The floor of the CenturyLink Center was filled with approximately 700 business professionals as the Bossier Chamber of Commerce hosted its 69th Annual Gala. Coveted awards Business Person of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Business of the Year were given to a group of leaders who excelled in areas of leadership, growth and involvement throughout 2016.
Margaritaville Resort Casino General Manager Barry Regula was named the 2016 Business Person of the Year while Praeses was named the 2016 Business of the Year.
Regula was selected for his work spearheading numerous innovative programs and initiatives, while pushing Margaritaville to a solid #2 place in the Bossier-Shreveport gaming market. While his career has been impressive, Regula’s success shows through the employees he has managed, fostering their dedication to the guests and the community.
Barry Regula has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City since the property opened in 2013. Under Regula’s leadership, Margaritaville is able to tout many successes. The gaming market experienced a 6% downturn in revenue this past year and Margaritaville still managed to increase its revenue in 2016.
Praeses was named the 2016 Business of the Year for serving its community for almost 30 years and, more importantly, providing meaningful work for the top talent in our community. Praeses’ leaders and employees are engaged in the community and committed to the economic growth of this region.
Praeses, founded in 1987 and headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a leader in software development and technical services, offering proven and consistent business solutions to customers in both the public and private sectors. During 2016, Praeses experienced tremendous growth in public sector endeavors, notably with the Department of Defense and the Air Force. This growth has been in support of three research and development projects for the Air Force to leverage emerging technology to solve major enterprise level problems.
Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care and Rosewood Home Market both took home the mantle of 2016 Small Business of the Year as the mission of the Bossier Chamber is to promote business growth as well as quality of life to support that growth. These two, deserving businesses, both exemplify those critical factors for community development.
Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care fulfills needed care to help improve the quality of life in Bossier. Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care began three years ago as a medical day care facility that provides skilled nursing care, physical, occupational and speech therapies to medically fragile children from birth to 21 years old. Serving as an alternative to home health care, Lauve’s also provides transportation to and from the facility.
Rosewood Home Market, while just about to celebrate one year of business, is employing local artisans and entrepreneurs and helping other small businesses gain customers and recognition, all with a infectious positive attitude. Owner Suzanne Wilson and the team at Rosewood Home Market have the innate ability to find the perfect pieces and additions for every home. Not only is Rosewood Home Market a store front but the team also provides personal and corporate decorating services, which range from seasonal to complete renovations. Wilson believes in community values and she brings these values to life by organizing events within her shopping center that include other businesses as well as local artisans and craftsman.
Other awards given on Tuesday evening:
- You Made it Happen: Gibsland Bank & Trust
- Chamber Partner of the Year: SOBO Promotional Products
- Community Partner of the Year: Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets
- Military Supporter of the Year: Margaritaville Resort Casino
- Public Policy Partner of the Year: Brown Builders
- TRC Appreciation Award: Rick Holland
- Diplomat of the Year: Pat Presley
To round out the evening, 2016 Chairman of the Board David Specht Jr. highlighted the Chamber’s many accomplishments in 2016 and passed on the reins to the 2017 Chairman Terry Moore, of Merrill Lynch, who energized the members to get involved with the Bossier Chamber as he touted the members as the Chamber’s greatest asset.