BRAC Confers Annual Awards

Baton Rouge, La. (March 31, 2021) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced recipients of its annual awards at its Annual Meeting presented by Humana. 

“BRAC’s annual awards exist to shine a light on those individuals and organizations who get up every morning and put the work in to make our economy and community better,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “We are grateful to each of them for the work that they do, and for their partnership with us at BRAC to keep pushing forward.”  

Award recipients include:  

  • D. Jensen Holliday Award – Nial Patel, principal of Cornerstone Government Affairs 

Nial received unanimous support from BRAC’s board in his nomination for the D. Jensen Holliday Award. In addition to his board service, Nial currently volunteers as Chair of BRAC’s Legislative Committee, helping to guide the organization on policy and advocacy issues. He is a selfless connector and ambassador for BRAC, and consistently looks for innovative ideas to move the Baton Rouge economy and community forward.
The D. Jensen Holliday Award is presented to a member of the BRAC Board of Directors for his or her extraordinary leadership and exemplary service to BRAC. Individuals honored with the award demonstrate selfless service to the economic growth of the Baton Rouge Area.   

  • Project of the Year Award – Hood Container of Louisiana, LLC 

In July of 2020, Hood Container of Louisiana, LLC announced that its paper mill in West Feliciana Parish will complete a $50 million efficiency upgrade and capacity expansion. With the project, Hood Container will retain 306 existing employees and a $23 million annual payroll at the mill on the Mississippi River, near St. Francisville. The expansion, which is also expected to support 75 construction jobs, serves as a shining light in the wood products sector, a core industry for the region and the state.
BRAC’s Project of the Year Award is presented to an economic development project win that positions the Capital Region at the next level through job creation, capital expenditures, expansion of an industry sector, and long-term impact on the regional economy and brand.   

  • Business Growth Award – JM Eagle; Guarantee Restoration Services (Tie)
    JM Eagle is an American corporation and a manufacturer of plastic pipe. At its 22 plants in North America, the company manufactures polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high-density polyethylene pipe for a variety of industries including utility, plumbing, electrical, natural gas, irrigation, potable water, drainage, and sewage. JM Eagle is Pointe Coupee’s Gold Star Company. Between 2018 and 2020, it grew its local job numbers by 50%.
    Guarantee Restoration Services is the leading property damage restoration company along the Gulf Coast. Their team provides quick response and solutions to restore a business after a fire, water, wind, mold or other property damage. Between 2018 and 2020, it grew its local job numbers by 50%.
    BRAC’s Business Growth Award seeks to recognize a company’s job growth and its economic benefit to the regional economy. Job growth is calculated based on percent increase in full-time employees over the previous three years. For the 2021 award, the qualifying years are 2018-2020. 
  • Corporate Professional Development Award – Petroleum Service Corporation
    Petroleum Service Corporation (PSC) is a leading provider of product handling, site logistics and ancillary support services for the petrochemical, refining, midstream and marine transportation industries. The company was founded in 1952 in Baton Rouge as the nation’s first shoreside tankerman service. Through the years, PSC has expanded its services to meet changing industry needs and now employs over 3,400 people working at more than 125 refineries, chemical plants and terminal operations across the U.S. and in Mexico. 
    PSC aligns its professional development initiatives with its broader business strategy. Initiatives such as in-house training seminars and workshops; skills-based coaching; robust mentorship programs, including those specific to new entry-level employees, select high-potential leaders, second-tier leaders, and newly promoted or newly hired supervisors; and a commitment to promoting from within were hallmarks of its application for the award.
    BRAC’s Corporate Professional Development Award seeks to recognize a company for outstanding programs focused on young professional development. Recipients prioritize leadership development and mentorship as key aspects of business growth and talent retention. The award is presented in partnership with Forum 225, Baton Rouge’s largest young professionals organization. 
  • 2020 Board Chairman Award – Flynn Foster, president and CEO of Guaranty Corporation 

In his year as BRAC Board Chair, Flynn oversaw the organization’s pivot to crisis and recovery response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also provided guidance as the organization laid the groundwork for its next regional, five-year strategic plan, to be launched in 2022. Flynn’s leadership helped BRAC win the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executive’s (LACCE) 

Chamber of the Year designation in 2020.    

BRAC’s Annual Meeting was presented by Humana and sponsored by Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and NAI Latter & Blum. 


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