Business and community leaders were honored Jan. 17 at the Livingston Parish Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.
The Livingston Parish Company of the Year Awards recognize companies with an area of excellence in corporate culture, being a good corporate citizen and excellence in their respective fields.
The following prizes were awarded:
Big Business of the Year
Holmes Building Materials, with a location in Denham Springs, has been named Livingston Parish Large Business of the Year for 2021.
Matthew Holmes, owner, received the award. He thanked the team for their leadership in achieving this award. Holmes employs over 170 people. The company has been in Denham Springs for 15 years.
Holmes ensures that the company remains engaged in community projects and initiatives. The company is also committed to professional development that keeps its employees up to date with the latest industry developments.
Holmes was recently recognized as Industrial Innovator and Industrial Game Changer of the Year.
Medium Business of the Year
Performance Tire and Automotive Inc. in Denham Springs received the Medium Business of the Year award.
Founder John Morse accepted the award on behalf of Ben Morse, who is the current owner of the company. John Morse founded the company and is a veteran who has continued through his years in business to support veterans. Ben has taken over the business for the past few years.
The category examines business growth, innovation, customer service and community.
The company has been based in Denham Springs since starting the business over 24 years ago.
Performance Tire and Automotive won the Big Heart Award for its auto repair work for select groups. The owners of the company are involved in the community and support the local organizations of which they are part.
Owner Ben Morse serves the wider business community in Livingston Parish and Denham Springs through his appointment to the Livingston Parish Chamber’s Back 2 Work Task Force. He is a graduate and alumnus of the Leadership Livingston program.
Small Business of the Year
Chuck’s Sportscards of Louisiana, located in Albany, won the Livingston Parish Small Business of the Year for 2021 at the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony and Annual Meeting held in Denham Springs.
Owner Chuck Raborn accepted the award on behalf of his company. He thanked the community for the support of his business and his family for their support.
“Small businesses have challenges and opportunities that are unique to the independent business sector,” said a statement read at the banquet. “Yet they are tackling the same areas of excellence as big business. This is true for Chuck’s Sportscards of Louisiana.”
The presentation said Raborn started his business over 20 years ago when he was in his early 20s and has been at his Albany location for 15 years.
“Being in a business with professional athletes, the business owner has his share of interesting stories, including a signing he arranged with Drew Brees. He has relationships with other big names in the sports industry, and several of them have visited his Albany store, he also has a location in Baton Rouge.
Raborn served on the board of the Livingston Parish Chamber and its education committee.
He sits on the St. Margaret’s Finance Committee and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
The chamber awards recognize companies with an area of excellence in corporate culture, being a good corporate citizen and excellence in their respective fields, according to the release.
New Business of the Year
Mami’s Mexican restaurant in Springfield received the Livingston Parish New Business of the Year award.
Partners Sandy Dennis, Israel Miranda and Denisse Valezco accepted the award. Dennis said she was overwhelmed with the acceptance from the Springfield community and customers beyond the restaurant.
April Wehrs, Speaker of the Chamber, announced the winner and said, “Opening a restaurant during these difficult years is remarkable. Successfully opening one is a true testament to business partners and their knowledge of the industry.
Within 10 days of opening, the owners of Mami faced Hurricane Ida and were forced to close as the east side of the parish was particularly hard hit by the storm.
“Going on, they were embraced by a community that was eager for a thriving new business of this caliber. In the restaurant industry, success in food, service and price tells the story, and that “It’s a hit. Locals love this place, plus it attracts people from other areas,” Wehrs said.
The New Business of the Year award is given to businesses that opened in the current year.
Community Impact Award
The French Settlement Playground has been announced as the Community Impact Award for 2021.
The award is for an organization, project or action of significance to the Livingston Parish community.
In 2021, a project hits all the marks to fill a need in a community that doesn’t typically get that kind of attention, according to a chamber press release. It has been many years since the south end of Livingston Parish has seen such a project, the news release said.
The project began when a group was assigned through members of the Livingston Leadership Class of 2020. Each group must come up with a community project, and that group chose the playground.
The project was a collaboration of businesses, local governments and individuals who contributed funds to make the playground a reality. The location of the playground belongs to the French colonization government.
The Playground project was finalized and came into being at a time when outdoor play was being heavily supported in response to COVID-19.
The project started in 2020 with the group Leadership Livingston Project and came to fruition in 2021.
Members of the Leadership Livingston Project Group were recognized for their work on the project and include: Todd Price, Holmes Building Materials; Vanissa Murphy, Quality Engineering; Chasity Chauvin, Livingston Parish Public Schools; Sandy Teal, Clerk of Livingston Parish Council; Jeremy Aydell, owner, Sport Clips franchisee; Jeanette Clark, City of Denham Springs; and Timothy ‘Joel’ Stern, Our Lady of the Lake.