• AlwaysCare Benefits, a Starmount Life Insurance company, has the greatest number of unique Louisiana locations in its dental provider network—just under 500—compared to AlwaysCare's most frequent competitors, according to an independent, third-party assessment completed this month by The Ignition Group. It also has the largest number of Louisiana locations in its vision provider network, at just over 360. Those numbers reflect significant growth for AlwaysCare, as the firm has added more than 80 vision and 200 dental providers in the past three years.
• Baton Rouge General Medical Center has expanded behavioral health services at its Mid City campus to better serve the community. Mid City's new Behavioral Wellness Unit enhances the hospital's behavioral health inpatient services with the addition of patient beds and is focused on treating patients suffering from depression, anxiety and other mood disorders and also offers specialized treatment for patients with psychiatric illness and substance abuse disorders. In addition, Baton Rouge General's behavioral health services now include inpatient and outpatient Electroconvulsive Therapy. The new services are aimed at assisting patients at a time when the community is seeing closures of state mental health facilities and reductions of behavioral health services at hospitals.
• GMFS, a locally owned residential mortgage company, in March produced $100 million in residential loans. The milestone breaks all company records. The company recently began retaining the servicing of its mortgages and currently has $300 million in its portfolio.
• Knight Oil Tools, a privately held rental tools and fishing services company in south Louisiana, is celebrating its 40th year in business. Eddy Knight opened Knight Specialties in February 1972, using his car as his office and his garage as a stock point. In 2012, the company announced the formation of Knight Oil Tools International to market its products and services worldwide.
• Patticake–A Children's Boutique has opened in the Ultima Plaza Shopping Center in Prairieville. The store carries high-end children's brands for girls and boys, birthday and baby shower gifts and monogramming.
• The Republican Party of Louisiana has created a website to provide information about the caucuses and national convention delegate selection process. The website, lacaucus2012.com, will answer questions about locations, rules and other issues pertaining to the caucus. Those running for delegate or alternate delegate to the state convention will be able to qualify online. The caucus will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 28 in 30 different locations across the state. The state convention is scheduled for June 2 in Shreveport.
• Michael Wayne Patterson recently earned the certified financial planner certification from the Board of Standards. He has been a financial consultant since 2002, and has been with the firm of Lee, Dougherty & Ferrara Investment Management since 2004.
• Jamar Melton has been elected chairman of the board of directors of Woman's Hospital. He is a pediatrician with the Baton Rouge Clinic and is on the active medical staff of Woman's Hospital. He has served on the board since 2007 and is a member of Woman's Hospital Foundation. Robert Greer Jr. is the new chairman-elect, and Frank Breaux, the secretary/treasurer. Christel Slaughter has been newly elected to the board; and Matt McKay, Mike Polito and Mike Wampold have been re-elected to the board.
• Ronald A. Gitz II has been named the new executive director of the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants. Gitz will oversee the nonprofit professional association that represents more than 6,300 CPAs working in public practice, industry, government and academia.
• Karli Glascock Johnson, an attorney with Kean Miller in Baton Rouge; Robert R. Ranier, an attorney with Ranier, Anding & McLindon in Baton Rouge; and Jamie H. Watts, an attorney with the Long Law Firm in Baton Rouge have been named Fellows of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.
• The Republican Party of Louisiana has elected Roger Villere Jr. of Metairie as chairman; Rev. Tommy French of Baton Rouge, vice chairman; Dan Kyle of Baton Rouge, treasurer; Lillie Brady of Sulphur, secretary; Ross Little Jr. of Lafayette, national committeeman; Rep. Lenar Whitney of Houma, national committeewoman; and Gena Gore of Dry Prong, Louisiana Federation of Republican Women representative.
• Glenn Sumners, director of the LSU Center for Internal Auditing, is an inaugural inductee into the American Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners. Sumners is being recognized by the North American Board of The Institute of Internal Auditors for founding the first higher education program for internal auditing and for establishing the organization's first Internal Audit Education Partnership.
• Richard Vlosky, director of the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center at the LSU AgCenter, was named to the Agriculture Committee of the World Trade Center of New Orleans.
• Zaki Bassiouni and Sidney Fuchs are being inducted into the LSU College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. A professional petroleum engineer since 1964, Bassiouni joined the LSU staff in 1977. He was a professor and chair of the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering from July 1983 to June 2004 before assuming the position of dean of the College of Engineering and Bert S. Turner Chair in Engineering. Fuchs is the president and chief executive officer of MacAulay Brown Inc., a premier engineering and technical services company headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, with more than 2,000 employees worldwide, that serves the U.S. defense and intelligence communities. He has more than 25 years of experience in intelligence and national security, aerospace and defense, commercial IT services and private equity, with an emphasis on the engineering, development, integration and operations of mission-critical programs, systems and technologies.
