Date:January 3, 2012
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana Workforce Commission announces leadership reorganization

The Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today several executive staff changes that will allow the agency to continue its efforts to support and grow the state’s workforce.

Jay Augustine has been named executive counsel, Carey Foy is now deputy executive director, Susan W. “Suzy” Sonnier is chief operations officer and Dayne Freeman is Unemployment Insurance Director. In addition, Tom Guarisco has been named director of communications.

Augustine, named in 2011 by the National Bar Association as one of the nation’s top African-American lawyers under the age of 40, was deputy executive director of the Commission. In his new role, Augustine will oversee all legal affairs, legislative affairs and the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.

“Jay’s extensive legal background and previous work in the public and private sectors makes him a natural fit for the role of Executive General Counsel,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink.

As deputy executive director, Foy will continue to focus on the agency’s overall continuous quality improvement efforts. In addition, he will oversee internal training and development to ensure a direct link between agency strategies and individual performance. Foy joined LWC in 2009 with more than 30 years’ experience in organizational development, including governmental, corporate and military. His expertise includes team building, change management and strategic planning, and he has served as an instructor and coach in a variety of leadership and management development roles.

Before joining LWC, he was managing partner of a Louisiana-based consulting firm, serving clients in the nuclear power, petrochemical and healthcare industries. Foy has worked in a variety of management positions in the aviation, construction, utility and nuclear power industries. While working in the nuclear power field, he specialized in safety culture, safety-conscious work environments and employee concerns programs. He is the former chairman of the board of the National Association of Employee Concerns Professionals.

“Carey’s proven management experience and prior role of Chief of Staff, makes him uniquely qualified to lead the agency as Deputy Executive Director,” Eysink said.

As chief operations officer, Sonnier will work directly with the offices of unemployment insurance and workforce development to drive even greater alignment of their services to employers and job seekers and to improve results. Sonnier has been the director of unemployment insurance since 2010. Previously, she served as deputy secretary of programs for the Department of Children and Family Services (formerly Department of Social Services).

“In Suzy's new role she brings a breadth of knowledge coupled with immense leadership skills that will continue the momentum of moving the agency forward,” Eysink said.

Sonnier will be succeeded as unemployment director by Dayne Freeman, who has been managing the appeals processes within that office. Freeman will continue changes and improvements begun by Sonnier and her team. Freeman, an attorney, joined LWC in 2011. She holds bachelor’s degrees in math and economics from Mount Holyoke College. She also earned a juris doctorate and bachelors of civil law from LSU Law Center and a master’s of business administration from Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

Guarisco, formerly editor of 225 Magazine in Baton Rouge, will manage the communications and public relations department, which remains focused on providing information about LWC’s ongoing efforts to improve the business climate, drive employment and provide excellent customer service. Guarisco helped launch 225 Magazine in 2005, and has worked as a reporter and editor in Baton Rouge since 1993 at The Advocate, Baton Rouge Business Report and 225.

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