Bayou DeSiard Title Company, MOEbiz, Wagner Logistics, and Graphic Packaging International were honored with Thomas H. Scott Awards of Excellence during a reception held June 4 at the Monroe Civic Center.
In addition, three businesses received special judge’s awards.
The selections came from forty-seven nominations for the prestigious awards, which honors companies making significant contributions to the Ouachita parish economy through capital improvements, expansion, job creation, and community involvement during 2018/2019. This year’s nominees collectively employ 4,165 people in Ouachita Parish and made capital investments of over $291 million.
Bayou DeSiard Title Company won the award in the category for small businesses (10 employees or less). The real estate title company provides services in connection with all types of real estate transactions. Gene Hastings, attorney and owner originally opened the company in 1997. To accommodate the growth at Bayou Desiard Title Company, Gene invested $850,000 to build a new office at 417 North 3rd Street in downtown Monroe. Gene has coached several athletic teams, served on the boards of the Monroe Youth Baseball Association, Grace Episcopal and St. Frederick High school.
The winner of the medium business category (11-50 employees) was MOEbiz. Monroe Office Equipment, now known as MOEbiz, was started in 1923 by Armand Breard and currently owned by Chap and Ann Breard. MOEbiz sells, services, and installs office furniture and machines throughout the entire state of Louisiana as well as other multiple states. In 2017/2018, MOEbiz purchased The File Depot and Stuart’s of El Dorado/North LA. With a capital investment of $1.6
million, the combined company moved to its newly renovated location at 2318 Armand Connector. MOEbiz supports North LA Economic Partnership, the Boy Scouts, Ouachita Business Association and the Ouachita River Valley Animal League.
Recognized as the large business winner (51 to 100 employees) was Wagner Logistics. The logistics company was founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1945 and opened in Monroe in 2018 with an investment of $34 million. Headed by Jacob Frugé, Warehouse Manager, Wagner Logistics sorts, ships and receives inventory for Graphic Packaging. The company has eighty-six employees in Monroe. Wagner’s employees are selfless givers. Their first United Way of NELA campaign yielded a 51% employee participation rate. They plan to participate in the United Way’s Read Learn Succeed program.
The corporate business of the year award (Over 100 employees) was presented to Graphic Packaging International. Graphic Packaging has been a significant employer in Ouachita Parish for almost 100 years. In 2018, with a $170 million investment, the company opened the world’s largest carton converting facility in terms of production in Monroe. They employ 350 people. Graphic Packaging supports the United Way of NELA, in addition to serving on their board of directors. Graphic Packaging has also partnered with Monroe City Schools, Ouachita Parish Schools and Louisiana Delta Community College.
The Spirit of Community Award was presented to KTVE-KARD. In 2018, Randy Stone, General Manager, and his Weather Team purchased a $1.3 million state of the art Baron Doppler Radar System. This cutting edge technology revolutionizes how their station’s weather team tracks severe weather by providing real time severe weather tracking information that is precise down to street level. This technology proved especially important during the recent tornados throughout Northeast Louisiana. KTVE-KARD supports the community through live streamed political debates, presentations, and education forums. The station helps countless non-profits in the region by promoting their events. Randy Stone serves on the board of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, and the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. KTVE-KARD sponsored dozens of causes throughout the region from the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway to Health Care Heroes.
The Spirit of Life Award was presented to Acadian Ambulance Service. The business was founded in Lafayette, LA with eight returning Vietnam veterans with medic experience and two ambulances. In January, the ambulance service opened in Ouachita parish with an investment of $6.8 million and created135 jobs. The service has a dispatch center, a helicopter, 23 ambulance units, and serves as the 911 provider for ambulance service. Acadian Ambulance provides emergent and non-emergent transport and has expanded across Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Acadian Ambulance is committed to assisting Louisiana Delta Community College with their EMT and paramedic training programs. Taylor Richard is the Operations Manager for Acadian Ambulance Service.
The Spirit of Resiliency Award was presented to The Salvation Army of Northeast Louisiana in Monroe. The organization has been serving people in need throughout Northeast Louisiana since 1927.