Since it was launched 17 years ago, the annual Women Who Mean Business Awards Luncheon has become a day of celebration and inspiration. Almost 150 local women of distinction have received the award since 1999, representing a broad range of professions, including business, law, medicine, education, hospitality, media, insurance, banking, nonprofits, public service, oil and gas and more. They are recognized for their entrepreneurship, professionalism, civic engagement and community leadership. Since 2004, ABiz has also recognized 17 Trailblazers — women, some retired or semi-retired, who paved the way for future generations of professional women. This year, however, we honor as Trailblazers two women still very active in their careers, Nanette Cook and Liz Webb Hebert, the first women ever elected to the Lafayette City-Parish Council.
Each fall these honorees, past and present, gather for a luncheon with friends, family, colleagues and community leaders to share the stores of their challenges and victories. The 2016 luncheon is slated for Thursday, Oct. 13, at 11:30 a.m. at River Oaks Catering and Event Center. IberiaBank and LHC Group underwrite this event as presenting cosponsors. Courtesy Automotive Group returns as the VIP parking sponsor. Paul’s Jewelry creates a special commemorative gift for each honoree, who also receives a complimentary bottle of champagne courtesy of Republic National Distributors.
River Oaks is a sustaining partner for the luncheon.
“We are proud to sponsor an event that celebrates the success of inspiring women who play an important role in making Acadiana a great place to work and to live,” says Jerry Vascocu, IberiaBank Acadiana President. “We are surrounded by many women who mean business at IberiaBank and throughout our business community. These women strengthen the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of our region every day. It is our pleasure to honor that spirit.”
Keith Myers, chairman and CEO of LHC Group, says that the creative and innovative contributions of women to business and entrepreneurship are abundant and too often overlooked. “Our company’s origin would not have been possible without the creativity and determination of my wife and co-founder, Ginger,” he says. “And our workforce, which includes more than 11,000 employees in 25 states, consists predominately of women. They are an absolutely essential part of our ability to fulfill our mission and remain one of the nation’s leading post-acute care providers.”
This year’s honorees are Janet Brewster, Lisa Prejean, Courtney Reynolds, Jill SanFilippo, Dr. Gwen Fontenot, Christina Dayries and Angela Cole; Tonya Carola will be honored posthumously. Their profiles are published in this special WWMB issue of ABiz.
Seating is limited for the awards luncheon. Tickets are $40 per person or $350 for a reserved table for eight. For information, contact Jenna King via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (337) 769-8602.