Thursday, July 18, 2024

Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Hosts J. Pat Beaird Industry of the Year Award Luncheon Presented by Regions Bank

by BIZ Magazine

SHREVEPORT, La. – The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the annual J. Pat Beaird Industry of the Year Award Luncheon, presented by Regions Bank, which will take place on [insert date] at [insert location]. This esteemed event celebrates outstanding business achievements within the Greater Shreveport area and offers an opportunity to hear from nationally-recognized speakers.

This year’s keynote speaker is Keni Thomas, a former Staff Sergeant with the 3rd Ranger Battalion and a veteran of the Battle of Mogadishu. Thomas, now an award-winning country music artist and bestselling author, will share his gripping experiences from the battlefield and insights on leadership and perseverance.

In the summer of 1993, Thomas was deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, as part of Task Force Ranger. Their mission was to capture a notorious warlord, Mohammed Farrah Aidid. On October 3, 1993, Thomas and his fellow Rangers were involved in an 18-hour firefight, a battle later depicted in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.” Nineteen Americans lost their lives, and 78 were wounded in what was one of the worst urban combat situations faced by U.S. troops since WWII.

Thomas’s powerful and inspiring message, drawn from his military experiences, emphasizes the importance of leadership at every level. His mantra, “Train as You Fight, Fight as You Train, and Lead by Example,” encapsulates the Ranger motto “Rangers Lead the Way!” Thomas highlights that true leadership is about the example you set for those you serve, regardless of your rank or title.

Following his military service, Thomas pursued a successful music career, becoming an acclaimed country music recording artist and songwriter. He and his band Cornbread were featured in the movie “Sweet Home Alabama,” and his music is played on country stations nationwide. Thomas has continued to support troops through regular tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and has been recognized by the President of the United States and Congress. He serves as a national spokesman for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, providing college educations to children of special operations personnel killed in combat or training.

The J. Pat Beaird Industry of the Year Award recognizes businesses that demonstrate real dollar expansion, community involvement, and job creation. To qualify, businesses must represent an industry with significant personnel employment. This prestigious award continues to honor the values promoted by Pat Beaird himself.

Past notable speakers at the luncheon have included Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.), Marcus Luttrell, and Spencer Stone, each bringing unique and compelling stories of bravery and leadership.

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