Our Employees 1st Team

The Employees 1st team is made up of veterans in the industry.

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John G. Davies, President/CEO

John Davies is the president and CEO 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.

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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.

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General Counsel

Edmund Giering serves as General Counsel to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. He manages the legal affairs of Employees 1st. As secretary and a director of the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation, a supporting organization of the Foundation, Giering managed grants totaling $100 million. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from LSU, a law degree from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and an MBA from the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business.


Devon Pannia, LEAD 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.


Lauren Crump, Program Officer

Lauren Crump assists with making grants from emergency assistance funds, which are established through the Foundation’s supporting organization—Employees 1st. She 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 LSU.


You and your organization are such an outstanding resource for companies like ours when we want to assist our employees in times of crisis. Your professionalism, expertise and responsiveness puts you among the best, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you to get this program started for our company.
— Pam Moen, Assistant VP of Public Affairs & Public Relations, AAA-The Auto Club Group

It’s in times of great hardship and need that Coca-Cola UNITED shines the brightest, but with Employees 1st administering our plan, we truly show Coca-Cola unites as one family.
— Gianetta Jones, VP Human Resources, Coca-Cola UNITED