New hire at Investar Bank, promotion at Adams and Reese | Business News

New Orleans

Tim Smith has been hired by Investar Bank and New Orleans as commercial real estate market president, senior vice president.

Smith has 40 years of professional experience, and most of that time in the banking industry. He joins Investar from Capital One where he was a commercial real estate relationship manager.

Smith is serving as a board member for the Louisiana Housing and Community Development Corp.

Laura Sillars has been promoted by Adams and Reese this chief marketing officer.

Sillars joined Adams and Reese in 2020 as director of marketing and communications. She has enjoyed a more than 30-year career in marketing and communications. She served as producer of the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” In that role, she helped create and develop the concept of “Oprah’s Book Club.” Sillars continued her career in television production for top-rated programs, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and was the vice president of programming for HGTV and senior vice president of programming for the Hallmark Channel.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from LSU.

Baton Rouge

dr. Gabrielle St. Germain Colon has joined the Mandeville dental practice of dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick.

Colon is a native of Mandeville. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in dental surgery from the LSU School of Dentistry.

She previously practiced dentistry in Columbia, Missouri.

Harold Mellion Jr. has been named research assistant professor and academic coordinator for the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Mellieon previously was department chair and program leader for agricultural sciences/animal sciences for the College of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences at Southern.

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He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Southern, a master’s degree in animal sciences from Kansas State University and a doctorate in agricultural, extension, adult education and online education from LSU.

Ashley Coco has joined Stewart Title as Louisiana underwriting counsel.

Coco has more than 10 years of experience in real estate and title law. She has an extensive background in commercial real estate deals involving retail, industrial, single/multifamily housing development and the petrochemical industry. Prior to joining Stewart, Coco was the lead attorney heading the commercial services department of Commerce Title in Baton Rouge. She also previously worked as a title attorney in both the Dallas and Baton Rouge offices of a boutique mortgage banking firm.

She earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from LSU.


Stephen Howell has joined Ochsner Baton Rouge as chief financial officer.

Howell has more than 30 years of health care leadership experience. He spent the first 20 years of his career with Baton Rouge General, starting as a financial analyst and eventually being named director of decision support, strategy, business development and physician analysis. He then formed his own consulting firm that worked with hospitals across the country and was involved with the startup of the Louisiana Healthcare Information Exchange.

In 2015, he joined Northern Light Health, a health system in Maine, where he served as vice president of capital planning and finance before joining Ochsner.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and accounting and a master’s degree in finance from LSU.

Sahar Haddadian has joined Neel-Schaffer as a coastal hydraulic engineer based in the firm’s Baton Rouge office.

She has three years of experience at the Water Institute of the Gulf, where she provided coastal expertise and coastal hydraulic modeling services while working for Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Before that, she provided coastal engineering and modeling services to clients in Florida and the Caribbean

She earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Tabriz, a master’s in civil engineering-hydraulic engineering from the University of Tehran and a doctorate in civil engineering-coastal engineering from LSU.


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