Introducing the Forty under 40 class of 2017


    Whether they’re working late into the evening to complete a big assignment, getting up early to ready their kids for school or jetting out of town to take a much-needed vacation, Business Report’s 2017 Forty Under 40 class is anything but idle.

    Some work for the government, some are employed in the private sector and others are their own bosses—yet all of them are working to make the Capital Region a better place to call home. On top of juggling the demands that come with budding careers and growing families, they make time to volunteer for nonprofit organizations across the Capital Region and sit on the boards of some of its most influential organizations and companies.

    Culling down the list of nominees for this year’s Forty Under 40 class was no small task. Business Report received a record 543 nominations for 246 unique candidates. A panel of community leaders and members of our staff took on the difficult challenge of choosing this year’s class.

    Follow the links below to get a feel for why each of the honorees has been included in this year’s Forty Under 40 class, what makes them tick and what challenges they’re planning to take on next. In extensive question and answer sessions, each shares with us what they feel their greatest accomplishments have been thus far, as well as lessons they’ve learned the hard way and aspects of their jobs most people don’t know about. They also dish on their favorite places to dine in Baton Rouge as well as their greatest hopes for our city.

    This year marks the 18th that Business Report has honored young professionals with the Forty Under 40 awards. We recently caught up with eight of our past honorees to see what they’ve been up to, and you can check that out here.

    Also, a special thank you to Amy Martin, who took the photographs of this year’s winners, and to Diana Pietrogallo for gathering the survey results for this year’s class.

    Here is the 2017 class of Forty under 40 (click the winner’s name to read their full Q&A):

    Kurt Ainsworth, 39

    CEO and co-founder, Marucci Sports

    Krista Allen, 29

    Senior Director of Development, LSU Foundation

    Ryan André, 37

    Chef, self-employed

    Jeremy Aydell, 36

    Owner, Aydell Investments, Sports Clips franchisee

    Prescott Bailey, 31

    Developer, Southern Lifestyle Development

    David Balhoff, 39

    Orthodontist, Sherman and Balhoff

    Jenny Ballard, 39

    Managing Artistic Director, Theatre Baton Rouge

    Branden Barker, 37

    President, Barker Real Estate & Management Services

    Zane Bell, 39

    Owner and CEO, Tint Masters USA and Phoenix Window Film

    Trent Bondy, 37

    Vice President and Sales Manager, LUBA Workers’ Comp

    Allison Bookman, 33

    Pastry Chef and owner, Cupcake Allie

    Franz Borghardt, 38

    Attorney, The Borghardt Law Firm

    J. Casey Chapman, 39

    Gastroenterologist, Gastroenterology Associates

    Tristi Charpentier, 34

    Initiative Manager, Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation

    Tokesha Collins-Wright, 39

    Partner, Kean Miller Law Firm

    Randolph “Rudy” Comeaux, 31

    Vice President of Organizational Development and People, The Lemoine Company

    Kyle K. Cook, 34

    Partner, Hannis T. Bourgeois

    Jeremy Couvillion, 37

    Principal, Westdale Middle School

    Ryann Denham, 31

    Regional Vice President, City Year Inc.

    Carroll Devillier Jr., 36

    Partner, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson

    Tom Easterly, 36

    Partner, Taylor Porter Brooks Phillips

    Jonas Fontenot, 38

    Chief of Physics and Chief Operating Officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

    Jessica Tate Gagliano, 35

    Director of Development, Knock Knock Children’s Museum

    Katie Gibbons, 37

    Vice President-Private Client Relationship Manager, IBERIABANK

    Nathan B. Haymer, 39

    Director of Bands, Southern University

    Hanna Borne Green, 27

    Veterinarian, Sherwood South Animal Hospital & Baton Rouge Veterinary Specialists

    Mathew Laborde, 28

    President and CEO, Elifin Realty

    Jeremy Langlois, 38

    Executive Chef, White Oak Plantation and Farm

    Andrew Lopez, 39

    Vice President, Cajun Constructors

    David Mullens II, 38

    Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager-Middle Market Commercial Banking, Capital One Bank

    Kenny Nguyen, 27

    CEO/Co-Founder, ThreeSixtyEight

    Dianna Payton, 37

    CEO, YWCA Greater Baton Rouge

    Gunjan Raina, 38

    Medical Doctor and Director, MDVIP/Heal 360

    Lionel Rainey III, 39

    President, LR3 Consulting and Public Relations

    Mary Coenen Raven, 39

    Associate Medical Director, Palliative Medicine Service, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

    Donney Rose, 37

    Marketing Director, Forward Arts Inc.

    Alexandra Rouse, 35

    Chief of Staff, New Schools for Baton Rouge

    April Rush Ruffolo, 39

    Compliance Officer, Acting CFO, Louisiana Culinary Institute; Co-owner, BRQ Restaurant

    Melissa Thompson, 33

    Director of Talent Development, Baton Rouge Area Chamber

    Natalie Wood, 34

    Vice President-Coordinator, Entergy River Bend Station



    Forty under 40 alumni: Where are they now?