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Board of Directors

Guiding First Bank and Trust into the future

Our board members bring entrepreneurial backgrounds and experiences that imbue First Bank and Trust with a unique spirit and attitude.

Gary B. Blossman, Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank and Trust.

Prior to joining First Bank and Trust, Blossman served as CEO of Parish National Bank for 12 years. In his 20-year tenure at Parish National Bank, Blossman is credited with successfully growing the bank to an $800 million institution with 17 branches throughout Louisiana and Florida.

A graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Southeastern School of Advanced Commercial Lending at Vanderbilt University, Blossman has served in leadership positions on numerous banking boards and associations including the First National Banker’s Bank, Independent Community Banker’s Association, South East School of Commercial Lending and the Southern Financial Exchange.

A native of Covington, Louisiana, Blossman oversees First Bank and Trust’s entire banking operations as the bank continues to expand its personal and business services in South Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. 

Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger, Chairman of the First Bank and Trust.

Bollinger is the President and CEO of Bolllinger, LLC. Prior to that he was President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., a leading provider of quality construction, repair and conversion products and services to both the military and commercial marine industry. Boysie graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in Business Administration. He participates at both national and state levels in the political arena and he devotes considerable time to professional and civic organizations including the Shipbuilders Council of America and the National Ocean Industries Association. He also served on the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Bring New Orleans Back Commission (both of which were involved in the rebuilding of New Orleans and Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita).

Boysie is also very involved with the United States Coast Guard Foundation, The National World War II Museum, Offshore Marine Services Association, Business Council of New Orleans, The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana; World President’s Organization and Chief Executive Officer's Organization, United Way, and the Boy Scouts of America, to name a few. He has served as a delegate to Louisiana’s Constitutional Convention in 1973 and served on the Louisiana Board of Regents and the University of Louisiana System Board. He is also Chairman of the Nicholls State University Foundation.

Bollinger, a native of Lockport, Louisiana, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.

Joseph C. Canizaro is chairman of First Bank and Trust's holding company, First Trust Corporation.

Canizaro is the founder, President and CEO of Columbus Properties, LP, a commercial real estate development company that has acquired, developed and/or managed office buildings, mixed-use projects, and land and residential projects throughout the southeastern and southwestern United States. In the New Orleans area, the company developed highly visible projects such as Canal Place, the First Bank and Trust Tower and Texaco Center (now Regions Bank building).

In 1991, Canizaro purchased First Bank and Trust and subsequently formed First Trust Corporation, parent of First Bank and Trust.  He also founded Corporate Capital, LLC, a venture capital company that invests in traditional American businesses such as Innovus, Inc. (CDS), an operator of more than 32,000 U.S. ATM locations and Cooperative Retirement Systems of America, a developer and manager of more than 200 continuing-care retirement communities nationwide.

Raised in Biloxi, Mississippi until moving to New Orleans in 1964, Canizaro is a trustee and former chairman of the Urban Land Institute and has served on the Advisory Committee on Real Estate Development of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In addition, he was a member of the Business Council of New Orleans and the Tulane University President’s Council and was founder and co-chairman of the Committee for a Better New Orleans.

Canizaro also founded  the New Orleans chapter of Legatus, an international organization of practicing Catholic CEOs. Additionally, he served the archbishop of New Orleans as a member of the Archdiocese Finance Council. Most recently, Notre Dame Seminary bestowed to him an Honorary Doctorate for his faith-filled and genuine conviction for following the Gospel instruction to go and teach all nations.

Ralph C. Cox, Jr., Director.

Cox is a CPA and a retired managing member at Bourgeois Bennett, LLC, one of the largest locally-owned, regional public accounting firms in Louisiana. A University of New Orleans accounting graduate and native of New Orleans, Cox has held leadership positions in several professional accounting associations. He is a past president of the Society of Louisiana CPAs and its New Orleans chapter. Cox also has served as a member of the Council of the American Institute of CPAs and is a past chairman of the Louisiana Accounting and Auditing Conference. In 2001, he received the Society of Louisiana CPAs’ Distinguished Service Award.

Cox serves on the boards and committees of several charities and civic organizations, including the Catholic Foundation, Salmen Family Foundation, Legatus, GPOA Foundation, Fore! Kids Foundation and New Orleans Board of Trade. He serves as Chairman of Finance Council of St. Pius X Catholic Church. He was recognized as a “Role Model” by the Young Leadership Council in 2008, and he also received an Order of St. Louis medallion in recognition of his service to the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Patricia C. Denechaud, Director.

Denechaud is the Owner and President of Crescent City Consultants, a full-service destination-management company providing a wide variety of professional services required to organize, coordinate and execute special events, meetings, and convention and incentive travel. In 1979, she co-founded CONTACT, a national consortium of prestigious destination-management firms with representation in the major U.S. convention cities.

A native of New Orleans, she serves as honorary consul for Canada in Louisiana. In addition, she is a director of the World Trade Center, which she also has served as the organization’s first female president, and she is a former president of the Louisiana chapter of the International Women’s Forum.

She is the founder of the New Orleans affiliate of the Komen for the Cure Foundation, the co-chairman of the annual Komen fundraiser, the Summer Cure Auction and Dinner, and past honorary chair of the Race for the Cure.

