Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Craig Duplechin was promoted to Lafayette market area president for First Bank and Trust. In addition, Harry Thibodaux and Elizabeth Buster recently joined the bank; all three work out of the New Orleans-based bank’s River Ranch location. Duplechin, a graduate of UL Lafayette with 18 years of banking experience, most recently served as the bank’s private banking manager. He also works with the Leadership Lafayette Institute, serving as a board member, and is an instructor for the American Institute of Banking. Thibodaux, who most recently was senior vice president and commercial lender at Bancorp South, has joined as commercial lender. He is a graduate of Nicholls State University and the Graduate School of Banking of the South. Buster, a notary public, was named banking officer and loan portfolio manager. She previously served as a senior loan administrative assistant at Bancorp South. Buster has served as a team captain for the local March of Dimes since 1997.

Lindsay L. Meador has joined the Lafayette office of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith, a Gulf South defense firm. Meador is from Abbeville and earned a degree in political science from Loyola University New Orleans in 2003, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  She received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2007 and then moved back to Acadiana. Her primary area of practice is general litigation, including insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability and family law. She is licensed to practice in all Louisiana state and federal courts and was awarded the 2010 Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Pro Bono Award for her extensive pro bono work in the Lafayette community.

American Pollution Control Corp. President Kirk Headley was named the winner of  the 2011 Gulf Coast Area Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, environmental category. Headley was one of 34 finalists in eight categories for the Gulf Coast Region. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who demonstrate extraordinary success in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Headley was nominated by past recipient Dick Alario, president of Key Energy Services, and was interviewed and evaluated by a prestigious panel of judges made up of business, academic and community leaders. He received the award during the Ernst & Young 25th celebration of the program at the Houston Inter-Continental Hotel June 22 and moves on to the National Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Palm Springs, Calif., in November.

Jennifer Beckner Richard was promoted from mortgage loan coordinator to mortgage manager at MidSouth Bank. She has almost two decades of banking experience and has been with MidSouth Bank for the past 16 years. In her new role, Richard is planning and directing the overall strategy of the bank’s mortgage department and is responsible for corporate administration of all mortgage banking functions. Richard was replaced as mortgage loan coordinator by Bridget Bourque. She is providing support to the bank’s mortgage loan officers and working to develop new mortgage lending business in the Lafayette area. For the past 15 years, Bourque ran Rayne State Bank’s Mortgage Department and has 20 years of experience in the field. Additionally, MidSouth Bank announced the return of a familiar face. Mark W. Thibodeaux, a 27-year banking veteran, has rejoined the bank as business development officer. Thibodeaux, who spent the past seven years as senior VP for retail at Farmers Merchants Bank, worked in retail and later as a commercial loan officer at MidSouth Bank from 1987 to 2004. Thibodeaux studied business communications at UL Lafayette and completed the Louisiana Bankers Association’s Bankers School of Supervisory Training in 2002.

Jody Soileau, an economic development specialist at SLEMCO, is now a Louisiana Certified Economic Development Professional, a designation awarded by the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association. Soileau has worked for the utility for nearly 29 years in operations, marketing and economic development. The criteria for certification included four years of experience as an economic development professional, extensive coursework and both written and oral exams. Over the last few years, SLEMCO has increased its focus on helping local communities recruit and retain industry; the company notes that Soileau’s certification reflects its desire to be an even better resource for those efforts. The LIDEA’s program is designed for economic development professionals, chamber of commerce staff, elected officials, and local civic leaders.

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