A look at recent hires, promotions and other news from Acadiana's business community.
Jeffery "Jeff" Blum has joined MidSouth Bank as senior executive VP and chief credit officer. Blum oversees loan underwriting, develops loan policies and procedures, helps identify credit risk situations and provides guidance to line-of-business lending managers. A native of Morgan City, he worked for Whitney Bank for the past 21 years, having most recently served as Morgan City area president where his duties included managing the commercial lending group, the retail division and other lines of business such as trust, investments and international services for the St. Mary Parish market. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1992 from Tulane University where he was a pitcher for the Green Wave baseball team. Blum also is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.
Chris Blanchard, a salesman at Sir Speedy in New Iberia, was recognized as a 2014 Platinum Level Top Performer, an award presented annually to recognize top achievers in the Sir Speedy franchise network. This year, Blanchard was one of only 30 salespeople who received Platinum Level status from more than 300 worldwide.
USGS National Wetlands Research Center botanist Larry Allain received the 2014 Prairie Excellence Award in recognition of his "tireless dedication to coastal prairie conservation through both his professional and volunteer work," according to Jaime Gonzales, president of the Coastal Prairie Partnership. The private, nonprofit CPP presents the annual award in recognition of career achievement in coastal prairie conservation, restoration and education, and works to promote the conservation and restoration of coastal prairie ecosystems in coastal Texas and southwest Louisiana.
Dr. Louis Salvaggio, cardiologist at Cardiovascular Institute of the South, was appointed medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program at Regional Medical Center of Acadiana. Salvaggio supports and leads performance improvement for the cardiac catheterization program through collaborative relationships across the hospital. The scope of his responsibilities will include cardiovascular research and innovation.
Lafayette General Medical Center dietitian Hilary Hill is now a Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Hill is one of only four CSOs in Louisiana, and the only one in Lafayette. This certification indicates specialized knowledge, competence and experience in oncology nutrition, as it requires at least 2,000 hours in oncology nutrition and passing of a national board exam.
Broussard-based Variable Bore Rams, Inc., one of the largest original equipment manufacturer ram providers in the world, has expanded with a new distribution center in Midland, Texas. The new facility will improve response time in New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Texas by up to seven hours and make inventory rotation into and out of VBR's headquarters easier. Available inventory will include approximately 100 sets of various dressed rams and 200 sets of spare elastomers.
Abform Inc., which specializes in flame resistant clothing and industrial workwear, received national certification as a Women's Business Enterprise by the WBEC South, a regional certifying partner of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. WBENC's national standard of certification implemented by the WBEC South is a meticulous process that includes an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women. Elizabeth Abdalla is the owner and president of Abform.
Kevin LaGrange, director of quality assurance and quality control at Professional Arts Pharmacy, received the Louisiana Pharmacists Association's Compounding Pharmacist of the Year award. The award recognizes an LPA member pharmacist who is directly involved in a project or practice of pharmacy that has contributed to improving the image of pharmacy through compounding, been instrumental in education of both public and medical professionals about compounding and its value in patient care, or demonstrated skill in solving patient's medical needs through compounding innovation.
Faith LeBrun was promoted to director of peri-op services at Lafayette General Medical Center. A nurse at LGMC for 19 years, LeBrun has been working as the assistant director for the past two years.