Bossier Chamber Honors top Businesses, Business Person at Annual gala

BOSSIER CITY ­— 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 2016 Business Person of the Year 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.

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 fills a gap in our community and fulfills needed care to help improve the quality of life in Bossier.

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.

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.

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!

[About Barry Regula]
Barry Regula has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City since the property opened in 2013. Regula has spent the majority of his career in gaming, for such gaming facilities as Casino Magic Biloxi and Boomtown Casino in Bossier City.
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. During its three years of life, the property has undergone many upkeep and reinvestment projects to allow its visitors the best experience possible. The most recent projects include the opening of the multi-million-dollar Bamboo Asian Café and construction of the Riverview Restaurant and Brewhouse, a dining and nightlife concept new to Bossier-Shreveport.
Regula personally participates in the majority of Margaritaville’s numerous volunteer events, from yard work on the United Way Day of Caring to visiting children at Shriner’s Hospital. He serves as the board liaison for the Shreveport Bossier Sports Authority and RASA, and Regula chairs the Bossier Chamber of Commerce’s Government Relations Committee. And, on Friday, December 2, Regula became the first ever inductee into the 307th Bomb Wing’s new Honorary Commander Program at Barksdale Air Force Base. Through the Honorary Commanders Program, Regula will be able to exchange ideas, experiences, and friendships with commanders of the 307th Bomb Wing.

[About Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care]
Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care three years ago when she noticed a need for this type of facility in the Bossier-Shreveport area. Lauve’s is 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. The state health department began licensing such facilities in 2009. Serving as an alternative to home health care, Lauve’s also provides transportation to and from the facility.
Not only does Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care offer specialized services to the special needs community but the exceptional staff members serve as advocates for the children. Lauve’s can fulfill the needs of up to 23 children and presently has 18 children enrolled.
In addition to filling a much needed service in Bossier-Shreveport, Lauve’s is also a huge community-at-large supporter. In the years since the fruition of the facility, Lauve’s has volunteered and supported several local organizations and events such as Dash for Disabilities, Pay It Forward Network Walk, Sci-Port Monsters Ball, and St. Jude Miracles on the Red event, to name a few.

[About Rosewood Home Market]
To make customers feel important and appreciated is not an easy feat, but for Rosewood Home Market owner, Suzanne Wilson, this type of customer service comes as second nature. 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. Wilson hopes to engage and educate the Bossier-Shreveport community of the many local talents that are right here in our backyard.
The following quote by a local business sums up the special aspects of Rosewood Home Market the best. “Suzanne is not only running a business. She is on a mission. A mission to bring the happiness that shines through her into other people’s homes. Her taste is impeccable. Her eye for beauty cannot be matched. But there is no doubt that her biggest talent is making those around her feel loved and cherished and that is why her business continues to grow.”

[About Praeses]
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. Praeses has served the community and its customers by providing services ranging from telecommunications management, to jurisdictional object inspection reporting, and recently supporting the US Department of Defense in their mission to reduce costs and better understand their information environment.
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.
Praeses and its employees are involved in many areas of the Bossier-Shreveport community, including the Military Affairs Council, AFCEA, the Independence Bowl Foundation, Celebrate Barksdale, the Manufacturers Council of NW Louisiana, Shreveport Toastmasters, Bossier Chamber of Commerce, and the Committee of 100, an organization that Praeses CEO Frank Auer has served as past-chairman.
Each year, Praeses employees adopt families at Christmas, in connection with First Sergeant’s Council, as the company chooses two families from Barksdale and Praeses’ employees provide them and their children gifts at Christmas.

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Photos from Tuesday evening’s event will be available Wednesday. To request photos,
email jessica@bossierchamber.com.