Barron’s Magazine named Andrew Ahrens among its Top 1,200 U.S. Financial Advisors for 2015. Ahrens is the only advisor in the Lafayette area to be recognized this year. Ahrens, CEO of Ahrens Investment Partners, has been recognized on this Barron’s list five times. The list represents the top 1 percent of all investment advisors in the country.
Jewelers of America, the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, awarded 2015 CASE Awards to Kiera Baines and Dianna High of Lafayette-based Dianna Rae Jewelry as part of the association’s annual jewelry design competition. High won the first-place CASE Award in the Jewelry under $2,000 (retail value) category; Baines took home a Buyers’ Choice CASE Award. They competed among more than 50 jewelers. The awards recognize the creativity, artistry, style and excellence in jewelry design from top jewelers across the nation; both of the award-winning local pieces were handmade. High’s award is for an 18K yellow gold pendant featuring two moonstones and a pear shaped labradorite. Baines won for a carved butterfly pin featuring watermelon tourmaline gemstone wings and 84 accent diamonds set in 14K rose and white gold. The Buyers’ Choice Award is determined by the popular vote of JA New York Show attendees.
UL Lafayette announced the following personnel changes: Dean Domingue is now director of the Office of Innovation Management. A registered patent attorney, he has more than 25 years of experience in intellectual property law and was formerly special counsel in the Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Jones Walker in Lafayette. He was founding chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section and was president of the Lafayette Bar Association in 2000. Domingue helped the university protect its unique nickname, the Ragin’ Cajuns, by registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1996. Director of Purchasing Marie Frank is in charge of setting the vision and strategy for procurement and sourcing for the university to achieve the highest value at the lowest cost while complying with state policies, procedures, regulations and laws. A certified professional public buyer, she has more than 20 years of experience in higher education procurement and a decade in state government contracting. Frank was executive director for Procurement and Property Management at LSU and statewide assistant grants/contracts administrator for Louisiana’s Division of Administration. As director of commercial real estate, Gray Bekurs focuses on the development and management of some university property. He’s also responsible for oversight of the business operations of student housing, parking and transportation, the Student Union, conference and event services and dining services. Bekurs has almost 20 years of experience managing auxiliary units on college campuses. He was previously vice president of operations for Capstone On- Campus Management, where he handled fiscal and operational facets of 22 oncampus student housing and commercial properties throughout the nation. Alise Hagan is director of the university’s new Office of Institutional Assessment, which is part of the Academic Affairs division. She is in charge of data collection, analysis and interpretation for certain university projects. And, she will help respond to state, federal and other externally mandated reporting requirements, and to accrediting agencies. Hagan was previously the university’s first instructional designer in the Office of Distance Learning.
Also, Dr. Fabrice Leroy has been named assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, Academic Programs. He served as interim AVP for the past six months and is former associate dean of UL’s College of Liberal Arts. Andy Benoit, director of Admissions and Recruitment for the past three years, is now assistant vice president for Enrollment Management.
Wellsite Rental Services has named Nicole Hover sales manager for its Mid-Continent Region. Hover’s responsibilities include coordinating sales and marketing efforts in the Mid-Continent region, including calling on clients in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. Hover’s experience includes managing her own business as well as working in the oil and gas service industry for 10 years in sales and marketing roles.
Stirling Properties celebrated the company’s 40th anniversary during Stirling Honors, its annual event to recognize the achievements of its staff. Commercial Award recipients received recognition for Bronze, Silver, Platinum, Diamond and Ruby production levels based on individual Adjusted Gross Commission figures for 2014. This was the first time in Stirling Properties’ history that four agents reached Ruby Level status in the same year. Special recognition was given to Ryan Pécot, senior retail leasing and development executive in the Lafayette office, for being the Top Agent in 2014. Lafayette office awards: Ruby - Pécot; Platinum - Charles Cornay; and Bronze - Seth Citron.
Information and referral service 232- HELP/La. 211, which links Acadiana’s needy with vital social services and local medical and dental professionals who donate their time and skills, elected board member James L. Pate vice president of development and treasurer. Two newcomers, Dave Domingue and Natalie DeJean, also joined the board of directors. Domingue works as operations coordinator for the Lafayette International Center (a division of Lafayette Consolidated Government) and has helped with the organization’s fundraisers in the past. DeJean is owner of Xtend Barre fitness studio.