High Honors Awarded to Ruston-Lincoln CitizensJanuary 16, 2019
High Honors for Ruston-Lincoln Citizens
More than 400 people attended the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s 99th Annual Awards Banquet presented by Bank of Ruston on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. In addition to the Chamber’s awards presentations, this event provides the occasion to honor out-going members of the Board of Directors along with introducing in-coming members, and the presenting of other community organizations awards. Photo album can be viewed on Facebook.
The "Robert E. Russ" award, named for the founder of Ruston, is the highest honor given by the Chamber to an individual in the Ruston-Lincoln business community. This person will have contributed to the business advancement or development of this region in an outstanding manner. Kyle McDonald was presented the 2018 Russ award. Kyle has served as President and CEO of Argent Financial Group since founding it in Ruston in May 1990. Under Kyle’s leadership, Argent now has 31 locations in 12 states and employs over 270 professionals with responsibility for $19 billion in client assets and 2 million mineral acres. Recently, Argent was recognized by Inc. Magazine of one the of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the nation and was the only north Louisiana firm to make the list. See full bio.
The Chamber’s Business of the Year award was presented to Ruston Brick, LLC. Ruston Brick is one of the oldest operating businesses in Ruston, having served Ruston, north Louisiana and south Arkansas for 125 years. Mr. and Mrs. T.C. Beasley bought the business in 1946 and it has been operated by the family since. The company began to distribute bricks made by other manufacturers in 1968, while continuing to manufacture brick in Ruston until 1978. In 1978 the manufacturing process was halted. Ruston Brick currently distributes for six manufacturers and in addition to newly manufactured brick, carries several types of antique used bricks along with fireplaces and other items. See full bio.
The Young Business Leader of the Year award includes criteria of demonstrating excellence, creativity, and initiative professionally, providing valuable service to Lincoln Parish through community involvement, and serving as a role model for young leaders both personally and professionally. This award was presented to Dylan Sanders. In 2017, Dylan began working with The Ross Lynn Charitable Foundation as a design consultant and was promoted to Program Director of The Exchange, a program under the Ross Lynn umbrella. Dylan is also the Co-Founder of UpAhead, LLC, a web design company. Dylan serves his local church and art council and has participated in many mission trips. He has a passion for helping to improve the health of communities through collaborations. See full bio.
Several people were nominated for the Young Business Leader of the Year award, leading the selection committee to additionally add to the list of honors, others who are under 45 years of age that you might want to keep your eye on. Brent Causey, Lincoln Builders; Morgan Garrison, Uptown Downtown; Carlyn Harbour, Best Western Plus Ruston; Victoria Sexton, S.A.I.L. Program and Tori Ward Davis, City of Ruston were recognized as the TOPFive Young Business Leaders to Watch.
2018 graduate of the Lincoln Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Makhia Mamon was selected as the Origin Bank Young Entrepreneur of the Year title by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. Makhia is the CEO (Creative Edge Organizer), of her t-shirt company, GLEAUX Apparel. GLEAUX is an acronym that stands for growth, life, eagerness, ambition, uniqueness, and xenodochial-ness. Makhia believes that by simply choosing to GLEAUX, ones outlook on themselves as well as life, in general, will be much brighter! See full bio.
The Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year award was presented to Ron Veitch. Ron Veitch is the President of Anti Pest & Veitch in Minden, LA. Ron joined the Chamber in 2017 and immediately became active in the community. He said serving as an Ambassador gives him the opportunity to be present at new business starts and ground breakings and to meet those responsible for such a thriving economy. Even though he has to drive 30 minutes to be here, he rarely misses a Chamber event. The Ambassadors are an extension of the Chamber staff, helping to serve the Chamber’s members. See full bio.
The Ruston Kiwanis Club presented three awards.
Coach Donnie Barmore, Cedar Creek School, was named the Educator of the Year. Barmore said “For almost fifty years, my passion has been to be for the young people in my sphere of influence, that person that I needed most in high school and college.” See full bio.
District Chief John E. Price, Sr., Lincoln Parish Fire District 1 was named the Firefighter of the Year. Price began his volunteer firefighting career in 1976. He has humbly volunteered thousands of hours in the past 42 years. See full bio.
Sergeant Kyle Luker and his canine partner, Sergeant Boco of the LP Sheriff’s Office were recognized as the Law Enforcement Officers of the Year. Luker served in the USAF receiving multiple awards including the AF Commendation Medal. He began his career with the LP Sheriff ’s Office in 2010. After many instances of aiding and protecting his partner, Sgt. Boco was killed in the line of duty in August of 2018. See full bio.
The Lincoln Parish School District presented "Distinguished Partners in Education" awards to Newk’s Eatery and First Baptist Church - Ruston. Both organizations have given incredible support to the school district as a whole. See full bios.
The Ruston-Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau’s presented the "Hospitality" award to Nicholas Bustamante and Whitney Trisler Causey for their team work on two murals between 2017-2018. See full bios.
Junior Auxiliary of Ruston presented the "Betty Robbins Volunteer of the Year” to Catherine McVea. This is an annual award that recognizes an individual who has made a difference in the lives of Lincoln Parish children. McVea has served for many years, in many roles with the North Central Louisiana Arts Council. See full bio.
The Ruston Rotary Club presented the "Bill Best Humanitarian” award to Eddie Barnes. The Bill Best award is designed to be given to a citizen because of his or her efforts to make life better for others. Barnes has worked with the Northeast LA Food Bank to help feed the hungry for the past eight years along with supporting DART and Ruston Adult and Teen Challenge and other organizations. See full bio.
This Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce event was presented by Bank of Ruston and also sponsored by Origin Bank, Hunt, Guillot & Associates, Devine Wine and The Keg, Southern Grace Events & Blessings, 2 Crazy Girls Flower Shop, GodleyWorks Advertising & Marketing, MOEbiz and Gumbeaux Productions. The 100th Annual Awards Banquet will be held the third Tuesday of January 2019.