Local attorney H.L. “Rye” Tuten III has formed Tuten Title & Escrow to focus solely on real estate closings. Tuten, a 2003 graduate of Ole Miss Law School, successfully handled various jury and judge trials in his nine years practicing law but is now focused on residential and commercial real estate purchases and refinancing services. Tuten Title & Escrow, located at 326 Settlers Trace, Suite 101A, employs a full staff to ensure accurate, efficient and customer-oriented closings for every client.
U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany received the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business. Earlier this year, Boustany tied for the highest score in the Louisiana delegation for his NFIB rating. Said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner: “The record shows that Rep. Boustany is a true champion of small business, having stood strong on the key small-business votes in the 112th Congress,” said Danner. “This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.”
BBR Creative recently welcomed two new members to its team with the hiring of Abigail Spaht as PR associate and Bria Wheeler as PR assistant. Spaht and Wheeler will help expand the agency’s public relations service line. Spaht, an experienced communications professional who most recently worked for Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, will work with the BBR team to cultivate opportunities to promote brand awareness for the agency and its clients. She earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from LSU. Wheeler, a PR senior at UL, will provide additional support to the team by implementing public relations strategies for BBR clients across a broad spectrum of industries.
MidSouth Bank has promoted John Nichols to senior Executive VP/Chief Credit Officer. He previously was Executive VP/CCO. The bank also promoted Carolyn Lay to Executive VP/Chief Retail Officer; Lay previously was Senior VP/CRO. Nichols, who has been with MidSouth Bank for 11 years, has 34 years of experience with both community banks and large bank holding companies. As CCO, he is primarily responsible for overall bank credit quality and the bank’s loan policy. Lay also has 34 years of banking experience, having spent the last 13 at MidSouth Bank. Also, Reneé Bonin Moreau has joined the bank’s 485 Mills Ave. location in Breaux Bridge as assistant VP/banking center manager. A Breaux Bridge native, Moreau is in charge of all daily operations for the center and will work to develop new business in market. She previously worked for First Bank & Trust for three years as assistant vice president/branch manager and head of operations. Naomi Colomb has been transferred to MidSouth Bank’s St. Martinville location and promoted to assistant VP/banking center manager. Joining Colomb at the 200 W. Port St. location is Karen L. Melancon, who was hired as VP/commercial lender. Colomb previously managed the Super 1 Foods location in New Iberia and has been with MidSouth since 2004. For the past 28 years, Melancon was employed by First Louisiana National Bank and before that was with St. Martin Bank for nine years. She has almost two decades of commercial lending experience.
Julie Finical of Plato’s Closet in Lafayette received a Sales Excellence Award at the company’s recent annual conference held in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The Plato’s Closet brand posted its strongest sales year ever in 2011, and this year’s conference focused on offering franchisees and key team members tactics and business insights to help maintain that momentum through 2012 and beyond.
Karen R. Rue, owner of Griswold Home Care of Acadiana, has received her certification in gerontology nursing from the American Nurse Credentialing Center. According to the ANCC, certification protects the public by enabling anyone to identify competent people more readily and aids the profession by encouraging and recognizing professional achievement.
Brown & Brown Insurance has named Joseph K. Johnson vice president. His responsibilities include developing new business opportunities and alternate risk financing programs that serve client needs. Johnson previously worked as a risk management director for five years with Gilchrist Construction Company in Alexandria and also as the vice president of risk management services at Willis of Louisiana for 17 years. Johnson has 31 years of experience and is a native of Mobile, Ala., and now resides in Lafayette.
Jeffrey K. Coreil of Laborde & Neuner was honored with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Council’s 2012 Pro Bono Award during the LSBA’s Annual Meeting this summer. Coreil was recognized with this prestigious award for his Pro Bono efforts with Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers. Through LVL, he has assisted numerous underprivileged Acadiana residents to resolve various legal issues earning him the LVL’s Protective Order Panel Award in 2011 and the organization’s Outstanding Attorney award in 2010 and 2011. This year he also received the LSBA’s Pro Bono Publico Award and the Pro Bono Century Award. Coreil earned his undergraduate degree in pre-law in 2006 from LSU and his JD and graduate diploma of civil law degree in 2009 from LSU. Also honored was Lindsay Meador of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith, who won the Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award. This award is given to a young lawyer for commitment and dedication to upholding the quality and integrity of the legal profession and consideration towards peers and the general public. Meador earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, magna cum laude, in 2003 from Loyola University in New Orleans. She received her JD from Loyola University College of Law in 2007.
Steven G. “Buzz” Durio, a partner in Durio, McGoffin, Stagg & Ackermann, was installed as 2012-2014 treasurer of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Durio received a BA degree in 1977 from LSU and his JD in 1977 from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center (arts and sciences and law combined curriculum).
Sara Rodrigue of Laborde & Neuner was installed as the District 3 council member for the 2012-2013 Young Lawyers Division Council. Rodrigue received her bachelor of arts and sciences degree in 2005 from Nicholls State University and her JD and graduate diploma in civil law in 2009 from LSU.
Dr. Marin Dawson-Caswell, a board-certified pediatrician, has joined Acadiana Pediatrics, a division of Acadiana FamilyMedical Associates. The doctors of Acadiana Pediatrics, located in Rayne, have nursery privileges at American Legion Hospital, also in Rayne, as well as Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Lafayette. A graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Dawson-Caswell returns to Acadiana after completing her pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. She also did a pediatrics residency at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando following her graduation from Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale and is board-certified member of both the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics.
Mallory Broussard has joined the Downtown Lafayette Unlimited staff as events and parcs coordinator. Broussard is a graduate of UL and has worked in the downtown district for six years.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.