For more than thirty years, Friends of LPB has honored Louisiana’s best and brightest as ‘Louisiana Legends.’
Valsin A. Marmillion, an alumnus of the Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Northwestern State University is among the 2022 honorees who have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as philanthropy, science, sports, environmental conservation, and the humanities.
Marmillion joins a prestigious list of 149 past Louisiana Legends that includes Academy and Grammy Award winners, star athletes, Pulitzer Prize winners, esteemed dignitaries, including a United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
Marmillion is recognized as one of the top campaign strategists in the country. He founded Marmillion + Company Strategic Communications (MCo) in 1989 and partnered with Rannah Gray in 2003 to form Marmillion/Gray Media. More recently, he also served as Managing Director of America’s WETLAND Foundation.
Prior to forming Hunt/Marmillion, he was manager of public information for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in Los Angeles. Before joining ARCO, he was in congressional service in Washington, D.C. where he served on the staffs of the late Senator Allen J. Ellender, Senator Elaine S. Edwards, and Congressman Burt Talcott and as Chief of Staff for then Congressman John B. Breaux. He directed Breaux’s U.S. Senate race in Louisiana in 1986 and is credited with running a brilliant campaign to pull off major upset.
He also served as Louisiana coordinator of President Carter’s 1980 reelection campaign and a floor whip at the Democratic National Convention that year.
Under Marmillion’s leadership MCo has emerged as one of the nation’s premiere marketing and communications firms with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Past clients include the State of Louisiana, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, the American Psychological Association, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, IBM, Verizon, and UCLA.
He has led several ambitious public education campaigns for various clients: American Psychological Association (Talk to Someone Who Can Help); UCLA, (Where Great Futures Begin); National Association of Counties, (Counties Serve America); the National Endowment for the Arts, (The American Canvas); National Association of Elementary School Principals, (Our Children, Our Schools, Our Future); National Conference of State Legislatures, (The Forum for America’s Ideas); the J. Paul Getty Trust, for the Arts Education Partnership, (Arts Literacy for Changing America); and for the State of Louisiana (America’s WETLAND: Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana).
Many of his campaigns have earned recognition for their groundbreaking work in bringing challenging issues to the public. Most recently, MCo won the Best Public Service Campaign of 2006 from the PR News NonProfit Awards for MCo’s work with America’s WETLAND. MCo has also won two prestigious Silver Anvil awards, from PRSA and many other national awards for its work including Tellys, Pollies, Communicator, and Videographer.
Marmillion has served as executive producer for numerous programs including several features developed for Discovery and The Learning Channel. His production work has garnered several awards including: the prestigious Pollie Award from the American Association of Political Consultants and the Platinum Award from the League of American Communications Professionals.
This year’s gala and auction, which is a fundraiser for Friends of LPB, will be held Thursday, April 28, 2022 at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
Other honorees include Arthur Favre, CEO and Founder of Performance Contractors, and philanthropist making extraordinary impacts to health care, medical research, and education; Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire, retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor Emerita of Chemistry at LSU and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; Dr. Stephen McGuire, James and Ruth Smith Endowed Emeritus Professor of Physics at Southern University and A&M College and Southern University’s Principal Investigator to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics; Coach Paul Mainieri, retired LSU Head Baseball Coach who led the Tigers to the 2009 National Championship; Thomas Whitehead, expert and preservationist for the Clementine Hunter Collection; and Beth Courtney, retired president of Louisiana’s only statewide public television network and one of the first women to achieve national leadership in broadcasting.