Visit Lake Charles is proud to announce the recent appointments of Richert “Ricky” Self and Jay Kumar to the board of directors. 

Self, selected by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, is the executive director at the Port of Lake Charles. He first joined the Port of Lake Charles in 2003, initially as the director of administration and finance, overseeing daily operations in finance, accounting, risk management, information technology, human resources and administration. In August 2017, he assumed the role of deputy executive director before becoming the executive director in June 2020. 

He has a strong background in port management, having served as the chairman of the finance committee for the American Association of Port Authorities and as vice president of the Gulf Seaports Marine Terminal Conference. Self is also a member of several professional organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Government Finance Officers Association. 

Kumar is a third-generation hotelier who proudly represents the City of Sulphur. Engaged in commercial real estate and the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry, his background in management and finance allows him to assess investments, streamline administrative processes, and offer guidance to clients.  

Demonstrating a commitment to philanthropy, Kumar actively engages in community development, volunteers, and serves as a dedicated board member for the Boys Village Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to housing and educating abused children. 

Both Kumar and Self are proud McNeese State University graduates. 

“Ricky and Jay bring a wealth of knowledge to the board,” said Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “With extensive experience in strategic leadership, port management, hospitality, and entrepreneurship, their contributions to the board will continue to help us elevate Southwest Louisiana as the premier destination it is.” 

VLC is governed by an 11-member board of directors, with Kane Mitchell as the 2024 board chair, Mike Buckley as vice chair and Shonda Manuel as secretary/treasurer. 

Download headshots for Self and Kumar here


About Visit Lake Charles:    
Visit Lake Charles, the official destination marketing organization for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, is the only organization in Southwest Louisiana providing advocacy, promotion, and education for the tourism industry. For more information on Visit Lake Charles and things to see and do in Louisiana’s Playground, log on to