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LABI Announces Free Enterprise Awards Winners


November 7, 2016

Baton Rouge, LA (November 7, 2016) – We found them! The stand-out individuals and businesses across Louisiana who demonstrate extraordinary efforts to build a stronger, more vibrant state economy and local community. After a statewide search uncovered an exceptional group of nominees, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) is pleased to announce the inaugural Free Enterprise Award recipients and their unparalleled dedication to moving Louisiana forward. LABI will formally recognize the honorees at a reception, presented by CB&I, in Baton Rouge on November 17, 2016.

Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry stated, “This has been a tumultuous year for the state, but Louisianans are strong and have banded together to pull through. We are pleased to recognize the investment, actions and achievements of the 2016 Free Enterprise Award recipients. In such troubling times, these awards will highlight the positive contributions constantly made across the state. Louisiana businesses of all sizes and from every sector step up time and time again to make a difference in their community. You do not always hear about what they do, so we are proud and privileged to honor their hard work and investment in their communities and this state.”

The Awards recipients are as follows:

The Ed Steimel Achievement Award
In recognition of sustained commitment to LABI and extraordinary efforts to improve the quality of life in Louisiana

2016 Award Recipients:
Maura Donahue
Lane Grigsby

Free Enterprise Champions
In recognition of exemplary engagement and contributions toward building a stronger, more vibrant Louisiana economy

2016 Award Recipients:
Andree Begneaud
Mike Mitternight (posthumous)

Free Enterprise Champions
Young Businessperson (under 40)
In recognition of exemplary engagement and contributions toward building a stronger, more vibrant Louisiana economy by young business people 

2016 Award Recipients:
Eric Dexter
Brian Rodriguez

Companies of the Year
(more than 100 employees)

In recognition of outstanding investment, action, and achievements in 2016 that exemplify the commitment of the business community to Louisiana

Award Recipients:
CGI
Sasol North American Operations

Companies of the Year
(less than 100 employees):

In recognition of outstanding investment, action, and achievements in 2016 that exemplify the commitment of the business community to Louisiana

2016 Award Recipients:
Celtic Media Centre
Steel Fabricators of Monroe, LLC

Economic Development Partners of the Year
In recognition of exceptional leadership and action to improve the business climate and quality of life in Louisiana

2016 Award Recipients:
Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC)
Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce

Workforce Innovators of the Year
In recognition of significant effort and partnership to create a skilled workforce and more opportunities for Louisiana workers

2016 Award Recipients:
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) - Louisiana chapters
Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (APEL)

Manufacturers of the Year
(more than 100 employees)

In recognition of outstanding investment, action, and achievements in 2016 that exemplify the value and importance of manufacturing to Louisiana

2016 Award Recipients:
Alliance Compressors, Inc.
RoyOMartin

Manufacturers of the Year
(less than 100 employees)

In recognition of outstanding investment, action, and achievements in 2016 that exemplify the value and importance of manufacturing to Louisiana

2016 Award Recipients:
Arkema, Inc.
Hayes Manufacturing Co., Inc.

In conjunction with the Free Enterprise Awards, LABI will honor those legislators recognized in the 2016 LABI Legislative Scorecard as "Most Valuable Policymakers (MVPs), All-Stars and Honorable Mentions. In 2016, five LABI MVPs are being recognized for their perfect scores on major legislation that affected the state’s economy. Four senators and eight representatives will also be recognized as the LABI All-Stars, scoring 90 percent or higher on the legislation selected for the Scorecard analysis. LABI will also recognize, for the first time, 14 additional legislators, the LABI Honorable Mentions, who scored 80 percent or higher on bills selected for the Scorecard analysis.

2016 MVPs:
Representative Beryl Amedée (R-Houma)
Representative Rick Edmonds (R-Baton Rouge)
Representative Julie Emerson (R-Carencro)
Representative Barry Ivey (R-Baton Rouge)
Representative Nancy Landry (R-Lafayette)

2016 All-Stars:
Representative Paula Davis (R-Baton Rouge)
Representative Ray Garofalo (R-Chalmette)
Representative Dodie Horton (R-Haughton)
Representative Frank Howard (R-Many)
Representative Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City)
Representative Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport)
Representative Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge)
Representative Jerome Zeringue (R-Houma)
Senator Conrad Appel (R-Metairie)
Senator Jack Donahue (R-Mandeville)
Senator Neil Riser (R-Columbia)
Senator Mike Walsworth (R-West Monroe)

2016 Honorable Mentions:
Representative Tony Bacala (R-Prairieville)
Speaker of the House Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia)
Representative John Berthelot (R-Gonzales)
Representative Thomas Carmody (R-Shreveport)
Representative Jean-Paul Coussan (R-Lafayette)
Representative Gregory Cromer (R-Slidell)
Representative Valarie Hodges (R-Denham Springs)
Representative Sherman Mack (R-Albany)
Representative Blake Miguez (R-Erath)
Representative Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales)
Representative Scott Simon (R-Abita Springs)
Representative Thomas Willmott (R-Kenner)
Senator Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell)
Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton)

LABI’s Legislative Scorecard highlights how lawmakers vote on measures that are vital to Louisiana’s economic competitiveness. It provides Louisiana residents with valuable information from the Legislative Sessions. While used to hold Legislators accountable, it also serves as an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Louisiana Legislature for their support of a competitive business climate. The 2016 Scorecard was released October 20, 2016, and can be found online at http://labi.org/legislature-info/score-card.

The inaugural Free Enterprise Awards reception will be held at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum in Baton Rouge, LA at 6:30 p.m. on November 17, 2016. For tickets or more information, click here or call 225-928-5388.

For press inquiries, contact:
Camille Ivy-O’Donnell
(817) 944-5091
camillei@labi.org