Meet the Commissioner

Whitney Hickerson

It should come as little surprise that Whitney Hickerson’s 37 years worth of experience as a cost accountant for DuPont has inspired the role he plans to play as part of his recent appointment to the Board of Commissioners for the Port of South Louisiana.

“The biggest thing I experienced while working at DuPont,” Hickerson recalls during a recent phone interview, “is that you must always be very frugal in the way you handle money. We had to balance the books every month—production, inventory, cost, and everything that’s involved in cost accounting.”

In addition to the duties as a Cost Accountant at DuPont, Hickerson also assumed responsibilities as the Community Relations Manager for the company.  In that role he fostered supportive relationships with the St. John Parish School District and the St. John Parish Council as well as the various state elected officals in the area. “As Community Relation Manager, my job was to make sure that the people in the community was satisfied with the plant’s operations,” Hickerson,  retired from DuPont in 2004.

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His experiences at Dupont, will help him in his new role on the Board of Commissioners. Hickerson explains: “I am a team player, and my mission is to work with all the other Commissioners and the Director. I see the Port’s biggest priorities are increasing barging operations, truck traffic, exports, making the airport viable, and boosting local employment.”

“I envision my role [on the Board of Commissioners] as studying the finances,” he explains. “I’d like to make sure that we’re getting top notch advice from our consulting and service agreements.  I also appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of the Executive Director’s open door policy so I can share with him my input into these matters.”  When it comes to fiscal matters, “I consider myself a conservative,” he says.

Born and raised in Vacherie, Hickerson served on the St. James Parish Council from 1975-91.

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Nominated to the Board of Commissioners by District 2 Louisiana State Sen. Troy E. Brown (D), Hickerson was appointed to the post on August 1 by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

A graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge with a degree in Business Management, Hickerson was already working for DuPont when he began pursuing an advanced degree in accounting from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. He left graduate school after a year of night courses to focus on his career full-time.
Since his 2004 retirement from Dupont, Hickerson is a licensed residential builder in the River Parishes.  He enjoys building custom homes. He is also a licensed commercial electrician.

Giving this interview just a week after his mother’s funeral, Hickerson saves his final words to talk about his family. Married to retired St. James Parish School District teacher Stephanie Jones Hickerson, the couple has three children: two daughters and one son: Ladasha, a RN at LaPlace Elementary, Lydrika Horton, a Pharmacist at Parkland Hospital in Dallas Texas and Whitney J, a Civil Engineer who works for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.

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“Yes, I’m very proud,” Hickerson says of his offspring, moments before his wife make sure he mentions the fact that they now have seven grandchildren.

And when asked for any concluding statement, Hickerson states, in a strong, yet measured, voice that reflects his well-known traits of wisdom and humility, “I pray for and wish my family health and happiness.”

By William Kalec

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