Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Luncheon hosted by Whitney Bank and The Allen & Gooch Law Firm; The Schumacher Group and Louisiana Rice Mill to Receive Special Awards

Peter Ricchiuti

The 2011 list of Acadiana’s Top 50 Privately Held Companies was published in our sister publication ABiz on July 27, the third straight year for this exhaustive research project. Against the backdrop of a struggling national economy, this report reflects a resilient year for the region’s premier performers and little change among the rankings at the top of the list. You can read the full story online at or pick up a copy at any one of a dozen ABiz rack locations in Lafayette or New Iberia.

These companies, along with the locally domiciled, publicly traded companies, will be honored at a noon luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Cajundome Convention Center. Keynote speaker will be Peter Ricchiuti, assistant dean of the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. A former investment banker in the Boston office of Kidder Peabody & Co., Ricchiuti served for five years as the assistant state treasurer and chief investment officer for the state of Louisiana before joining the university faculty. His highly acclaimed Burkenroad Reports follows undervalued and overlooked stocks in six Southern states. He and his program have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BARRON’s, CNBC, CNN, NPR and others. A popular speaker, Ricchiuti was also selected by the NFL to coach members of the New Orleans Saints on managing their investments.

Top 50 luncheon co-sponsor Allen & Gooch law firm attorneys, seated left to right: Joel Gooch, Clay Allen, Billy Parker and Nora Stelly; standing left to right: Randy Theunissen, Neil Vincent, Jim Gibson, Michael Parker, Troy Broussard and Emile Joseph

ABiz Co-Publisher Cherry Fisher May announced recently that The Schumacher Group, ranked No. 2 on the list, will receive The Dealmaker of the Year Award and Louisiana Rice Mill, which debuted at No. 11, will be honored as Newcomer of the Year. The Acadiana Economic Development Council will announce the winner of The Acadiana Honors Award at the luncheon that day.

The law firm of Allen & Gooch returns as presenting co-sponsor of this event. “At Allen & Gooch, we have had the privilege of working with many of Acadiana’s top businesses, and we have witnessed first-hand the innovation, the work ethic and the bold vision that is a hallmark of our region’s economic leadership,” says managing partner Clay Allen. “We congratulate the Acadiana Top 50 Businesses for their corporate citizenship and for their role in our region’s economic vitality.”

Top 50 luncheon co-sponsor Whitney Bank commercial/business bankers, seated left to right: Jonathan Richard, Nancy Trahan, Lexi Baldridge and Nicholas Richard; standing left to right: Brannon Menard, Michael Williams, Brent Benoit, Regional President Duayne Richard, Gregory Zaunbrecher, William Hendrix, Kenray Landry and Byron Breaux

Whitney Bank joins Allen & Gooch in sponsoring the luncheon again this year. “On behalf of our directors, officers and employees, I would like to congratulate all the Top 50 recipients,” says Duayne Richard, president of Whitney’s Central Louisiana/Lafayette Region. “From Texas to Florida, throughout the Whitney/Hancock footprint, it is my observation that Acadiana is by far the most entrepreneurial area, and this contributes to our amazing growth and prosperity. This is the reason America considers this area one of the most desirable places to live and work. We appreciate the recipients who allow us to serve their financial needs and welcome the opportunity to help others achieve their financial goals.”

Rob Eddy and The Pinnacle Group serve as the VIP parking sponsor for the luncheon. Vidox Productions and The AEDC are supporting sponsors and Fire & Safety Specialists, Inc. is a contributing sponsor.

Tickets are $50 per person or $450 for a reserved table for eight. For more information or to download a ticket order form online, go to or contact Robin Hebert at (337) 769-8603 by phone or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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