Keith Thibodeaux, the chief information officer for Lafayette Consolidated Government, has just been listed among the business world's Premier 100 Information Technology Leaders by Computerworld magazine, which is touted as "The Voice of IT Management." He was selected from nearly 600 nominees evaluated by the editors and a panel of outside judges as well as measured against the magazine's IT Leadership Index, a set of characteristics that describes executives who guide the effective use of IT in their organizations.

Keith's already extraordinary career spans more than 20 years, ranging from running a startup IT company to designing and managing a national computer network covering 42 states. Before accepting the newly created LCG position, he served as chief technology officer for the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and was a key visionary in the creation of The Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise, which is nearing completion in UL's Research Park and will be the first digital six-sided visualization chamber in the world.

Thibodeaux won the Governor's Technology Award twice: in 2004 as Louisiana Technology Leader of the Year and in 2005 as a Rising Star in the Non-Profit Sector for producing the annual industry trade show, TechSouth. For his most recent honor, he will be recognized in March at a black-tie ceremony in Palm Desert, Calif., as part of Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference. Anyone who's had the pleasure of working with Keith knows it couldn't happen to a nicer fellow, and the recognition is well-deserved!

Time to Park the Horse Farm

City Parish President Joey Durel's vision of developing UL's horse farm into a park ' at least in part ' is right on. Girard Park is over-utilized. A second premier park in mid-city would help relieve some stress by siphoning off demand. But the sub-par condition of Girard Park also raises questions about our ability to maintain the city's parks in general. To his credit, Durel activated Park Sans Souci's long dormant fountains soon after taking office last year. He also cleaned up the grounds of The Heymann Memorial, but the fountain there needs repair as well. One of the measures of a great community is the condition of its public spaces. Unfortunately, we don't yet measure up.

Real Estate Records

New records are being set in Lafayette Parish real estate with the listing of two premier properties in recent weeks. Kay Dore's 80-acre estate on the Vermilion River in rural south Lafayette Parish is on the market for $6.85 million. Tom and Connie Galloway have listed their Greenbriar mansion on West Bayou Parkway for $6.7 million, which includes a house full of antiques, mostly European, that were selected for the home. Janet Begneaud of Stirling Properties is the agent for both offerings and previously sold the first residence in the parish that topped the million-dollar mark: Chretien Point, which sold for $1.1 million in 2003. There are currently 20 MLS listings in the seven-figure range. Five others have already sold this year.

Nuts for New Orleans

Popular Acadiana artist Thad Morgan has his own take on Santa, and it graces the special edition holiday tin offered this year by The Cane River Pecan Company. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the gourmet pecans is being donated to Project HEAL, an Acadiana Arts Council collaboration of arts organizations, venues and the private sector to assist New Orleans artists affected by Hurricane Katrina. Cane River president Jady Regard commissioned Morgan's distinctive Santa portrait. It's a first for the company, and the tins are selling briskly; only the one-pound tins remain in several delicious seasonings. They make great client gifts and bulk discounts are available. Call 365-4136 to order.

Kiki and Kate

Kate Frayard has teamed up with her mother, Kiki, at the accessories boutique that bears mom's name. After graduating from Tulane with a degree in marketing, Kate headed to San Diego to pursue a career in design and filmmaking. She's been buying for the store since its inception three years ago and decided to move back home so she could get more involved in the family business. Kiki is located at 416 Heymann Blvd. inside the woman's clothing boutique Molli.

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