Officers And Division Directors

The Provident Group is governed by a Board of Directors with advice and consultation from its National Advisors Council. Provident's day-to-day activities are directed by its Senior Management headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Steve E. Hicks
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Provident founder Steve Hicks serves as the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Steve practiced law for 25 years for a number of prestigious regional and national firms, specializing in the area of public finance with additional concentration in the area of legislative law. He participated in many public finance issues over his 25 year career in a variety of roles including bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, and counsel to the issuer. He played a major role in the formation of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, one of the nation's largest issuers of debt securities for a wide range of public projects. While practicing public finance law, Hicks was the principal attorney or supervisory partner on approximately $12 billion in project financings from 1973-1996 for acute care general hospitals, nursing facilities, affordable housing, and numerous other health care and other essential state and local government projects.

Hicks served as General Counsel to the Louisiana Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs (1976-1980) where his primary responsibility was for bond and tax legislation referred to the Committee and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority from 1974-1980.

He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Research Park Corporation, a public, nonprofit corporation organized by the Louisiana State Legislature to promote the development of high technology industries and research in Louisiana and Chaired the Audit Committee of the Research Park Corporation.


  • Juris Doctorate, Louisiana State University School of Law, Baton Rouge LA, 1973
  • Bachelor of Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, 1970

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Proton Therapy
  • National Council of Public Private Partnerships
  • Fellow, Louisiana State University Academy of Politics

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, APP Properties, Inc., New Canaan CT, 2012-present
  • Board of Directors, O'Brien House, Baton Rouge, LA, 2010
  • Board of Directors, American Red Cross – Louisiana Capital Region Chapter, 2000-2006
  • Board of Trustees, East Baton Rouge Mortgage Finance Authority, 2005

Debra W. Lockwood, CPA
President, Chief Financial Officer
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Since 2002, Ms. Lockwood has been a member of Provident's senior management team, responsible for financial oversight and the development and implementation of strategic and operational initiatives. Prior to 2002, Ms. Lockwood gained extensive professional experience as a practicing certified public accountant during which time she provided business valuation, audit and tax services, represented numerous health care clients, and participated in several tax-exempt bond financings.

With her commitment to public service, Ms. Lockwood served in healthcare on the Board of Directors of Woman's Hospital, in affordable housing on the Board of Commissioners of the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and as national chairman of the American Heart Association 2010-11.


  • Master of Business Administration, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, 1977

Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Louisiana
  • Accredited in Business Valuation with the American Institute of CPAs
  • Member, Louisiana Society of CPAs (LSCPA)
  • Lockwood has served on the Strategic Planning Committee, Litigation Services, and Peer Review Committees of the LSCPA
  • Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Member, American Society of Appraisers in Business Valuations
  • State President of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, 1996

Community Involvement
Since 1997, Ms. Lockwood has been an active volunteer for the American Heart Association in various capacities on local and regional boards where she was Chairman of the Greater Southeast Affiliate Board and the Baton Rouge Capital Area Board. Additionally, she was the Chairman of the National Board of Directors 2010-11 and, prior to that appointment, was Secretary-Treasurer and a member of the National Audit Committee, ECC Business Management Committee, Chairman of the Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee and Chairman of the Investment Committee.

  • Board of Directors, Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors, Louisiana Arts & Science Center
  • Advisory Board, Louisiana State University—University College
  • Board of Directors, Woman’s Health Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
  • Board of Directors, VOA National Housing Corporation

Donovan O. Hicks Esq.
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Donovan began his professional career in 1987 in private practice specializing in general corporate and tax matters and in the representation of corporate trust departments of state and national banking institutions serving as trustee for various tax-exempt bond financings in Louisiana and other state and local jurisdictions. Since 2001, Mr. Hicks has been a member of the Provident senior management team, responsible for overseeing legal, tax, and corporate compliance issues for Provident and its affiliates, and the acquisition, financing and development of new properties in furtherance of Provident's charitable activities.


  • Master of Laws (Taxation), Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX, 1987
  • Juris Doctorate, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, 1986
  • Bachelor of Science (Accounting), Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, 1983

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Louisiana State Bar Association (1986-Present)
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association
  • Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers

Community Involvement

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross – Louisiana Capital Region Chapter (2006-2011)

Christopher C. Hicks
EVP Capital Markets and Corporate Development
Raleigh, North Carolina

Christopher is our Executive Vice President for Capital Markets and Corporate Development. Prior to joining Provident, he worked at Citigroup Capital Markets Inc. as a Director in the firm’s Public Finance Department within the Municipal Securities Division. In his nearly 18 years with Citigroup, Christopher worked with state and local governments and higher education institutions around the country on over $25 billion in tax-exempt and taxable municipal transactions, including numerous public-private partnership transactions. Notable clients included the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development, the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the University of Massachusetts Building Authority, the University of Vermont, Georgia Proton Treatment Center at Emory University, Berklee College of Music, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and Emerson College, to name a few.

Mr. Hicks’ role within Provident serves to drive business expansion and diversification efforts with a focus on identification, evaluation, prioritization and development of investment and business opportunities, all aimed at fostering growth within each of Provident’s core mission areas.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Political Science), Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC, 2001

Marla Page Scannicchio, CPA
Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Marla is our Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to joining Provident Foundation, Inc., she worked at The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC as their Accounting Manager from 1999-2002. Scannicchio was also employed as an Audit Manager with KPMG in Baton Rouge from 1993-1999, serving health care, governmental, and not-for-profit audit clients in Louisiana. Her health care clients included multi-facility nursing home companies, numerous not-for-profit and governmental hospitals, and the Louisiana State Department of Health and Human Resources (DHH). The DHH contract included reviewing and auditing all nursing home cost reports for the state of Louisiana. In addition, Marla also reviewed and prepared cost reports for several of her hospital clients. She also gained extensive experience in auditing pension and savings plans, and worked periodically in the tax department preparing individual returns as well as charitable trust returns.


  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA

Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Public Accountant, Louisiana
  • Member, Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants
  • Member, Healthcare Financial and Management Association
  • Member, Medical Group Management Association

* Member of Board of Provident Resources Group Inc. and Provident Housing Resources Inc.