Chamber honors Citizens Bank, Chiasson at annual banquet

Staff reports

The Iberville Chamber of Commerce awarded its outstanding business partner award to Citizens Bank & Trust Co. and its volunteer of the year award to Stacey Chiasson of Dow Chemical at its annual banquet last week.

Outgoing Chairman of the Board Lori Gary of Mexichem Fluro Inc. passed the gavel to Guy Ruggiero of Ruggiero & Associates Insurance before a packed house at the annual event at Nottoway Plantation.

The Chamber also presented a plaque to Totsie Tempanaro, an outgoing executive committee past chairman and Education Committee chair, in recognition of her years of service. Also receiving plaques recognizing their years of service on the board they were Owen Cope of Entergy and Bernadine Legendre of St. John Schoo1.

Executive Director Hank Grace, master of ceremonies, presented the business partner award to Citizens Bank, which has served the local business community since 1916, and the volunteer's award to Chiasson, Dow's public affairs leader.

“By donating their time, money and dedicated employees, they play an important role in helping the Iberville Chamber of Commerce, the City of Plaquemine as well as the surrounding communities to grow and prosper,” Grace said of the leaders of Citizens Bank.

“Their employees have a long history of involvement in service organizations, serving on boards, and as members of organizations such as the Iberville Chamber, Rotary, Kiwanis, Dow YMCA, St. John School, St. John Church, Baton Rouge Green, United Way and St. Jude,” he said.

Each year, the executive director said, the bank helps sponsor the Acadian Festival Parade, the Iberville Parks and Recreation District's “Boo on the Belleview”  safe Trick or Treating event and IPRD little league teams, as well as other various local non-profit groups and events.

Citizens has been expanding into the Baton Rouge area, where a fourth branch will open this year, Grace said, but “they will always be the first to tell you Iberville is their home.”

Since joining Dow in 2006, Chiasson has been active in the Chamber, first as an elected board member in 2007 and now as both a board member and chairman of the Economic Development Commission. 

“Stacey’s strengths lie in her ability to develop innovative solutions to complex issues; and developing and leading alliances and partnerships among business and industry that produce results,” Grace said.

In 2010, while serving as the Iberville Chamber’s Economic Development Committee Chairman, she led a diverse partnership of area, regional and state personnel that developed the first-ever national awareness tour of Iberville Parish, drawing seven nationally-accredited site consultants here and helping build solid business relationships with each of them, Grace said.

Before joining Dow, Chiasson was executive director of Career Builders, a school-to-work partnership that she founded under a federal grant and which continues to serve the parish.

“Words such as leadership, dedication, community-minded, and caring are just a few examples of words and phrases that can be used to describe this truly dedicated individual,” Grace praised the volunteer of the year. “She can often be found networking with other Chamber members at membership meeting, business after hours, and many other Chamber functions.”

Also during the evening, Ruggiero announced the 2011 officers elected to serve on the executive committee as Lori Gary, past chairman; Glynn Fontenot, chair-elect of Georgia Gulf; Brad Guerin, first vice chairman, of Fusion Architecture APC and Marietta Krejci, treasurer, of Shintech Louisiana, LLC.

The 2011 Board of Directors for 2011 also will include Bobby Blanchard, Iberville Bank; Ivan Cabrera, Plaquemine Truck Stop & Travel Center; Chiasson; Linda Cornett, Reagent Chemical; Kit Janis, East Iberville INC; Monica McDaniel-Lockhart, Datakeepers LLC; Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr.; Parish Councilman Edwin M. Reeves, Jr., A. Wilbert's Sons, LLC; Larry Rouse, individual; Steve Smith, The AME Group; Jesse Thompson, Hess Engineers, and Sharon Turner, Syngenta.

Ruggiero's board appointees for 2011 are  David Dean, St. John School; Rick Gros, Shintech Louisiana LLC, and Clint Seneca, Iberville Parish Assessor's Office.

Former LSU Athletic Director and baseball coach Skip Bertman was the banquet's keynote speaker.

The Dow Chemical Company was the platinum sponsor for the banquet   The gold sponsors were SNF Flopam and the Iberville parish banks (Bank of Maringouin, Citizens Bank & Trust Co., First Financial Bank & Trust Co., Iberville Bank, Plaquemine Bank & Trust Co. and The Bank of Commerce).  The silver sponsors were Georgia Gulf and Plaquemine Truck Stop and Travel Center.  The bronze sponsors were East Iberville INC (Industry Neighbor Companies), Fusion Architecture and Lake After Hours.

Auction items were donated by Addie’s Gift Boutique, Assurance Financial, Beaded Treasures by Marietta, Blanchard’s Building Materials, Baton Rouge Coca Cola, Don’s Sportsman, East Iberville INC, Entergy, Gabriel’s House of Events, Iberville Parish Museum, Joe Guilbeau, Jones-Hamilton Co., Kelly’s Industrial Services, Larry Rouse of Nottoway Plantation, Pediatric Associates, Plaquemine Bank, Pointe Coupee Electric Membership Cooprative, Reagent Chemical; Shintech, S.J. "Blue" Guercio Contracting, The ARC-Iberville,  The Bank of Commerce, Dow Chemical, The Island Country Club, and Total Care Injury and Pain Centers.