The Acadiana business community is comprised of many blue-chip, family-owned enterprises that have survived and flourished over several generations. Among these community leaders, the mantle passes from one generation to the next with not only the title and track record, but also an expectation to carry on a commitment to civic duties.

Coury Moss, general manager at Moss Motors and the second generation in his family's business, has found his calling in the drive to find a cure for the disease that more than 14 years ago claimed the life of his father, who founded the dealership in 1979. Now 29 years old, Coury was a young teen when his father Bill was diagnosed and remembers the three-year struggle that followed. "Regardless of who you are or what you have, your life changes when cancer touches your family," Coury says. "God has blessed me in many ways, and I want to use the resources I have to help others." He has accepted the leadership role in launching a new event in Acadiana to support the work of The American Cancer Society. "All dollars we raise will be used locally ' here in Acadiana ' for cancer research and the development of drugs for treatment," he notes.

This is Coury's first time at the helm of such an effort. His mother Sharon has lent her support in recruiting an energetic committee that has planned a Las Vegas-style fundraising gala called "Viva la Cure!" It is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at The City Club. Event sponsors are still lining up along with Hibernia Bank, Moss Motors, Southwest Oncology, Lafayette General Medical Center, Sam Robertson Realty, The Independent, KATC-TV 3 and KTDY 99.9.

Attendees can look forward to fabulous food from The City Club, Zeus, Zea, Ruth's Chris, à la carte, Blue Dog Café, Tsunami and others, as well as a live auction and plenty of excitement at the gaming tables. Also that evening The Spirit Award will be presented to oncology nurse Jo Anne Miller for her work with cancer patients and with The Lafayette Cancer Survivor Group. Dr Luis Meza will receive The Lifetime Achievement Award. Tickets are $100 per person and available at all branches of Hibernia Bank, Moss Motors and LGMC. Read The Independent for details.

Hebert Steps Up, Giosa Steps In

So what's really going to be different for Steven Hebert now that he's chief operating officer instead of general manager at Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate? "Not much," he said last week after the announcement was made. For the past three years in the GM's role, he had oversight of day-to-day operations and over time has assumed responsibility for the company's direction, goals, budgeting and vision. According to Steve Thomson, broker and co-owner with his brother Buzzy, the new title is an acknowledgement of Steven's expanded role. Denise Giosa also joins the staff this week as head of public relations, marketing and the firm's preferred vendor program; she most recently served as executive director of the Oil Center Renaissance Association. The office, with more than 120 sales associates and staffers in Lafayette and New Iberia, boasts a commercial sales division that consistently ranks tops in Louisiana and among the top 100 of Coldwell Banker offices nationally.

IberiaBank Closes Year Strong

IberiaBank announced record fourth-quarter earnings in 2004, up 17 percent over the same quarter in 2003 and reported annual net income of $27.3 million, a 16 percent increase when compared to the previous year. President and CEO Daryl Byrd cited the Alliance Bank acquisition in Baton Rouge along with growth in Shreveport, New Orleans, Monroe and Acadiana for the strong finish.

And Kudos To ...

Here's a shout out to Nabil Lolli, for his commitment to recycling at Cedar Grocery on Jefferson Street, his wonderful downtown deli that offers fresh, delicious Middle Eastern food. Recycling bins for bottles and cans are conveniently located at the exits. It's so easy, and more commercial establishments should follow Lolli's lead.

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