BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development and the National Federation of Independent Business in Louisiana announced Jefferson Parish businessman Mike Mitternight will succeed Baton Rouge businesswoman Patricia Felder as chairman of the statewide LED Small Business Advisory Council. LED and NFIB established the council in 2010 for the purpose of advising LED and state officials about issues affecting the competitiveness of small businesses in Louisiana. The council consists of a diverse group of small business owners representing each region of the state.
Felder, who owns Felder’s Collision Parts in Baton Rouge, had guided the Small Business Advisory Council since its inception and turned over leadership of the group to Mitternight at a recent SBAC meeting. A longtime member of the council, Mitternight is owner and president of Factory Service Agency Inc., a small business based in Metairie, Louisiana, that specializes in commercial air conditioning service and construction.
“I want to thank Pat Felder for her invaluable public service in leading the SBAC through its initial years, a time in which important work has been accomplished addressing issues that affect Louisiana’s small businesses,” LED Secretary Stephen Moret said. “Among the council’s key contributions was their proposal to construct the LED Incentive Evaluator, which allows businesses to see online which incentive programs they’re eligible for and the estimated tax benefits they might receive. I’m delighted that Mike Mitternight will continue the great leadership we’ve seen with the LED Small Business Advisory Council, where he has been a valued member and has long been an important voice for small businesses in our state.”
In addition to operating his company, Mitternight serves as a member of multiple business and government organizations, including the National Federation of Independent Business, the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Small Business Association and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He is a past chairman of LABI and served as chairman of a state task force charged with reformulating the Louisiana Department of Labor into the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
SBAC members and LED officials continue to identify and work on issues that impact small businesses: for example, access to capital; coordination of small business support among federal, state and local agencies; and continued reduction of red tape that affects small businesses in the regulatory environment. Insights provided by SBAC members help LED develop strategies to address some of the barriers that small businesses face and to advance policies and programs that make small businesses more competitive.
“NFIB asked Louisiana Economic Development to establish the council to give small business owners a greater voice in Louisiana,” said State Director Dawn Starns of NFIB in Louisiana. “This council enables small business owners to have a say in rules and regulations, workforce development, taxes and other issues that affect them. We’re grateful to Secretary Moret for recognizing the need to seek input from the people whose livelihoods often depend on the department’s actions.”
Members of the LED Small Business Advisory Council include the following small business owners and small business representatives:
- Don Begneaud, Begneaud Manufacturing, Acadiana Region
- Pat Felder, Felder’s Collision Parts, Capital Region
- Mark Atwood, Atwood’s Bakery, Central Region
- Jerry Hart, Tri-State Coatings Inc., Northwest Region
- Carl Bourgeois, Al Bourgeois Plumbing & Heating Co., Southeast Region
- Randall Nachman, ATLOS LLC, Capital Region
- Karen Carter-Victor, KCK Trucking Services Inc., Southeast Region
- Lavonzell Nicholson, Play NOLA Sports and Entertainment Group, Southeast Region
- Lee Vorisek, Alta Max, Southeast Region
- Tim Daniels, Northeast Region
- Mike Mitternight, Factory Service Agency, Southeast Region
- David Ashley, F & R Air Conditioning, Acadiana Region
- Celia Case, Southwest Call Center Inc., Southwest Region
- Sam Lusco, Sams Audio, Bayou Region
- Cassie Felder, Cassie Felder & Associates LLC, Capital Region
- John Overton, Turnkey Solutions, Capital Region
- Renee Amar, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
- Dawn Starns, National Federation of Independent Business.