She is past chairman and an advisory board member of the LSU Health Science Center Foundation Board.

She serves as a Board Member of the New Orleans Vieux Carré Commission.

She is a board member of the Greater New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and vice-chair of the NOCC Foundation.

John Georges, Director.

Mr. Georges is CEO of Georges Enterprises. They operate over 50 businesses amongst which include Imperial Trading Company, AMA Distributors, the Advocate Newspapers, Galatoires Restaurants, and other Louisiana based companies.

In addition to significant business achievements, John is involved in many civic, philanthropic, and faith based initiatives. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the World War II Museum, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, St. Augustine High School, Hellenic Initiative, and is the Co-founder of Lemonade Day in Louisiana.

He co-founded the Galatoire’s Foundation and is a major donor to faith based and educational institutions including Dillard University, Tulane University, Metairie Park Country Day School, St. Augustine High School, Notre Dame Seminary, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Greek Orthodox Church, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, City Park, Junior Achievement, and United Way.

John is the past president of the Greek Orthodox Community of New Orleans, past Chairman of YPO Louisiana, past member of the State Board of Regents, former member of the Board of Metairie Park Country Day School, Tulane Presidents Council, UNO Foundation, LSU Medical Foundation, New Orleans and Jefferson Business Council, World Trade Center, Chamber of Commerce, and Crimestoppers.

David Guidry, Vice-Chairman of the First Bank and Trust Board of Directors.

Guidry is the President of Guico Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of equipment used in the exploration and development of oil fields and serving the entire North American oil patch. He is the founder of Guico Machine Works, Inc., a predecessor to Guico Industries.

A native of Palmetto, Louisiana, Guidry attended the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University after graduating from T.H. Harris Technical College.

He is a trustee of Baptist Community Ministries and director of the Boy Scouts of America, Louisiana Children’s Museum, Louisiana Minority Business Council, Idea Village, Jefferson Parish and Northshore business councils and other non-profit organizations. He formerly was a director of the New Orleans branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and chairman of the board of commissioners of the Port of New Orleans.

Guidry has received numerous federal, state and local honors, including the Small Business Administration Minority Business Award and Manufacturer of the Year, Louisiana Lantern Award and Young Leadership Council Role Model Award.

Randall E. Howard, Director.

Howard has over 35 years of financial service experience. He is the former President and CEO of Argent Bank. He served as President of Commercial Banking Hibernia Corporation and Hibernia National Bank where he was responsible for the commercial and middle-market corporate banking, including Commercial Real Estate; Energy / Maritime; Commercial Mortgage Capital; Treasury Management; Energy Investments; Leasing; Hibernia Insurance; and Public Fund Sales. Mr. Howard also served on the Board of Directors of the former Hibernia National Bank.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Howard received a Bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also is a graduate of the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.

Mark Jeansonne is President and CEO of Triton Diving Services, LLC.

Jeansonne previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for First Bank and Trust and Corporate Capital, LLC. Prior to that, Mark was General Counsel and Secretary at Radiophone, a regional cellular telephone and radio paging company operating in a thirteen state area.

Mark started his career at Halliburton Services as a Field Engineer after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. He then received his law degree from Loyola University of New Orleans in 1990.

Mark provides a wealth of diverse experience and leadership to Triton and the Board of Directors of First Bank and Trust.

Craig J. Kruse, Director.

Kruse is currently the Owner and Operator of two RV resorts in Florida with gross revenue of over $2 million. Prior to that, he was the Owner of Kruse Realty Inc. in Fort Walton Beach, Florida from 1973 until 2011.

Kruse has over 40 years of experience in real estate development and has developed over 2,000 single family homes, lots, shopping centers, and office buildings.

He served as a director of Parish National Bank from 2005 until the bank was acquired in 2008.

A native of New Orleans, Kruse attended Loyola University in 1971.

Ryan Lopiccolo, Director.

Lopiccolo is the CFO and Owner of Pie-Not, LLC.

Lopiccolo previously served as a Sales Associate for Columbus Data Services where he gained valuable banking industry knowledge related to stored value cards and merchant services.

Ryan holds a Bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of San Diego where he had an emphasis in finance and real estate. His diverse background includes years of retail experience specializing in e-commerce and commercial real estate sales.


Tania Tetlow, Director

Tania Tetlow, J.D. joined Loyola University in August 2018 as the 17th university president. She is the first woman and first layperson to lead Loyola since its founding in 1912. President Tetlow is the fourth and youngest woman president to lead one of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Under her leadership, Loyola successfully completed a turnaround after the most challenging period in its financial history, improving its bond rating, repositioning university finances through careful budgeting, increasing retention, continued enrollment growth, and expansion of online, graduate and professional programs. In the fall of 2021, Loyola happily welcomes its largest first-year class in university history, with more than 20 percent first-year students above target. 

Prior to joining Loyola, President Tetlow served as senior vice president and chief of staff, the Felder-Fayard Professor of Law, and key strategic adviser to President Michael Fitts at Tulane University. Before joining academia, President Tetlow was an associate at Phelps Dunbar and served as an assistant United States attorney.

President Tetlow graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a bachelor of arts degree in American studies and is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School as well as a Harry Truman Fellow.