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Seated are Jean-Paul Perrodin (son of Trailblazer Sue Fontenot) and Trailblazer Elaine Mann
The 2009 WWMB Honorees: Lucy Chenevert, Bonnie Robert Will, Deidre Toups, Kit Becnel, Penny Angelle Frederick, Judy Briscoe, Dr. Ann Laurent, Susannah Malbreaux and Johnnie Marks
Donette Thomas, Saie Deny, Nancy Naomi and Pam Chapman
   
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Past WWMB honoree Lou King Patin Ted Luquette, accepting on behalf of his late friend, Sue Fontenot
   
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Elaine Mann The Mann Clan
   
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Deidre Toups
Dr. Ann Laurent
   
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Kit Becnel Susannah Malbreaux and her mother, Yvonne Guidry
   
A sold out crowd attended Acadiana Business’ annual tribute to women in Acadiana, our Women Who Mean Business awards luncheon. Acadiana Business Co-Publisher Cherry Fisher May emceed the ceremony, held Sept. 17 at River Oaks Event Center. Trailblazers Elaine Mann and the late Sue Fontenot were honored for their lifetime of achievement in their respective fields and for their contributions to their families and communities. Third Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Sylvia Cooks and Ted Luquette, two of former district judge Fontenot’s close friends, accepted the award on her behalf, and Fontenot’s son, Jean-Paul Perrodin, attended the event in honor of his mother.

One after one, the 2009 honorees — Deidre Toups, Bonnie Robert Will, Johnnie Marks, Susannah Malbreaux, Dr. Ann Laurent, Penny Angelle Frederick, Lucy Chenevert, Judy Briscoe and Kit Becnel — moved the audience of more than 360 with their inspirational acceptance speeches. (Suffice it to say, there was nary a dry eye in the room when all was said in done.) What’s most impressive is that all of these nine women are still active in their careers and continue their contributions each day. The annual awards recognize women for their professionalism, entrepreneurship, civic involvement and community leadership. This year’s group hailed from the medical profession, education, media, insurance, banking, retail, the oil and gas industry and business. Each honoree received a custom-designed sterling silver bracelet from Paul’s Jewelry and were all invited to be special guests at the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs ’n’ Issues event on Sept. 29 featuring State Supreme Court Chief Justice Kitty Kimball as keynote speaker.

Each year Acadiana Business puts out a call for nominations for the WWMB awards via the INDsider and the paper. Honorees are accepted by a committee through this nomination process.

Acadiana Business welcomed IberiaBank as the new presenting sponsor for the 2009 Women Who Mean Business. The bank was joined by AT&T and the Jones Walker law firm as sustaining sponsors. Other support came from Vinyl Creative Sign Concepts, Dr. Ken Odinet, River Oaks and Paul’s Jewelry.

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