What do you have planned for your summer vacation? For us here at Acadiana Business, the time will be spent launching a new project that requires exhaustive research. We’re on the hunt to identify Acadiana’s Top 50 privately held businesses, ranked by gross revenues, and publish them in a cover story July 29.

This is a daunting task. It requires no small amount of good, old-fashioned snooping around to ferret out the information, and we welcome reader suggestions via e-mail to our Editorial Director Leslie Turk, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or research assistant Tim Lambert, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We’ll also be checking the usual sources, like Dun & Bradstreet, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, trade journals and public records. In addition to ranking the companies by gross revenues, the list will include other basic information, like the type of business, the names of CEOs and owners, the number of employees. A few of the companies will be singled out for a more in-depth profile. In the same issue, we’ll also include information about the locally domiciled, publicly traded companies of Acadiana. 

This will be a blockbuster issue of Acadiana Business. We know how popular lists are with readers, and this one will be a list to top all lists. It’s the kind of information people like to keep around their offices, in their files and waiting rooms. In addition to strong readership and pass-along value, this issue will have an extremely long shelf life. It’s a combination that makes it a great buy for business-to-business advertisers.

The key executives from these top private and publicly traded companies will be invited to a luncheon in their honor in early August. Final details are still being settled, but we are pleased to announce that the law firm of Allen & Gooch has teamed up with Whitney Bank as presenting sponsors for this distinguished crowd. I hope you enjoy hunting for seashells this summer; we’ll be digging for details here. 

On the heels of the Top 50 privately held businesses cover story comes our annual report on women leaders in the local business and professional community. This marks the 12th year for our Women Who Mean Business issue, which will be published Aug. 26, and nominations are already pouring in. Each year, we profile up to 10 women who are currently active in their professions. Additionally, we honor a small group of retired or semi-retired women who have been trailblazers in their careers. The honorees are selected among nominees from readers, previous winners and the Acadiana Business staff. For a list of previous winners, visit our Web site: www.acadianabusiness.com and click on INDevents. You may submit nominations via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please include the name, some background and contact information for your nominee.

In addition to the published profiles, the honorees will receive their awards at a luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 17, at River Oaks Catering and Events Center. The acceptance speeches alone are worth the price of the ticket, and last year more than 450 women attended, making it the largest gathering of women of influence in Acadiana. 

So while you’re relaxing on a beach or checking out some new golf course this summer, think about us back here, working away. We’ll have some great stories for you when you get home.

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