Renita Ward Williams – Interim CEO
Renita Ward Williams joined the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) executive team in December 2018. Prior to joining OGB, Williams served as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Unemployment Insurance Administration (OUIA) for the Louisiana Workforce Commission. In this role, she oversaw the delivery of unemployment insurance and related services to businesses and individuals throughout the State of Louisiana, served as a national disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) subject matter expert, and managed a trust fund with assets of nearly $1 billion. Williams also served as chairperson and vice-chair of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Interstate Benefits Committee.
Williams joined the LWC in 2007. Prior to her appointment as UI director in March 2016, she served as chief of UI Support, responsible for the drafting of unemployment insurance legislation, policy and rules and for the oversight of quality control, benefits payment control and the UI technical support units. During her tenure at the LWC, she held the positions of benefits specialist, administrative law judge, and managing administrative law judge of the Louisiana Board of Review.
Williams has extensive experience in employment law research, ethics law, and policy drafting. Her background includes work as a legal researcher for an employment law firm, an investigator for the Louisiana Ethics Board, and as executive assistant to the senior vice president of finance and administration of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
A native of Natchitoches, LA and graduate of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a juris doctor degree from the Southern University School of Law. She has completed coursework toward a master of public administration degree. Williams has been a certified mediator since 2008, receiving certification through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Melissa G. Mayers – COO
Melissa Mayers joined the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) in August 1996. She began her career with the Office of Group Benefits fiscal division as an accounting technician and has steadily advanced to senior management positions throughout her career with OGB.
She has extensive experience in the administration and management of OGB’s eligibility, billing and receivables system and its related functions. She has served as primary liaison between the various departments within OGB, including the Office of Technology Services (OTS) and Agency Services successfully streamlining and automating many of OGB’s processes. She has also served as liaison between OGB and its covered agencies in matters relating to billing and eligibility.
In March 2020, Melissa transferred to the OGB administrative office. She served as Director of Agency Services prior to becoming COO.
Melissa is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, with a minor in Management. Prior to joining OGB, Melissa was a student worker with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.