DDD Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is a volunteer group that strives to uphold the DDD mission and follow its legislative authority. It was established through a grassroots campaign in 1986. Board meetings are typically held on the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm in the City Council Chambers (312 E. Charles St. Hammond LA 70401). Board members are appointed to serve 2-year terms.

2024 Board Nominations Open 

The following DDD Board of Directors seats are open for the term of January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025.

  • City of Hammond Mayor-nominated
  • Chamber of Commerce-nominated
  • East Side Property / Business Owner nominated

Applications are due Friday, December 1, 2023 by 5PM. All nominees are officially appointed by the Hammond City Council. Appointments are expected to occur at the Tuesday, December 12, 2023 council meeting. For more information, please reference the Board Nomination Packet (linked below). Direct any questions to DDD Executive Director, Michelle Kendall, at 985-277-5683 or [email protected]

John Exnicios - Chairman

John has served on the board since 2021. 

He is the CEO of the top real estate team in Tangipahoa Parish. John enjoys property investing, traveling, entertaining, and fine dining. His favorite thing about Downtown Hammond is the old architecture that has created a vibrant setting for a friendly, lively, small town atmosphere. 

"My favorite things to order in Downtown is the filet egg rolls at The SteaKhouse and the house-made cheesecake from Cena," says John. "Margaritas from La Caretta hit the spot as well."

"Serving on the board is important to me because I can keep a pulse on the town I now call home," explains John. "It gives me the ability to have an active role in helping to support and grow the community that I have so much pride in."

Elsbet Smith Hollywood - Vice Chair

Elsbet Smith Hollywood is the current Vice Chair of the Board, serving in the Chamber of Commerce Seat. 

 She is an attorney who lives in Downtown Hammond with her husband, Tim, and their kids, Baker and Knox. "We love walking to the Farmers Market on Saturdays, getting bubbles and a book from Bayou Booksellers, and stopping for lunch," said Elsbet. Bartleby, their beagle, even joins in on the fun!

When asked about her favorite dish to order in Downtown Hammond, Elsbet had a hard time choosing just one! "A SteaKhouse filet, an Espresso Martini from Cena, the Casual Cow from Blackened Brew, and onethirteen's Breakfast Brunch Plate... just not all in the same day!"

"The Hammond DDD is such a triumph because of the time dedicated to it by so many community members over the years," said Elsbet. "I feel that it is my honor and duty to contribute to the Hammond DDD's continued success."

Evan Singer - Finance Chair

Evan Singer joined the DDD Board of Directors as the Finance Chair in 2021, in the Major Assessed Property Owner Seat. He is Senior Vice President at First Guaranty Bank in Hammond, and this is his first year serving on the Board.

 His favorite thing about Downtown Hammond is the architecture and landscaping. "Downtown Hammond has such a unique personality. Each facade is beautiful and maintained, and is a great representation of small businesses."

Overall, Evan is excited for the the future of Downtown Hammond: "It's important to me to give back to this amazing community that has been so good to me and to FGB. I believe in the DDD Board's vision and am excited to be a part of the team."

Fun Fact: Evan's favorite Downtown Hammond dish is an Oyster Caesar Salad from Brady's.

Cassie Ragan - Design Committee Chair

Cassie Ragan serves as the City of Hammond Mayor appointed seat and Design Committee Chair. 

She is the owner of Ruby, which has been a #DowntownHammond staple since 2003.

Her background as an architect has led her to the Design Committee, where she will focus on improving and monitoring the look and feel of the district.

Chelsea Kessenich - Event Chair

Chelsea Kessenich is part owner of Mariners of Hammond. Newly appointed in January 2023, she serves as the West Side Business/ Property Owner seat. 

Kali Norton 

Kali Norton is the owner of The Creative Studio. Kali is serving her first term on the board as one of three seats for the largest assessed properties in the district. 

Todd Delaune -  East Side Property / Business Owner nominated

Todd Delaune is the owner of The Red, White & Brew, Boutique de Fumée, and owns commercial properties here in Downtown Hammond. Newly appointed in March 2023, he serves as the East Side Business/ Property Owner seat. 

Important Board of Directors Information

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi