The future is now: Former LSU basketball coach Brown speaks at Iberville Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet

Former LSU basketball coach Dale Brown mingles before delivering his keynote address at the Iberville Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet at Nottoway on Thursday night.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

WHITE CASTLE - Former LSU head basketball coach Dale Brown was the keynote speaker and executive director Hank Grace presented the Spirit of Iberville Award to John Wilbert Jr. at the Iberville Chamber of Commerce's Annual Banquet held at Randolph's at Nottoway Plantation and Resort on Thursday night.

"Once again this year, we are privileged to have Nottoway, one of Iberville Parish's many jewels, accommodate us," Grace said. "It was an outstanding year and new businesses continue to open within the parish. We must be a leader in the journey of new growth and opportunities."

Iberville Parish welcomed the completion of a Baton Rouge Community College campus, the MSA-West Performing Arts Center and North Iberville Community Center all within the past year and are awaiting the completion of a new medical clinic to be run by the Ochsner Health System.

"In reality, the future is now," Grace said. "All of these things point to a positive future but the journey must continue and residential growth must be in the mix."

The invocation was given by St. John High School principal Cherie Schlatre.

Brad Guerin, 2013 Chairman of the Board, said it is important to shop local because it makes a difference but the key is to keep the next generation from moving out of the parish.

2014 Chairman of the Board Clint Seneca said he looks forward to serving.

Wilbert is a descendant of Anton Wilbert, who founded Wilbert Funeral Home and A. Wilbert and Sons Lumber and Shingles Company. His father, John Wilbert Sr. bought the funeral home business from the Wilbert Corporation in 1940 and in 1965 a 37-acre tract was purchased on Bayou Jacob Road becoming Grace Memorial Park. Wilbert was the first funeral home in the United State to have its own patented service mark.

"Thank you so much for this honor," Wilbert said. "I love the people here and I love the city. My life has been about service."

Brown is an LSU basketball legend and the only SEC coach to have appeared in 15 straight national tournaments. He is also the second most-winning coach in SEC history and has the most wins of any coach in the nation over Kentucky.

His LSU team won numerous SEC titles and advanced to four Elite Eights and two Final Fours. On two occasions he was chosen as the National Basketball College Coach of the Year.

Brown said there are seven billion people who all have the same philosophy of wanting to be successful but there are four hurdles one must overcome to achieve it.

"Until we find true success, we will not be happy," Brown said.

Brown said those hurdles include never saying I can't, handling failure, overcoming handicaps and knowing yourself.

"Always sincerely try to do your best," Brown said. "Never give up and God will take care of everything else. All successful people have had many failures. It is hard to get up when you are knocked down but do not let your decisions possess you. The secret to peace, love, happiness and success is imagination, faith and determination."