Ross Campesi, Founder of LCTA and Local Comp Industry Giant, Dies at 90

Ross Campesi, Sr., founder of LCTA Workers’ Comp, died May 7th, 2016 in his home. He was 90 years old. Campesi established Louisiana Commerce & Trade Association (LCTA) in 1990, in an effort to fill the need for cost effective workers’ compensation solutions at a time when options were limited.

“Ross’s passing is obviously a huge personal loss…he was the love of my life,” Melissa Campesi, CEO of LCTA, and Campesi’s wife, said in a company press release. “But it’s also a great loss to his employees and the industry. He was forward thinking and truly valued his employees and policyholders.”

Over the course of his 50 year career, Campesi was instrumental in the founding, formation and ongoing success of several industrial contracting, transporting and real estate businesses. He retired in 2013 at the age of 87.

Kathleen Griffin, Comptroller at LCI Workers’ Comp, remembered Campesi as a great leader who helped launch her career. “He was my first boss in Louisiana and I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me. He could be a tough businessman as many an actuary can tell you, but he was always kind and supportive to me,” she said.

Wayne Fontana, an attorney with Roedel Parsons who is also active in workers’ comp policy matters, spoke to Campesi’s considerable professionalism. Referring to him as an “icon,” Fontana explained, “His vision and leadership greatly expanded the role of self-insurance in Louisiana in the early 1990s. Mr. Ross possessed a unique combination of business acumen, horse sense and good humor which served well not only his family, but also his companies and the whole of the Louisiana workers’ compensation system. Without question, he will be missed.”

Gary Patureau, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Self-Insured Employers (LASIE), shared Griffin and Fontana’s impressions. “I met Ross Campesi in 1998 as he warmly welcomed me into the LASIE family,” Patureau said. “He was always willing to discuss workers’ compensation and the politics surrounding it. Ross was an avid supporter of LASIE and provided strong leadership to the association, the Self Insured Fund Committee and to the legislative and regulatory process. He was a natural mentor who enthusiastically shared his business vision.”

Campesi was also known for his sharp mind for figures. Griffin recalls: “Mr. Ross had one trick that he loved to do. When the mail was opened every day he asked [his employees] to write each payment amount on the bottom right corner of the envelopes, wrap a rubber band around them and put them on his desk. Later in the day or the next day after the payments were all posted he would pick up that stack of envelopes, flip through it one time only, and give me a total. I’d check the day’s receipts and he was always spot on!”

In addition to such feats of accounting, Griffin also remembers Campesi as a dedicated family man and a “snappy dresser” with an affinity for cowboy boots.

Campesi served on various banking, healthcare, insurance and agricultural boards.  In 2007, Campesi received an award for 50 years of breeding American Quarter Horses from the American Quarter Horse Association.

Services for Campesi will be held on Friday, May 13 at 11 a.m. at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in Donaldsonville, La. Read more about Camesi in his obituary here.

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