About Candace Watkins

Key Career Positions

Disaster Recovery Specialist

 Louisiana Office of Community Development/ Disaster Recovery Unit, Resilience Policy and Strategic Initiatives Team | 3.5 years

  • Member of the National Disaster Resilience Team managing $92 million in projects:  Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project/LA SAFE Resilience Planning Project
  • Managed multi-million dollar grant management services contract
  • Managed Road Home Program Income Grant Program

 

Director of Community Development

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana  | 2 years

  • One of five cabinet members
  • Directed Planning and Zoning, Building Permits and Safety, and Coastal Zone Management
  • Directed the effort to produce the parish’s first Comprehensive Master Land Use and Zoning Plan

 

Mayor

City of Covington, Louisiana | 2003 - 2011

  •  Directed city government response to and recovery from Katrina
  • Maintained city services without increased taxes during the Great Recession
  • Managed 144 employees in Administration, Public Works, Recreation, Fire and Police departments
  • Built the Covington Trailhead and secured federal funds to pay for it
  • Built the Covington Recreation Complex after securing donation of the land
  • Completed the final phase of the Mile Branch bank restoration project
  • Completed expansion and upgrade of the sewer treatment facility and collection system
  • Overlaid 30+ miles of asphalt streets
  • Reconstructed the 19th and 28th Avenue bridges
  • Upgraded the police and fire facilities including the purchase of Fire Station II
  • Renovated the Fuhrmann Auditorium
  • Relocated and renovated City Hall
  • Replaced 4,000 telemetry water meters and implementation of  the corresponding billing system as part of the improved financial condition of the utility fund
  •  Updated the city’s Comprehensive Master Land Use Plan
  •  Produced the city’s new Zoning Ordinance
  •  Rezoned the city
  •  Revised the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan
  •  Secured federal funds and finalized the design documents for the Boston Street Streetscape Project
  •  Created the Code Enforcement and Human Resources departments

 

Executive Director & Certified Main Street Manager

Covington Downtown Development Committee  | 4 years

  • Directed all aspects of this very active downtown revitalization program
  • Coordinated activities as a member of the Louisiana Main Street Program
  • Started the Columbia Street Final Friday Block Parties
  • Brought the LPO to Covington for the Symphony Swing in the Pines
  •  Put the Three Rivers Art Festival into a positive financial position

 

Executive Officer (CAO)

Northshore Home Builders Association  | 1 year

  • Facilitated merger of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Home Builders Associations
  • Supervised the construction of the new NHBA office building in Lacombe, LA
  • Started the first Year-Round Raffle fundraiser that was immediately successful

 

Owner

Ashland Homes, Inc. and Candace Watkins, Inc. | 4 years

  • Self-employed licensed residential contractor

 

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

First National Corporation | 4 years

  •  Directed all marketing, promotional, business development and customer service activities for this $400 million multi-bank holding company

 

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of General Studies Degree with Merchandising focus, University of New Orleans
  • Three years of undergraduate studies in Merchandising, Louisiana State University
  • Fellow, Institute of Politics, Loyola University
  • Graduate, Leadership St. Tammany West
  • Graduate, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute
  • CDBG Comprehensive Training, HUD, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Advanced CDBG Training, CSCDA, New Orleans, LA
  • Certified Economic Development Professional, Louisiana State University Executive Education
  • Certified Floodplain Manager, FEMA
  • Certified Main Street Manager, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC
  • Governance for Nonprofit Excellence Certificate, Harvard Business School
  • Masters of Public Administration Program, University of New Orleans, one semester

 

