Coming Together to Honor INDesign Award Winners

Returning sponsors IberiaBank, Van Eaton & Romero and Paul Michael Company are joined by Tops for the 2013 event.

Photo by Robin May

2013 INDesign Award and Smart Growth Lecture sponsors, from left, Sherry Latour of Tops Appliances & Cabinetry; Bill Bacque, Nancy Van Eaton Broussard and Gail Romero of Van Eaton & Romero; and Bailey Caldwell of Paul Michael Company (not pictured is Pat Trahan of IberiaBank)

INDesign Award winners are showcased each year in print, online and at the annual Smart Growth Luncheon, where keynote speaker for 2013 will be Nathan Norris, the newly appointed executive director for Lafayette's Downtown Development Authority. He will be introduced by IberiaBank Vice President Pat Trahan, who as DDA chairman headed up the search committee that snagged Norris for The Hub City. "As Joey Durel often reminds us, growth is coming whether we plan for it or not," Trahan says. "Simply put, Nathan's job and passion is to see that we grow in ways that are smart and sustainable. His credentials, experiences and body of work in this regard are impressive. I suspect that his positive impact on our future development will extend well beyond the area that we refer to as Downtown."

The luncheon and awards ceremony are part of IND Monthly's Lecture series, presented each year by IberiaBank, and Van Eaton & Romero Real Estate has been a sustaining sponsor since the inception of the event. With its recent merger with the Latter & Blum family of companies, Acadiana's perennial market leader is now part of a seamless network that includes peer companies in central Louisiana, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and extends into Gulfport and McComb, Miss. On the residential side, this affiliation also makes Van Eaton a member of Cartus, the largest relocation company in the world, and links its commercial division to the NAI Commercial Brokerage national network.

Supporting sponsor Paul Michael Company has also experienced impressive growth in its River Ranch store since last year's INDesign Awards. The furniture and accessories store, which expanded into Lafayette in 2009, added 8,000 square feet of space last August.

With more floor space (31,000 square feet), the retailer can display a wider variety of merchandise, some designed by founder Paul Michael himself and produced at the company's Dermott, Ark., facility. Shoppers can now find leather sofas and chairs, significant framed art pieces and higher-end lighting, in addition to the eclectic offerings the store is known for.

Tops Appliances & Cabinetry is a new supporting sponsor for the INDesign Awards this year. Owner/President Sherry Latour has changed more than the name since buying the business in 2009, renovating the showroom and website, evaluating product lines and coining a mission statement: Creating Great Living Spaces. Positioned as Acadiana's largest and most experienced servicing dealer, Tops offers turnkey service from sales through installation, maintenance and service. In addition to the luncheon, Tops' sponsorship includes a two-page photo gallery of winning residential projects in this issue of IND Monthly and offers dozens more photos online for readers interested in more detail.

Tickets for the annual Smart Growth Luncheon and INDesign Awards are $40 per person or $350 for a reserved table of eight. For more information, contact Robin Hebert: [email protected] or by phone at (337) 769-8603.

This luncheon is also part of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce's INNOV8 Lafayette. For a complete event calendar, go to