CEO of STEDF Announces Retirement

Covington Weekly has followed the STEDF since Helis Oil & Gas made an attempt to perform fracking operations in St. Tammany Parish. An announcement was made last week that Brenda Bertus will retire at the end of the year, and the Economic Development Foundation will dissolve. Covington Weekly presents highlights of Mrs. Bertus' career from the STEDF's email campaign: In 2002, the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation (STEDF) hired Brenda Bertus to lead economic development efforts in St. Tammany. After more than 15 years at the helm of an ever-expanding organization, Bertus has announced her plans to retire effective Dec. 31, 2017. “We all face different seasons in our life,” Bertus said. “And this time at STEDF has been possibly the most defining season in my career. I’ve built an organization from one employee to many, directly contributed to the parish’s economic well-being and witnessed my staff grow and bloom in their work. But there is another season ahead of me, a season of renewed personal growth—and I am looking forward to it.” Bertus led STEDF to become a driving force in parish, regional and state economic development efforts. She was instrumental in maximizing resources and opportunities for economic development, fostering collaborative development of regional and national marketing efforts and pursuing business-friendly legislation in Louisiana. Bertus guided STEDF and its business recovery efforts through the landfall and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Shelby LaSalle, chair of the 2017 STEDF Board of Directors, said, “The business community in St. Tammany and the surrounding region knows Brenda Bertus to be a skilled economic developer and leader. Her work in the last 15-20 years has positively impacted our local economy and our residents’ quality of life. She has dedicated herself to the advancement of this area, and she has grown a capable staff that shares fully in her dedication.” Bertus has appeared on MSNBC twice: once in 2006, to discuss the one-year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, and once in 2013 on the Hannity show, to discuss the requisition of valuable St. Tammany land as a critical habitat for an endangered species of frog. Bertus said she cannot wait to take off her wristwatch, forget her daily planner and enjoy the freedom of the spontaneous adventures to come. “I want to focus on my personal goals, instead of the business goals I’ve been pursuing for so long,” Bertus said. “Photography has always been a passion of mine, and I hope to take more photographs. My husband and I are also looking forward to traveling, and having the luxury of spending as much time as we care to at each adventure we come upon. And I may even take the grandchildren to Disney World. That’s what I’m doing next,” she teased. “I’m going to Disney World!” Read the full email here