BRAC Confers Annual Awards, Releases Annual Report at Shareholders’ Meeting

Regional EDO honors business and community leaders while reflecting on 2017 successes

Baton Rouge, La. (March 28, 2018) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) yesterday announced recipients of its annual awards and released its 2017 Annual Report at its Shareholders’ Meeting.

“BRAC exists to transform our community, and it works best when business leaders are involved and leading the charge,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “These individuals and organizations have contributed meaningfully to the regional economy, and it is important to recognize and thank them.”

Award recipients include:

  • D. Jensen Holliday Award – Lee Jenkins, executive manager of Performance Contractors, Inc., and 2017 BRAC Board Chairman

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. 

  • Community Champion Award – Ashley Touchet, learning consultant of IBM

Ashley Touchet has been involved in STEM mentoring since joining IBM. Her nomination was supported by STEMup Baton Rouge and the Foundation for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, IBM’s partners in STEM mentoring with public middle schools. As a former teacher herself, Ashley has been recognized for her support on topics such as career pathways, curriculum development, mentoring, and training STEM volunteers. Ashley was recognized during the national US2020 initiative along with IBM as one of the 2016 STEM Mentoring Awards recipients, and again at the same event in 2017 for volunteer mobilization for IBM’s work in Baton Rouge.

BRAC presents a Community Champion Award annually to an individual for outstanding contributions to his or her company and above-and-beyond leadership in the community. Recipients also demonstrate leadership, visionary thinking and extraordinary volunteerism.

  • Project of the Year Award – Louisiana ProtonCareCenter, Inc.

Louisiana ProtonCare will establish an $85 million proton radiation therapy center, the Louisiana ProtonCare Center, in the Baton Rouge Health District. Along with access to world-class medical technology, the project brings 95 new, high-quality direct jobs. Provident Resources Group, Inc. is the owner/co-developer of the project, and Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the clinical partner.

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 Excellence Award – Louisiana Business, Inc.

Louisiana Business, Inc. was founded 35 years ago as a monthly publication, and has steadily grown to a portfolio that includes the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, 225 magazine, inRegister, the digital Daily Report, the 10/12 Industry Report, and a slew of special publications produced by a team of more than 60 people. Their publications have won numerous awards, including Gold for Best Newspaper by Alliance of Area Business Publications, the Douglas Manship Sr. Award in Ethics for Business by BBB, and multiple Best Designed Regional Publication by AABP.

BRAC’s Business Excellence Award is presented to a business that elevates the Capital Region and makes it a better place to do business, work and live.

  • BRAC Ambassador of the Year Award – Steven Brown, vice president and commercial loan officer of the Cottonport Bank

BRAC presents the Ambassador of the Year Award to a BRAC Ambassador for his or her outstanding achievements within the Ambassador Program and for his or her exemplary service to and overwhelming support for BRAC’s work.

  • 2017 Board Chairman Award– Lee Jenkins, executive manager of Performance Contractors, Inc.


In addition to BRAC’s annual awards, Jason Mercer with J.M. Consulting & Services, LLC, presented BRAC Senior Vice President of Economic Competitiveness Liz Smith with the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Business Education by an Industry Representative award, presented by the Louisiana Association of Business Educators for her work developing the BRAC Micro-Enterprise Credential statewide.

BRAC’s Annual Report can be accessed online at

BRAC’s Shareholders’ meeting was sponsored by Adams and Reese, LLP, Cardinal Capital, Essential Federal Credit Union, Hayride Scandal, Provident Resources Group, and Regal Nails.


About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at


Morgan is the Marketing Manager for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. In her role, she manages writing organizational publications and materials, oversees BRAC’s social media and blog, and coordinates timelines for all internal marketing projects.

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