Bob Jacobs, president and chief executive officer of YMCA of the Capital Area, was presented the John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Non-Profit Management Award during the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s annual meeting.

Patty McMurray, a partner at Adams and Reese, received the D. Jensen Holliday Award from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber for her leadership and exemplary service to the organization’s board in 2014 and dedication to economic growth of the Baton Rouge area.

McMurray served as the 2014 chairwoman of BRAC’s Education Issue Council and as the board’s general counsel. She worked with BRAC staff to craft legislation to improve K-12 education within the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System.

The Greater Baton Rouge Society for Human Resource Management received the Society for Human Resource Management’s EXCEL Platinum Award for the chapter’s accomplishments in 2014.

The award recognizes activities and initiatives that enhance the human resources profession. The award can be earned at four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The Louisiana Master Farmer Program received the Louisiana Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Educator of the Year Award.

The federation cited the program’s effectiveness with helping farmers in their conservation efforts. This involves a partnership between the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association and the Louisiana Farm Bureau.

Three individuals were recognized as Louisiana Living Legends during the fifth annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. They are Bobby R. Phills, program director for the Science Center and professor in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, and former dean and research director of the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences at Southern; Freddie Johnson, of Baton Rouge, a retired Southern University food and nutrition professor; and Elvadus Fields, of St. Joseph, a retired county agent and farm management specialist at Southern.

The Louisiana Living Legends Award recognizes individuals with ties to the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center for their years of service.

Phills helped create the Beginning Agricultural Youth Opportunities Unlimited Summer Enrichment Program, which exposed hundreds of high school students across Louisiana to careers in agricultural sciences.

Johnson’s activities included sensory evaluation and establishing a staff sensory panel, design of a food research sensory evaluation area and a home economics space utilization study. Her research included the palatability of “rabbit nuggets” and other alternative food products for families with limited resources.

Fields has been a supporter of the SU Livestock Show and was responsible for bringing more than 150 youths to show animals for more than 50 years. He was a founding member of the Delta Livestock Enterprise and Northeast Louisiana Black Farmers and Landowners Association.


Ashlie Castro, a board member of the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana, received the foundation’s Regional Social Work Award for her work rebuilding the Louisiana Chapter of the Council of Nephrology Social Workers Southeast Louisiana Chapter.

Dennis G. Lambert has been named chairperson of the Public-Private Partnership for Waterways Infrastructure Subcommittee of the National Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The subcommittee evaluates public-private partnership authorization under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The act authorized a five-year pilot program to identify up to 15 previously authorized navigation, flood damage reduction, and hurricane/storm damage reduction projects for private participation.

Lambert also has been named the chief market manager for COWI Marine North America. It is a division of COWI North America Inc., a Danish marine consultancy formerly known as Ben C. Gerwick Inc., which led the design of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier.

He is currently a member of the independent technical review team for the proposed four Lower Mississippi River sediment diversions by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.


The Louisiana Motor Transport Association announced the winners of its 2015 Truck Driving Championships competition.

The grand champion is James Maxwell, of Shreveport, Con-way Freight.

The Driver of the Year is Donald Glover, of Opelousas, Wal-Mart Stores, and the Safety Professional of the Year is Grady Hunt, of Lafayette, Dupre’ Logistics LLC Inc.

The Mechanics Award went to Chad Rudesill, of Tickfaw, FedEx Ground; Rookie of the Year to Steven Bess, of Walker, C&S Wholesale Grocers; and Team Trophy to Brookshire Grocery Co.

Placing in the top three from the local area in various truck categories are:

  • Straight truck: first place to Leroy Williams, of Zachary, Conway Freight.
  • 3-axle van: third to Milton Hebert, of Lafayette, FedEx Freight.
  • 4-axle van: second to Brian Landry, of Maurice, FedEx Freight; third to Charles Harris, of Kenner, UPS Freight.
  • 5-axle van: first to Chad Rudesill, of Tickfaw, FedEx Ground; third to Donald L. Williams, of Baton Rouge, YRC Worldwide.
  • 5-axle tank: second to Jarrod Ard, of Ponchatoula, Wal-Mart; third to Leroy Bienemy, Jr., of Violet, Dupre Logistics.
  • 5-axle flatbed: second to Larry Smith, of Baton Rouge, Conway Freight; third to Corey Pealer, of Baton Rouge, Hercules Transport.
  • Twin Trailers: third to Damien Hebert, of Lafayette, Conway Freight.
  • Sleeper Berth: first to Eric Courville, of Breaux Bridge, FedEx Freight; second to Edward Free, of Port Allen, Martin Brower.

Winners have been named for the 2015 Louisiana Culture Awards being presented April 17 by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and the Office of Cultural Development. Those from the local area are Artist of the Year to Brad Richard, of New Orleans; Outstanding Arts Organization to Tipitina’s Foundation, of New Orleans; Folklife Heritage Award to Creole Wild West, of New Orleans; Main Street Award to Bogalusa Main Street; Preservation Education Award to BREC’s Magnolia Mound Plantation in Baton Rouge; Preservation Heritage Award to Southern Hotel in Covington; Le Prix de la Franco-Responsabilité to Philippe J. Gustin, of Lafayette; Lt. Governor’s Passion for Culture Awards to the Louisiana Society, Daughters of the American Revolution and to Irvin Mayfield, of New Orleans; and Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation to Winifred E. Byrd, of Baton Rouge.

Winners were selected from public nominations in concert with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission, Louisiana Folklife Commission and Council for the Development of French in Louisiana.