Chamber Banquet announces D’ville’s finest

Pictured are the winners at the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet standing with re-elected Chamber President Allison B. Hudson. (Left to right) Raymond Aucoin, John Beck, Jr. Hudson, Ronald Comeaux, Jr.

To maintain a positive reputation for a day or two is often a challenge for most, but for some they are able to able to withstand hardships and remain in positive light for a year. Just ask Raymond Aucoin, John Beck, Jr. and Ronald Comeaux, Jr. They all were recognized at the Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet that was held at Palazzo Bernardo’s last Wednesday night.

When the awards for Donaldsonville’s finest were announced, the winners showed their true colors for why they were selected as the best in 2012.

“I’m humbled right now,” John Beck, Jr. said about winning the Business of the Year award. “I owe a lot to my father, John Beck, Sr., who paved the pathway.”

Beck credited mentors like Cliff Ourso, Mike Medine and Dave LeBlanc who he said have all done things in the community that have set the ground work for people like him to come back.

“Whether it’s being successful in the business or giving back to the community,” Beck said, “and I’ve tried to pattern myself in a positive way to do those things.”

Beck, who owns B1 Companies, started in 1994 and serves about 40,000 clients nationwide. He said his father taught him 19 years ago respect, integrity, customer focus, and have fun in the process and things took off from there.

When he mentioned Ourso, he shared a story that helped him reach success. He said Ourso told him he’s not going to be a millionaire if he keeps stepping over pennies.

“Like a good neighbor, Cliff Ourso was there,” Beck said.

For Aucoin, winning the Citizen of the Year award was a proud moment. He was glad he could represent his city.

“I’ve always been proud of my city,” Aucoin said, who is a city councilman for Donaldsonville. “I’ve been working with the community all my life. To do things that I think is good for the community and can help the community and that’s what it’s all about. And it’s great to be recognized for it.”

While Beck and Aucoin were emotional and proud for their honors, Comeaux was speechless after being named Teenager of the Year.

“I was surprised. The things I do aren’t really outstanding,” Comeaux said, who is a senior a Donaldsonville High School. “I just do what I like to do and I just like to be involved in different facets of the community. And to be honored for the work I’ve done and the accomplishments that I’ve made is very flattering.”

Comeaux was accepted to attend Morehouse College after high school and he plans to major in biology pre-med and minor in political science.

Aiming for a minor in political science, when asked if he’d run to be mayor of Donaldsonville someday, Comeaux answered:

“It’s probably a very strong possibility.”

Comeaux’s award also comes with a $500 scholarship.

At the program, the Chamber handled its business first by announcing Allison B. Hudson will serve again as the president. Hudson served the same role in 2012 and was selected to continue the active duty. Hudson has done a lot in her tenure, but she there is more she wants to do.

“As a Chamber, we want to continue to focus on job creation creativity,” Hudson said, who works as the Public Information Officer for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Hudson talked about the programs and volunteerism the Chamber does annually and said in 2013 she’s looking to engage in more and said, “we need your help.”

There also was a presentation by Hudson and guest Orhan McMillian of DezineInteractive. McMillian talked about tools for business success.

“One way we can do it as commercials is through the Internet,” McMillian said about helping develop business.

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan was also given a chance to take the microphone and about all the development the city is expecting in the next couple of years, Sullivan can’t wait.

“It’s exciting to get ready to see what’s going to happen in Donaldsonville,” Sullivan said.