Our Employees 1st Team
Our organization has made grants for more than 55 years.
John G. Davies, CEO/President
John Davies is the CEO and president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which started and administers Employees 1st. He joined the Foundation nearly 35 years ago, when it had $5 million in assets. Since then, the Foundation has grown to $700 million in assets and granted more than $500 million to nonprofits and projects in the U.S. and around the world, including building clinics and health care centers in Africa, supporting reform and education in Puerto Rico, and forming The Water Institute of the Gulf to provide solutions to coastal cities facing rising seas and falling wetlands. The Foundation is among the largest of its kind in the country.
Elizabeth Hutchison, Director
Elizabeth Hutchison is the Director of Philanthropic Services at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, focusing on developing new relationships with donors and businesses and managing the Employees 1st program. Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent 18 years working in the film and television industry while living in Los Angeles, California. Elizabeth graduated from LSU with a degree in broadcast journalism.
Francisca Comeaux, Legal Counsel
Francisca Comeaux is legal counsel for Employees 1st. Her work includes grants compliance in countries where Employees 1st issues grants. She was a member of Phelps Dunbar’s governmental relations team from 2012 to 2017, where she was integral in the approval of a $5 billion utility merger. She is a graduate of LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Lauren Crump, Operations manager
Lauren Crump oversees grantmaking for emergency assistance funds, which are established through the Foundation’s supporting organization—Employees 1st. Ms. Crump also provides consulting services to nonprofits. She has a master’s in international business and policy from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in human resource development from Louisiana State University.
Devon Pannia, Program officer
Devon Pannia leads the Employees 1st team that interacts with applicants. Before joining Employees 1st, she was a customer service representative with a financial lending company and managed retail operations.