2023 Louisiana Small Business Award Winners Honored at Capitol Park Ceremony

2023 Louisiana Small Business Award Winners Honored at Capitol Park Ceremony

LED and Small Business Administration salute ‘the backbone of Louisiana’s economy’

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 2023 Louisiana Small Business Awards ceremony Wednesday at the Louisiana Capitol Park Museum.

Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development“The tenacity and resourcefulness of small business owners create jobs and foster innovation statewide. It is gratifying to be able to thank them for all that they do,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said.

Pierson noted that in 2022, LED and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network served 15,786 small businesses and individuals, resulting in 1,047 new jobs, 1,460 retained jobs and the launch of 160 new businesses representing more than $97 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 of Louisiana, it gives me great pleasure to honor the Small Business Award recipients whose skill, determination, resourcefulness and optimism embody the best of Louisiana’s business community. Congratulations, and thank you for making Louisiana a better place to live, work and grow a business.”

The Small Business Awards recognize excellence in a broad range of categories. The 2023 honorees are:

2023 SBA Champion Award Recipients

8(a) Graduate of the Year
Joaneane Smith, Global Commerce & Services, LLC, Harvey

Entrepreneurial Success Award
Oscar G. Chimal, Los Jefes Grill, Metairie

Minority Small Business Champion
Troy and Alfonza Bolden, Cajun Nation Cajun Seasoning Co., Lafayette

Lender of the Year
Alton K. McRee, Ying Neel and Christian Sather, American Bank, Covington

Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Kolette Ditta and Lindsey Marcell, Tony Mandina’s Restaurant, Gretna

Veteran Small Business Champion
Craig A. Stevens, Genesis 360, LLC, Baton Rouge

Women’s Business Champion
Luz Lobos, Synergy Design Group, New Orleans

SBDC Excellence & Innovation Center Award
Ada Womack-Bell, LSBDC at Southern University, Baton Rouge

Phoenix Small Business Recovery Award
Tyson Grenzebach and Cathy Brady, Landlocked Aviation Services, Lake Charles

2023 LED Entrepreneur Awards

LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year
Sherilyn Hayward, Leroy’s Lipsmack’n Lemonade, Baton Rouge

LED Outstanding Small and Emerging Business Development Graduate Award
Lakeisha Robichaux, Chief of Minds, Baton Rouge

LED Resiliency Award
Pamela Allen, Elite Affairs LLC, LaPlace

LEDC Bank of the Year
Cindy Bourne, Citizens Savings Bank, Covington

Hudson and Veteran Champions
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
Secretary of State and the Office of Juvenile Justice

Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center Contractor of the Year
Darrin Elliott, Sr. and Ian Kennard, Elliott Security Solutions, New Orleans

Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana Small Manufacturer’s Award
Lisa Gainey Roache and Sandy Marshall, Gainey’s Concrete Products, Holden

National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Champion Award
Courtney Davis, Bart’s Office, New Orleans

USDA Rural Development Lender of the Year
Scott Schilling, First Guaranty Bank, Hammond

USDA Rural Development Borrower of the Year
Joey Lombardo, Southland Steel Fabricators, Greensburg

Louisiana Small Business Person of the Year
Karen Williams, NOLA Steele Fabrication and Erection, Harvey

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