NLEP Celebrates 2018's Best in Economic Development
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    January 16, 2019

    NLEP Celebrates 2018's Best in Economic Development

    SHREVEPORT-MONROE, La. — North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) will honor the best in economic development at its Annual Meeting, called Top Event on January 17, 2019. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m., and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. at Sam’s Town Hotel, 315 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport.

    NLEP will honor our Top Awards winners, which are projects or persons that have made a tremendous impact in economic development throughout North Louisiana during the previous year. The TOP Project Award recognizes a project that illustrates North Louisiana as a thriving region- a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies and global investment. This year’s TOP Project goes to University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). The anticipated medical school at ULM is estimated to generate $60-$77 million a year in economic impact and will improve North Louisiana's quality of life through better health care.  VCOM addresses the critical need for more primary care physicians in Louisiana and the nation. 

    The TOP of Mind Award recognizes programs and partnerships that ensure a strong pipeline of talent to support current and future employers. The 2018 Top of Mind winner is North Louisiana Ready2Work.  This coalition of 35 organizations is working toward certifying their communities as ACT Work Ready Communities. By following the ACT system of testing and workforce development, our Work Ready communities can measure, close the skills gaps and improve the skill sets of the workforce for existing employers. The group includes government, K-12 education, community and technical colleges, workforce development, economic development, chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations from Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Webster Parishes. Other communities are expected to come on board soon.

    The next award, TOP Advocate, recognizes an elected official serving in NLEP’s 14 parish region who has shown outstanding leadership in economic development. This year’s TOP Advocate is Representative Larry Bagley. His leadership in the state legislature helped to restore Tier 1 funding to regional economic development organizations. The state grant allows the eight regional groups in Louisiana to better market their respective regions, support business expansion and retention and funds economic development research.  

    Last but not least, the TOP Leader Award recognizes an individual who has provided key support to our NLEP Board Chairman. The award winner was selected by the 2018 NLEP Chair Valarie Jamison with the Parish of Caddo and will be announced at the Top Event.

    “I congratulate all our Top Award Winners who have made significant contributions in economic development during 2018,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, NLEP President. “Their work led to meaningful economic progress for North Louisiana and their communities. I also look forward to working with our new Board and Officers to promote economic development in our region.”


    North Louisiana Economic Partnership, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, provides professional economic development services to the 14 parish region of North Louisiana, including lead generation and prospect management. The organization also represents the interests of North Louisiana with a unified voice and as a single point of contact. It acts as a catalyst, a convener, and a connector in the region to ensure that North Louisiana’s economic development potential is realized. Its vision is for North Louisiana to be a thriving region-a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies, and global investment.


    Presenting Sponsor:

    Reception Sponsor:

    Media Sponsor:
    CSC Productions

    Table Sponsors:
    Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts, APLC
    Bossier Parish Community College
    Capital One Bank
    Carter Credit Union
    Citizens National Bank
    City of Monroe
    City of Ruston
    City of Shreveport
    Cross Keys Bank
    Fire Tech Systems, Inc.
    First Guaranty Bank
    Harbuck & Ridley, LLC
    Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC
    Holyfield Construction
    Hunt, Guillot & Associates
    International Paper - Red River Mill
    JPMorgan Chase Bank
    Ken Miller, LLP
    Lincoln Builders
    Louisiana Tech University
    Northwestern Louisiana Association of REALTORS®
    Northwestern State University
    Origin Bank
    Parish of Caddo
    Port of Caddo-Bossier
    Progressive Bank
    Red Ball Oxygen
    Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino
    The Alta and John Franks Foundation
    The Community Foundation of North Louisiana
    University of Louisiana Monroe
    Vantage Health Plan
    Whisk Dessert Bar
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