Monday, 16 July 2018 20:51

Honoring top Louisiana Business leaders: LABI's call for Free Enterprise Awards nominees

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by Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

Every now and then, it is important to take the time to reflect on those who deserve some recognition and appreciation.
 
I for one feel blessed that I have a loving family, supportive friends and am surrounded daily by hardworking and talented coworkers. I want each of them to know how grateful I am for all that they do.
 
The last several months, we at LABI have worked daily with an army of elected officials and other dedicated public servants to try and solve the state’s policy challenges affecting Louisiana’s business community. While we agree with some and disagree with others, I want to say thank you to all of them for their commitment to Louisiana and their willingness to offer themselves up for public service.


 
I am honored to serve on a few non-profit boards that oversee organizations that focus each day on providing services in our community. The Emerge Center is a nationally recognized facility in Baton Rouge that provides cutting-edge ABA therapy to children on the autism spectrum and will soon add elementary education to that roster of services. Baton Rouge Cristo Rey Franciscan High School is meeting the need for college preparatory curriculum and real-world internship options for children in North Baton Rouge. I express my heartfelt appreciation to the faculty, students and parents involved in each facility for their efforts to make a difference in so many lives.
 
My neighbors are good people who are welcoming, kind to my family and work hard to raise their children the right way. Quite a few coaches and mentors have donated time and energy to help shape the skills and develop the work ethic my sons will need to be successful in life. The priests and my fellow parishioners at St. Aloysius Church have created a spiritual environment that inspires me and helps my family grow in our collective journey for a well-rounded life focused on God’s teachings. I thank them all for their presence and many efforts big and small.
 
That is my list. I am sure you have your own. I am equally as sure your list would appreciate hearing a thank you every now and then just as much as my list probably does.
 
In the business world, we at LABI started an annual effort a few years ago to recognize and say thank you to those employers and business partners that demonstrate exemplary commitment and make positive contributions to Louisiana’s business climate and their local communities. This effort is known as the Free Enterprise Awards and the nomination process for these awards is now officially open. To make a nomination, please go HERE and let us know who should be considered.
 
Categories for these awards include:
The Ed Steimel Achievement Award, honoring long-standing membership in and service to LABI and recognizes individuals who have committed extraordinary time and effort to improve the quality of life in Louisiana.
Free Enterprise Champions, honoring individuals who demonstrate exemplary commitment and contributions to the state’s business climate and their local communities. This category includes recognitions for businessperson and young businessperson (under age 40) of the year.
Companies of the year, recognizing outstanding achievement among Louisiana companies. Categories include companies with less than 100 employees and separately those with more than 100 employees.
Economic Development Partner(s) of the year, recognizing exceptional leadership by an economic development or business organization.
Workforce Innovator(s) of the Year, honoring individuals or organizations that have excelled in creating, implementing or supporting a high-caliber education and/or workforce development initiative aimed at closing the employment gap.
Manufacturers of the Year, recognizing manufacturer growth and community contributions in Louisiana. Categories include manufacturers with less than 100 employees and separately those with more than 100 employees.
Nominations will remain open until October 15th, and the winners in each category will be recognized at the third annual LABI Free Enterprise Awards Reception in Baton Rouge on November 15th. Please consider nominating someone deserving of consideration and then plan on joining us to celebrate their accomplishments at the reception later this year.
 
Let’s be honest… life can get pretty hectic. We all juggle a lot throughout the year, grinding each day to make a living, raise a family, be a good citizen and positively contribute to society. Throughout the year, whether you realize it or not, there are likely many others around you making efforts that deserve recognition. Maybe it is a nomination for a Free Enterprise award. Maybe it is a simple word of thanks to someone who has long deserved it. Either way, summer is a perfect time for that reflection and for taking the time to let them know you appreciate all that they do.

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