People & Flashes June 2009

Patricia C. Shay has joined Coldwell Banker Pelican as sales associate. She has worked in real estate for more than eight years and is active in the Louisiana Board of Realtors and the Realtors Association of Acadiana. She previously worked for Prudential Gardner Realty in Mandeville, ERA Stirling Properties, and Realty Executives before joining Coldwell Banker. During her real estate career, she has been recognized for her achievements with a Bronze level award in 2006 for sales in excess of $4 million. She also received the Leadership Circle Award for the 1st and 4th quarter in 2006. Shay was named a Million Dollar Producer for 2008. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Graphic Designer Megan Barra has been awarded a $5,800 grant by Sappi Fine Paper’s Ideas that Matter program. The grant will fund a print campaign benefiting Tossed & Found, an initiative of the Acadiana Outreach Center. The program recognizes designers who have partnered with a philanthropic organization to develop proposals including campaign concepts, business plans, objectives, costs and possible benefits. Since its inception in 1999, the program has funded more than 225 projects, exceeding $8 million in grants. Tossed & Found is a program designed to empower individuals to rebuild their lives from dependency to self-sufficiency by using art as therapy to teach marketable job skills. Using the traditional model of artisan training, under the direction of local, professional artist/designers and craftspeople, the center’s clients engage in a process of skills-building and creative/artistic growth through the arts while designing and producing pieces of art for sale in a self-sustaining social enterprise. “The Sappi grant will allow me to more effectively brand the Tossed & Found program and products with a brochure and product tag that tell the story behind the artworks,” Barra says. Since its inception, the program has funded more than 100 campaigns in North America, and awarded more than $7 million in grants worldwide. Ideas that Matter attracts applications from designers throughout the world. This year, Sappi received more than 100 applications from North American designers, and awarded 13 grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. The grants will be used to develop campaigns for non-profit organizations backing cultural, health, and human rights efforts, as well as supporting the homeless, underprivileged and disabled.

On March 19, the Acadiana LCPA brought together six area CFOs from different industries to discuss their perspectives on the current economic environment. More than 70 CPAs attended the first-time event. CFOs highlighted the specific opportunities and threats faced by their respective companies. Despite the economic slowdown, several of the CFOs expressed optimism relating to their opportunity to gain market share as competitors faced more significant challenges. CFOs presenting at the event included: Donald Broussard, The Lemoine Company; Linus Cortez, Stuller Inc; David Kelly, Acadian Ambulance;  Joseph Zanco, Home Bank; Nick Zaunbrecher, Cardiovascular Institute of the South; and Todd Zehnder, Petroquest Energy. Flo Meadows of Coldwell Banker served as the discussion moderator.

Liz Viator has joined Home Bank as a vice president and banking center manager at the bank’s main office on Kaliste Saloom. Viator manages day-to-day operations at the branch and assists personal and business clients with their deposit and loan needs. She has 29 years of experience in banking, including consumer and commercial lending. For the past 16 years, Viator worked for IberiaBank. She is a native of Kaplan and started her career at Kaplan State Bank. She attended Delta Business School and obtained a Series 6 Investment License. Viator is active in the local community and has served on the board of Family Tree for eight years. Also at Home Bank, Gay Hopkins was promoted to commercial loan officer, responsible for helping business clients with loans and deposit services. Hopkins, who has relocated to the bank’s Kaliste Saloom office, has 25 years banking experience, including 10 years as branch manager at Home Bank’s Johnston Street location. Active in the community, Hopkins is a member of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the UL Alumni Council, is currently the chairman of the UL Spring Gala Auction and has served on the UL Homecoming Committee for the past eight years as chairman of the event’s tennis tournament. She is a member of the Acadiana Chapter of Phi Mu Alumnae and a board member of the Alpha Sigma House Corporation. Hopkins has been an instructor for the American Institute of Banking, teaching courses in principals of banking, consumer lending and supervision.

