Three business leaders with south Louisiana ties were named as people making a difference in Southern economic development, according to a regional business magazine.

Along with recognizing Mike Eades, president and CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp.; Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., and J. Wayne Leonard, former Entergy chairman and CEO; Southern Business & Development also recognized Ascension Parish as a “no-brainer” manufacturing location.

Southern Business & Development, based in Birmingham, Ala., targets business executives in key markets across the U.S. and Canada.

The magazine named Eades, Hecht and Leonard to its list of “10 people who make a difference.” Eades and Hecht were recognized for leading economic development efforts in their areas, while Leonard was honored by the magazine for developing a plan that made Entergy the first U.S. utility company to make a major commitment at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Others making the list were Dan DiMicco, executive chairman of Nucor, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Ascension was honored for bringing in more than $4.6 billion in capital investments from 22 new and expanding manufacturing projects over the past three years.

Lafayette, Lake Charles and Shreveport were also recognized by the magazine as being oil and gas-rich markets with plenty to offer non-energy businesses.

Lake Charles was also named as a shining example of economic development. And New Orleans was named as one of the best spots for relocating businesses from California.