The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) celebrated a successful year of economic wins and the implementation of many pro-business initiatives at its annual year-end meeting on Tuesday. The 2017 JEDCO Annual Luncheon sponsored by Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company is JEDCO’s largest event of the year, providing an opportunity to highlight the organization’s successes in front of hundreds of regional business and community leaders. The organization also announced the recipients of its 2017 business awards at the event.
Loop Linen received the 2017 Small Business of the Year Award. The fourth generation, family-owned company has been in business in Jefferson Parish for 88 years. Loop Linen was originally founded as a family laundry and dry cleaner, but over the years, the business expanded its services to include linen rental, uniform rental, dust control and hospital service. Today, Loop Linen is a full-service textile rental company serving over 2,000 customers in a variety of industries across the state. Loop Linen employs 115 people. The business is heavily involved in local organizations, including the Rotary Club of Westwego, the Westbank Business & Industry Association, and the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West.
Aimee C. Vallot, the Director of the Jefferson Parish Inspection and Code Enforcement department, was awarded the 2017 Business Retention and Expansion Award, a recognition bestowed upon an organization, individual or company that has been instrumental in the retention of Jefferson Parish jobs and businesses. Aimee’s perseverance and dedication to institutionalizing positive and high impact changes to the Parish’s permitting process have led to a more streamlined system that has been a benefit to the Jefferson Parish business community. Under Aimee’s leadership, the Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement worked to make the permitting application review process more efficient. In addition to that, her team scheduled regular meetings with residential and commercial builders to seek feedback on their processes and they continue to modify software to allow online application filing. Aimee and her team played an important role in the attraction of Sleep Number to Jefferson Parish, providing excellent service in permitting to meet the national brand’s aggressive timeline.
Aimee received a second recognition at the Annual Luncheon. JEDCO’s 2017 Chairman of the Board, Bruce Layburn, presented Aimee and Michelle Gonzales, the Jefferson Parish Director of Floodplain Management and Hazard Mitigation, with the Chairman’s Champion Award for their engagement and transparency. Michelle was appointed to Director of Floodplain Management and Hazard Mitigation in 2013. New Flood Insurance Rate Maps become effective in 2018. Michelle and Aimee have provided regulatory guidance to property owners and local organizations in order to support an easy transition to the new maps. Michelle continues to help property owners navigate complex flood-risk ratings. Their dedication to the community, focus on improving processes, and willingness to accept and act upon feedback from community members make these two women vital assets to the Jefferson Parish business community.
“This group of award winners is indicative of the true talent, innovation and dedication to business found in Jefferson Parish,” says JEDCO President and CEO Jerry Bologna. “These individuals 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