October 08, 2007

Meet the Freshman Class

The first of a 2-part series
Six newcomers were elected to the House without facing opposition and will take the oath in January. The following is an introduction to three of these freshman class members.

***Mike Danahay, a 49-year-old sales representative for U.S. Office Plus, replaces three-term legislator Ronnie Johns (District 33). A Democrat, Mr. Danahay is currently serving his second term on the Calcasieu Parish Policy Jury, which he served as president in 2006.

Mike is the Vice President of the West Calcasieu Association of Commerce, a member of the McNeese Alumni Association, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He and his wife Daphne have two daughters, Kate and Mary. They attend Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sulphur.

***Democrat Simone Becnel Champagne will represent District 49, currently held by Rep. Troy Hebert.

Ms. Champagne was Operations Vice President for First National Bank of Jeanerette for 23 years before resigning to accept the position of Chief Administrative Officer for Iberia Parish government, a position she held until last January. She is an active member of South Lake Fausse Pointe Development Foundation, Jeanerette Historic Preservation Foundation, and the Jeanerette Chamber of Commerce, of which she served two terms as president.

She is the recipient of the 1998-99 St. Joseph Catholic School Achiever/Supporter award, 2000 Daily Iberian Woman of the Year award, and the 2006 Jeanerette Chamber Outstanding Citizen award.

She and her husband Gary have five children and three grandchildren. They attend St. Joseph Catholic Church.

***Greg Cromer, a 49-year-old Republican, has been employed by Lockheed Martin at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility for 25 years. Greg will represent District 90, currently held by Pete Schneider.

A member of the Slidell City Council since 2002, he served as council president in 2006. He also served on the council's sales tax agreement committee and helped negotiate the second long-term tax-sharing agreement between the city and parish. Greg helped provide temporary shelter, food, and water for the community as a member of the Hurricane Katrina Rideout Team.

He holds a B.S. in Industrial Management Technology from Southeastern Louisiana University. He is a member of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation Board, Northshore Republican Men's Club, and the Slidell Noon Lion's Club.

A Baptist, he and his wife Peggy have two children, Niki - 24 and Clay 19. Greg's hobbies are golf, fishing, and coaching soccer.

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