LED, SBA Honor 2016 Louisiana Small Business Award Winners

Event honors small business leaders and their contributions to Louisiana’s economy

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the 2016 Louisiana Small Business Award winners at an event honoring small business leaders who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of Louisiana. The winners were honored in a private reception at the Governor’s Mansion.

“Small businesses make big contributions to Louisiana’s success,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Ninety-seven percent of our employers in Louisiana are small businesses, and they employ more than half of the private-sector workforce in our state. From that vital constituency, we are pleased to recognize some of our most enterprising and innovative business leaders with these Small Business Awards.”

Throughout the year, LED and its partners provide a host of small business services to strengthen, retain and grow small businesses in Louisiana. During 2015, for example, LED’s Small Business Services team and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network served more than 13,400 small businesses and individuals, directly resulting in 1,472 new jobs, 947 retained jobs and the launch of 175 new businesses. Those services generated an estimated sales increase of more than $35.4 million and new debt and equity investment of $51 million for Louisiana’s small businesses. For more information about LED Small Business Services, visit

The Small Business Award program recognizes top individuals and organizations in a broad range of performance categories. Here are the 2016 Louisiana Small Business Award winners: 


Financial Services Champion:
Virendra S. Chhikara, Christina B. Davis, Jami Kay Salter
LSBDC, University of Louisiana at Monroe

Family Owned Business Champion:
Robert Romero
Three Brothers Farm Raw Sugar
New Orleans 

Minority Small Business Champion:
Iesha Jones
Direnzic Technology & Consulting LLC

Veteran Small Business Champion:
Danny Blanks, Timothy Jarquin
Pontchartrain Partners LLC
New Orleans 

Women in Business Champion:
Donna Aucoin
Aucoin & Associates

Young Entrepreneur of the Year:
Barbara Bolotte Blank
Clean Creations

Entrepreneurial Success Award:
Patricia F. Dubret
Frankonia Fine Wines LLC
New Orleans 

Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award:
Donna Little
Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University
Lake Charles  

Small Business Person of the Year:
Angela O’Byrne
Perez, A Professional Corporation
New Orleans


LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year:
David and Jessica Minton
Cypress Engineering and Development Group
Lake Charles 

LED Outstanding SEBD Graduate:
Glenda Washington
Kellie’s Sitting Services

LED Most Outstanding Business Growth:
Rick Mekdessie
e-GOV Systems
Baton Rouge 

Louisiana PTAC Contractor of the Year:
Lisa Cookmeyer
Trigon Associates LLC
New Orleans 

MEPOL Small Manufacturing Award:
Donna Vincent
Infinity Valve & Supply

NFIB Small Business Champion:
Clay Pinson
Massengale Grounds Management
Baton Rouge 

USDA Rural Development Lender of the Year:
Ken Hale
Bank of Montgomery

USDA Rural Development Borrower of the Year:
Scott Mack
IntegriCo Composites