(Fairfield, LA) – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) experienced a highly successful year in 2014. As the organization reflected on its business retention, expansion and attractions successes at its largest yearly meeting on Tuesday, it also recognized the men, women and businesses that have helped shape Jefferson Parish’s long list of continued achievements. JEDCO announced the recipients of its 2014 business award winners at the JEDCO Annual Luncheon in front of hundreds of Jefferson Parish business and community leaders.
Renaissance Publishing received the 2014 Small Business of the Year award. The publishing company has been in business in Jefferson Parish for eight years. Renaissance publishes eight magazines that focus on a variety of topics relevant to the people who live and work in the Greater New Orleans region. In October 2014, the company re-launched Biz New Orleans, providing new insight into the local business community. In recent years, Renaissance Publishing has experienced growth in both employee numbers and sales. The company is also heavily involved in local business and charitable organizations, giving back to the community that has helped foster its growth.
Dottie Stephenson earned the JEDCO Business Retention and Expansion Award. For 16 years, Dottie served JEDCO as the organization’s Deputy Director. An advocate for a strong business retention program, Dottie designed and launched Jefferson Parish’s first Business Retention and Expansion program upon her arrival to JEDCO in 1998. This program was designed with a systematic and targeted approach to best assist the companies located in Jefferson Parish. Comprised of letters, calls to businesses, and most importantly, face-to-face visits with business owners and top executives, the program has helped retain and expand local businesses in the community. Over the 17 years of its existence, this program has been highly successful. The JEDCO staff has held over 2,000 visits with Jefferson Parish businesses and in 2004, the organization was awarded the International Economic Development Council’s prestigious Business Retention and Expansion Program Award. Dottie also played a vital role in the policy creation of the parish’s first economic development incentive fund, the Jefferson Economic Future Fund, which provided financial incentives for businesses expanding in Jefferson Parish as well as prospective businesses interested in relocating to the area. This program places Jefferson Parish at a competitive advantage over other parishes in Louisiana and neighboring states. Dottie retired from JEDCO in June 2014.
JEDCO’s 2014 Chairman of the Board, Greg Jordan, presented Jefferson Chamber President Todd Murphy with the JEDCO Chairman’s Champion Award. Since taking over the Chamber in May 2012, Todd Murphy has helped grow the Chamber’s membership by 20%. Under his leadership, the organization received four-star accreditation from the US Chamber of Commerce and was honored with the Top Leader award as the Best Chamber in the State of Louisiana. JEDCO and the Jefferson Chamber have long enjoyed a strong partnership as the two organizations work jointly to do what’s best for the Jefferson Parish business community. The Chamber advocates for public policy positions that benefit Jefferson Parish businesses. Both JEDCO and the Chamber share a common focus on improving and revitalizing various areas within the Jefferson Parish community, such as Fat City and the West Bank.
“This group of award winners is indicative of the true talent, innovation and dedication to business found in Jefferson Parish,” says JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna. “These men, women and businesses play a crucial role in the continued prosperity of our community. Not only do they work to increase the economic vitality of our region, but they continue to give back and change our community for the better. We are so grateful for their contributions to Jefferson Parish.”
The JEDCO Annual Luncheon provides an opportunity for the organization to recognize and show support of Jefferson Parish businesses while also highlighting the year’s economic successes. The event took place at the Hilton New Orleans Airport on Airline Drive.