July 15, 2016 11:17 AM

Allen & Gooch and Whitney Bank return as presenting sponsors for annual event.

Gov. John Bel Edwards will offer the keynote address for the 2016 luncheon honoring Acadiana’s Top 50 Private Companies and nine publicly traded companies Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Cajundome Convention Center at noon. This marks the first time a sitting governor will speak at the annual event. Among the topics he’s expected to address: state tax reform, resolution of the parish and levee board lawsuits, higher ed budgeting priorities and transportation infrastructure funding.

Each year ABiz compiles a list of Acadiana’s top privately held firms footprint based on gross revenues and publishes the roster in a special issue in July. The report also includes analysis and commentary on the trends that emerge, and management profiles of a cross-section of industries. Top executives of these businesses are honored at the luncheon, which is a ticketed event and open to the public. Theatre-style seating is provided for those who want to attend the program, without lunch.

The Whitney Bank team: Front row, left to right: Jonathan Richard, Byron Breaux, Nancy Trahan, Bill Hendrix, June Hamlin and Mike Williams. Back row: Jude Ramsay, Greg Zaunbrecher, Brent Benoit, Brandon Hyde, Duayne Richard, Nick Richard, Larry Attenhofer and Zachary McNeal

Whitney Bank returns as the presenting co-sponsor for the luncheon. “We’re proud to continue our sponsorship of the Top 50 business luncheon, and we salute those private and public companies that help make Acadiana one of the premiere business regions in the state,” says Bill Hendrix, Whitney’s southwest regional president for the Lafayette and Lake Charles markets. “While our area is experiencing economic hardship due to the energy downturn, diversification has helped mute the impact. Growth in technology, medical, retail, UL Lafayette and SLCC gives us the staying power to wait for the cyclical upturn in energy. A sincere thanks to the business and community leaders who learned from past downturns and helped broaden our economic base. Together we will weather the storm and be even more confident and resilient in the years to come.”

The Allen & Gooch team: Front row, left to right: Raymond Jackson, Blair Landreneau, Alan Stewart, Tammy Scelfo, Emile Joseph, Jessica Allain, Forrest Guedry, Stacey Kennedy, Patrick Johnson and Jeff Favaron. Back row: John Hughes, David Ayo, Brent Carriere, Jim Gibson, Randy Theunissen, Billy Parker, Brian Perry, Alan Meche, Michael Parker and Clay Allen

The law firm of Allen & Gooch is also a legacy presenting co-sponsor for the event. With offices in Lafayette and Metairie, the firm offers a diverse and comprehensive range of legal expertise that meets the needs of professionals, business people and businesses of all types. “These are challenging times for our state,” says Clay Allen, managing partner for the firm, “and it’s important for those of us in business to stay engaged with our political leaders. We are delighted to be part of an event that brings Louisiana’s highest elected official to Acadiana in a setting that will showcase the resilience and resolve of our business community at this critical time. We’ve had the privilege of working with many of the Top 50 companies through the years and know how important first-hand information is to their success.”

Additional sponsor support comes from The LHC Group, headquartered in Lafayette and providing home health, hospice and long-term acute care in 25 states. The Pinnacle Group, provider of insurance and financial services, returns as the VIP parking sponsor, and Vidox Motion Imagery is the digital media partner again for 2016.

The Acadiana Economic Development Council, a sustaining sponsor, will present the Spirit Award to one local company headquartered within the seven parishes its members serve. The honor represents exemplary entrepreneurism, community involvement and leadership. Additional sponsor support comes from One Acadiana.

Individual tickets are $50 each. Reserved tables for eight are available for $495. For tickets or additional information, contact Jenna King via email at jennak@theind.com or by phone: (337) 769-8602. Deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 24.