People & Flashes - August 2008

Elizabeth “E.B.” Brooks, a recent graduate of the UL-Lafayette and a founding member of Save the Horse Farm, is one of 20 students in the nation selected to serve in the inaugural class of City Hall Fellows, an elite new public policy fellowship program. Brooks will spend her fellowship year working for the City of Houston. The CHF program combines hands-on job experience with public-sector leadership training. The program introduces fellows to the inner workings of local government, brings their talent and energy to bear in addressing city challenges, and exposes them to meaningful careers in public service. Chosen from among more than 400 applicants nationwide, the inaugural class represents the best and brightest young leaders from across the country. “City Hall Fellows envisions a future in which America’s cities lead the way in innovative and cross-disciplinary responses to society’s problems,” says Bethany Henderson, founder and executive director of CHF. “We are incredibly proud of our inaugural class of Fellows and believe that these extraordinary young people will be a powerful force for positive public-sector change.” Brooks was chosen because of her outstanding leadership capabilities and commitment to public service. She was active on campus and also excelled academically, graduating cum laude in 2006 with two bachelors’ degrees. Brooks is best known locally for her activism off campus, particularly with the “Save the Horse Farm” campaign, which she co-founded in October 2005 and still leads, and with EarthShare Gardens, an organic gardening non-profit organization she co-founded in 2004, which grows fresh produce for many local families and donates to St. Joseph’s Diner, a local soup kitchen. Brooks and her friend Danica Adams were honored as the “Persons of the Year” in 2006 by The Independent Weekly, a sister publication to Acadiana Business.
Cecile Hebert, marketing coordinator for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana, won the Newcomer of the Year Award at the MEP National Conference in Orlando, Fla. Hebert was chosen from a pool of 16 nominees from across the U.S. This is the second year in a row a MEPOL employee has received this prestigious national award. The Newcomer of the Year must embrace the MEP system philosophy and have endeavored in his or her first year to enhance services and improve operations within the MEP network. Also at the conference, MEPOL Director Corinne Dupuy presented — along with representatives from Alabama and Mississippi MEPs — at the “Making Waves: How Three MEPs Have Aided the Gulf Coast Shipbuilding Industry” session. Additionally, CJ Smith, director of business development, sat on two panels during the conference on topics of “Advanced Reporting” and “Building and Sustaining Relationships with Stakeholders,” and Director of Manufacturing and Productivity Ray Bard presented “Sustaining Lean Improvements in Complex Manufacturing.”

MidSouth Bank Chief Financial Officer J. Eustis Corrigan Jr. has been promoted to senior executive vice president. Corrigan, a CPA, returned to Lafayette and joined MidSouth Bank in 2006 after two decades as a public accountant with a niche in banking and financial services. Corrigan and his family relocated to Lafayette from San Antonio, Texas, where he was a tax services partner with KPMG LLP.  Corrigan oversees MidSouth Bank’s finance, accounting, tax and treasury functions, as well as asset/liability management, and profitability and budgeting. He also is in charge of regulatory compliance, ensuring the bank conforms to all Sarbanes-Oxley disclosure requirements. Also at MidSouth Bank, La Shonda Broussard has been promoted to retail store manager for the Moss Street location. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the location, as well as business development throughout the north Lafayette market. Broussard joined the bank’s Moss Street location in 2005 as lead teller and most recently was a universal banker. From 1998 to 2005, she worked for Bank One (now Chase) in various roles, including banking center manager. An Alexandria native, Broussard majored in general studies with emphasis in business administration at UL Lafayette from 1993 to 1998. She is active in the local community, holding membership in the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Mouton has been named director of business retention and expansion at LEDA. He is responsible for managing LEDA’s business visitation program, hosting the LEDA Networking Luncheon, and providing assistance with tax incentives, job training programs, and ombudsman services to existing businesses in Lafayette Parish. Mouton spent the last seven years employed with AT&T, most recently serving as a senior training manager for AT&T call centers in the West Region. He is a graduate of UL Lafayette with a degree in business administration-marketing.

William “Billy” S. Patout III, the former president and chief executive officer of M.A. Patout, was named Sugar Man of the Year 2007, receiving the coveted Dyer Memorial Award at a ceremony at the Yale Club in New York City. Patout, a resident of Patoutville, is only the fourth Louisiana resident to receive the award in its 50-year history. Awarded annually by B.W. Dyer & Co., a brokerage company in sweetners and foods, the honor is given to an individual making a significant and meritorious contribution to the domestic sugar industry. Patout has more than 50 years in the business. Under his leadership, the family business grew from a small company with one sugar mill into the largest sugar company in Louisiana, owning and operating three of the largest sugar mills in the state. The company’s mills account for 25 percent of Louisiana’s sugar production. Patout received a degree in agricultural engineering from LSU.

The American Heart Association recently promoted Lafayette native Terri R. Broussard to vice president of advocacy for its South Central affiliate. The affiliate includes staff and volunteers in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Broussard is headquartered in Austin and oversees the group’s full time lobbyists, contract lobbyists, grassroots personnel and support staff. She joined the AHA in March 2003 as the Louisiana advocacy director and was promoted to senior advocacy director for the Greater Southeast affiliate in 2007.

