A Month of Honors

Publisher’s Note

This month, the level of honors being given out in the New Orleans business community is at possibly its highest level. Including among them, May celebrates the Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans’ annual Hall of Fame Laureates.

I am proud to serve on the board of JA of Greater New Orleans, and this year Biz New Orleans has signed on as a sponsor of JA BizTown, the comprehensive in-class curriculum that teaches valuable life skills that are at the core of all JA programming — financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

Since 1984, JA has been honoring local business executives who have embraced the spirit of entrepreneurship within our community, and this year’s class is outstanding. The honorees are Karen DeBlieux, David Gallo, Steve Gleason, Jake C Jensen, Jr., Dan Shapiro and Michael Smith. Joseph Canizaro, a 1986 Hall of Fame Laureate, is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, while Latter & Blum took home the Oscar J. Thomas Business of the Year honor. This year’s Junior Achievement Hall of Fame event is May 4 at the Ritz Carlton. For tickets and information, visit jagno.org.

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Also this month, our sister publication, New Orleans Magazine, honors its annual class of Top Female Achievers. This year’s honorees are Belinda Flores-Shinshillas, Dawn Bradley-Fletcher, Jacqueline Thanh, Simone Maloz, Christa Cotton, Rashain Carriere-Williams, Katy Simpson Smith, Asante Salaam and Amy Landry. You can read about all their achievements in the May issue of New Orleans Magazine or online at MyNewOrleans.com. The magazine will honor these excellent achievers this month at an event sponsored by Thibodaux Regional Health System at the Roof Top on Basin.

Looking back, I want to congratulate Joseph Ditta and Kolette Mandina-Ditta on receiving the Spes Unica award from the University of Holy Cross. This is the highest award the university bestows on anyone who embodies the mission of the university and inspires others to the same. The Spes Unica dinner was held last month at the Higgins Hotel. If you would like to donate to the university to honor the Dittas for this outstanding award that raises money for scholarships at the university, visit uhcno.edu.

Speaking of honoring, with Mother’s Day on May 14, I also want to give a shout out to all mothers. In my family we have a new mom to celebrate with the birth of James earlier this year. Happy first Mother’s Day Malayne, along with Miranda, June, Phyllis and Andrea. You are all exceptional ladies in my life and deserving of celebration all year long, not just one day a year.

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Have a great May and get ready for summer.

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Todd Matherne
CEO and Publisher
Renaissance Publishing

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