CIVIC AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/MEMBERSHIPS

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana – Corporate Board member (6 years), Past Board Chair, and
  • Board Development Committee Chair
  • Boys & Girls Club of Covington – Unit Board Member  | 4 years
  • Covington Three Rivers Art Festival, Inc. – Board Member and Past Vice-President  | 6 years
  • Covington Farmers Market Management Committee
  • Southern Growth Policies Board – Board Member, Appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal
  • St. Tammany Parish Trust Authority – Board Member and Past Board Chair
  • New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute – Board Member | 6 years
  • Louisiana Municipal Association
  • Louisiana Municipal Association State Retirement Task Force
  • Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association
  • International Economic Development Council
  • Women of the Storm
  • Kiwanis of Greater Covington
  • St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce
  • St. Tammany Leadership West Alumni Foundation
  • St. Tammany West Chamber Government Relations Committee
  • St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation – Board Member
  • St. Tammany Art Association – Past Bluesberry Festival Committee Chair
  • Louisiana Travel and Promotion Association
  • Louisiana Preservation Alliance
  • Louisiana Main Street Managers Association
  • Community Advisory Board –  Junior League of Greater Covington
  • Covington Gardens Partnership – Ex-Officio Board Member
  • Vision St. Tammany – Board Member
  • Vintage Moms, St. Paul’s School
  • St. Tammany Home Builders Association
  • American Home Builders Association
  • American Banking Association

 

PERSONAL

Candace has been married to Trevor Watkins, Principal of St. Paul’s School, since 1995.  She has three sons, a daughter and two granddaughters. She is a member of St. Peter Parish where she participates in the music ministry as a cantor.

Key Career Positions

Disaster Recovery Specialist

 Louisiana Office of Community Development/ Disaster Recovery Unit, Resilience Policy and Strategic Initiatives Team | 3.5 years

  • Member of the National Disaster Resilience Team managing $92 million in projects:  Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project/LA SAFE Resilience Planning Project
  • Managed multi-million dollar grant management services contract
  • Managed Road Home Program Income Grant Program

 

Director of Community Development

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana  | 2 years

  • One of five cabinet members
  • Directed Planning and Zoning, Building Permits and Safety, and Coastal Zone Management
  • Directed the effort to produce the parish’s first Comprehensive Master Land Use and Zoning Plan

 

Mayor

City of Covington, Louisiana | 2003 - 2011

  •  Directed city government response to and recovery from Katrina
  • Maintained city services without increased taxes during the Great Recession
  • Managed 144 employees in Administration, Public Works, Recreation, Fire and Police departments
  • Built the Covington Trailhead and secured federal funds to pay for it
  • Built the Covington Recreation Complex after securing donation of the land
  • Completed the final phase of the Mile Branch bank restoration project
  • Completed expansion and upgrade of the sewer treatment facility and collection system
  • Overlaid 30+ miles of asphalt streets
  • Reconstructed the 19th and 28th Avenue bridges
  • Upgraded the police and fire facilities including the purchase of Fire Station II
  • Renovated the Fuhrmann Auditorium
  • Relocated and renovated City Hall
  • Replaced 4,000 telemetry water meters and implementation of  the corresponding billing system as part of the improved financial condition of the utility fund
  •  Updated the city’s Comprehensive Master Land Use Plan
  •  Produced the city’s new Zoning Ordinance
  •  Rezoned the city
  •  Revised the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan
  •  Secured federal funds and finalized the design documents for the Boston Street Streetscape Project
  •  Created the Code Enforcement and Human Resources departments

 

Executive Director & Certified Main Street Manager

Covington Downtown Development Committee  | 4 years

  • Directed all aspects of this very active downtown revitalization program
  • Coordinated activities as a member of the Louisiana Main Street Program
  • Started the Columbia Street Final Friday Block Parties
  • Brought the LPO to Covington for the Symphony Swing in the Pines
  •  Put the Three Rivers Art Festival into a positive financial position

 

Executive Officer (CAO)

Northshore Home Builders Association  | 1 year

  • Facilitated merger of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Home Builders Associations
  • Supervised the construction of the new NHBA office building in Lacombe, LA
  • Started the first Year-Round Raffle fundraiser that was immediately successful

 

