HONORS Jill Hurley, founder of the lifestyle and weight management program Health? Habits for Living, was selected the 2011 Louisiana Women in Business Champion. She was nominated by the Lafayette Small Business Development Center and was recognized at a special Small Business Reception in late May at the governor’s mansion.
Lafayette-based Excelerant was named one of LSU’s inaugural Top 100 Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses by LSU and LSU’s Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute at the LSU 100 ceremony April 8. LSU alumnus Christina Harper, co-founder and managing partner of Excelerant, received this honor. LSU 100 identifies, recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest growing LSU-owned or LSU-led businesses in the world. Excelerant’s spot on the inaugural list was based on company size and longevity, LSU leadership and company character.
Lofton Staffing Services received the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation’s prestigious 2010 Safest 70 Award, which represents the safest 70 companies out of approximately 18,000 that have policies with LWCC. LWCC annually recognizes companies that demonstrate commitment to workplace safety based on the effectiveness of their safety efforts in preventing injuries and controlling costs.
Foster Marketing President Tiffany Harris was selected the 2011 Outstanding Alumna by the UL Lafayette Department of Communication. She was recently honored at the department’s Annual Spring Honors Banquet held at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette. A native of Mustang, Okla., Harris has been with Foster Marketing since graduating from UL in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in marketing. Her responsibilities at Foster Marketing include the supervision of two offices and 12 employees in addition to account service work for international and domestic clients. She guides the agency’s public relations, digital marketing, media planning and trade show efforts. Harris is a past president and current vice president of events for the Ragin’ Cajun’s Letterman Club and is a member of the UL Athletic Advisory Board and UL Alumni Association. She is a member of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, International Association of Drilling Contractors, American Association of Drilling Engineers, Acadiana Advertising Federation and the Business Marketing Association. While a student, Harris was an All-American, All-South Region and two-time All-Louisiana catcher for the nationally ranked Lady Cajun softball team. She was inducted into the UL Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 and is still an NCAA record holder.
APPOINTMENTS J.S. “Si” Brown, president of Bruce Foods Corp., has been appointed to the Grocery Manufacturers Association board of directors. Brown has been president and CEO of Bruce Foods since 1973 and currently serves as chairman of the board of advisors of the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nichols State University.
COMPANY NEWS Lafayette-based Bizzuka has been hired to create a new website for the city of Youngsville. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Youngsville has grown by 103 percent, making it Louisiana’s fastest-growing city. Additionally, Yahoo! recently cited the city as the No. 1 place to live in the state based on median household income, educational achievement and property crime rates. The vision for the site is that it serve as a virtual city hall and reflect the city’s progressive nature, while delivering user-friendly information for both residents and businesses.
Kishment McClosky and Ben Neustrom have joined Keaty Real Estate as agents. McClosky is a native of the Kaplan area and specializes in residential real estate in Vermilion and Lafayette parishes. Neustrom has worked in real estate in the Gulf Coast as a building inspector and a catastrophe insurance adjuster since 2004. He became a Realtor in January of this year.
CPA Chad Bailey has been named partner in Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick. Bailey spent most of his career auditing various types of retirement plans and focuses on individual and corporate tax service, corporate audits and reviews, small business consulting and management advisory services. He joined the firm in 2003 and oversees its retirement plan audit practice.
Bayou Teche Brewing has been selected to be a representative brewery highlighting how fine food can be enjoyed with craft beer at the sold-out SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington, D.C., June 3 and 4. Of the more than 1,600 craft breweries currently in America, only 72 have been selected for this honor. Bayou Teche Brewing is the only brewery from Louisiana chosen for this year’s event, and one of only a handful from the South. Presented by the Brewers Association and now in its fourth year, SAVOR is considered the benchmark of beer and food pairing events. “Our family started our little brewery just over a year ago knowing that we wanted to craft beers to compliment Cajun and Creole cuisines and lifestyles,” says Karlos Knott, brewmaster of Bayou Teche Brewing. “To be selected at the nation’s premiere food and beer event to us is a big honor.”
Hunter Simoneaux has joined Apex Innovations as sales representative, presenting company products and services to current and potential clients and expanding the market for Apex Innovations’ health care programs and education platform. The Opelousas native recently earned a bachelor’s degree from McNeese State University.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
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.