Oct. 16, 2015 02:51 PM
Butch Darce and Cathi Pavy

Now in its second year, the ABiz Entrepreneurship Symposium is slated for Nov. 12 at the Cajundome Convention Center.

Butch Darce, chairman and CEO of Taylors International Services, has been selected as the ABiz Entrepreneur of the Year for 2015. Cathi Pavy, partner and creative director for BBR Creative, will receive the first-ever Jillian Johnson Award for Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy. Both will be honored at ABiz’s Entrepreneur of the Year Symposium on Nov. 12 at the Cajundome Convention Center at noon.

Darce began his professional career in sales in 1969, selling everything from hammers to offshore equipment and later catering services. In 1996, backed by a group of investors, he struck out on his own and launched Taylors International, landing his first contract the following January when oil averaged less than $20 a barrel. His strategy to pursue catering contracts for a diverse range of industry sectors across the globe gained the company triple digit growth in recent years, moving Taylors International to No. 15 on the ABiz Top 50 in 2015.

Pavy is the chief creative officer at BBR Creative, the award-winning marketing and advertising firm she launched with two partners 20 years ago. Notable past and current clients include Johnson & Johnson, Louisiana Health Care Corporation, the U.S. State Department-Iraq Embassies and Cox Communications. Under her leadership, BBR has won more than 300 national, regional and local awards, and her work as been published in some of the most prestigious industry publications in the country. Active in the community, she is the current chair of the Acadiana Art & Cultural Trust, development chair for Habitat for Humanity and a member of The Women’s Business Enterprise Council.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented to business leaders for innovation, job creation and potential for job creation, vision, leadership, expansion, financial performance and community involvement. The Jillian Johnson Award for Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy was created this year to honor the life and legacy of Lafayette’s beloved business owner and creative force who was one of two women killed in the tragic Grand Theatre shooting in July.

Zachary Barker, executive director of The Opportunity Machine, will return this year to moderate the symposium. Additional panelists will be announced soon. Regions Bank and Regions Insurance are presenting co-sponsors of this event, and Andrus Boudreaux Complete Title is sustaining sponsor. Tickets are $40 per person or $350 for a reserved table of eight. For more information, contact Robin Hebert Guidry at (337) 769-8603 or by email at robinh@theind.com.

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