The Lake Area Industry Alliance has named Jim Rock as its new executive director following the Oct. 4 retirement of its inaugural director, Larry DeRoussel. Since 2000, the Lake Charles-headquartered LAIA has served as an umbrella organization representing southwest Louisiana industry.
Rock previously served as executive director at Lotte Chemical USA and vice president of operational excellence at Axiall. He also held a variety of engineering, maintenance, operations and management positions for more than 30 years at PPG Industries. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and is a graduate of the LSU School of Business Executive Program.
“I look forward to continuing the positive direction of LAIA,” Rock says. “It is a valuable link between industry and our community, public officials and civic leaders, thanks to the superb leadership of the past 19 years under Larry DeRoussel.”
An active member of the community, Rock serves on the boards of the United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, the Southwest Louisiana Safety Council and The Community Foundation, and is a member of the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Replacement Task Force.
During his tenure, DeRoussel spearheaded a variety of industry educational initiatives, including Fight Cancer with Facts, which tackled the concerns about cancer in Southwest Louisiana; Industry Insider, an educational campaign; and Industry Impact, a look at how industry tax dollars, jobs, and volunteerism impact the local community. LAIA also hosts the annual Chem Expo and Paint Recycling Day, and assists the Calcasieu Parish School Board with its Partner in Education program.