A top official at Acadian Ambulance since 1998, 45-year-old Tyron Picard announced he will leave the Lafayette-based company in January, though he was not specific about his future plans, saying only he will “pursue other business and governmental relations opportunities.”

Tyron_PicardPicard, Acadian Companies’ executive vice president for legal and governmental affairs, is the son of the late Cecil Picard, who served as Louisiana state superintendent of education from 1996 until his death in February 2007. In a letter addressed to “Friends,” Tyron Picard writes:

After 12 wonderful years at The Acadian Companies, I have decided to leave the organization on January 14, 2011, to pursue other business and governmental relations opportunities. Due to the fondness I have for Acadian, its mission, and the people who make it such a great company, this decision was a very difficult one for me and my family. The decision comes only after months of thoughtful discussion and prayer among my family and close friends.

When I joined Acadian in 1998, over 90% of the Company was our Louisiana ambulance operation, our annual sales were $75 million, and we had 1,000 employees. I never dreamed that in 12 years, our ambulance operation would stretch from San Antonio to Pascagoula, our company would exceed $300 million in annual sales, have diversified into the monitoring and safety businesses, and that we would be nearing the 4,000 employee mark. I believe that the company’s present talent and financial position makes us internally stronger than we have ever been. Externally, in the eyes of governmental and civic leaders, our company has never been more respected.

During my time here, one thing has become crystal clear—the main ingredient in Acadian’s recipe for success is the people of the organization. I want to thank all of you for the genuine kindness and friendship you have expressed to me and my family since day one. I want to thank Richard Zuschlag, my fellow members of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, as well as each of our employees. All of you have taught me that a determined group of hardworking minds can truly achieve the unachievable. I have witnessed those remarkable achievements not only in our company’s financial growth, but in our company’s response to America’s greatest natural disaster—Hurricane Katrina.

When I was 18 years old, my father wrote me a letter at graduation, which said “Life is like a book with a series of chapters—don’t stay in one chapter too long, or you will never finish the book.” Although this chapter at Acadian will end in January, Acadian will have a place in my heart forever. My time here has been one of the most fulfilling chapters in my life.

In the future, every time I see a unit responding with lights and sirens, AIR MED flying overhead, or visit an elderly friend with an AOC pendant around his or her neck, I will recall fond memories of Acadian and thank God that my caring and compassionate friends at Acadian are once again making a difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Happy Holidays to you and your family, and know that you can call on me if I can ever be of assistance to you or your family.
Picard, who is listed third among Acadian's management on the company's website, behind Chairman/CEO Zuschlag and President/COO David Pierce, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on his plans.

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