Three Moss Motors sales consultants were honored at American Honda’s Council of Sales Leadership awards event in Dallas. Jay Johnson was recognized for achieving Gold Master status and was also named No. 1 in customer satisfaction in Zone 3, which comprises all Honda dealers in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Dwight Guidry received an award for Gold Master status, and Adrienne Genovese was recognized for attaining Gold status. Guidry has been working at Moss Motors for 11 years, and Genovese has been with the dealership for nearly four years. All of the Moss employees’ awards recognize outstanding performance, including fulfilling promises to the customer, service after the sale and the customer’s overall satisfaction with the buying experience.

Hamilton “Hammy” Davis of Coldwell Banker Commercial Pelican has earned a spot in the company’s Gold Level Circle of Distinction based on transaction revenue for 2008. The Circle of Distinction is an honor bestowed upon the top-ranking producers among Coldwell Banker Commercial professionals. Davis has more than 10 years of extensive commercial real estate experience and was named number one commercial agent for the state of Louisiana by Coldwell Banker Commercial from 2000-2007. Prior to his affiliation with Coldwell Banker, Davis was an attorney in Lafayette. He serves on various boards in the community, including Lafayette Education Foundation, Lafayette Downtown Unlimited, St. Pius Elementary School, Our Lady of Wisdom, United Way and Rayne State Bank.

Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick has promoted Jeremy Meaux to partner and Kyle Saltzman and Luke Sonnier to managers. Meaux’s practice has focused on professional audit service since he joined the firm a decade ago. A 1998 UL Lafayette grad, he received his CPA license in August 2001 and serves as a board member-at-large for the Acadiana Chapter of the Society of Louisiana CPAs. Saltzman practices in the areas of audit of profit, not-for-profit and governmental entities. A 2002 UL grad, he has been a licensed CPA since 2008. Sonnier practices in the area of taxation. He graduated from UL in 2003 and achieved his CPA license in January of this year. All three are members of both the American Institute of CPAs and the Society of Louisiana CPAs.

UL Lafayette’s 2009 Distinguished Professor Awards program recognized Dr. Christine DeVine, associate professor of English; Dr. Devesh Misra, professor of chemical engineering; and Dr. William Rieck, professor of curriculum and instruction. This year, for the first time, the selection committee’s vote ended in a tie between two candidates for the Ray Authement Outstanding Teaching Award. The two faculty members chosen are Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, associate professor of history; and Dr. Russell Hibbeler, professor of civil engineering. The UL Lafayette Foundation began presenting the Distinguished Professor Awards in 1965. It added the excellence in teaching award in 1992 to recognize commitment to and effectiveness in teaching and instructional innovation. The university also recently cognized faculty members as outstanding advisors. Forty-five advisors with three or more years of advising experience received $1,000 awards while 10 new faculty advisors with less than three years advising experience received $500 awards. Those receiving $1,000 awards were: arts – Brooke Davis, Jerome Malinowski, Corey Saft, Margaret Daniel, Shawn Roy and Yeon Choi; business administration – Ellen Cook, Sandra Scheuermann, Dan Ward, Suzanne Ward, Ihssan Alkadi, Denis Boudreaux, William Ferguson, Anthony Greco, Mary Luquette, Rand Ressler, Paula Carson, Stephen Knouse, Gwen Fontenot and Anne Keaty; education – David Beard, Marlene Beard, Christine Briggs, Ann Guillory, Mary Keller, Louise Prejean, William Rieck, Alice Voorhies, Donna Wadsworth, Douglas Williams, Charles Duncan, Susan Lyman and Adele Smith; liberal arts – Pearson Cross and Nancy Coghill; sciences – Penny Antley, Arlene Billock, Bruce Felgenhauer, Patricia Mire-Watson, Toni Cade, Anita Hazelwood, Carol Venable, Roger Waggoner, Alan DeRamus and Leonder Labbe.

