Sam C. Barbera III, a Thibodaux native who has spent the past three years working for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has been named assistant executive director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF).
Barbera, 49, will begin his duties as assistant director in two weeks and will succeed LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis later this year. McInnis has served as executive director since May 15, 2006.
Though only working for LDWF since October of 2013, Barbera has navigated Louisiana waterways since he was a boy growing up in the state. Prior to coming to LDWF, he was co-host of BIGFISH Television in New Orleans. From 2001-2011 he worked for the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, serving as STAR tournament director and assisting with fundraising events.
Barbera is a U.S. Army veteran. His last assignment was commander of the 239th Military Police Company in Baton Rouge, the first Louisiana Army National Guard unit called to active duty after 9/11.
At LDWF, Barbera assisted with a variety of fisheries research projects, including the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program and the Lake Pontchartrain Acoustic Telemetry Project. He also helped with the department’s artificial reef development/deployment activities and biological monitoring. In addition, he worked with fisheries extension, including numerous outreach events, fishing seminars and as the Louisiana Saltwater Series tournament director.
“To be selected as assistant executive director for this organization is humbling,’’ said Barbera, a graduate of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. “For many years, I’ve seen firsthand the job LWFF has done and the various contributions it has made not only to LDWF but also to the citizens of the state who love and enjoy all Louisiana outdoors has to offer. The core mission of LWFF is to enhance and encourage public enjoyment and use of the wildlife and fisheries resources of Louisiana. I’ll work tirelessly to make sure we continue that mission.’’
“Sam’s extensive knowledge of the outdoor industry in Louisiana, coupled with his fund-raising ability and organizational skills, makes him the perfect candidate to oversee the Foundation,’’ said LWFF President John W. Barton, Jr. “We look forward to him growing the efforts Kell McInnis has built on through the years as executive director.’’
LWFF, a non-profit public charitable foundation, was created in 1995. Its goals are to aid the department in habitat conservation, youth recruitment, environmental education and training, natural resource research and management, regulation enforcement and financial assistance to LDWF programs.
The Foundation receives no public funding and depends entirely upon contributions from individual and corporate donors. Encouraging cooperation and support for LDWF programs is the major focus of LWFF, accomplished by connecting people and businesses with Louisiana’s natural resources.
Some of the programs LWFF assists with include Archery in Louisiana Schools, Becoming an Outdoor Woman, Get Out & Fish!, Louisiana Wetland Protection, Youth Hunter Education Challenge, the Louisiana Black Bear restoration, the VHF Tower Project, WETSHOP and the Whooping Crane restoration project.