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League taps Romero, others for leadership

Randy Romero

Sugar executive Randy Romero of Abbeville was elected president of the American Sugar Cane League by the organization’s membership.

He is the 51st president of the League, which was founded in 1922 by Louisiana’s sugar interests. He has been a League director since 2009.

Also elected to the League’s leadership were Bryan Simon of Abbeville, vice president; David Thibodeaux of Jeanerette, secretary; and Gary Gravois of Napoleonville, treasurer.

“Louisiana’s sugarcane industry is a significant economic driver in the state,” Romero said. “The work the League does on behalf of the sugarcane producers is immeasurable and I’m proud to be leading the organization.”

Romero is a long-time sugar executive. He has been with M.A. Patout and Son of Jeanerette, La. for 19 years. He first served as M.A. Patout’s chief financial officer and was tapped to be CEO in May 2013. M.A. Patout is the oldest complete family-owned and operated manufacturer of raw sugar in the United States. The company is composed of Enterprise Plantation along with three subsidiaries: Sterling Sugars, LLC, Raceland Raw Sugars, LLC, and Patout Equipment Company, LLC.

Prior to his tenure at M.A Patout, he was the CPA/office manager at Sterling Sugars of Franklin, La. from 1989-98.

Romero, a Youngsville native, grew up in his family’s grocery business in Lafayette and graduated from Comeaux High School in 1977. He earned an accounting degree in 1981 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He started his business career as a certified public accountant with an accounting firm in Abbeville.

“For a while, I was doing tax work and sugar work,” Romero said. “It was grinding season and then tax season. I found I preferred the sugar business.”

Romero has been married to Denise Hebert Romero for 37 years and they have two adult children along with three grandchildren.

The League membership also elected two new directors, Keith Crochet of Jeanerette, and Mike Sternfels of Paincourtville, to its 46-member governing board. Crochet, from a sugarcane farming family, works in farmer relations for M.A. Patout. Sternfels is the CFO of Lula-Westfield LLC of Paincourtville which operates two sugar mills in Assumption Parish.

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