» The Vermilion Economic Development Alliance (VEDA) relies on contributions from public and private donors, and this year VEDA adds local employer Kaptel to their list of supporters. Over the last seven years, donated funds have been utilized by VEDA to facilitate a comprehensive existing business assistance program, host professional development sessions, support community projects, and represent the parish on a regional and national level. For more details on the organization and their services, visit developvermilion.org.
» A&A Appliance Center in New Iberia organized a giveaway for local essential workers who went above and beyond during the COVID pandemic. Seven winners were selected, and each received a $250 prize package. Recipients of this recognition (and pictured left to right) are Cherrise Picard, Stacey Baudoin, Kathy Gauthreaux, (Richard Pellerin from A&A Appliance), Kasey Dautreuil, Lisa Duhon, and (Emily Barron from A&A Appliance). Giveaway recipients not pictured are Anne Prentiss and Korie LeBlanc. Each was nominated by someone who had first-hand knowledge of their contribution to the community during the difficult months of the pandemic.
»Bayou Teche Museum is currently free for the military through a program that began on Armed Forces Day, May 15, and ends on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6. Free admission is available for those in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. The complete list of participating museums is available at Arts.gov/BlueStarMuseums.
» On June 8, Louisiana lawmakers formally honored Acadian Ambulance’s contributions to the state over the past 50 years. A resolution, which was presented by Senators Gerald Boudreaux and Barrow Peacock, was read in both the House of Representatives and Senate. A portion of the resolution stated, “Whereas, Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc. has been in continuous operation since September 1, 1971 ... through hurricanes, floods, ice storms and, now, a pandemic. Therefore, be it resolved that the Senate of the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby commend and congratulate Acadian Companies for 50 years of service to the citizens of Louisiana.” Following the presentation in each chamber, members of the House and Senate shared comments and remarks on Acadian’s history and contribution to their communities.
» In June, REALTOR Association of Acadiana, an organization that provides real estate resources and services for realtors throughout Acadiana, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new office location, 234 Rue Beauregard in Lafayette. Founded in 1947, the REALTOR Association of Acadiana is the leading advocate of the real estate industry in Acadiana. They serve six parishes throughout the area, including Lafayette, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Landry, Acadia and Vermilion Parish. For more information, contact Sara Bourque at 225-614-5365, or visit realtoracadiana.com.
» On June 17, the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce (pictured) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Broussard Health Solutions at its newest location at 111 W. Main Street in New Iberia. The Chamber also held ribbon cuttings for Misfits Dine & Drink (200 Heritage Parkway, Broussard) on June 23, Anointed Soul Food (1501 South Iberia Street, New Iberia) on July 8 and Oh Ship! (1110 Center Street, New Iberia) on July 13.
» In June, local developer Guidry Land Development, along with The Gleason Group Real Estate & Development Company, announced that a premier new commercial development was coming to Downtown Lafayette, offering executive suites by floor called Seven16 Lafayette Tower. Located in Downtown Lafayette at 716 Lafayette Street, this
$140 million upcoming luxury development will be 20 stories tall with a balanced mix of commercial and residential opportunities. For more details, visit Seven16LafayetteTower.com.
» In 1936, a Harlem postal worker named Victor Green published a book that was part travel guide and part survival guide, which would go on to become a vital companion for African-American motorists. It was called The Negro Motorist Green Book and it helped travelers navigate safe passage across America well into the 1960s. The Bayou Teche Museum will explore some of the segregated nation’s safe havens and notorious “sundown towns” and witness stories of struggle and indignity, as well as opportunity
and triumph. In partnership with The Iberia African American Historical Society and Shadows-on-the-Teche, the museum offers a month of reflection on this way of life for many fellow citizens in the segregated south, including New Iberia, with events on August 9, 21 and 28. For more details, call 337-606-5977 or visit BayouTecheMuseum.org.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
» In June, Teche Center for the Arts (TCA) welcomed Breaux Bridge native Jeanne McBride to the TCA executive staff as the new TCA Executive Director. McBride brings many gifts and talents, along with her background as a lawyer, to this leadership role. She is excited to step forward in the job and is inspired to lead with her heart to address the needs of the community that TCA can meet, by serving as the principal cultural, arts, music, education, and historical center for residents and tourists of St. Martin Parish and beyond. Folks are welcome to stop by TCA at 210 E. Bridge Street, downtown Breaux Bridge, to say hello and wish McBride the best in her new position.
» Lennie Fields has been a part of the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce for almost a decade now, and is currently serving as First Vice Chairperson of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Chairperson for the largest tourism event in Iberia Parish- the World Championship Gumbo CookOff. Fields was recently promoted to the position of Community Development Officer of iBERIABANK, in addition to providing business and commercial loans at iBERIABANK. This position not only involves growing Iberia Parish’s economy by connecting a local bank to businesses that will invest in the Parish, but
representing iBERIABANK within the community. Years of being engaged in the Chamber, various community activities, and her work within the bank have aligned to make Fields the most eligible candidate for this position.
» After serving as assistant principal for the last nine years, Layne Edelman has been named the new principal of Acadiana High School. During her tenure as an assistant principal, Edelman has helped to transform Acadiana High from a “D” to a “B,” and is eager to continue efforts to make it an “A” school. Prior to her work there, she taught social studies as a classroom teacher at Ovey Comeaux High School for five years. Edelman is a graduate of Lafayette High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in secondary social studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2011 she completed a master of education degree in educational leadership through the American College of Education.
» In July, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana (BGCA) announced that Missy Andrade has been named the first Chief Impact Officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Louisiana. As Chief Impact Officer, Andrade is responsible for leading the organization to carry out the Boys & Girls Clubs mission statewide and grow the reach and influence of the Boys & Girls Clubs
in Louisiana. Her role will include fundraising and marketing to raise awareness of the work and mission of the organization. Additionally, Andrade will serve on the Executive Committee for each Boys & Girls Clubs chapter. Andrade has served as CEO of Boys & Girls Club in Acadiana over the past three years, overseeing operations in St. Landry, Iberia, Vermilion, and Lafayette parishes.
» In July, Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel announced that Noel France, a native of Thibodaux has been named the casino’s Director of Food & Beverage. France began his Food & Beverage career at the age of 17 when he started working at Flanagan’s Restaurant in Thibodaux. He attended Nicholls State University and McNeese State University, but his calling remained in the food and beverage industry. Noel says he enjoys working in the field because he finds it challenging and ever-changing. In his new position, France will work to develop new creative food concepts on property and oversee all food and beverage operations. France will assume his new role immediately.