Commissioner of the Division of Administration
Office of the Governor, Louisiana
Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Jay Dardenne to be Commissioner of the Division of Administration in January 2016. In this capacity, he serves as the state’s chief administrative officer and principal architect of the $25 billion executive budget.
Jay Dardenne was elected twice as Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, beginning November 2010. He previously served four years as Secretary of State, 15 years as a State Senator and three years as a Baton Rouge Metro Councilman.
As Lieutenant Governor, he headed the Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism, which also includes State Parks, the Louisiana State Museum System, the State Library, the Office of Cultural Development, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and Volunteer Louisiana. Louisiana’s tourism numbers skyrocketed after he took office, setting records each year, the first such increases since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005.
During his legislative service, he chaired the Senate Finance Committee and authorized legislation granting motion picture tax credits, which paved the way for the film and television industry to bring productions to the state. He also sponsored legislation streamlining the Department of Economic Development, creating a comprehensive Board of Ethics, establishing the Community and Technical College System and providing funding for coastal erosion. In 2003, he was named National Republican Legislator of the Year.
In 2012, he received the National Public Leadership for the Arts Award from Americans for the Arts and the President’s Award from Louisiana Public Broadcasting. In 2011, the Louisiana Trust recognized him for Historic Preservation for his “dedication to preserving the cultural heritage and historical resources of Louisiana.” He also was honored for his community and public service by the American Association of State Service Commissions with the inaugural State Leader Award. In 2010, he was named Public Official of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Museums.
He is an active community volunteer, having hosted the Jerry Lewis Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for more than 30 years.
Dardenne conducts many special presentations about Louisiana, including Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi, a lively and colorful look at Louisiana’s culture, history, music, literature and politics.
He is an attorney and graduate of Baton Rouge High School, Louisiana State University and the LSU Law Center. He is a member of the Baton Rouge High School Hall of Fame and the Manship School of Mass Communication Hall of Fame. He is married to the former Cathy McDonald, and they have two grown sons, John and Matthew.
After working over 22 consecutive years for the great State of Texas, Buddy began his government-consulting career. “Modern Stewardship” specializes in providing legislative and regulatory strategy to clients interested in assuming an active role in state government policy. Areas of expertise include regulatory policy, environmental sustainability, energy production, as well as Gulf of Mexico coastal & bi-national (Texas/Mexico) relations.
Buddy devoted his life to state service at an early age. He began his 22 years with the State of Texas in State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.’s office and continued on to become a senior advisor to Governor Rick Perry. His state service continued when he was appointed as Texas’ Deputy Secretary of State and Border Commerce Coordinator in 2004, followed by Commissioner at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality from 2007 to 2012, where he was Chairman for two years. Buddy completed his state service at the Railroad Commission of Texas, when Governor Rick Perry appointed him Commissioner in 2012.
Motivated by producing results for the state, Buddy is known for his ability to achieve diplomatic solutions with an emphasis on realistic and sustainable outcomes. During his 22 years of state service, he played an integral role in negotiating with multiple parties for the betterment of the State of Texas.
Buddy is the proud recipient of the Mexico Secretary of External Relations’ Ohtli award, Gulf of Mexico Alliance and Harte Research Institute’s Gulf of Mexico “Making a Difference” award, and Texas State University’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement award.
Garcia has served on the Border Security Council, Texas Coastal Land Advisory Board, Coastal Coordination Council, and the Gulf of Mexico Program Policy Review Board. Buddy is currently a member of the Texas Water Foundation.
A native of Brownsville, Garcia graduated from St. Joseph Academy and received his B.A. in political science from Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. He and his wife live in Austin and have two sons. In his spare time, Garcia enjoys coaching baseball and spending time outdoors with his family.
Vivian Davis Figures
33rd District Mobile
Service is the driving force behind Senator Vivian Davis Figures. The native Mobilian and the widow of the late Senator Michael A. Figures has spent her adult life helping others. “Service is an attribute I value in my private and public life,” says Senator Figures, a graduate of Williamson High School and the University of New Haven in Connecticut. She attended Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama, a goal she placed on hold to meet the challenges of single motherhood. Senator Figures is a businesswoman and CEO of the Figures Legacy Education Foundation.
As a humanitarian and public servant, Senator Figures helped to organize and implement the Mobile County Foster Grandparents Program; the Homeless Coalition of Mobile; the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program of Metropolitan Mobile; the Helping Schools Tag License Plate Campaign; and the Figures Legacy Education Foundation. She serves on and has served on many civic and charitable boards such as Habitat for Humanity, Prichard Boys and Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army, the Mobile Area Education Foundation and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. She has been recognized for dedicated community service by numerous organizations, agencies and professional groups.
She began her political career in 1984 when she ran as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in which capacity she has served for six consecutive times, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. In 1993, Ms. Figures was elected to a four-year term on the Mobile City Council, attaining the status of the “only council member in Mobile’s history to hold a perfect attendance record.” Due to the untimely death of her husband, Michael A. Figures, she was later elected in the 1997 general election by an 87% victory to the Alabama State Senate to serve the remainder of his term. The victory made her the first African-American woman to be elected to the Senate from Mobile County and the second one in the state of Alabama. Her husband was the first African-American from Mobile County to be elected to the post in 1978 and he was elected overwhelmingly by his Senate cohorts as President Pro Tempore in 1995. She was re-elected in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
In 2008, she became Alabama’s first African American woman to become the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. Although this was her first statewide run for public office, she garnered 37 percent of the vote while President Barack Obama had 39 percent.
As Senator, she played a major role in helping to author legislation for school personnel background checks for both public and private schools to make children safer. Because of her sponsorship and passage of the Alabama Clean Indoor Act, she was awarded the National Tobacco Award from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Outstanding Advocate Award from the American Heart Association. Senator Figures continues to work for a Smoke-Free Alabama.
Senator Figures is a member of Gulf Coast Christian Center, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Alabama New South Coalition. She enjoys reading, cooking, golfing and traveling. She is the proud mother of three sons and one stepson, Jelani, Shomari, Akil, and Derrick.
Representative Randall Davis
96th District, Baldwin County and Mobile
Representative Randy Davis was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in November 2002 and is serving his fourth term.
He received his B.M.Ed and M.M.Ed from the University of Southern Mississippi and Ed/Sp from Alabama State University. He served as a teacher/administrator and executive to the superintendent of the Mobile County Public Schools and Public Relations Coordinator for the Baldwin County Public Schools before retiring in 2004.
Representative Davis has served on the Mobile Arts Council, Boys and Girls Club Board, Bounds YMCA Board, U.S. Sports Academy Board and the Board for the Daphne-Spanish Fort Rotary.
He is currently the Director of Music Ministries at the Daphne United Methodist Church. Additionally, Representative Davis is the resident conductor for the Baldwin County Pops Band and recently started the North Mobile Community Chamber Symphony.
Representative Davis is married to the former Martha Lindsey of Chickasaw, and they have one son, Judson.
The Davis’ are members of the Chickasaw United Methodist Church.