Special to BIZ. Magazine
Each year the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce hosts the J. Pat Beaird Industry of the Year awards, with the support of our sponsors, Chase Bank, the J. Pat Beaird Memorial Fund and 318Forum.
This year in a hybrid event, hosted both in person at the Shreveport Club and online via Zoom, the Chamber honored Morris and Dickson, Co. LLC
“The Chamber is delighted to award our Industry of the Year Award this year to Morris and Dickson,” affirmed Dr. Timothy Magner, Shreveport Chamber president. “We are excited to honor Paul Dixon, the Dixon Family and all of the over 400 employees of Morris and Dickson for their industry leadership and their contribution to our community and region.”
For almost 180 years, Morris & Dickson has supplied health systems and pharmacies across 15 states with brand, generic and specialty pharmaceuticals as well as durable medical equipment (DME) and over-the-counter (OTC) products. The company has grown to become the fourth largest medical distributor and the nation’s largest closely held company in the healthcare supply chain. Their products have been instrumental in providing quality health care for not only North Louisiana, but also the country, particularly during this challenging pandemic. Morris & Dickson has survived, prospered and grown because it is and has always been made up of good, hard working people diligently going about their business with integrity, respect, and a focus on delivering value to the customer.
The J. Pat Beaird Memorial Industry of the Year award pays tribute to the memory of J. Pat Beaird, who devoted his life to community service, and helped make Shreveport and the State of Louisiana a more wonderful place to live and work. Beaird was the driving force behind many operations and organizations in our region. He was an active member of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, where he served on the Industrial Development Council in the 1940s and was instrumental in many initiatives that shaped northwest Louisiana.
In addition to honoring Morris and Dickson the Chamber also provided special recognition to the frontline healthcare workers at our three regional health systems, Willis Knighton Health System, LSU/Ochsner and Christus Shreveport Bossier, for their tireless dedication and tremendous sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“2020 has been an unprecedented year due to the transformational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of this virus has altered our lives in countless ways and has caused each of our businesses and our families to adjust, adapt and overcome. Each of us has had to expand our scope of responsibility, but no group has done this more consistently and with greater consequences for themselves and for us than those on the front lines at our three medical systems,” stated Shreveport Chamber Board Chairman, Lyle Jeansonne. “Many of these individuals toil in obscurity, cleaning rooms, taking blood, maintaining ventilators and IV pumps, providing triage and in one of the most challenging aspects of this disease, serving as the only human contact many of these patients experience. We wanted to show our appreciation to the literally thousands of men and women in our community who put themselves at risk every day to keep us safe.”
The award presentation concluded with “Don’t Be A Bystander” keynote speaker Spencer Stone. Spencer is a former Air Force Staff Sergeant whose courageous actions helped thwart a 2015 terrorist attack in Paris. He is the author of a book based on his experience, titled “The 15:17 to Paris” and played himself in Clint Eastwood’s feature film based on the book.
In a gripping speech, Stone recounted his own experiences, emphasized the importance of taking action when we see other human beings in trouble and wove a rich account of courage, honor, community and destiny that our audience found both riveting and life-affirming.