Each fall at the Women Who Mean Business Awards luncheon, ABiz convenes hundreds of women of distinction in business, professional, education, and non-profit sectors to commemorate the successes and challenges they share. This marked the 15th year for the inspiring event, with nine new honorees and two Trailblazers, a nod to women who are now retired or semi-retired but paved the way for the current generation of leaders. Almost 40 past honorees attended.
Acceptance speeches are often humorous, sometimes moving and always informative. This year they were particularly inspirational. Trailblazer Maugie Pastor spoke of her decades in the hospitality industry throughout the South, eight children in tow. Sherry LeBas reminisced about her career in collegiate sports, having carved an excellent program for women at UL as the NCAA made it possible across the U.S. Stephanie Mitchell Bernard, today head of Black Catholic Ministries for the Diocese of Lafayette, shared memories as a teen, relegated to the back pews of the church where she worshipped in rural Vermilion Parish.
IberiaBank and LHC Group are presenting sponsors for the luncheon. Supporting sponsors Courtesy Motors and Paul Michael Company joined sustaining sponsors River Oaks Catering and Event Center and Paul’s Jewelry to make the day even more special for all who attended the fall fête.
1) Rhonda Babin, Airgas regional manager
2) 15th Judicial District Judge Susan Theall
3) Attorney Rebekah Huggins
4) Sandra Billeaudeau, assistant superintendent for Lafayette Parish public schools
5) Doerle Foods CEO Carolyn Doerle-Schumacher
6) Stephanie Mitchell Bernard, director of the Lafayette Diocese Black Catholic Ministries
7) Trailblazer Sherry LeBas
8) Lorrie Toups, CFO, Lafayette Consolidated Government
9) Mandi Mitchell, government relations consulting
10) Trailblazer Maugie Pastor
11) The Pastor Posse gathers around Maugie
12) Judge Susan Theall, Penny Rogers, Susan Holiday and Tammy DeRouen (front row); Claire Oliver, Larry Curtis, Rebekah Huggins and Marianna Broussard
13) Women Who Mean Business, Class of 2012
14) Lafayette Consolidated Government colleagues honor their CFO Lorrie Toups (center).
15) Past WWMB honoree and IberiaBank VP Beth Ardoin with Mandi Mitchell, Lorrie Toups, Maugie Pastor and past-honoree Elaine Abell.
Businessmen and women flocked to the University of Phoenix Lafayette campus for Business After Hours, sponsored by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Zea. Zea provided a large buffet and a specialty cocktail named the Fiery Phoenix. The event was to draw together the city’s working professionals and the University of Phoenix to show how local businesses can provide employees with education opportunities through the university.
1) Steve Knouse, Teri Knouse and Mary Neiheisel
2) Sandy Griggs and Katy Matirne
3) Jacob Landry, Jeremy Hohle and Lindsay Bower
4) James Henderson, Jeannie Henderson, David Cook and Bill Benham
5) Marilyn McDonald and Brad Gaubert
6) Cindy Rinardo, Charles Oliver and Brandon Romer
7) Jeff Hendrickson, Kristie Comeaux and Leonard Louvierre
8) Brandon Varisco and Brandon Borgfield
9) Denise Clement, Paula Jordan and Elaine Zenon
10) Kevin Browning and Bill Rodier
11) Walter Campbell and Angelle Theriot