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Top New Orleans Entrepreneuers Shine Bright

Top entrepreneurs under age 40 honored as “Rising Stars” by Junior Achievement.

JA City

Cheryl Gerber Photographs

Jim Perrier and Jim Ashbee hosted the annual “Cocktails for KID smART” fundraiser, “Dreams Take Flight,” at their home on Thursday, November 8. Their refashioned mansion and exquisite art collection was the perfect backdrop to toast to event’s 10th anniversary of raising funds for the development of children’s arts education and programming.

The Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans’ 2012 “Rising Stars Reception” honored seven young entrepreneurs representing five different companies on Thursday, October 4. The cocktail party took place at the home of New Orleans developer Sean Cummings, himself a former Rising Star.

This year’s inductees included Craig Cordes, Antonio LaMartina and Sal LaMartina, co-founders of Cordina Frozen Cocktails; G. Perry Eastman, president of Auto-Chlor Services, Inc.; Jennifer S. Medbery, founder and CEO of Kickboard; Jessica Shahien, executive director of 504ward; and Gary Solomon Jr., president of Solomon Group.

Cummings wasn’t the only alumni honoree in the house, as Joel Dondis of Joel Catering and Event Planning is a former honoree and provided catering services for the night. Guests delighted over the beef and duck crêpes, artichoke beignets and asparagus and salmon rolls. Republic National Distributors provided open bar service.

To select each year’s fresh batch of top young entrepreneurs in the city, past Rising Stars place nominations, which are then put to a committee vote. There were approximately 25 nominees; five companies are chosen every year. To be selected, candidates must be under the age of 40 and demonstrate strong entrepreneurial skills with high moral and ethical standards.

Event at a Glance


2012 “Rising Stars Reception,” benefiting Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans


Thursday, October 4


Home of Sean Cummings

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