UL Lafayette’s chapter of Kappa Delta PI, an international honor society in education, has recognized Dr. Vincent Miholic as a Professor of Honor, a distinction that acknowledges “high professional, intellectual and personal standards and a dedication to students and the field of education.” Miholic has been at UL for two years and was formerly the dean of arts and sciences at South Louisiana Community College and a post-secondary language arts teacher.

Virginia Reaux, Helen Thibeaux, Faye Jefferson, Josie Williams, Linda Boudreaux, Charlotte Ducote, Beverly Davis, Sharron Prejean, Charlotte Quebedeaux, Tiffany Schleuter, Robert Minyard, Cari Broussard and Kim Bartles have joined Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate as agents.

Pat McLaughlin has been promoted to executive vice president at Knight Oil Tools. He is responsible for overseeing Knight Oil Tools, Knight Fishing Services, Knight Well Services, Knight Manufacturing, Hub City Iron Works, Tri Drill and Robinson. McLaughlin began working for Knight in 1978. He has been instrumental in the expansion of Knight facilities throughout the Gulf Coast, Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

Licensed mortgage loan originators Bonnie and Wilson Thibodeaux have joined Home Mortgage Associates, Lafayette’s oldest mortgage broker firm. The husband and wife team has more than 16 years of combined mortgage lending experience. Bonnie, who previously worked for Home Mortgage Associates, has an additional 18 years in the banking industry. Both are active in the Realtor Association of Acadiana and are members of the Louisiana Mortgage Lenders Association and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.

Lafayette-based Kolder, Champagne, Slaven & Company LLC, has acquired Anderson & Anderson, CPAs of Pineville. The merger marks Kolder, Champagne’s 10th location in 11 years and its steady growth throughout south and central Louisiana. Effective in July, Anderson & Anderson began operating as Kolder, Champagne, Slaven & Company. The combined operations include 106 employees, 28 of whom are CPAs, and a range of customizable services, from auditing and tax preparation to management consulting and financial planning. One of the largest full-service firms in Louisiana with a diverse list of private- and public-sector clients, Kolder, Champagne also is distinguished by its niche in governmental auditing. In addition to its new office at 621 Main Street in Pineville and its Lafayette headquarters, the firm has locations in Abbeville, Breaux Bridge, Franklin, Marksville, Morgan City, New Iberia, Oberlin and Ville Platte.

Nearly 90 employers from Acadiana and other regions in the state will be on hand to recruit and screen potential job candidates at the LEDA Job Fair, Wednesday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Heymann Center in Lafayette. Now in its 13th year, the LEDA Job Fair is the largest job recruitment event in Acadiana. Top companies from all sectors of business and industry will be on hand seeking to fill critical job openings. Since its inception, hundreds of Acadiana’s top employers have successfully recruited job candidates at the one-day event. Many employers fill positions on the spot. Job seekers will be able to meet hiring managers face to face and apply for local job openings and visit the LEDA Job Fair E-Application station, sponsored by the Lafayette Workforce Investment Board, to access and apply for thousands of additional job openings in the region and throughout the state. The job fair is free to job seekers, and there is no need to pre-register. Job seekers should dress professionally and bring copies of their résumés. For more information, or for a list of participating employers, visit www.lafayette.org/jobfair.

The Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and Global Industries teamed up to share LITE visualization technology and high-performance computing capabilities with oil and gas industry leaders at the 2008 Offshore Technology Conference held at Reliant Park in Houston. Founded in 1969, OTC is the world’s largest offshore technology event, focusing on the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection.

MidSouth Bank was awarded a $147,000 grant from Louisiana’s Incumbent Worker Training Program, a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Labor, business, industry, and training providers. The grant will be used over the next 12 months to assist the bank in providing outsourced skill development programs. Designed to increase employees’ productivity and enhance growth opportunities for Louisiana-based companies, the grant will allow MidSouth Bank to offer a wider spectrum of professional development courses using subject matter experts as course instructors. Computer, sales, supervisory and technical training are part of the package of courses — the majority of which will be offsite, says MidSouth Bank Training Director Rick Melson. “Though we are highly focused on training, this grant is enabling us to further build upon what we already offer with very specialized courses,” Melson says. The grant was secured in combination with the Louisiana Bankers Association, which served as a liaison between the bank and the Louisiana Department of Labor. The bank is currently pursuing a similar grant opportunity in Texas.

Bradley & Moreau Real Estate Law Firm was a sponsor for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk held at Girard Park in March. The largest real estate law firm in Lafayette with nearly 30 employees and two locations, Bradley & Moreau raised $1,800.

Victory Silks and Interiors, a home décor and silk plant specialty boutique that has been in business in Acadiana for 10 years, is constructing a new retail store at the intersection of Johnston Street and Westmark Boulevard behind the Chase Bank. The company is currently renting retail space on Johnston Street next to Ninfa’s. The projected completion date is November of this year. Victory Silks and Interiors is owned by Greg and Janice Powell.