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James J. Moore of Expert Maintenance & Construction Services in Prairieville was named Louisiana Small Business Person of the Year by Louisiana Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration in a small business award program that recognizes top performers in a range of categories.

Moore's company was founded in 2005 as a janitorial and maintenance service with two employees and has expanded to include general construction, with 85 employees now on its payroll.

Category winners are:

SBA CHAMPION AWARDS: Entrepreneurial Success Award to Melissa Hill, Niche Creative Studio in Lake Charles; Minority Business Champion to Corey Jack, Jack & Associates in Lafayette; and Women in Business Champion to Renae Trahan, All-Star Signs & Specialties in Lafayette.

REGIONAL AWARDS: Region VI Prime Contractor of the Year Award to Keith Porta, APC Construction in Harvey; District Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award to Ada Womack-Bell, LSBDC Southern University in Baton Rouge; and the Region VI and District Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award to Klassi Duncan, Urban League of Louisiana Women’s Business Resource Center in New Orleans.

LED ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS: LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year to Herman Marigny, Wing 7 Advanced Trucking, Leasing and Logistics in Lake Charles; LED Resiliency Award to Chad Perez, Pinnacle Security & Investigation in New Orleans, and Andrea Jeanfreau, MedPharmics in Metairie; and Louisiana Economic Development Corp. Bank of the Year to Bank of St. Francisville.

OTHER AWARDS: Hudson and Veteran Initiative Champions/Office of State Procurement Agencies Recognition to the state Department of Transportation and Development, Office of Lieutenant Governor and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center Government Contractor of the Year to Sean Warren, Native Engineers in Mandeville; Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana Small Business Award to Ron Mason, Mid South Extrusion in Monroe; National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Champion to Monique Chauvin, Mitch’s Flowers in New Orleans; U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Lender of the Year to Ken Hale, BOM Bank in Natchitoches; and USDA Rural Development Borrower of the Year to CLHG-Leesville and Leesville Real Estate Holdings in Leesville.

“Small businesses account for 99% of all employers in Louisiana, and they employ more than half of our private-sector workforce. Our small business community plays a vital role in expanding and enhancing our economy, and we appreciate the significant contributions these leaders are making,” said LED Secretary Don Pierson.