Ernest Freyou has been named to the board of directors of Teche Federal Bank. Freyou has 23 years of banking experience and was president of Regions Bank of Acadiana until his retirement in January 2005. He served as president and CEO of New Iberia Bank (the renamed New Iberia National Bank) before it merged with Regions. He also served for three years as the director of the National Bank for Cooperatives, a farm credit bank, in Denver, Colo. Prior to his career in banking, Freyou served as secretary-treasurer of the Iberia Parish Police Jury where he retired after 20 years of service.

Ashley B. Thibodeaux has joined the certified public accounting firm of Thibodaux Hebert Deshotels LeBlanc as a tax accountant. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration with concentration in accounting from UL Lafayette in the spring of 2005. Racheal M. Pride has joined the firm as a staff auditor. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from UL in December. Also, Kelli Mayfield Broussard, who joined the firm full time in November 2005 as a staff auditor, successfully passed the CPA exam in December.

Nelson Waguespack, executive director of Hospice of Acadiana, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. A member of the local hospice staff since 1984, Waguespack is a past member of the board of directors of the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and served two terms as its president. NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the country. The organization is committed to improving end-of-life care and expanding access to hospice care.

Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Great Harvest Bread Co. No. 260 on its list of the top 500 best franchises for 2007. Great Harvest, which has a Lafayette location in the Gates of Orleans center on Kaliste Saloom Road, is the list's only franchise specializing in handcrafted breads and treats made from premium, high-protein Montana wheat. The Lafayette store is owned by J.P. and Michelle MacFadyen. The company was founded in 1976 in Great Falls, Mont., and now has more than 200 bakeries.

Kitchen Solvers of Acadiana owners Carl and Cheryl Venable received a Silver Award at the company's 22nd Annual National Franchise Convention recently held in Northbrook, Ill. The Silver Award was created to recognize Kitchen Solvers operators who have accumulated a high sales volume over the past year. Based in La Crosse, Wisc., Kitchen Solvers is a full-service kitchen and bath remodeling franchise that specializes in cabinet refacing, new cabinet and countertop installation, glueless laminate flooring, bath liners and wall surrounds, and closet organization. For more info, visit www.kitchensolvers.com.

Travelers in Louisiana are now able to access around-the-clock, real-time traffic and road condition updates by dialing 511 or visiting www.511la.org, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The new voice-activated 511 Traveler Information Service is available to most Louisiana wireless and landline telephone users. The service allows callers to access up-to-date information about construction activities, weather-related road conditions and critical incidents. DOTD keeps the system's construction and weather-related information updated, and Louisiana State Police has information about incidents that significantly affect traffic. Louisiana is the 27th state to launch the 511 Traveler Information Service, which is part of a nationwide effort to provide consistent and reliable traveler information. The FCC designated 511 as the national traveler information phone number in July 2000, in response to a 1999 U.S. Department of Transportation petition. At that time, Acadian Ambulance Service was using 511 as a quick-dial number for ambulance service from landline phones. DOTD worked out an agreement with Acadian Ambulance, so callers in parishes the company serves can still use 511 to reach Acadian. Now, callers who dial 511 from a landline phone in Acadian Ambulance parishes will be able to choose whether to be directed to the 511 Traveler Information Service or to the Acadian Ambulance Service.

Schilling Distributing Co. Inc. donated 20,000 cases of water to Second Harvest, a food donation supplier operating out of the United Way building at 215 East Pinhook Road. Schilling Distributing received the water from Anheuser-Busch in preparation for the 2006 hurricane season. "We are pleased that no hurricanes impacted our area this year, but we still want to make use of the water in the best possible way," said Charles Schilling, consumer awareness and education coordinator. Second Harvest representatives plan to distribute the water to Cameron Parish, which is still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Rita.

Frank X. Neuner Jr. has been appointed to serve on the Louisiana Indigent Defense Assistance Board. LIDAB is the governing organization responsible for overseeing the state of Louisiana's funding of indigent defense programs. Neuner will work with other board members to promote LIDAB's mission of providing funding for quality legal services to indigent clients charged with criminal offenses. Neuner is the immediate-past president of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the managing partner of the Lafayette law firm Laborde & Neuner.

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