ACG Louisiana Announces 9th Annual ACG Award Winners

NEW ORLEANS – ACG Louisiana (the Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth) announced the award winners for the 9th annual ACG Louisiana Awards.

         These awards recognize growth companies, business professionals and noteworthy transactions from the State of Louisiana.

         The winners will be honored at an awards dinner on Thursday,

May 19, 2016, at the Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans.

         The reception will begin at 6:00 pm, followed by a seated dinner at 7:00 pm.

         Sponsorships ($1000-$10,000) for the event and tickets ($100 for ACG members, $150 for guests and non-members) are available for purchase here.


         The categories and award winners are as follow:




         Laitram, L.L.C., and its four operating divisions, Intralox, Laitram Machinery, Lapeyre Stair, and Laitram Machine Shop, have revolutionized the manufacturing landscape in South Louisiana and around the world. Laitram was founded on the idea of J.M. Lapeyre, who was issued a patent for the world’s first automated shrimp peeling machine in 1947. Today, Laitram employs over 2000 employees who work collaboratively to produce innovative products and solutions globally, and holds over 1000 active patents around the world. Laitram’s success springs from an intense commitment to innovation, integrity, and continuous improvement in every aspect of its work. The Laitram Business Philosophy and the Laitram Continuous Improvement Program challenge each employee to be accountable for personal improvement, teamwork, open communication, self-management and results.




         Lucid, founded and based in New Orleans, is the largest global audience platform – a data management platform providing unique first-party data to industries including market research, advertising technology, and business consultancy. Lucid delivers real human answers – direct data – from over 70 million profiled consumers to provide clarity in high-level business decisions. Over eight billion questions have been asked and answered on the Lucid platform.

         Lucid business units include the Fulcrum and Proof software product suites and Federated Sample, its managed services arm. Lucid was founded in New Orleans in 2010; core to the company are its support of and leadership in the New Orleans technology community and its commitment to local arts and education.




         In late 2015, Pan-American Life Insurance Group, announced that Pan- American Life Mutual Holding Company (Pan-American Life) and Mutual Trust Holding Company (Mutual Trust) merged into one mutual holding company, creating a premier life, accident and health insurance provider in the Americas, with presence in the United States and 22 other jurisdictions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The combined company, which retains the name of Pan-American Life Mutual Holding Company, continues to operate as a mutual insurance holding company with approximately $1 billion in revenues, $5.5 billion in total assets, 1.5 million covered lives and 1,650 employees. The combined company also has $850 million in total capital, increasing its financial strength. José Suquet, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, continues to lead the combined entity from its global headquarters in New Orleans, LA.




         Harold Callais II is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at Callais Capital Management, LLC. He established Callais Capital in 2014 with his father, Corey, and brother, Nicholas; as a family office and independent investment manager. Callais Capital was awarded the Acquisition International: 2016 AI Award for "Best Independent Investment Manager – Louisiana & Recognized Leaders in Fixed Income & Macro Strategy". In 2015, he developed and supervised the launch of two private investment funds; and recently, the launch of a third. In a short period of time, Hal developed an opportunistic investment platform; allowing Callais Capital to invest in a multitude of investment strategies, asset classes, and industries. Across four different portfolios, he has sourced and closed on approximately fifteen transactions in 2015, with AUM reaching $35 million and capital commitments amounting for over $60 million. As of the first quarter of 2016, Hal and his team have raised another $31 million in capital commitments, for four more transactions. In addition to his roles at Callais Capital, he is on the board for Atlas Carbon, Enriched Schools, Nicholls Alumni Federation, mumms Holding, Pelican Waste & Debris, Scandy, and is a Managing Member of Westpark Holdings. Hal is also on the Investment Committee for United Community Bank, the Advisory Board for Clearserv, and an inaugural member of the LABI Emerging Leaders Council. Hal graduated with a degree in Finance from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. Hal grew up in South Lafourche, later moved to Houma, and now lives in Thibodaux with his wife, Kristen and their four children with the fifth on the way.




         Jim Bernhard is a Founder and Partner of Bernhard Capital Partners (BCP). He serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee, serves on the Portfolio Committee and is involved in all areas of the firm’s investment activities.

         Bernhard started The Shaw Group in 1987 with a small personal investment and grew the company into one of the leading global energy services firms with over $6 billion in revenue and 25,000 employees. For over 25 years, Bernhard led the growth of The Shaw Group as the CEO, President and Chairman of the Board. Bernhard played a leading role in every major decision of the company from its founding until its sale. Under his stewardship, Shaw became one of the fastest growing companies in the Fortune 500 offering a broad range of engineering, construction, equipment, environmental, and manufacturing services across the energy spectrum. The Shaw Group became an industry leader in the power industry, a top environmental services provider and the global leader in nuclear power services, in particular. Bernhard is regarded as an expert in the energy services industry and has testified before the U.S. Senate’s Energy Subcommittee to discuss pending energy issues in the United States and across the globe.

         Bernhard has served on numerous boards of trade and civic organizations and is very active in his community. In 2001, Bernhard was recognized as “U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year” and in 2009, he and his wife, Dana, founded, “Every Kid a King”, a foundation to help children have better opportunities for education and healthcare.

         Bernhard received his B.A. in Construction Management from Louisiana State University.




         Hans J. Sternberg was born in Aurich, Germany, and escaped with his family to the United States at the age of one and a half. Sternberg graduated magna cum laude in economics from Princeton in 1957, and served in the U.S. Navy for two years before joining the family retail business. From 1965 to 1992, he was chairman and co-CEO (with his brother, Josef) of Goudchaux's/ Maison Blanche, shaping it into America’s largest family-owned department store chain with 8,700 employees in 24 branches. In 1983, Sternberg and his wife, Donna, expanded the family business into insurance, and later founded Starmount Life Insurance Company and AlwaysCare Benefits, Inc., national providers and administrators of life, accident and supplemental insurance for individuals and employers.

         For 33 years, Sternberg has overseen the rapid expansion and consistent growth of the business in a highly competitive market, even during challenging economic times. The company employs 222 associates across the country, with about 200 in Baton Rouge. From 2010 to 2015, the company experienced a 99-percent growth in premium under management and more than 80-percent increase in covered lives, averaging approximately 15- percent overall growth per year.

         In 2002, Sternberg testified before the Banking Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee in support of creating a national insurance charter. He has served as the charter chairman, and is the current vice chairman of the USS Kidd. Sternberg is an YPO member, and also served as a member of the board for Teach for America, a member of the advisory board of Regions Bank, and vice chairman of the Founders and Friends Board of Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge. He is also a former director of the Federal Home Loan Bank board.

         As the last of an over 250-year line of Sternberg/ Knurr family retailers, Sternberg published his family’s history in “We Were Merchants” in 2009. Hans and his wife Donna, Executive Vice President of Starmount, live in Baton Rouge where they continue to work to work alongside two of their four children, son Erich, and daughter Deborah, in the insurance business.


         The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), founded in 1954, is a global organization with over 14,000 members in 58 chapters.

         For more information



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