People & Flashes - March 2008

Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville and Marc Becker, Paragon’s director of convention sales, received a special nod at a recent gathering of the Louisiana Society of Association Executives, held at L’Auberge du Lac Casino in Lake Charles. Becker was named 2007’s Supplier of the Year, an honor voted on by the association’s more than 500 members. The award is based on attendance at association events, support of association objectives and service on volunteer committees. LSAE also announced that it has chosen Paragon to host a professional development day with 35 planners this August. The 14-year-old Paragon Casino Resort, which also includes the Tamahka Trails professional golf course, recently underwent an extensive expansion project, now featuring a line-up of luxury amenities and attractions including a new luxury hotel tower; Spa La Vie, a full-service spa and salon; an indoor tropical pool with a swim-up bar; a soaring retail atrium with a living bayou and three movie theatres. The Mari Convention Center also recently opened with a new showroom, grand hall and ballroom. Owned and operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Paragon Casino Resort is located on Highway 1 in Marksville.

Cindy Johnstone has been promoted to vice president and compliance officer at St. Martin Bank and Trust Co. She also serves as the human resource officer, Bank Secrecy Act officer and security officer. Matt Simar and Clayton Dore have been promoted to vice presidents. A Eunice native now living in Lafayette, Simar is the manager of the bank’s IT department and has been employed with SMB for 10 years. He has 27 years of banking experience. A St. Martinville native, Dore has 14 years of banking experience. Also at the bank, Kathy Hebert and Renee Simoneaux have been promoted to assistant cashiers. A St. Martinville native, Hebert has been an employee of the bank for seven years, starting her career in the bookkeeping department and most recently working in the administration division. She is a native of St. Martinville. Simoneaux has been employed with St. Martin Bank for 15 years and is head teller at the Parkway branch in Broussard.

Patrick “Pat” Juneau of the Juneau Law Firm in Lafayette has been appointed the Special Master in the nationwide Vioxx settlement. The $4.85 billion settlement was reached after the completion of numerous federal and state trials and extensive negotiations and will address 50,000 claims.  Vioxx was withdrawn from the market on Sept. 30, 2004.

Chris Hebert has joined The Russo Group as vice president. In addition to seeking out new opportunities and working with Russo’s account service team, Hebert will be responsible for developing new business opportunities, customer relationships, strategic partnerships/alliances and all levels of account management/retention. He has more than 10 years of sales and management experience, in addition to a background as a small business owner.

Miles Matt of the Law Offices of Miles A. Matt was recently installed president of the Lafayette Parish Bar Association. President-elect is Rebekah Huggins of the Glenn Armentor Law Corporation, and secretary-treasurer is attorney Charles Ziegler.

Jacqui Vines has been promoted to senior vice president and general manager for Cox Greater Louisiana. She previously served as vice president and region manager.
Vines will continue to oversee the daily operations of Cox’s seventh largest cable system, which encompasses 13 south Louisiana parishes, employing more than 1,100 people and serving over 307,000 customers. Vines has led Cox’s regional operations in Baton Rouge since 2001. In 2006, the region was expanded to include the Acadiana markets. She has nearly 30 years of experience in telecommunications where she has served both Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.
In other Cox news, Cox Greater Louisiana has hired Rusty Atkinson as director, Network Technologies, Herb Bennett as director, Field Service and Jude Marino as director, Call Center Operations.
Atkinson joins Cox from STMicroelectronics where he served as Region Americas Office Automation Service Delivery Manager for 42 sites and 3,600 employees. Prior to that, he served in various leadership roles in the information technology departments for Sprint, The U Zone and Custom Information Services. He is a graduate of Dallas Christian College. He is responsible for the technology infrastructure of Cox’s entire 13-parish region.
Bennett joins Cox Greater Louisiana after serving the Cox New Orleans system for over 24 years. He has progressive experience including a variety of technical and customer operations’ roles most recently serving as Field Service Manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Marino joins Cox Greater Louisiana from the Cox New Orleans system where he served in a series of management roles. A graduate of LSU, in his new role, he is responsible for customer service functions in the 13-parish service area which includes over 400 employees in the Acadiana and Baton Rouge regions.

Terri R. Broussard of the American Heart Association, Flo Guidry Meadows of Coldwell Banker, Eric Singleton of Kinchen Funeral Home and Brad Broussard of Bradley Broussard Land Services are 2007 graduates of the Leadership Louisiana program sponsored by Council for a Better Louisiana. A nationally recognized program for civic-minded individuals, Leadership Louisiana offers participants sessions on education and workforce training, the economy and strategies for growth, history and politics, news media, arts and culture, criminal justice, health care and poverty.

