December Investor Spotlight
Meet Wendi Berthelot, CPA, MBA
Occupation: Director of Audit and Assurance Services
Organization: LaPorte CPAs & Business Advisors
What does your organization do?
Established in 1946, LaPorte is one of the largest independent accounting and business advisory firms in the region, with over 180 personnel in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Houston, Covington and Houma. We have been recognized by Inside Public Accounting as one of the “Top 200 Accounting Firms” in the country and we provide a wide range of services in the areas of accounting, audit, tax, and consulting. We serve clients in most major industries, including construction, financial services, healthcare, nonprofit, public sector, and real estate, to name a few.
What are some advantages of being located/doing business in the Capital Region?
When we began the process of extending our geographic footprint beyond the greater New Orleans area, we knew Baton Rouge would be an excellent fit. We have a very strong nonprofit industry group and many nonprofits and associations are headquartered in Baton Rouge. We also knew that Baton Rouge was poised for tremendous growth and remains in a growth phase. Having access to so many great universities was also a large asset for us in terms of recruiting.
Why did you decide to invest in BRAC?
We saw the impact that BRAC had on the Capital Region with its focus on luring businesses here and the culture of economic growth that it created. Over the last 15 years LaPorte has seen tremendous growth and we wanted to invest in organizations that would continue to fuel not only our growth, but also that of the local market. We also liked that our membership gave us access to market studies and other invaluable tools that BRAC could provide. Finally, we felt our company values were well aligned with the mission of BRAC. Since our founding in 1946, LaPorte has understood the importance of community: being part of one, being able to depend on one, and giving back to one. We encourage all of our employees to become actively involved in the communities in which they live and work, and BRAC was an important organization for us to be involved with in the Baton Rouge community.
What would you say to companies contemplating joining BRAC?
I would encourage any companies that are contemplating joining BRAC to really get involved with the organization. The people they will meet on committees and through active participation will help them make the most of their membership. Being a member of BRAC will help them gain access to initiatives and local leaders that might be inaccessible otherwise. This kind of involvement is what will have the most impact on their business in the long run.
What do you anticipate for your company in the next five years? For the Capital Region?
Currently we’re the 126th largest accounting firm in the country, and we anticipate continued growth through our emphasis on industry specialization; extensive training and coaching, including our LaPorte U program; strategic acquisitions; and expanded service offerings.
BRAC is an investor-driven organization leading economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area. BRAC’s investor base includes small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as other individuals and organizations.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of its investors in the Investor Spotlight. To learn more about becoming an investor, visit the Join BRAC page here.