2022 Louisiana Small Business Award Winners Honored at Capitol Park Ceremony

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized business owners and supporters who exemplify Louisiana’s entrepreneurial resilience and diversity at the 2022 Louisiana Small Business Awards ceremony Thursday at the Louisiana Capitol Park Museum.

”This is one of my favorite annual events, as it is a night for us to celebrate the Louisiana small business owners, who have given so much to our state and our communities, and who are the backbone of Louisiana’s economy,” LED Secretary Don Pierson told the more than 200 invited guests. “Tonight’s event is particularly special, the first time in two years that we are able to gather in person to celebrate leaders who have given back to your communities while growing your businesses.”

Pierson noted that in 2021, LED and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network served 18,408 small businesses and individuals, resulting in 1,126 new jobs, 2,874 retained jobs and the launch of 164 new businesses representing more than $83 million in capital formation.

“Sustaining business stability and growth has never been more challenging than in these last few years,” Gov. John Bel Edwards told attendees in a video address. “On behalf of the state which you so lovingly support, it gives me great pleasure to honor the Small Business Award recipients whose skill, determination, resourcefulness and optimism embody the heart and soul of our state.”

The Small Business Awards recognize excellence in a broad range of categories. The 2022 honorees are:

2022 SBA Champion Award Recipients       

8(a) Graduate of the Year
Keith O’Neil Porta, APC Construction, LLC, Harvey

Entrepreneurial Success Award
Brittney Dunn, Brittney Dunn CPA, LLC, Shreveport

Minority Small Business Champion
Fallon Evans, Skye’s Janitorial, LLC, New Orleans

Veteran Small Business of the Year
Dr. Carla Antoine, Life Towne Center for Veterans, Boutte

Women’s Business Champion
Willie C. Johnson and Kimberly Bardell, WCJ Consultants, LLC, Baton Rouge

Young Entrepreneurs of the Year
Avery Bell, Jared Johnson, Corey McCoy and Tre’Jan Vinson, KOK Consolidated, LLC, Lafayette

SBDC Excellence & Innovation Center Award
Heidi Melancon and Jimmy Nguyen, LSBDC at Nicholls State University, Thibodaux

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to a Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer
Howie Kaplan, The Howlin’ Wolf, New Orleans

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to a Disaster Recovery by a Public Official
Mayor Nic E. Hunter, Lake Charles

2022 LED Entrepreneur Awards

LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year
Lameika Washington, Diamond Security Services Inc., Baton Rouge

LED Outstanding Small and Emerging Business Development Graduate Award
Elizabeth Shephard, LifeCity, L3C, New Orleans

LEDC Bank of the Year
Hartley Crunk, Hancock Whitney, New Orleans

Hudson and Veteran Champions
Commissioner Jim Donelon, Department of Insurance
Major General D. Keith Waddell, Department of Military Affairs
Casey Tingle, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center Contractor of the Year
Justin Reeves, Justin J. Reeves, LLC, Houma

Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana Small Manufacturer’s Award
Leondard Carmouche, EME Company, Prairieville

National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Champion Award
Clint and Danny Graham, Lincoln Builders, Ruston

USDA Rural Development Lender of the Year
Derek Chaisson, United Community Bank, Raceland

USDA Rural Development Borrower of the Year
Richard Hope, Advanced Welding School, LLC, Walker

Louisiana Small Business Person of the Year
Craig A. Stevens, Genesis 360, LLC, Baton Rouge

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