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The Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet shined a spotlight on the community’s multi-faceted business community last Wednesday night, conferring awards to deserving community leaders and providing encouragement for those who have endured the region’s recent economic slump.

Highlights included the conferring of the Chamber’s Star Award to Synergy Bank CEO Jerry Ledet, who also was honored with the Houma Courier’s Most Useful Citizen Award.

Political rivalries were put on hold for the evening, with Parish President Gordon Dove in attendance as well as former parish president Michel Claudet, who has stated that he is challenging the incumbent. Claudet, last year’s “Most Useful Citizen,” presented Ledet with this year’s award.

Other honorees included Vandebilt Catholic High School student Cassidy Nguyen, recognized for her choice as the Leonard Hotard American Legion Post’s Teenager of the Year.

Kylie Fontenot of Acadian Home Security’s commitment to the Chamber earned her the organization’s Distinguished Diplomat Award.

Television station HTV-10’s Martin Folse presented the Eugene Folse Outstanding Veteran Award to Dean Daigneault, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. The moment was bittersweet as Folse’s father, the award’s namesake, passed away last year.

Attendees were entertained by illusionist and motivational speaker David Hira.

“It brings out membership together and recognizes the individuals who benefit our community,” Chamber President Nicole Blanchard said of the banquet. “it’s also an opportunity for our members and people in the community to network and have fun.”

The Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of life by building a strong economy through promotion of services to members, partnerships and alliances, legislative advocacy, economic development, and programs of action and value to sustain a prosperous and vibrant community. The Chamber has been in existence for 95 years, and describes itself as “an action agency designed to meet the needs of … community.”

Billed as a “leading advocate and champion of business,” the Chamber considers fostering of economic growth and development as well as fostering of business opportunities and growth initiatives among its primary purposes.

The Houma-Terrebonne Chamber is recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a 5-Star Accredited Chamber, which places us in the top 1% of Chambers in the country.

Chamber banquetCOURTESY