(MANDEVILLE, La) – Six businesses and individuals received awards from the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation (STEDF) Monday at their annual luncheon, where STEDF CEO Brenda Bertus also detailed the organization’s highlights and achievements from 2014.
The luncheon was sponsored by CLECO, Express Employment Professionals, Gulf States Real Estate Services and Slidell Memorial Hospital and held at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell. More than 250 local community leaders attended.
STEDF’s Annual Report
“At the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation, we believe that growth – specifically economic growth – benefits everyone with a stake in our community,” Bertus said. “We believe residents’ lives improve when the economy grows… After all, the more opportunities we can establish here, the more enticing our parish becomes.”
In 2014, STEDF completed 13 projects, generating $54.3 million in investments and representing the retention of 276 jobs and the creation of 315 new jobs. STEDF performed 112 retention visits representing over 7,891 existing jobs and 300 new jobs.
Every dollar spent by STEDF in 2014 resulted in a $100 economic impact and generated $36 in new wages for St. Tammany Parish residents, amounting to a $74.9 million economic impact for the year.
Bruce Clement, chairman of the STEDF board of directors, said, “Our goals for the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation in 2014 focused largely on improved communications and internal growth. With the guidance and support of our valued board, this organization satisfied each of those goals.”
For more information about STEDF’s operations in 2014, view the annual report released Monday on their website.
- Dr. William Wainwright received the STEDF Innovator of the Year award.
This award is given to a local St. Tammany business or business leader who displays a commitment to the implementation of technology and innovation in product or service process or design, developing new technology, creating opportunities for innovation in the workplace and utilizing related industry to develop innovation clusters and knowledge sharing.
Wainwright currently serves as the chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College.
Bertus said, “(Wainwright) is a champion for higher education, skills training and knowledge building on the Northshore and advocates for collaborative partnerships between education, industry and economic development to create opportunities for real, positive change in our region. The new STEM and Advanced Technology facilities in Lacombe will be an incredible addition to the NTCC network in the near future.”
- MedKoder received the STEDF Entrepreneur of the Year award.
This award is given to an individual entrepreneur or group of entrepreneurs who are committed to the growth of an entrepreneurial community in St. Tammany and dedicate their time and talents to foster entrepreneurial activity within our community.
Bertus said, “MedKoder is a medical coding services and technology firm headquartered in Mandeville. The dynamic MedKoder team is committed to technology innovation, software development and recruiting highly skilled employees. The team also participates regularly in our Workforce Development Series and Entrepreneurship Roundtable to contribute and learn from the larger business and industry community here in St. Tammany.”
- Pelican Energy Consultants received the STEDF Expansion Project of the Year award.
This award is given to a local St. Tammany business who launched a major expansion project during the 2014 calendar year. Criteria includes, but is not limited to, facility expansion, job retention, job creation, service or product expansion, market share or reach expansion, facility expansion or creation, and capital investment.
Bertus said, “A comprehensive engineering and project management services in the energy industry, Pelican Energy Consultants completed an expansion at their Madisonville corporate headquarters retaining 133 jobs, creating over 100 new jobs, and investing $5 million in capital expenditures. We have worked with this accomplished company from the beginning, and we are so glad that they have yet again chosen St. Tammany as the premier location for their business.”
- Rain CII received the STEDF Economic Development Project of the Year award.
This award is given to the all-around most successful project completed during the 2014 calendar year. Criteria includes, but is not limited to, job creation, capital investment, new technology, new or expanding sectors in our area, and success rate following the opening of the business in St. Tammany.
Bertus said, “This year, Rain CII opened the doors to their corporate office in Covington. The global leader in calcined petroleum coke relocated from Houston, creating 71 new jobs and investing $4.6 million dollars in capital expenditures. We are thrilled to have Rain CII as a member of our St. Tammany business community.”
- Adams and Reese LLP received the STEDF Economic Development Partner of the Year award.
This award is given to a community or business partner who maximizes the opportunities for economic development in St. Tammany. This business or organization is one who understands the value of economic development, community development, entrepreneurship and workforce development within St. Tammany and provides or creates opportunities for enhancements and/or new developments in these arenas.
Bertus said, “The team members of Adams and Reese LLP are experts in contracts, project management and finance. They are deeply passionate about economic development, having one of their own serve as the 2013 chair of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, the professional organization for economic developers in the state. The Adams and Reese team is a valuable asset to Louisiana and an incredible partner to the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation.”
- Dr. Ivan J. Miestchovich, Jr. received the STEDF Chairman’s Economic Development Advocate of the Year award.
This award is given by the Chairperson of the Foundation Board to a person in the St. Tammany community who works tirelessly for the continued growth, development and enhancement of our economy and community for the benefit of our community and its residents.
Clement said, “Regarded as a regional leader in economic development, real estate and finance, (Miestchovich) is an internationally Certified Economic Developer who has led the Center for Economic Development at the University of New Orleans since 1979, was the Founding Director of UNO’s Small Business Development Center and the Louisiana International Trade Center, and has assisted a wide range of local communities as well as regional and state organizations throughout Louisiana in formulating economic development strategies. Most recently, Ivan served as the Director of the Institute for Economic Development & Real Estate Research, Associate Professor of Finance, and the Max Derbes III Professor in Real Estate at the University of New Orleans.”
“Every year, we are honored to recognize publicly the organizations and the people who help St. Tammany grow,” Bertus said. “We excel at connecting new businesses with all the best avenues for growth, but we would not be as successful without our partnerships and the support of these enterprising minds.”