Louisiana State Exhibit Museum entryway signage

Staff at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum

Wayne Waddell

Director, Louisiana State Exhibit Museum  

Wayne Waddell Wayne Waddell is a lifelong resident of Shreveport, La. He graduated from C.E. Byrd High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Sociology from Northeast Louisiana University. After college, he returned to Shreveport where he pursued graduate studies in Accounting at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.


In 1970, he started his own framing and artwork business known as Waddell’s Gallery of Distinction. He also owns Louisiana Moulding and Supply and KD Plastics.


Waddell has served in public office as Caddo Parish Commissioner (1992-1996), Justice of the Peace for Louisiana Ward 7 (1996-1997), and Louisiana State Representative (1997-2010). While in the House of Representatives, Waddell served on numerous committees, including Commerce (Vice Chairman), Environment, Health & Welfare, House Executive (Chairman), House & Governmental Affairs, Legislative Bureau (Chairman), and Retirement. In 2008, he became the Dean of the Louisiana House of Representatives.


In July 2010, he was appointed the director of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum. In addition to serving his community in public office, Waddell has been involved with many different community organizations, including the Downtown Shreveport Rotary Club, Independence Bowl Foundation, Louisiana State Fair Board of Trustees, and the Southern High Speed Rail Commission.


Aside from God, the most important things in his life are his wife, Susan, and their two sons, Greg and Riley.


Staff Members

Wayne Waddell, Director Rodney Clements, Administrative Program Manager Daphnie Brown, Visitor Information Nita Cole, Curator and Archivist Cindy Grogan, Public Information Officer Dr. Robert Galvan, Education Coordinator Betty Baker, Tour Guide Steve Culbertson, Maintenance Foreman Anthony Harris, Maintenance Repair Johnnie Dickerson, Custodian Pearline Wilson, Janitorial James Johnson, Maintenance WAE  

Recent retirement news and information:


Some of the news coverage of the Salute to Forrest Dunn, retiring LSEM director, on June 27, 2010:   From The (Shreveport) Times: Val Horvath's Photos of Dunn Retirement Event and Maggie Martin article, Forrest Dunn leaves Museum with a bang, June 28, 2010   From Tom Pace, Talk of the Town radio program:  Podcasts of the 37-minute Forrest Dunn retirement salute and his interview with Secretary of State Jay Dardenne. June 27, 2010   From KTBS-TV Channel 3: Museum Director retires and video , June 27, 2010   From KSLA-TV Channel 12: Standing room only at Dunn Retirement Event, June 27, 2010  

Retirees June 2010

Pictured June 24 at the Friends of LSEM party in honor of their retirements are Ruth Stull, receptionist; Nancy McInnis, administrative assistant to the director; and Forrest Dunn, director. They and Perry Smith, security officer (not pictured), retire officially at the end of June 2010. (Photo by Harriet Daggett)


Editor's Note:  Forrest Dunn, director of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, announced that he would retire at the end of June 2010.  The following article is from The (Shreveport) Times, May 10, 2010.


Forrest Dunn retiring from Louisiana State Exhibit Museum

By Maggie Martin • maggiemartin@gannett.com • May 10, 2010

Louisiana State Exhibit Museum Director Forrest Dunn is retiring at the end of June.

Secretary of State Jay Dardenne said he accepted Dunn’s resignation with much reluctance. “I am a huge admirer of his and I wanted him to stay as long as he wanted to, but he said it was time to slow down a bit,” Dardenne said. In seeking a replacement, Dardenne will seek the input of the Museum Advisory and Friends boards.

Although, he has no specific time frame, because of continuity and overall management in running the museum, Dardenne wants someone in place fairly soon. Dardenne said Dunn is successful because of his understanding of his community, absolute passion for the museum, commitment to excellence and skills in dealing with people. During Dunn’s 11½ years tenure, the museum became a Smithsonian affiliate, outstanding national exhibits were scheduled on a regular basis and the frescoes and bas relief map in the rotunda conserved after many years of neglect.

“This is the end of an era. He is a legend as far as the museum is concerned,” museum curator Nita Cole said. “We have the highest attendance in the state in our museum system,” Cole said.

“Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says there is a season for all things. It is my time and my season. It is time to hang it up,” Dunn, 81, said today. “I am ready to do something else, take short trips with my wife and enjoy a different lifestyle.” Dunn said he was proud of the exhibits he brought here, such as ones on the Pulitzer Prize and Helen Keller, and starting the grounds and landscape committee. “We have a beautiful, beautiful landscape with roses climbing all across the front fence,” Dunn said.



Forrest Dunn

Forrest Dunn (Thurman C. Smith Photography)

Forrest Dunn, Immediate Past Director, Louisiana State Exhibit Museum




In 1982, state Rep. Forrest Dunn and state Sen. Virginia Shehee founded the Friends of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum to provide a continuous financial base for the Museum. Since then, Mr. Dunn, LSEM director, has worked diligently with the Friends of LSEM to bring numerous nationally recognized exhibits to the Museum and to promote and enhance the outstanding collections, gardens and grounds of this exceptional cultural and historical attraction.  


Mr. Dunn became director in 1988 and was instrumental in accomplishing the Museum’s affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, allowing LSEM the distinction of being the only public museum in Louisiana to be so designated.  He retired effective July 1, 2010.


Among his community honors have been his selection for the Special Humanitarian Award of the Community Council in 1978 and as a Shreveport Times outstanding leader in the Shreveport-Bossier community in 2002.  He is a past president and a current member of the Executive Committee for the Louisiana State Fair Board, past president of Holiday in Dixie, and a former delegate to the White House Conference on the Handicapped. He also served as campaign chairman for the United Way and for the Caddo-Bossier Association of Retarded Citizens.   Active in numerous civic affairs, he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for 12 years and served on the Caddo Parish School Board and the Shreveport Housing Authority. He was co-founder of the Hap-House and co-chairman of the Caddo-Bossier Committee to Elect President Gerald Ford. For 30 years Mr. Dunn was owner of Dunn Furniture Co., Inc. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.     For further information or to contact Museum staff, please call 318-632-2020 or email info@FriendsofLSEM.org.