Entrepreneurial Excellence

Established in 1984, the Business Hall of Fame honors local businessmen and women who have embraced the spirit of entrepreneurship in our community.

These individuals are recognized by Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, Inc. for their significant contribution to the success of their profession.

To begin the evening, 20 members of the Business Hall of Fame were introduced in procession style by class. There was a special video tribute to recognize the 2017 honorees, introduced by a fellow Hall of Fame laureate.

This year’s honorees included: George J. Fowler III, Founding Partner, Fowler Rodriguez; Tara C. Hernandez, President, JCH Development; David A. Kerstein, President, Helis Oil & Gas Co., LLC; Warner L. Thomas, President & CEO, Ochsner Health System; and Matthew M. Wisdom, Founder & CEO, TurboSquid. In addition to being featured in a special video tribute, each honoree was awarded a crystal eagle designed by Waterford as a symbol of their excellence in business leadership.

The Event Chair was José S. Suquet, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, Pan-American Life Insurance Group.

The Roosevelt Hotel catered the event, and dinner music was provided by pianist Phillip Melancon.

The auction featured five prizes, including a Drew Brees collectibles package, a pearl necklace by Liz Sloss, a Chagall framed print donated by Elliott Gallery LLC, a portrait sitting by Pat Garin Photographer and a Dine Around New Orleans package featuring Shaya/Besh Restaurant Group, Ralph Brennan’s Restaurant Group, The Windsor Court Hotel and Fogo de Chao.

The benefit raised more than $93,000 in net proceeds that will be used to provide financial literacy programs to more than 32,000 students in grades K-12.


What: “Business Hall of Fame Gala,” benefiting Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, Inc.
When: Monday, May 1
Where: Roosevelt Hotel


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