FuturePAC, the political action committee of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, endorsed the three candidates who are currently seeking the Senate seat in District 16, which was vacated when Bill Cassidy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. It will be filled in a special election on March 7. The candidates are Laurinda Calongne, Dan Claitor and Lee Domingue, and FuturePAC is endorsing each candidate because of their support of issues that promote economic development in the Capital Region.
New Orleans-based Liberty Bank announced it plans to acquire United Bank and Trust, which has four locations in Louisiana. The deal has been approved by United shareholders, but still needs regulatory permission. United, which has $25.5 million in assets, has locations in New Orleans, Algiers, Harahan and Opelousas. Liberty, which has three branches in Baton Rouge, is the third-largest black-owned bank in America. The bank, which has 17 branches in five states, has $374 million in assets.
Lafayette-based IberiaBank announced it is expanding into Alabama. The bank is launching a loan production office in Mobile, which will become a branch once regulatory approval is obtained. Company officials say the bank plans two to five branches in the Mobile region over the next few years. IberiaBank has three locations in Baton Rouge, with a fourth branch under construction.
IberiaBank has partnered with the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation and will fund safety programs for five nursing and retirement homes across the state through their $5 million investment in the Foundation. The Senior Housing Crimestoppers Program works much like a neighborhood watch, and will provide ongoing crime prevention programs to the designated facilities, including Louisiana Guest House in Baton Rouge.
Lafayette-based Home Bank opened its first two full-service banking centers in Baton Rouge on Old Jefferson Highway at Highland Road and Bluebonnet Boulevard at South Glenstone Place. Home Bank, which was chartered in 1908 as Home Building and Loan, now has 11 south Louisiana branches.
Neighbors Federal Credit Union has joined 7,900 other U.S. credit unions in an effort to help the nation’s automakers through the Invest in America program, which offers cash discounts for credit union members from Chrysler and GM, as well as access to affordable financing on new vehicle purchases. Credit union members are eligible to receive discounts, bonus cash or rebates on eligible vehicles.
Raising Cane’s opened its Dallas-area office, the first step in making the company a national restaurant chain. The 24,000-square-foot office in Plano, Texas, which has 70 employees, features a replica of a Cane’s restaurant. Cane’s officials say they plan to add 40 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex over the next few years. Cane’s currently has 80 locations, with just over half in Louisiana.
Albemarle Corporation has teamed with bioscience company Zymes to scale up production of Zymes’ Ubisol-Aqua solubilization technology, PTS. Under the terms of the agreement, Albemarle manufactures PTS, the lead compound for the Zymes technology, which ultimately allows food, beverage and nutritional supplement manufacturers to add water-insoluble nutrients to liquid products without the typical cloudy effects.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center hosted a two-day research symposium gathering members of the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association and the U.S. Surgeon General to hear the latest findings in nutrition and health from the Center’s scientists. “Cultivating a Healthy Population: The Intersection of Food and Health” allowed GMA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Regulatory Affairs Officer Robert Brackett, scientific officers and nutritionists from national and international food and beverage companies to collaborate on food, nutrition and health issues. Acting U.S. Surgeon General, Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson, was the keynote speaker.
The East Baton Rouge Medical Society has changed its name to the Capital Area Medical Society. The society was established in the late 1800s and was one of the first parish societies to organize in Louisiana. It encompasses Livingston, East and West Baton Rouge parishes and unites more than 700 physicians to advocate for the well-being of patients and the profession of medicine.
Massey Services CEO Harvey L. Massey has been named the recipient of the 2009 James B. Greene Economic Development Award by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the EDC and recognizes an individual whose efforts have contributed substantially to the economic growth of the region. Massey Services, which is headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and has a Baton Rouge location, provides residential and commercial pest prevention, termite protection and landscape services.
The Baton Rouge chapter of ASTD, an association of workplace learning and performance professionals, has announced its 2009 board of directors: Kimberly Seeger, Solution Source, president; Melissa Argrave, LSU Department of Education, past president; Melissa Terrell, Portico Learning Solutions, president-elect; Beth Adams, Louisiana Division of Administration, secretary; Kent Blumberg, Kent Blumberg Associates, vice president of programs; Leah Tate, Neighbors Federal Credit Union, vice president of professional development; Patsy Wilkerson, Success Labs, vice president of membership; Marina Brown, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, vice president of publications; Maurice Velasquez, Real World Training, vice president of technology; Justin Oberthier, EDSA Group, hospitality.
The Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors announced their 2009 executive committee and board of directors. The executive committee includes Scott Barringer, Pala-Interstate, chairman; John Schempf, Triad Electric & Controls, chair-elect; Mike Killgore, James Construction Group, secretary; and Jeff Gould, JPMorgan Chase Bank, treasurer.
The Baton Rouge Bar Association installed its new leaders. They include Trenton J. Oubre, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, president; Fred T. Crifasi, president-elect; Preston J. Castille Jr., Kean Miller and a Baton Rouge City Court judge pro tempore, treasurer; Gail S. Stephenson, Southern University Law Center, secretary; and C. Kevin Hayes, Roedel, Parsons, Koch, Frost, Balhoff & McCollister, immediate past president.
Carmen Austin, CCIM of Saurage Commercial Real Estate-Baton Rouge, has been appointed vice president/president elect of the Louisiana CCIM Chapter for 2009. The CCIM Institute is an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors and exists to help commercial real estate practitioners elevate their business practices through education and networking. The Louisiana Chapter has more than 300 active members.
The NeuroMedical Center Surgical Hospital received a program accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. To receive a five-year accreditation, a sleep center must meet or exceed all the AASM’s designated standards for professional health care, including a detailed inspection of a center’s facility and staff, an evaluation of testing procedures, patient contacts and physician training.
Baton Rouge-based concrete fabricator WASKEY received the 2008 Industrial Projects Award of Merit from the American Concrete Institute’s Louisiana Chapter at its annual awards banquet. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative use of concrete products, and WASKEY was recognized for their industrial platforms at the Cheniere Energy, Johnson’s Bayou Measurement Facility in Cameron Parish.
Baton Rouge General has appointed physicians as members of the 2009-10 medical executive committee. They are Evens Rodney, chief of staff; Andrew Olinde, vice chief of staff; Donnie Batie, secretary/treasurer; Michael Castine, chair of medicine; and Michael Puyau, chair of surgery. These doctors will serve as liaisons between physicians and the hospital to ensure continued focus on providing the highest standards of patient care and meeting the needs of physicians.
Amy Martinez has been named to the board of directors for Keep Louisiana Beautiful, a volunteer-based nonprofit organization dedicated to a healthy and litter-free Louisiana. Martinez is a customer service manager with Entergy Louisiana.
Charlotte Placide, East Baton Rouge Parish School System superintendent, was honored by Baton Rouge Community College for her work on the dual enrollment program. Placide was honored with a plaque and Mayor Kip Holden’s proclamation that Jan. 16 was “Charlotte Placide Day” in East Baton Rouge.
The Downtown Development District has elected its new officers for 2009. They are Van R. Mayhall Jr., chairman; Cheri Ausberry, vice chairwoman; Christine Nichols, treasurer; and Norman Chenevert, secretary. Other members are Derrell Cohoon, Fran Gladden and Mark Bensabat.
Ronnie Anderson has been appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal to the LSU Board of Supervisors, which manages all programs and institutions under the LSU system. Anderson, of Ethel, is the owner of Anderson Farms and the president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation Board. He also serves on the LSU Agricultural Leadership Program Board of Directors and the LSU Agricultural Development Council.
EXCEL Contractors received the Excellence in Construction Award from Associated Builders and Contractors’ Pelican Chapter for its construction at Kinder Morgan-Geismar Logistics Center. The award was given in the category of General Contractors: Industrial $5 to $15 million.
The Louisiana Liaison Group has announced its 2009 officers. Among those elected are President Lynne Broussard of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Vice President Wanda Guillera of Community Coffee. LLG seeks to promote dialogue and open communication between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Louisiana Human Rights Commission. The group meets quarterly in various locations throughout the state.
David Madden has been appointed chair of the Louisiana Abraham Lincoln Commission, which seeks to inspire, advise and facilitate activities throughout the state in 2009, the bicentennial anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Madden is a Robert Penn Warren professor emeritus of creative writing at LSU who founded the United States Civil War Center at the university in 1993.
Brian Harris Chevrolet donated $10,000 to the Dreams Come True Foundation, which works to provide dreams to children with life-threatening illnesses. This is the second year the dealership has made a donation.
Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge, a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services for families, is taking nominations for its board of directors. The application deadline is March 16. To learn more about the organization go to familyroadgbr.org.
LPB and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge are seeking nominations for the 2009 Louisiana Young Heroes Awards, which honor Louisiana public, private or homeschooled students in grades 4-12 who have excelled in the classroom, made a difference in their community, overcome adversity and inspired others through their deeds. Nominations can be obtained at all public and private schools and public libraries in the state, downloaded at lpb.org/heroes or obtained by calling 1-800-272-8161 extension 4211.