BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development honored 10 companies as 2020 Louisiana Growth Leaders this week in a program featuring Gov. John Bel Edwards and LED Secretary Don Pierson. Staged online Thursday night, Spotlight Louisiana 2020 is an annual event celebrating second-stage businesses in the LED Growth Network.
“This year has brought with it extraordinary challenges, but with challenges come opportunities,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Each of these honorees has persevered as a strong and vibrant small business. You exemplify the best of what Louisiana has to offer, and I look forward to your continued success in the years to come.”
Cited for their community involvement and business success, the 2020 Louisiana Growth Leaders are:
- Ballard Brands of Covington | Peter Boylan III, president
- Engineering & Inspection Services LLC of Metairie | Joseph Brinz, co-founder and CEO
- ISOMAG Corp. of Baton Rouge | Stephen Dawson, president and CEO
- ITinspired of Baton Rouge | Robert Wise, owner and CEO
- LogoJET Inc. of Lafayette | Susan Cox, CEO/president and founder
- MasteryPrep of Baton Rouge | Craig Gehring, founder and CEO
- Neighbors of West Monroe | Meryl Kennedy Farr, CEO and owner
- Pod Pack International of Baton Rouge | Tom Martin, president and CEO
- ThreeSixtyEight of Baton Rouge | Kenny Nguyen, CEO and co-founder
- Westport Linen Services of Baton Rouge | Eddie Lefeaux, CEO
“Investing in entrepreneurship and growing our small business community are key missions here at LED,” Secretary Don Pierson said. “We will continue to help small businesses achieve their growth goals and realize success. The 2020 Louisiana Growth Leaders class and the outstanding finalists are a great testament to that success.”
Louisiana Growth Leaders are selected by economic development professionals from across the state. A panel evaluates applications on growth, strategy, innovation, leadership, culture, philanthropy and intangibles. Another 21 finalists were recognized at Spotlight Louisiana 2020. Detailed information about the winners and finalists can be found in Louisiana’s Entrepreneurial Engine 2020.
Created in 2017, the LED Growth Network consists of more than 425 companies from all eight Louisiana regions. Members are second-stage businesses — those that are beyond the startup stage, poised for growth, but not yet mature — and they collectively account for over $3.3 billion in annual sales and employ 15,600 people. Louisiana small businesses enter the LED Growth Network by participating in the department’s suite of second-stage programming, which includes strategic research, peer learning, leadership retreats and more.
At the inaugural Spotlight Louisiana event in 2018, President Dan Wyant of the Michigan-based Edward Lowe Foundation described Louisiana as a “national model for entrepreneurship” because of the LED Growth Network and related programs. He also addressed the virtual Spotlight Louisiana 2020 event.
“Congratulations to the 2020 Louisiana Growth Leaders,” Wyant said. “You not only possess the superpowers of innovation and ingenuity but also resilience. Your ability to transform your businesses and impact your industries has never been more important than during today’s challenging times.”
Applications will be accepted for the 2021 Louisiana Growth Leaders class from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. All LED Growth Network companies are eligible to apply. For more information about the LED Growth Network, Spotlight Louisiana or Louisiana Growth Leaders, contact Assistant Director of Small Business Services Christopher Cassagne at [email protected] or 225.342.5882.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 9,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.