The Junior Achievement “Business Hall of Fame” presented by First NBC Bank raised funds to support JA programs, including the provision of program materials to schools at no charge and to facilitate trainings of teachers and volunteers.
The 2016 laureates honored included: John Besh, chef and owner of Besh Restaurant Group; David Fennelly, chairman of Associated Terminals & Turn Services; Michael L. Hecht, President and CEO of GNO Inc.; William Raymond Manning, owner and managing principal of Manning Architects; and Virginia C. Miller, partner and owner of Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald Inc. Leah Chase was awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sixteen members of the Business Hall of Fame in attendance were introduced in procession style by class year to begin the evening. Each honoree was featured in a special video tribute and introduced by a fellow Hall of Fame laureate, also on video. Furthermore, each honoree received a Crystal Eagle designed by Waterford as a symbol of their entrepreneurial spirit and excellence in business leadership.

The Roosevelt Hotel provided a three-course meal accompanied by music by pianist Phillip Melancon. Key auction items included a family portrait session by Pappion Artistry, a framed and signed Blue Dog and Drew Brees print and a four-course dinner and wine pairing for eight at Ralph’s on the Park.

H. Merritt Lane III, President and CEO of Canal Barge Co., served as this year’s Event Chair.

JA programs teach students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness in 12 Southeast Louisiana parishes; last year, JA reached more than 30,000 students with the help of 1,000 volunteers.

Approximately 300 patrons attended the event, which raised nearly $180,000.


What: “Business Hall of Fame,” benefiting Junior Achievement of GNO, Inc.
When: Wednesday, May 18
Where: The Roosevelt Hotel