Sam C. Barbera III, the former STAR tournament director for the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana who has worked for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for the last three years, has been named the assistant executive director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. 

Barbera, 49, will succeed executive director Kell McInnis,who has served since 2006, later this year.

“To be selected as assistant executive director for this organization is humbling,’’ Barbera said in a press release. “For many years, I’ve seen firsthand the job LWFF has done and the various contributions it has made not only to LDWF but also to the citizens of the state who love and enjoy all Louisiana outdoors has to offer. 

“The core mission of LWFF is to enhance and encourage public enjoyment and use of the wildlife and fisheries resources of Louisiana. I’ll work tirelessly to make sure we continue that mission.’’

A U.S. Army veteran, Barbera assisted at the LDWF with a variety of fisheries research projects, including the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program and the Lake Pontchartrain Acoustic Telemetry Project. He also helped with the department’s artificial reef development/deployment activities and biological monitoring. In addition, he worked with fisheries extension, including numerous outreach events, fishing seminars and served as the Louisiana Saltwater Series tournament director.

“Sam’s extensive knowledge of the outdoor industry in Louisiana, coupled with his fund-raising ability and organizational skills, makes him the perfect candidate to oversee the Foundation,’’ said LWFF president John W. Barton Jr. “We look forward to him growing the efforts Kell McInnis has built on through the years as executive director.’’

LWFF, a non-profit public charitable foundation, was created in 1995. Its goals are to aid the department in habitat conservation, youth recruitment, environmental education and training, natural resource research and management, regulation enforcement and financial assistance to LDWF programs.

The Foundation receives no public funding and depends entirely upon contributions from individual and corporate donors. Encouraging cooperation and support for LDWF programs is the major focus of LWFF, accomplished by connecting people and businesses with Louisiana’s natural resources.

Some of the programs LWFF assists with include Archery in Louisiana Schools, Becoming an Outdoor Woman, Get Out & Fish!, Louisiana Wetland Protection, Youth Hunter Education Challenge, the Louisiana Black Bear restoration, the VHF Tower Project, WETSHOP and the Whooping Crane restoration project.