The UL Lafayette Alumni Association honored Red Dumesnil during its 13th annual Spring Gala, held May 9 at the Alumni Center. The gala offered fine food, entertainment and both silent and live auctions that included a variety of offerings including original art, travel packages and Ragin’ Cajun merchandise. Cox Communications was the gala’s presenting sponsor. Proceeds from the gala are entirely dedicated to maintain and make improvements of the landmark Alumni Center. UL also recently honored artist George Rodrigue, known for his Blue Dog paintings, with an honorary doctorate of fine arts. The degree was presented during the graduate school commencement ceremony May 17 in the Cajundome. Rodrigue, born and raised in New Iberia, studied at UL Lafayette during the 1960s. He later studied drawing and painting at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. In much of his early paintings, Rodrigue used oak trees as his main subject and later included the Cajun people and traditions as well as his interpretations of myths such as Jolie Blonde and Evangeline. One myth, the loup-garou, inspired the artist’s most famous series, the Blue Dog. Rodrigue found inspiration for the image of the loup-garou in pictures of his studio dog Tiffany. In 2005, he premiered Bodies, reacting to the intensity of Hurricanes with a sudden return to classical nudes, cemeteries and oak trees. His accomplishments have been acknowledged at many museums including the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Museum in Memphis, Tenn. This museum hosted a 40-year Rodrigue retrospective, which also traveled to the New Orleans Museum of Art. In New Orleans, 60,000 visitors attended the art show, setting an attendance record for a contemporary show or living artist. Most recently, he was honored by UL Lafayette’s College of the Arts with a lifetime achievement award during the college’s annual Festival of the Arts. Rodrigue and his wife, Wendy, live in the New Orleans’ historic Faubourg Marigny.

Schlumberger made a historic $27 million software gift that will give UL Lafayette students, faculty, and researchers access to the same exploration and production modeling software used by the oil and gas industry. The oilfield service company’s gift includes 17 licenses of ECLIPSE Parallel, a leading-edge software product created by Schlumberger to simplify oil and gas reservoir simulation. The software also includes a license of Merak PEEP, a leading-edge software product created by Schlumberger for oil and gas economic analysis. The software licenses can be run simultaneously for big reservoir projects, which will help the UL Lafayette Energy Institute and graduate and undergraduate students in various disciplines across campus, including petroleum engineering, geology and geophysics, and mathematics. Schlumberger donated the licenses to the department of petroleum engineering.

MidSouth Bank’s Customer Care Center at 102 Versailles Boulevard has earned the ISO 9001:2008 certification awarded by Det Norske Veritas.

MidSouth Bank is one of a select few companies to meet the new ISO 9001:2008 certification requirements, which confirm that the community bank meets the most stringent management system standards for commitment to quality in providing financial services to its customer base. The certification process took more than a year to complete. “The achievement of ISO certification reflects our continued effort to offer unparalleled products and services to each of our customers and sends a clear message to potential customers about the reliability of our brand and level of service they can expect from MidSouth Bank,” said Customer Care Center Manager Gloria Pearce. “It validates the hard work of my staff by placing us within a prestigious group of companies that excel in customer satisfaction every day.”

The South Louisiana Chapter of the National Safety Council recognized Dupré Logistics at its 58th Annual Meeting and Clem Buckman Occupational and Fleet Safety Awards Banquet. Dupré was given an Occupational Safety Award of Merit for 1 million–2 million hours worked, joining large-scale companies Cox Communications and Bollinger Lockport. The chapter’s mission is to promote accident prevention in all fields of safety.

For the fourth consecutive year, C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates has earned a position on the prestigious Top 500 Design Firms list published by Engineering News-Record. Companies represented on the list are ranked according to revenue generated for engineering design services performed in 2008. The 2009 list was published in the magazine’s April issue. This year, Fenstermaker advanced 115 spots to a ranking of 272, one of the highest jumps on the list. Fenstermaker was one of only four Louisiana-based firms represented on the list.

Home Bancorp Inc., parent company of Home Bank, earned $1.7 million for the first quarter of 2009, an increase of $704,000, or 69 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2008. The company completed its initial public stock offering Oct. 2, 2008, and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market the following day.

UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering, department of industrial technology, has been awarded a grant for 25 licenses of Autodesk Inventor Professional 2009 through the Autodesk “Invest in Education” program. This grant was sponsored by Accurate Measurement Controls Inc., along with Autodesk and Vector Graphics Inc. The commercial value of the software is $150,000.