News | June 2016

Jennings-based JD Bank has announced the hire of Kevin Piker as the community bank’s vice president commercial/agricultural lender. Piker has more than 16 years of experience in the banking industry and has lived in Lafayette for a decade. He will serve at JD Bank’s Verot School Road branch.


The Lafayette-based parent company of Home Bank has been named to the Russell 3000® Index, an industry-leading measurement of the performance of the 3,000 largest US-traded stocks based on market capitalization. Russell US Indexes are the leading US equity benchmarks for institutional investors.


A joint project to build a $5 million solar power lab and generator on campus will make UL Lafayette one the latest American universities to foray into renewable energy. Funded by energy giant NRG Energy, five acres of green space at UL’s Research Park will host a phalanx of solar panels that will reduce the university’s use of fossil energy by 10 percent. Students and faculty will study solar technologies at the newly dubbed Photovoltaic Applied Research and Testing Laboratory, providing valuable measurables to the energy industry and an educated solar power workforce.

In a feature focused on workforce training, Business Facilities showcased two Louisiana programs working to combat the growing skilled-labor gap in the U.S.

The piece, "Workforce Training: Engineering A Skilled Workforce" highlighted, "Louisiana’s FastStart program, which has perennially topped our annual ranking as the gold standard for state workforce training initiatives, continues to upgrade its services.

Investing time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life in the communities Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) serves has led to nationwide recognition of the company by The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light. The Civic 50 sets the standard for corporate civic engagement and annually determines the most community-minded companies in the country. Points of Light is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.


Attracting top talent is key to regional economic development. The more an area grows, the stronger, more productive, and diverse its economic base can become. Businesses benefit as applicant pools expand, performance levels accelerate, and improving bottom lines strengthen their ability to compete.  

It’s tough to stay relevant in a constantly changing competitive market, even when your company makes 145-year-old iconic products recognized around the world.

Tony Simmons, 65, CEO of the McIlhenny Company, producer of TABASCO brand products, shared some of the company’s challenges and strategies Thursday morning at Café Vermilionville.

Simmons was invited to be the first guest of One Acadiana’s new conversation series “Lessons from the Corner Office.”

One Acadiana received an award of Communication Excellence from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), a national organization whose missions is to support and develop chamber professionals to lead businesses and their communities. 

The advertising campaign, which tells Acadiana's story as a place where a homegrown workforce, unique workspaces, and unmatched quality of life make the region the right place to do business, was developed by 1A in close coordination with local economic development professionals and a local marketing firm, Calzone and Associates. 

Running the family-owned enterprise that makes Tabasco Sauce remains a challenge, even after nearly 150 years of using the tried-and-true ingredients and processes that have made the iconic brand the No. 1 hot sauce in the world.

The challenges include coming up with innovative strategies to promote the Louisiana-made sauce and other Tabasco products in today’s market, said Tony Simmons, president and CEO of McIlhenny Company and a descendent of company founder Edmund McIlhenny.

One Acadiana launched “Lessons from the Corner Office,” a new speaker series, on Thursday, June 23, with a crowd of nearly 60 business and community leaders across the nine-parish region. Bringing his insight on thriving in a competitive marketplace was guest speaker Tony Simmons, CEO of McIlhenny Company, maker of TABASCO brand products.


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