Lafayette’s Bryan P. Boudreaux and Russell G. Trahan were among a group of Louisiana architects who passed the Louisiana licensing exam in 2007 and were recently honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners.

Sharon Kozlowski Bourgeois has been named executive director of the 232-HELP/211 Information and Referral Center. For the past seven years she served as director of development of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana. She has a law degree from Loyola University and has a long history of involvement in several professional organizations, including the Academy of Boys & Girls Clubs Professionals, Planned Giving Council of Acadiana, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. Since 1972, she has participated in numerous community activist organizations, including the Acadiana Arts Council, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Women’s League, Faith House, Family Tree Parenting and Counseling Center and the Junior League of Lafayette. 232-HELP/211 was established in 1965 as a comprehensive information and referral center serving the Acadiana region of southwest Louisiana.

Suzanne Krenz has joined MidSouth Bank as senior vice president for payment strategies. She will lead strategic planning for payment strategies with a keen focus on developing and implementing leading edge cash management solutions for the small to mid size businesses in all of the bank’s markets. She has more than 12 years in the financial services industry and seven years in cash and treasury operations management. Prior to joining MidSouth Bank, Krenz worked for AIG in Houston as vice president for market planning and research and before that for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in San Francisco as vice president for cross-channel marketing services.
Lafayette’s first civil, structural and environmental engineering firm, Domingue Szabo and Associates has been in business 50 years. The company recently celebrated the milestone with the presentation/installation of a surveyor’s benchmark at the Lafayette Regional Airport, because the firm’s original office was established in a hangar at the airport in 1957. Established in 1957, the company provides diverse services to a broad range of municipal and private sector clients.

Lafayette-based Sides & Associates has been certified as a General Services Administration contractor with GSA’s Advertising and Integrated Marketing Solutions Schedule 541. The award places Sides in a select group of companies that enjoy the GSA distinction as a premiere vendor with the ability to service federal customers. The GSA contract award allows Sides to market directly to hundreds of federal agencies and be chosen without the costly process of requests for proposal. Sides is approved to receive contracts in the following areas: advertising services - help promote public awareness of a federal agency’s mission and initiatives, enable public understanding of complex technical and social issues, and disseminate information to industry and consumer advocacy groups; public relations services - provide federal agencies with customized media and public relations services; market research and analysis services - conduct research; commercial art and graphic design services - develop federal publications; and integrated marketing services - provide comprehensive communications solutions for federal partners.

Louisiana Motors Inc. broke ground on its new 44,000-square-foot automobile facility in New Iberia on U.S. Hwy. 90 that will be home to the Cadillac GMC franchises, a collision center, and a premium used car lot. It will continue to employ 62 people in the New Iberia area, a market it expanded to in 2006, operating Louisiana Motors Cadillac GMC (on Admiral Doyle) and two premium used car lots (501 W. Admiral Doyle and 6100 Hwy. 90 W). Louisiana Motors is owned and operated by the Mann Family of Lafayette.

The Lafayette law firm of Perret Doise has officially changed its name to Longman Russo. The firm operated as Perret Doise for two decades, but founders Hank Perret and Dennis Doise left last year to serve as in-house counsel to two different clients. The Lafayette-based law firm caters to the business community and is made up of 20 lawyers with diversified practices.

In recognition of the economic power of multicultural businesses, DiversityBusiness.com, a multicultural Internet site, recently named Coble Enterprises Inc. of Lafayette one of the Top Small Businesses in the state (Div100). The Div100 is the 8th annual listing of Louisiana’s top 100 small businesses. Coble Enterprises provides freight logistics solutions to clients throughout the country. It was founded in May 2001 by Tina Coble, who at the time had 15 years of experience in the transportation industry.

Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate has upgraded its Web site, coldwellbankerpelican.com, to make it even easier for visitors to research information about local areas and search for a home that meets their needs. The enhanced Web site homepage offers several ways for visitors to find properties including: home retriever - a premier online service that allows buyers to receive listing information actively sent instantly to their e-mail; property search - a tool that allows buyers to search for listings by location, school district, click-on map, MLS number, or their proximity to a specific address; and interactive mapping – mapping and visual representations of all properties utilizing the latest in satellite image technology.

Olde Towne at Mill Creek has broken ground on its neighborhood pool complex, located at the traditional neighborhood development’s Towne Hall Square. The site will also include a bath house, designed by Architects Southwest, and an arbor area. The facility is in fitting with the neighborhood’s Bungalow architecture and will serve as a neighborhood recreation and gathering spot for Olde Towne residents. The pool features lanes for swimming laps, an area for water games, a sitting ledge and water features. Also included is a large wading pool with zero entry and water features for younger children. Olde Towne, a 53-acre TND, is located off Verot School Road in south Lafayette Parish.