Dr. Jack S. Damico was named assistant vice president for research at UL Lafayette. He will continue to serve as a professor of communicative disorders. In the next five years, UL intends to increase its research and development expenditures to $100 million per year, to almost double the number of doctoral students to 100 students per year, and to assist 10 new companies each year through its research and innovation. Damico is the Doris B. Hawthorne Eminent Scholar in Communicative Disorders and a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the university’s doctoral program in applied language and speech sciences and has been published widely in research publications in the fields of applied linguistics, communicative disorders, diversity education and social science. Damico is the author or editor of 12 books and the founding editor of the Journal of Interactional Research in Communicative Disorders and co-editor of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Human Communication Sciences and Disorders by Sage Publications. The professor holds a master’s of science degree in communicative disorders and a doctorate in linguistics. He has chaired 19 doctoral dissertations since 2005 and has received numerous awards for his research and publications. He has been a professor at UL since 1991.
Acadia General Hospital has partnered with Schumacher Group to staff its emergency room physicians. The partnership aims to improve patient flow, efficiency and overall satisfaction. AGH will incorporate some of the systematic approaches developed at the thousands of contracted providers Schumacher serves nationwide. Within the Lafayette General Health system, to which AGH belongs, Schumacher also provides ER physicians at Lafayette General Medical Center, University Hospital & Clinics and St. Martin Hospital.
Broussard-based Aqueos Corporation, a subsea services provider for the offshore oil and gas sectors of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific West Coast, was recognized as one of “America’s Safest Companies” by the national publication, EHS Today. Aqueos was selected for this designation from more than 300 companies nominated nationwide, and is the only company in the diving industry to have ever earned this recognition.
Dextria “Dex” Sapp has been promoted to director of fitness at City Club in River Ranch. She has been with City Club for more than eight years, helping members meet their personal fitness goals through personal training, meal coaching and her specialty camp named DEXercise with Dex! Sapp, who has more than 10 years of experience in the industry, earned her B.S. in exercise science from UL Lafayette and is pursuing her master’s degree.
She is nationally accredited as a personal trainer by The Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research and holds numerous advanced certifications.
Investar Bank announced that Jill Noel has joined the bank as vice president of its Lafayette area commercial banking group, where she is responsible for developing and managing the commercial banking relationships of clients within Lafayette and surrounding cities. Noel, who has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry, joins Investar from IberiaBank where she served as vice president and business relationship banker. The Lafayette native attended UL Lafayette and is a graduate of the Lafayette chamber’s Leadership Lafayette Program, as well as the Covey Leadership Program. Noel served on the board of the Lafayette Boys and Girls Club, was chairman of Opening Ceremonies for Special Olympics for several years and was a loan executive with United Way.
Brian Beduze has joined MassMutual Louisiana in Lafayette as financial services professional. Prior to joining MassMutual Louisiana, he was an agent for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Beduze is a member of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).
Business First Bank was named one of the “Best Banks to Work For” in the nation this year by American Banker magazine. Forty banks across the country were chosen based on workplace policies, practices and the experiences and attitudes shared by individual employees. American Banker highlighted three specific areas that played a role in Business First Bank being named as one of the 2014 Best Banks to Work For. These included its “Dollar for Dollar” program that provides matching donations to charities supported by employees; a program that allows employees at each bank location to select people or groups from their communities, whether clients or not, and reward them with thank-you gifts and donations; and annual employee bonuses based on the profitability of each location and the bank. Spot bonuses are also given to employees who go above and beyond on projects.