Wednesday, June 19, 2024

And the finalists are…  The Business of the Year & Small Business of the Year

by BIZ Magazine

AT&T Louisiana has emerged as a key player in the region, making significant strides in fiber expansion, introducing new cell towers for enhanced coverage, and actively participating in impactful community service projects. Noteworthy is their steadfast support for Bossier Parish Community College’s Fiber Optics Training Program, showcasing a deep commitment to workforce development. Beyond business, AT&T Louisiana’s engagement with local schools, contributions to scholarship programs, and involvement in initiatives for individuals with criminal records underscore their dedication to community enrichment and social responsibility. Their comprehensive approach to business and community impact positions them as highly deserving candidates for this prestigious award.

In Bossier City, the innovative mind behind Boba Xpress and Café Boba Tea, Lang Earb, has revolutionized the boba tea experience over the past seven years. Her unwavering commitment to quality is evident in every detail, from thoughtfully selected tea blends to premium ingredients, ensuring patrons savor the epitome of boba perfection. Earb’s vision extends beyond crafting exceptional beverages; it encompasses creating an inviting environment where customers feel valued. As a business owner, Earb strives not only for profit but to inspire others, sharing her journey of overcoming challenges in a foreign land. Actively contributing to charitable causes like the Domestic Violence Task Force and supporting dog rescues, Lang Earb intertwines boba tea excellence with a commitment to community, empowerment, and global philanthropy.

Express Employment Professionals in Shreveport/Bossier, owned by Blake and Kristi Wren, is dedicated to empowering success and inspiring hope in the community. With a mission to bring hope through employment, they provide comprehensive solutions for job seekers and local businesses, acting as advocates for associates and serving as the Human Resources department for enterprises. Over the past decade, their commitment has resulted in serving thousands of associates/employees, collaborating with numerous local businesses, and creating substantial payroll for Shreveport/Bossier. With a new building and an expanded Skilled Trades division, Blake and Kristi Wren continue to prioritize others, aiming to provide hope and serve their community. As active community members, they believe in the bright future of Shreveport-Bossier, making Express Employment Professionals a nationally recognized staffing firm globally.

Give Me 3, founded in 2017, is more than a retail entity; it symbolizes a business venture driven by a desire for something more significant. Guided by God’s direction, creativity, and a family history of small business ownership, Give Me 3 has expanded its reach to 41 states and international destinations in six years. Beyond commerce, it has evolved into a platform for philanthropy, supporting educators, acknowledging single mothers, and contributing to Christmas initiatives for disadvantaged children. Give Me 3 embodies a space of prayer, resilience, and a testament to promises, transcending the typical retail experience. (Small Business of the Year Winner)

Jeter Therapy Group is a dedicated partner in assisting individuals of all ages, including children and adults, in achieving their goals through speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Their clinicians address unique challenges presented by each patient daily, staying abreast of the latest training, techniques, and education to provide top-notch care to the community. Expanding its outreach with multiple locations across Louisiana, Jeter Therapy Group aims to reach and treat a broader spectrum of patients, playing a significant role in shaping the success of future generations by helping individuals reach their full potential.

Lamb and Associates, a locally based promotional item business, demonstrated resilience post-pandemic by refocusing marketing budgets for clients. Successfully restructuring their approach, they expanded and created new avenues for businesses to promote themselves. Lamb and Associates not only ensures brand consistency but also facilitates accessibility of logoed items for members and potential members. Their innovative thinking has propelled their own growth and positively impacted other businesses in Northwest Louisiana. By assisting businesses in creating efficient and professional platforms for obtaining promotional items and apparel, Lamb & Associates contributes to the success of their clients’ directives.

LifeShare Blood Center plays a crucial role as a provider of blood and blood products to hospitals and clinics in Bossier City. Despite supply chain disruptions and labor challenges post-Covid, their dedication ensures a stable and readily available blood supply for the local, regional, and extended communities. Their daily efforts involve recruiting volunteer donors to meet the ongoing demand for blood needed in various medical situations, contributing significantly to healthcare resilience in the face of ongoing challenges.

Celebrating 100 years of service in the Bossier community, Willis-Knighton Health System has evolved from a small hospital to a comprehensive health system with five hospitals, support services, Quick Care centers, and over 150 physician offices. Recognized as Louisiana’s top-performing hospital in 2023, Willis Knighton has expanded its reach by adding a Suburban Physician Primary Care Clinic, introducing groundbreaking technologies for joint replacement and prostate cancer treatment. The organization launched Reach Out and Read, provided free physicals for high school athletes, expanded residency programs, and supported military readiness. Post-COVID-19 challenges strengthened WKHS, making it more resilient and adaptable to meet evolving healthcare demands in the region. (Business of the Year Winner)

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