Donna Hardin Toney has been awarded the Louisiana Music Teacher Association Outstanding Teacher for 2012. Toney has been a piano teacher for nearly 40 years and has served as a church musician and middle school choral director, in addition to her private studio, where she currently teaches.

Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Baton Rouge presented awards to 10 sales and marketing individuals in recognition of their efforts to promote the principles of the free enterprise system. They are Kevin Bankston, Baton Rouge Printing Co.; Bill Blackwood, Citizens Bank & Trust; Josh Ellzey, Vivid Ink Graphics; Patrick Fellows, Fresh Junkie; Jason Guerin, Area Home Lending; Kenny Hodges, Assurance Financial; Jennifer H. Marsh, Louisiana Radio Network; Elizabeth McCollister, 225 Magazine; Gregory Wood Jr., Gage Telephone Systems Inc.; and Leigh Shoenberger, Pi Sigma Epsilon, the student honoree.

Kenny Nguyen, chief executive officer and founder of Big Fish Presentations, received the 2012 College Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization National Conference in Chicago.

Donate Life Louisiana received a national award from Donate Life America recognizing its achievements in increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors. DLL team members include Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, the Louisiana Hospital Association, the Office of Motor Vehicles, the National Kidney Foundation, Legacy Donor Foundation, Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank, Southern Eye Bank, Louisiana Lion’s Eye Bank and Ochsner Medical Center.

DLL ended 2011 with a 56 percent donor designation rate, with 58 percent of 18 or older residents registered, and with 52 percent of organ and tissue donors registered.


Margaret L. Ferrage, of Whitney Insurance Agency in New Orleans, was named the 2012 Outstanding Customer Service Representative of the Year for the state of Louisiana by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.

The Center for Planning Excellence, a state-level partner of Smart Growth America, recognized New Orleans Council member Kristin Gisleson Palmer for joining nearly two-dozen other municipal leaders from across the nation to form the nonpartisan Advisory Board of SGA’s Local Leaders Council. Palmer was cited for her work and dedication to increased mobility, transportation options, and pedestrian/cyclist safety on the national level.


The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents presented awards to several LSU AgCenter extension agents around south Louisiana. A Distinguished Service Award went to Lauren Faust, of St. Bernard Parish.

Achievement in Service Awards went to Jennifer Ducote, of St. Mary Parish; Todd Fontenot, of Evangeline Parish; and Kali Zammit, of St. Charles Parish. The Meritorious Service Award went to Charles Hebert, of Lafayette Parish.