John Chadick ("Chad") Thielen currently serves as Executive Vice President in charge of Surface Operations for The Lacassane Company.  Chad graduated from McNeese State University in 1978 with a B. S. in History.   He and his wife, Janet Morgan Thielen have three children; Morgan, Carson and John Colin.  Chad currently serves as Manager of Arrozal, LLC., Bel Commercial, LLC., Bel Mineral, LLC., and Quatre Mineral, LLC.  He is President of Bel-Krause Properties. 

Chad is an active member of the community and serves as President of the Calcasieu Parish Library Board, and is a Former Commissioner of the Lake Charles Port and Terminal District Board.  He is also an active member of Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.  Chad loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting and waterskiing.



 Austin R. Arabie is a native of Southwest Louisiana, and he and his wife, Debbie, have lived in Beauregard Parish for over 20 years.  He is a graduate of McNeese State University, with a M. S. in Environmental Science.  Austin has been in the environmental field for 30 years, having been employed by industry, regulatory agencies, and engineering firms.  He is currently the President of Arabie Environmental Solutions, Inc., an environmental consulting and engineering firm that provides a broad range of environmental services for business, industry, and government. 

 Austin generally fills his spare time outdoors working on family-owned timberland in Beauregard Parish or on his personal property in Cameron Parish.  His projects on these properties include management of pine plantations; restoration and maintenance of a native longleaf pine stand; protection of pitcher plant bogs; wildlife habitat improvement targeting deer, quail, turkey, and waterfowl habitats; and coastal prairie restoration.






OLIVER J. “RICK” RICHARD, Vice President

 Oliver J. “Rick” Richard, III, a native of Lake Charles, is the former Chairman, CEO of Columbia Energy Group, a Fortune 500 company (1985 – 2000) and a former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  He is a graduate of the Louisiana State University Manship School of Journalism and of the Louisiana State University Law School, both of which he now serves on their respective boards of directors.  He now resides in Virginia with his wife Donna, also a Lake Charles native.  Rick enjoys spending time hunting birds, fishing, reading and with photography.




DAVID DAIGLE, Member – at – Large

David R. Daigle received his BS/MS in Environmental Science from McNeese State University. He was formerly employed by Amoco Production Company as a Production Drilling Supervisor and Environmental Engineer in Amoco’s gulf coast region operations. He served as a Water Quality Environmental Scientist for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality since 1989. He currently serves as the Regional Manager for the LDEQ Southwest Region. He is a member of the St. Pius X Catholic Church, the Louisiana Wildlife Association, the Southwest Louisiana Wildlife Association, the Louisiana Forestry Association, the Beauregard Forest Association, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association, The Nature Conservancy, the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society, the Louisiana Native Plant Society, and the Farm Bureau. He is on the Advisory Committee of the Louisiana Environmental Research Center at McNeese, and serves on the Advisory Committee for McNeese in the Coastal Prairie Plant Materials Project Partnership with NRCS. He also serves on the Coastal Prairie Advisory Committee at the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette.          

David and his family live on and manage ranches and properties in Beauregard, Allen, and Jeff Davis Parishes. As longleaf enthusiasts, over fifty percent of their property is protected in perpetuity as natural longleaf habitat. On the main ranch, controlled rotational cattle grazing is conducted on tame pastures, and ecological grazing is conducted on managed range lands.  The properties are also managed for timber production, recreational hunting, and other outdoor activities.




BRIAN W. ARABIE, Secretary

 Brian Arabie is a Southwest Louisiana native, where he attended DeRidder High School and graduated from McNeese State University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. He obtained his law degree from Louisiana State University and has practiced in Lake Charles since 2001.  In 2007 Brian opened a solo practice, Arabie Law Firm, and presently works on matters involving the environment, oil & gas, property, development, business, and commercial transactions.

 Brian and his wife, Julie, have three children, Hannah, Isaac, and Luke.  Brian enjoys spending time hunting, fishing and exploring the outdoors.