Spears Group Announces Millennial Award Winners, Best Millennial Restaurant

NEW ORLEANS – The fifth annual Millennial Awards presented by the Spears Group in partnership with GNO, Inc. took place on Saturday, July 15, at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans. More than 300 guests attended the event, which included the Best Millennial Restaurant Competition presented by Yelp, the announcement of the 2017 Millennial Award winners across 18 categories, and an after party featuring DJ Soul Sister.

         For the last four years, President and CEO of the Spears Group Cleveland Spears kicked off the event with opening remarks. In the spirit of empowering the next generation of millennials, this year's opening remarks were made by Morgan Ballard, Makala Blake, Reggie Cockerham and Elle Schmidt, the youngest employees of the Spears team.

         "I couldn't be more proud of my team for pulling together yet another incredibly successful Millennial Awards," said Spears. "We created this one-of-a-kind awards ceremony five years ago after noticing the instrumental role of millennials in restoring our city post-Katrina. New Orleans has since become one of the fastest-growing cities for millennials in the country, and we want to ensure it remains so by celebrating and honoring their many contributions to the region."

         Doors opened at 6:00 p.m. for the Best Millennial Restaurant Competition where restaurant finalists DTB, Alma, Lula Restaurant Distillery, Diva Dawg, Melt and Poke Loa competed for the title of crowd-favorite. Guests were able to sample dishes between 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. before submitting their votes and crowning Poke Loa as the 2017 Best Millennial Restaurant.

         DJ Toine Boy provided musical entertainment throughout the restaurant competition and the presentation of the awards by emcees Thanh Truong, news anchor at WWL-TV, and Erica McConduit, president and CEO of Urban League of Greater New Orleans. 

         Following the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees danced the night away at the after party featuring a performance by DJ Soul Sister.

         More than 200 nominations were submitted by the public and judged by a panel of local millennials, which included past winners, and distinguished members of the community.

         This year's Millennial Awards winners include:


• Digital Media presented by WWL-TV – Kenny Ngyuen, CEO/co-founder of ThreeSixtyEight

• Business – Brandon Rapp, principal consultant at B. Rapp and Associates, LLC

• Culinary Arts – Miles Tully Jr., co-owner of Melt

• Healthcare presented by Tulane Health Systems – April Dupre, founder/ wellness coach at Footprints to Fitness

• Economic Development – Alejandra Guzman, vice president of program development and strategy at New Orleans Business Alliance

• Journalism – Anne Cutler, news anchor at WGNO

• Financial Services – Blair DuQuesnay, principal/chief investment officer at ThirtyNorth Investments

Film – Edward Buckles, owner/filmmaker at Raw Visions Collective

• Fashion – Brik Allen, founder/designer Haus of Brik

• Hospitality & Tourism – Erin Gremillion, national sales manager at Allied PRA New Orleans

• Innovation Powered by Human Energy presented by Chevron – Blake Butterworth, software engineer at LookFar

• Education – Paris Woods, co-founder/executive director at College Beyond

• Music presented by iHeartRadio – TIE – PJ Morton, producer/performing keyboardist with Maroon 5, and Ashley Shabankareh, director of programs at Preservation Hall Foundation

• Law – Kevin Patrick Conaway, director at Unglesby & Greenberg and Founder at RPM, LLC

• Real Estate – Johnice Katz, advisor at Engel & Volkers

 Service Person presented by State Farm – Jeff Supak, community resiliency program associate at Global Green

• Social Entrepreneur – Liana Elliott, co-founder at WHIV-FM Radio

• Change Maker – Ethan Ashley, director of community engagement at Urban League of Greater New Orleans


         The 2017 Millennial Awards were sponsored by Tulane Health Systems, Chevron, State Farm, WWL-TV, iHeartMedia, and Tanqueray.

         Click here for a full list of finalists and more information on the Millennial Awards


Categories: Awards/Honors, Today’s Business News