Owner

Ashland Homes, Inc. and Candace Watkins, Inc. | 4 years

  • Self-employed licensed residential contractor

 

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

First National Corporation | 4 years

  •  Directed all marketing, promotional, business development and customer service activities for this $400 million multi-bank holding company

 

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of General Studies Degree with Merchandising focus, University of New Orleans
  • Three years of undergraduate studies in Merchandising, Louisiana State University
  • Fellow, Institute of Politics, Loyola University
  • Graduate, Leadership St. Tammany West
  • Graduate, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute
  • CDBG Comprehensive Training, HUD, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Advanced CDBG Training, CSCDA, New Orleans, LA
  • Certified Economic Development Professional, Louisiana State University Executive Education
  • Certified Floodplain Manager, FEMA
  • Certified Main Street Manager, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC
  • Governance for Nonprofit Excellence Certificate, Harvard Business School
  • Masters of Public Administration Program, University of New Orleans, one semester

 

CIVIC AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/MEMBERSHIPS

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana – Corporate Board member (6 years), Past Board Chair, and
  • Board Development Committee Chair
  • Boys & Girls Club of Covington – Unit Board Member  | 4 years
  • Covington Three Rivers Art Festival, Inc. – Board Member and Past Vice-President  | 6 years
  • Covington Farmers Market Management Committee
  • Southern Growth Policies Board – Board Member, Appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal
  • St. Tammany Parish Trust Authority – Board Member and Past Board Chair
  • New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute – Board Member | 6 years
  • Louisiana Municipal Association
  • Louisiana Municipal Association State Retirement Task Force
  • Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association
  • International Economic Development Council
  • Women of the Storm
  • Kiwanis of Greater Covington
  • St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce
  • St. Tammany Leadership West Alumni Foundation
  • St. Tammany West Chamber Government Relations Committee
  • St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation – Board Member
  • St. Tammany Art Association – Past Bluesberry Festival Committee Chair
  • Louisiana Travel and Promotion Association
  • Louisiana Preservation Alliance
  • Louisiana Main Street Managers Association
  • Community Advisory Board –  Junior League of Greater Covington
  • Covington Gardens Partnership – Ex-Officio Board Member
  • Vision St. Tammany – Board Member
  • Vintage Moms, St. Paul’s School
  • St. Tammany Home Builders Association
  • American Home Builders Association
  • American Banking Association

 

PERSONAL

Candace has been married to Trevor Watkins, Principal of St. Paul’s School, since 1995.  She has three sons, a daughter and two granddaughters. She is a member of St. Peter Parish where she participates in the music ministry as a cantor.

Key Career Positions

Disaster Recovery Specialist

Louisiana Office of Community Development/ Disaster Recovery Unit, Resilience Policy and Strategic Initiatives Team | 3.5 years

  • Member of the National Disaster Resilience Team managing $92 million in projects:  Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project/LA SAFE Resilience Planning Project
  • Managed multi-million dollar grant management services contract
  • Managed Road Home Program Income Grant Program

 

Director of Community Development

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana  | 2 years

  • One of five cabinet members
  • Directed Planning and Zoning, Building Permits and Safety, and Coastal Zone Management
  • Directed the effort to produce the parish’s first Comprehensive Master Land Use and Zoning Plan

 