• The E. J. Ourso College of Business placed in the top 20 for public administration and in the top 40 for M.B.A. programs in North America in Eduniversal's worldwide rankings of master's programs. The rankings are based on the reputation of the program, the career prospects and the salary level of initial employment after graduation, and satisfaction feedback of students. Eduniversal ranked 4,000 masters programs in 30 different specialties.
• Embassy Suites Baton Rouge was recently recognized by Hilton Worldwide through the 2011 Meeting & Event Planner Survey Awards. Based on survey results completed by people who held events at Hilton Worldwide properties, the hotel achieved the highest scores for the Embassy Suites brand in two categories: guest loyalty and satisfaction for events. The award-winning team includes James Collins, banquet manager; Jamie Turnage, catering manager; Steve Tresvik, executive chef; Lenore Elvir, director of sales; and Ralph Ney, general manager.
• Teri Fontenot, president and CEO of Woman's Hospital, was named one of the “40 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” by Becker's Hospital Review. The annual list recognizes leaders who have been instrumental in shaping health care policy, trends and debate over the past year. The list cited Fontenot's accomplishments and health care leadership roles: most recently, leading Woman's Hospital in the development of a $350 million replacement campus opening June 3, and serving as chair of the American Hospital Association.
• The Gulf South Chapter of the American Fence Association has been named Chapter of the Year. The award is given to the chapter that actively promotes the association and fence industry in its district throughout the entire year. The Gulf South Chapter was recognized for many projects, including fence donation and installation, training seminars, certification testing, scholarships, a Christmas toy drive and hosting a joint meeting with the Texas Chapter.
• Louisiana Lottery Corporation has earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial statement. The entity has won the award 14 years in a row. The award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
• Forty-one Baton Rouge businesses have been named to the LSU 100: Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses. The award celebrates the success of former LSU students. Businesses are identified independently by Postlethwaite & Netterville, which calculated each company's compounded growth from 2008 to 2010. Baton Rouge companies named to the list were Immense Networks; Gladden Sales; Arkel Constructors; Associated Grocers; Baton Rouge Physical Therapy; Beau Box Commercial Real Estate; C-K Associates; D. Honoré Construction; Dana Brown & Associates; Functionally Integrated Training & Therapy; Gatorworks; General Informatics; Geoshield; Gulf South Research Corporation; Hollingsworth Richards Automotive Group; Horizon Wealth Management; ISC; Kean Miller; Kimbrell and Associates; Lipsey's; Lisa D. Traina, CPA; Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Belanger; Medistar Home Health; Perry Dampf Dispute Solutions; Perry, Atkinson, Balhoff, Mengis & Burns; PreSonus Audio Electronics; Provident Resources Group; Rickey Heroman's Florist & Gifts/Landscape; Roedel Parsons Koch Blanche Balhoff & McCollister; Sexton-Hebert; SGS Petroleum Service Corporation; Sigma Consulting Group; Sigma Engineers and Constructors; Sparkhound; Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Company; STUN Design & Interactive; Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips; The Lofton Corporation; TraceSecurity; and Window World of Baton Rouge.
• The Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus through the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2012 Women of Excellence Awards. The awards honor the achievements and contributions of Louisiana women who personify excellence in leadership, profession, academics, community service, character and integrity. Baton Rouge winners include Alma Thornton, of Southern University in Baton Rouge, education and research; and Shelly Dick, of Forrester, Dick & Clark in Baton Rouge, government and law category. LSU student Danielle Borel will also receive the College Woman of Excellence Award and a scholarship. The Women of Excellence Awards & Scholarship Gala will take place at 7 p.m. May 9 at the Baton Rouge Marriott.
• Pennington Biomedical Research Center has been recognized as one of the highest-ranked institutions in The Scientist's annual listing of Best Places to Work for Postdocs. The publication surveyed more than 1,500 postdoctoral fellows globally and ranked Pennington Biomedical No. 4 on the 2012 listing. The publication recognized the center for dedicating resources to support the career development of postdoctoral fellows through an internal Education Department that manages a range of professional development activities, including mentoring and annual grant-writing courses. The survey considered additional factors such as the quality of the facilities and infrastructure, the value of the postdoctoral experience, and compensation and benefits.
• Beth Stahr, head of reference at Southeastern Louisiana University's Sims Memorial Library, is the recipient of the 2012 Louisiana Library Association's Outstanding Academic Librarian Award. The award is given to an individual who has made contributions to further the development of academic librarianship in the state. Stahr was recognized for her involvement in library organizations, her record of professional articles and presentations, and her teaching experience.
• Dottie Tarleton of Baton Rouge received the Gold Award from Stirling Properties. The company recognized employees and top commercial agents at its annual Stirling Honors. The award is based on individual production achievements in 2011.
• Paul West and Phyllis Cancienne, both of Baton Rouge, are among 81 attorneys at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz who are being recognized as leading practitioners for business in the 2012 edition of Chambers USA. West practices in the firm's gaming and licensing division; Cancienne, in the labor and employment division.
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The $50 billion boom
Era of exploration ends