Local music school among Louisiana Small Business Award winners

Staff Report
Rockin’ Mozart Music School has locations in Plaquemine, Port Allen, and Donaldsonville.

Louisiana Economic Development recognized business owners who exemplify Louisiana’s entrepreneurial spirit at the 2021 Louisiana Small Business Awards ceremony hosted by LED Secretary Don Pierson.

Michael Berthelot of Rockin Mozart Academy, LLC was among the recipients. The music school has locations in Donaldsonville, Plaquemine, and Port Allen.

“According to the SBA, small businesses account for 53 percent of Louisiana workers, and 99 percent of Louisiana employers,” Gov. John Bel Edwards told attendees of the virtual event. “Every day, we witness their dedication – to their companies, their employees, and their communities. When your business thrives, Louisiana prospers. So it gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the entire state, to join you in honoring companies who have earned special recognition over the past year.”

Pierson noted that LED and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network served 17,534 small businesses and individuals last year, directly resulting in 2,136 new jobs, 2,111 retained jobs and the launch of 134 new businesses representing more than $93 million in capital formation.

“As a former small business owner myself, I understand well the unique challenges and rich rewards of running a small business,” Pierson told attendees. “Louisiana small businesses contribute to a growing economy and are critical in spawning new ideas and solutions to common hurdles. On behalf of all my LED colleagues, thank you for all you do, in your business and in your local community.”

The Small Business Award program recognizes top performers in a broad range of categories. Eighteen business leaders received awards received awards at the Nov. 4 event. The 2021 honorees are: 

LED Small and Emerging Business of the Year

Robert Fruge and Matthew Zaunbrecher

Under Pressure Premier Pressure Washing, LLC


LED Resiliency Award

Dalia R. Matheus        

Global Management Enterprise, LLC

Lake Charles

Michael Berthelot

Rockin Mozart Academy, LLC

Port Allen

Virginia Huling and David Maples

Catapult Creative Media Inc.

Baton Rouge

LED Community Impact Award

Michael Gennaro

Metairie Bank


Chanda Foster

Pelican State Credit Union

Baton Rouge

Richard Williams

Essential Federal Credit Union

Baton Rouge

H. Carter Leak IV

Bank of St. Francisville

St. Francisville

Claire Benoit

Rayne Building & Loan Association


Hudson and Veteran Champions

Major General D. Keith Waddell

Department of Military Affairs

Shirley Merrick

Office of Elderly Affairs

Office of Governor John Bel Edwards

Louisiana PTAC Government Contractor of the Year

Jared Seré

SolVet Services, LLC


MEP of Louisiana Small Business Award

Don Fowler

AFCO Industries, Inc.


NFIB Small Business Champion Award

Becky Walker

The Design Studio of Louisiana

Baton Rouge

USDA Rural Development Lender of the Year

Michael Riché

United Community Bank


USDA Rural Development Borrower of the Year

Michael Maenza

Mr. Mudbug, Inc.