Mayor

City of Covington, Louisiana | 2003 - 2011

  •  Directed city government response to and recovery from Katrina
  • Maintained city services without increased taxes during the Great Recession
  • Managed 144 employees in Administration, Public Works, Recreation, Fire and Police departments
  • Built the Covington Trailhead and secured federal funds to pay for it
  • Built the Covington Recreation Complex after securing donation of the land
  • Completed the final phase of the Mile Branch bank restoration project
  • Completed expansion and upgrade of the sewer treatment facility and collection system
  • Overlaid 30+ miles of asphalt streets
  • Reconstructed the 19th and 28th Avenue bridges
  • Upgraded the police and fire facilities including the purchase of Fire Station II
  • Renovated the Fuhrmann Auditorium
  • Relocated and renovated City Hall
  • Replaced 4,000 telemetry water meters and implementation of  the corresponding billing system as part of the improved financial condition of the utility fund
  •  Updated the city’s Comprehensive Master Land Use Plan
  •  Produced the city’s new Zoning Ordinance
  •  Rezoned the city
  •  Revised the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan
  •  Secured federal funds and finalized the design documents for the Boston Street Streetscape Project
  •  Created the Code Enforcement and Human Resources departments

 

Executive Director & Certified Main Street Manager

Covington Downtown Development Committee  | 4 years

  • Directed all aspects of this very active downtown revitalization program
  • Coordinated activities as a member of the Louisiana Main Street Program
  • Started the Columbia Street Final Friday Block Parties
  • Brought the LPO to Covington for the Symphony Swing in the Pines
  •  Put the Three Rivers Art Festival into a positive financial position

 

Executive Officer (CAO)

Northshore Home Builders Association  | 1 year

  • Facilitated merger of St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Home Builders Associations
  • Supervised the construction of the new NHBA office building in Lacombe, LA
  • Started the first Year-Round Raffle fundraiser that was immediately successful

 

Owner

Ashland Homes, Inc. and Candace Watkins, Inc. | 4 years

  • Self-employed licensed residential contractor

 

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

First National Corporation | 4 years

  •  Directed all marketing, promotional, business development and customer service activities for this $400 million multi-bank holding company

 

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of General Studies Degree with Merchandising focus, University of New Orleans
  • Three years of undergraduate studies in Merchandising, Louisiana State University
  • Fellow, Institute of Politics, Loyola University
  • Graduate, Leadership St. Tammany West
  • Graduate, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute
  • CDBG Comprehensive Training, HUD, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Advanced CDBG Training, CSCDA, New Orleans, LA
  • Certified Economic Development Professional, Louisiana State University Executive Education
  • Certified Floodplain Manager, FEMA
  • Certified Main Street Manager, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC
  • Governance for Nonprofit Excellence Certificate, Harvard Business School
  • Masters of Public Administration Program, University of New Orleans, one semester

 

CIVIC AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/MEMBERSHIPS

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana – Corporate Board member (6 years), Past Board Chair, and
  • Board Development Committee Chair
  • Boys & Girls Club of Covington – Unit Board Member  | 4 years
  • Covington Three Rivers Art Festival, Inc. – Board Member and Past Vice-President  | 6 years
  • Covington Farmers Market Management Committee
  • Southern Growth Policies Board – Board Member, Appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal
  • St. Tammany Parish Trust Authority – Board Member and Past Board Chair
  • New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute – Board Member | 6 years
  • Louisiana Municipal Association
  • Louisiana Municipal Association State Retirement Task Force
  • Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association
  • International Economic Development Council
  • Women of the Storm
  • Kiwanis of Greater Covington
  • St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce
  • St. Tammany Leadership West Alumni Foundation
  • St. Tammany West Chamber Government Relations Committee
  • St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation – Board Member
  • St. Tammany Art Association – Past Bluesberry Festival Committee Chair
  • Louisiana Travel and Promotion Association
  • Louisiana Preservation Alliance
  • Louisiana Main Street Managers Association
  • Community Advisory Board –  Junior League of Greater Covington
  • Covington Gardens Partnership – Ex-Officio Board Member
  • Vision St. Tammany – Board Member
  • Vintage Moms, St. Paul’s School
  • St. Tammany Home Builders Association
  • American Home Builders Association
  • American Banking Association

 

PERSONAL

Candace has been married to Trevor Watkins, Principal of St. Paul’s School, since 1995.  She has three sons, a daughter and two granddaughters. She is a member of St. Peter Parish where she participates in the music ministry as a cantor.