Oct. 13, 2016 02:45 PM
ABiz's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Symposium featured, from left, Butch Darce, Cathi Pavy and Seenu Kasturi.
Photo by Robin May

ABiz is asking members of the Acadiana community to nominate the individuals they think are most deserving of its annual Entrepreneur of the Year award.

We need your nominations by Oct. 27, so our committee can narrow the field and choose another standout leader who will be honored in the November-December issue of ABiz and at the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Symposium (more info to come).

Nominations for 2016 need to be submitted via email to ABiz Editorial Director Leslie Turk at lesliet@theind.com. We welcome nominations from readers and leaders in the business community throughout the One Acadiana region (Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes). Although there is no specific grading system, our committee assesses nominees for innovation, job creation and potential for job creation, vision, leadership, expansion, financial performance, community involvement and ethics in business.

The paper is also seeking nominations for the Jillian Johnson Award for Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy.

Last year’s symposium, the second annual, honored Butch Darce, chairman and CEO of Taylors International Services, as Entrepreneur of the Year, and Cathi Pavy, partner and creative director for BBR Creative, received the first-ever Jillian Johnson Award. Rounding out the panel was Seenu Kasturi, CEO of Lafayette-based Blue Victory Holdings, a past winner of ABiz’s Dealmaker of the Year Award.

Three of the past honorees — Schumacher Group founder and Executive Chairman Dr. Kip Schumacher, Lemoine Company President/CEO Lenny Lemoine and Keith Myers, Chairman/CEO of The LHC Group — convened for the first-ever ABiz Entrepreneur of the Year Symposium in 2014.

The Jillian Johnson Award for Entrepreneurship in The Creative Economy was created last year to honor someone who is a driving force in that realm, and we’ve adopted the definition of “creatives” as coined by best-selling author and economic theorist Richard Florida. Some are classic knowledge-based workers in health care, business, finance, law or education. Others are part of what Florida calls “The Super-Creative Core,” comprising artists, designers, media workers, scientists, engineers or computer programmers. Taken from her family and community in the tragic Grand Theatre shooting last year, Jillian leaves a legacy as a successful business owner, graphic artist, musician, producer and creative force in our community — all of which certainly embodies much of the spectrum as Florida defines it. We hope to perpetuate that legacy in some small way.

Read the Flipping Paper!

While the members of this diverse group of Acadiana women can’t all say they were firsts, each of them has contributed to our community in ways too countless to capture in 500-word profiles ...