Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Published 5:05 am Sunday, January 29, 2023

Visit Lake Charles recognized

The Louisiana Travel Association awarded Visit Lake Charles with three Louey Awards during the associations’ annual Louey Award celebration in New Orleans. Visit Lake Charles was named 2022 Outstanding Convention and Visitors’ Bureau of the Year, as well as 2022 Tourism Campaign of the Year, and Major Event of the Year. The Louey Awards honors individuals and organizations who have made exceptional contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry.

Outstanding CVB      

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This award recognizes exceptional efforts in tourism promotions through events, activities, or marketing initiatives, showing proof of return on investment through increased visitation. In 2022, Visit Lake Charles held the PGA Korn Ferry Lake Charles Championship, an international press conference for 300 journalists at US Travel Association’s IPW, the 19th Americas LNG & Gas Summit & Exhibition as well as the Louisiana Travel Summit. The team launched the first podcast, Louisiana’s Playground, by a destination marketing organization in the state with great success, and the organization was inducted in to the USSSA Hall of Honor. Visit Lake Charles claimed the award for overall budget revenue of $1 million and above.

Tourism Campaign/Promotion of the Year

Visit Lake Charles’ Austin Integrated Marketing Campaign was selected as the winner for the Tourism Campaign Award for 2022 for the category of a budget of $30,000 and above. This campaign showcased Southwest Louisiana’s culinary stories through social media, digital advertising, out-of-home through wrapped vehicles, public relations, and leveraging an Austin influencer. Some of the results include an increase in website traffic by 65 percent, overnight stays by 8.5 percent, and food expenses by 8.5 percent.

Major Event of Year

This is presented to bid-based major events that have proven economic impact for its region. Visit Lake Charles claimed in honor of the PGA Korn Ferry Tour Lake Charles Championship. Professional golfers traveled from across the nation and around the world for a chance to compete in this four-day tournament.

Ochsner Christus welcomes pair

Ochsner Christus Health Center-Lake Area welcomes the husband-and-wife team of Kelly Paulk, M.D., and Emily Paulk, M.D. to the Lake Charles community.

A Lake Charles native, Dr. Kelly Paulk is board certified in the treatment of pain medicine, especially chronic pain involving the musculoskeletal system and spine. He earned a medical degree from the Louisiana State University Health Science Center New Orleans School of Medicine, where he also completed an internship and residency, as well as a fellowship in pain medicine. He has been with Ochsner since 2019. He is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine. He treats patients at Building G, Suite 1 on the Lake Area campus at 4150 Nelson Road.

Dr. Emily Paulk is a primary care physician and board certified in internal medicine. After undergraduate work at LSU, she earned a medical degree from the LSU Health Science Center New Orleans School of Medicine. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She has been on staff at Ochsner since 2017. Dr. Paulk treats patients at the Lake Area campus at Building G, Suite 5

Cormier named senior VP

The SWLA Economic Development Alliance/Chamber SWLA has announced that Eric Cormier has been tapped to lead the Alliance/Chamber SWLA’s business development efforts.

Cormier has been promoted to senior vice president of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Initiatives at the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance/Chamber SWLA.

He will oversee the agency’s programs and advocacy for entrepreneurship and small business development within the five-parish area. He will also manage the SEED Center Business Incubator.

Along with those duties, Cormier will continue working with the agency’s economic/community development, governmental affairs and strategic communications initiatives.

Cormier began working at the Alliance/Chamber SWLA as a Special Projects manager in 2013. In 2016, he was promoted to vice president of policy and strategic Development.

Cormier graduated from McNeese State University in 1993 with a degree in mass communications. He completed studies in the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association Economic Developer Program.

EXIT welcomes team members

EXIT Realty Southern is pleased to announce the addition of Lauren Bane Huffman. Huffman brings four years of real estate experience serving the residents of  Southwest Louisiana.

She and her team, The Land Home Group, have been serving Southwest Louisiana since 2019.

Damon Thorn and Rachel Lanclos have also joined EXIT Realty Southern at its offices at 3701 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur.

EXIT Realty Southern is a proud member of EXIT Realty of Louisiana’s rapidly expanding network of independently owned and operated brokerages across the region.

Hospital honors five employees

SULPHUR — West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital recently recognized several outstanding employees with Employee of the Month distinction.

Employees recognized were: Lolita Roberts, lab; Blanche Matthews, housekeeping; Heather Miller, respiratory; Matthew Welsh, marketing & communications; and Jessica Soto, physical medicine.