Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce President and CEO April Wehrs told members attending last week’s annual meeting and awards banquet that it would take five hours to explain everything the chamber does for the parish.
She was able to keep her comments to about 30 minutes.
Wehrs outlined the chamber’s 2015 accomplishments and assisted in handing out awards to businesses and individuals who helped the chamber have a successful year.
The highlight of 2015, she said, was winning the Louisiana Chamber of the Year award.
The chamber celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, but the group has been around since the 1920s.
She said the chamber provides its members with opportunities to be engaged in the community and helps tackle issues important to area businesses.
She said many small business are dealing with shifting in demographics, rising health care costs, constantly changing technology and a skills gap among the workforce. The chamber, she said, works with businesses to help them navigate through these issues.
The chamber had 521 members in 2015, including 83 new members, she said.
She said the chamber’s website and social media sites have gained in popularity, with more than 2,270 “likes” on Facebook.
The chamber had 154 events with 4,339 attendees in 2015 and hosted 25 ribbon-cuttings.
Wayne Dugas, the 2015 chamber board chairman, passed the gavel to new Chairman Brian Abels.
The family of the late Jeff McHugh David, longtime publisher of the Livingston Paris News, accepted the Legacy Business Award.
Other awards were presented to:
Great American Cookies and Marble Slab, Small Business of the Year
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Medium Business of the Year.
North Oaks Health System, Large Business of the Year.
Southern Heirs Auction Co., New Member of the Year.
Chick-Fil-A, Main Street Business of the Year.
John W. Fridge III, Entrepreneur of the Year.
Rouses, New Business of the Year.
Regions Bank and Quality Engineering and Surveying, New Members of the Year.
Jason Art, Associate of the Year.
Karla Needham, Chairman’s Award.
Leesha Gleber, Ambassador of the Year.