science firm. He designed and executed environmental remediation projects for federal and private energy industry clients, and his project work also included hazardous waste management and oil spill response, including work on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and NRDA studies for older spills.

Parker Kilgore

Parker is a native of Baton Rouge and a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Jones Walker LLP.  Parker is a commercial litigator who represents energy, construction and business clients in a wide variety of litigation matters and business transactions. He has served as lead counsel on multiple infrastructure projects, advising clients on eminent domain and expropriation issues in the construction of infrastructure and flood control projects.  He recently served as the board chair for Habitat of Humanity for Greater Baton Rouge and as an officer in the Downtown Baton Rouge Business Association. He has a B.A. in biology from Hendrix College, where he served as a research assistant on multiple field ecology projects before attending law school at LSU. Parker grew up hunting, fishing and exploring coastal Louisiana, and can often be found in the marsh in Cameron and Vermillion Parish. 

Heather Layrisson

Heather Layrisson is a project manager at Jacobs, where she manages large-scale coastal restoration projects and water/wastewater infrastructure projects around the state. She is also the manager of projects for Jacobs’ Louisiana infrastructure portfolio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from LSU and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Heather also serves on the board for the Louisiana Engineering Society – Baton Rouge Branch.

Terrence Lockett

Terrence Lockett is president of Axis Strategies LLC, a public and governmental affairs firm that provides strategic planning and management to candidates seeking elected office along with governmental affairs representation for a variety of entities at the state and federal level. Terrence received a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology and a master’s degree in communication disorders from Southern University. He holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Terrence began his career as a speech pathologist in the East Baton Rouge parish school system.

Brock Piglia

Brock Piglia is the director of marketing at DonahueFavret Contractors, a regional general contractor with commercial projects throughout the Gulf South. After graduating from LSU with a bachelor’s of landscape architecture degree and an MBA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Brock began his career in St. Louis, where he would spend a decade collaborating on several long-range planning and strategic projects, gaining direct experience in working with numerous public agencies in an effort to reach consensus for economic resurgence. Brock has returned home with the belief that New Orleans can be stronger, better positioned to capture regional investment, and primed for high growth in the coming years. As a New Orleans native, he is a firm advocate of the ability of design to transcend, with the power to shape policy, advocate for social justice, and address environmental challenges at all scales. Brock also serves on the Board of Directors for SMPS Southeast Louisiana and is a member of the GNO Inc. NextGen Council.

John Ross

J.R. (he/him) is vice president of marketing at PosiGen Solar. He has spent more than 20 years driving growth strategies and digital innovation for global brands. J.R. has helped build numerous digital start-ups and agency services and served as chief of staff and director of global partnerships at PepsiCo. J.R. remains committed to giving back to the communities that have supported him and to take action around coastal erosion, seafood sustainability and promoting the cultural heritage of New Orleans.

Randy Smith

Randy is a principal and director of first impressions at Wingate Engineers, a New Orleans-based civil engineering and design firm. Randy is primarily responsible for the firm’s strategic growth, development and community/client engagement. Prior to his time in the engineering industry, he served 10 years in the banking industry in various capacities, most recently as a private and business banker.

Kristian Sonnier

Kristian grew up on a rice/crawfish farm and cattle ranch in rural southwest Louisiana, which helped shape his love of the outdoors. A self-taught grill and smoker enthusiast, avid reader, kayaker and fisherman, Kristian also enjoys camping, road-tripping, live music and watching the LSU Tigers play football and baseball. He is the VP of communications and business development at Ryan Gootee General Contractors, a commercial construction company in New Orleans. He and his wife, Emery, have a chocolate Labrador retriever named Scout and enjoy spending time together in Pass Christian, Mississippi.