People & Flashes

People & Flashes for June 18, 2014

by Walter Pierce

New hires, promotions and awards among Acadiana's business community

Lafayette-based Double R Restaurant Group has promoted Stuart Ottinger to president. Ottinger, who has more than 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry, is responsible for the continued expansion of Double R's Another Broken Egg Café franchises throughout the Southeast and its Italian concept, Romacelli, throughout Louisiana. Ottinger joined Double R Restaurant Group in 2011 as COO and has since led the company in the opening of nine new restaurants in the past year. Under his operational leadership, the company has grown to become the largest franchisee of Another Broken Egg Café with more than 15 locations throughout several markets including Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas and Florida. There are plans for an additional five Another Broken Egg Café's and one Romacelli to open in the remainder of 2014. Double R recently announced its South Florida development agreement to develop 40 locations over the next 10 years.

Karnina D. Dargin has joined the law firm of Preis PLC (formerly Preis & Roy). Dargin earned a BS degree with summa cum laude status and an MBA from UL Lafayette in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Dargin graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate degree from Southern University Law Center in 2014 and served as editor for Southern University's Law Review. Her main areas of practice include maritime, automobile and products liability, property damage, workers' compensation and insurance coverage.

Bell Helicopter has named Paul Watts general manager of the new Lafayette aircraft assembly facility. The site, announced in late 2013, will be the home of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X program. Watts has assumed the new role while also maintaining his current position as Bell 505 program manager through the end of the year. As GM, he is responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic growth plans in Lafayette. Watts joined Bell Helicopter in 2008; he holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Utah State University and an MBA from the University of Texas.

Paul A. Durand, president and CEO of St. Martin Bank and Trust Company, is the 2014-15 chairman of the Louisiana Bankers Association. Durand, who has more than four decades of banking experience, is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU and has a bachelor's degree in foreign languages from UL Lafayette. He previously served the LBA as chairman-elect and treasurer and also serves on the American Bankers Association's Government Relations Council Administrative Committee.

Lafayette-based Excelerant ranked No. 11 in the MidSize (five to 49 employees) Leadership Partners and Providers category for the 2014 Leadership 500 Excellence Awards, sponsored by and Leadership Excellence magazine. Revamped this year, the 30-year-old awards now recognize outstanding achievement in leadership development and leadership programs across 11 categories. Founded in 2003 by Elise Bouchner and Christina Burton Harper, Excelerant works with executives and companies throughout the Gulf Coast to prepare and develop their next-in-line leaders, facilitate critical meetings and conversations and develop their company culture. This year's Top 500 award winners are listed in the April issue of Leadership Excellence Essentials, which will feature the award recipients and their award-winning initiatives throughout the year.

The Zydeco Marathon's inaugural event raised $15,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana, its 2014 official charity. Zydeco Marathon has opened registration for the 2015 race, which takes place March 1.

Lafayette General Medical Center was recertified in April as a GIFT Designated facility by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, effective through March 2016. A Guided Infant Feeding Techniques facility is recognized as having implemented "The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding." LGMC was the first hospital in Acadiana to achieve GIFT certification in 2008.

C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana are the winners of the 2014 INNOV8 Awards.

The three Acadiana companies and two non-profit organizations were named the region's top innovators, having showcased their innovative spirit in 2013.

The INNOV8 Keynote and Awards Luncheon featured author Steven Johnson. Johnson is a leading light of today's interdisciplinary, collaborative, open-minded approach to innovation. His writings have influenced everything from cutting-edge ideas in urban planning to the battle against 21st-century terrorism.

C&C Technologies won for its Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Project. The Lafayette-based company pioneered the world's first commercially operated deepwater Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for oil and gas exploration.

HJ Adams' HIT Fitness focuses on functional movements based on agility, balance and core stability using unconventional and innovative training tools. HIT Fitness pushes clients to exceed their limitations and achieve goals in only 45 minutes.

Local researchers with R3 Sciences, a division of Enersciences Holdings, have successfully produced commercial grade methanol in a continuous flow pilot system using a novel liquid, homogenous catalytic process.

Acadiana Symphony Association's "Do-Re-ME!" is a music-based, early language and literacy development program provided this year to preschoolers aged 4 to 5 years old at Truman Montessori Elementary in Lafayette. The program uses music and movement to instill early language and literacy concepts in a fun and accessible way.

United Way of Acadiana's "The Leader In Me" is based on Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The program is a school-wide process that transforms the culture of the school and instills students with the key skills that businesses and educators identified as a vital for success in the 21st century.

Pellerin Water Solutions, a subsidiary of Pellerin Energy Group, has completed the Horizontal Flotation Separator for Stone Energy. The HFS one of the largest horizontal flotation units in the Gulf of Mexico and was constructed by a local fabrication company.

The following bed and breakfast establishments were honored with the 2014 International Achievement Award:

Aaah! T'Frere's House B&B Lafayette
Acadian Bed & Breakfast Lafayette
Bayou Cabins Breaux Bridge
Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House Lafayette
Le Village Guesthouse Eunice
Lee Avenue Carriage House Lafayette
The Savoy Bed & Breakfast Scott

Established in 1998, the awards honor an outstanding individual, company or organization that has significantly enhanced the international reputation of Acadiana through economic development, tourism, art and music or goodwill ambassadorship.

For the ninth straight year, Cox Communications was recognized as one of the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity. For the past eight years, Cox has ranked in the top 25, with a ranking of No. 18 this year, up from No. 22 in 2013. The rankings are determined by an objective methodology that calculates factors such as talent pipeline, equitable talent development (including commitments to mentorship and philanthropy), CEO/leadership commitment and supplier diversity. The empirical data for the rankings is provided by a 300-question survey filled out by personnel at the participating companies.

Dr. Lisa Broussard, head of the Department of Nursing in UL Lafayette's College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, was accepted to participate in the 2014 Leadership for Academic Nursing Program conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The year-long program is designed for individuals who hold mid- to upper-level faculty positions and have experience in academic administration. About 60 Fellows are chosen for the program each year.

Apex Innovations has been awarded "accreditation with commendation," a special distinction by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. As an accredited provider of continuing medical education for physicians, Apex will hold this accreditation status through 2020.

New Orleans native Shari Guidry has joined FACET, a national outplacement and career management consulting firm, as vice president of business development. Guidry has more than 20 years of experience in consultative sales. She holds a BA from Xavier University where she majored in political science and a minored in psychology. She is active in charitable organizations such as Jack & Jill of America Inc. and the YMCA.

LHC Group has named Judy Johnson, a registered nurse at Eunice Extended Care Hospital, the recipient of its 2013 Spirit Award, citing her professional work ethic and dedication to her patients and to the nursing profession.