Lawrence Lessig Keynotes ABiz's Top 50 Luncheon

by Patrick Flanagan

Allen & Gooch reunites with Whitney Bank to sponsor the sixth annual event honoring Acadiana's top companies.

Lawrence Lessig Keynotes ABiz's Top 50 Luncheon
Allen & Gooch reunites with Whitney Bank to sponsor the sixth annual event honoring Acadiana's top companies.

By IND Staff
Aug. 1, 2014

He's been called the Internet's most celebrated lawyer, proposing a "Free Culture Movement" to protect free open source software, which he believes will lead to new forms of innovation and creativity. As a founding member of Creative Commons, he helped transform intellectual-property law. Now Lawrence Lessig has shifted his focus to an even bigger problem--the U.S.'s broken political system, specifically the corrupting influence of money in American politics--and will offer the keynote address at this year's Top 50 luncheon.

Photo by Yanai Yechiel

Lawrence Lessig

In May of this year, Lessig launched "a SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs" called The MayDay PAC project and astonished the political world by raising more than $7.6 million in a Kickstarter-type campaign in just over two months. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and director of the university's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. As a professor at Stanford, he founded the school's Center for Internet and Society and also taught at the University of Chicago. He is a respected author, popular TED Talk presenter, and was named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale. He is also a former clerk for both 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Top 50 luncheon is produced annually by ABiz to honor the CEOs of the region's top 50 privately held businesses, as determined by reported gross revenues, and eight publicly traded, locally domiciled companies. Returning this year as the event's presenting co-sponsors are the law firm of Allen & Gooch and Whitney Bank. "We are so fortunate to live and work in a region that is so rich in local culture and entrepreneurial talent, and as one of the top commercial banks in the Gulf Coast region, Whitney Bank is excited to return as a co-sponsor for the Top 50 Luncheon," says Lafayette Market President Bill Hendrix. "Congratulations to this year's Top 50 recipients and a special thanks for helping make Acadiana one of the most recognized and revered business communities in the United States."

For Allen & Gooch, returning each year as a Top 50 co-sponsor creates an opportunity for the law firm to play a part in honoring the companies responsible for driving Acadiana's economy forward. "Getting an up close look at the leading businesses of this region gives us a better understanding of the kind of hard work, innovation and vision that fuels the economic vitality of Acadiana," says managing partner Clay Allen. "We at Allen & Gooch have had the privilege of working with many of these businesses over the years, and we congratulate those being honored among this year's Top 50 Acadiana Businesses, as well as their publicly traded counterparts."

WHITNEY BANK LAFAYETTE TEAM: Seated, left to right: Brandon Hyde, Byron Breaux, Bill Hendrix, Duayne Richard, June Hamlin, Larry Attenhofer, Mike Williams; standing, left to right: Jonathon Richard, Nick Richard, Ben Smith, Brent Benoit, Richard Fruge, Greg Zaunbrecher, Nancy Trahan, Brannon Menard

ALLEN & GOOCH LAW FIRM: Standing, left to right: John Hughes, Stacy Kennedy, Troy Broussard, Chuck Kreamer, Jody Zaunbrecher, Raymond Jackson, Brent Carriere, Keith Landry, Mike Parker, Brian Perry, Alan Stewart, Emile Joseph, Gibson Laborde, Laura Pryor; seated, left to right: Clay Allen, Jim Gibson, Randy Theunissen, David Ayo, Alan Meche

Additional supporting sponsors include Frank's International, The LHC Group and The Acadiana Economic Development Council. The Pinnacle Group Insurance & Financial Services is The Top 50 VIP Parking sponsor, and sustaining sponsor is Ahrens Investment Partners.

Vidox Motion Imagery is the Top 50 digital media partner.

The event will start at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at the Cajundome Convention Center. Tickets are $50 per person or $495 for a reserved table for eight. Immediately following the luncheon, Barnes & Noble will host a book signing featuring Lessig, with copies of Republic Lost and The USA is Lesterland available for purchase. Free theatre-style seating will be available for the lecture only (not including the meal) but there is a limited supply and an RSVP is suggested. Lecture-only guests should arrive by 12:30.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Robin Hebert via email at [email protected] or by calling (337) 769-8603.