Monday, June 17, 2024

Leaderboard: Nov. 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Citizens National Bank names Michael Colston as VP of Community Development/Business Banker

Michael Colston is a seasoned leader in the banking industry with extensive experience in financial advisory and business consulting. Known for his strategic leadership, Michael excels in fostering team growth, ensuring consistent business expansion, and exceeding customer expectations.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Michael is passionate about community engagement. He is currently involved with Junior Achievement , Father on a Mission, and United Way. In his off time, Michael enjoys fishing, cooking, listening to music, spending time with family and friends and International travel along with supporting the New Orleans Saints and Southern University football.

Michael’s well-rounded perspective from his diverse experiences, amplifies his impact both professionally and in his community work. He dedicated to making a positive difference in serving and leading with empathy and integrity.

Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC adds two new positions

Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC (HMV), listed in Forbes as one of America’s Top Recommended Tax and Accounting firms, is pleased to announce the fulfillment of two new positions – Rachel Lee Prestwood, CPA as Innovation & Advisory Manager and Jessica R. George as Talent Acquisition & Development Manager – effective October 2, 2023. 

Combined with four years of public accounting experience, Rachel Lee will bring her data analytics and visualization skill set to the Firm to focus on the digital transformation required to do business as technology advances. 

“This new position was created out of the need for HMV to have a champion for the Firm’s digital efforts over the next few years, with the ultimate goal of bringing this valuable service to our clients,” says Chris Solomon, Partner at HMV. 

Rachel Lee received her Bachelor of Accountancy followed by her Master of Taxation and Data Analytics from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. 

In the community, Rachel Lee is active in both professional and community organizations, currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA), the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA), and a provisional member of the Junior League of Shreveport Bossier to name a few. 

Jessica joins the Human Resources department at HMV bringing vision and strategy to the talent acquisition and development program that will enable career growth for current and future team members. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of Student Services and Placement for the Louisiana Tech College of Business. 

Jessica graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a Bachelor of Business Administration followed by a Master of Business Administration. Since obtaining her degrees, she is the recipient of the 2013 South Arkansas Women’s Network Horizon Award, 2018 Louisiana Tech University Visionary Educator of the Year Award, 2020 Louisianan Tech University College of Business Innovation Award, and has been named a 2023 Rising Lincoln Leader by Mayor Ronny Walker and the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. 

Louisiana Tech names Wick COES dean

Louisiana Tech University has announced the appointment of Dr. Collin Wick as Dean of the College of Engineering and Science (COES). Wick has been with Louisiana Tech for 16 years, a decade of which he has spent in leadership roles within the COES.

Wick most recently served as associate dean of research, a position he will continue to hold, and associate dean of graduate studies, where he spearheaded a proposal for a new doctoral degree program expected to increase enrollment following approval from the Louisiana Board of Regents. Before he was appointed associate dean of graduate studies, Wick was the program chair of chemistry, where he more than doubled enrollment.

Along with his leadership experience, Wick brings a history of mentoring, research, and teaching to the role. Under his guidance, the Graduate Student Council was revived to provide graduate students with a platform to voice concerns, plan events, create professional development opportunities, and enhance their academic experiences.

Wick’s teaching and research experience has helped the University engage new generations of scientists and engineers inside and outside the classroom. Research from his lab has resulted in over 80 peer-reviewed articles, numerous conference presentations, and nearly $13 million in grant funds for the University. He has also taught a range of courses from the freshman to the graduate level. His dedication to teaching earned him the 2023 University Foundation Professorship Award.

United Way of NWLA’s Melton awarded by PR federation for campaign

United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s (UWNWLA) Associate Director of Communications, Paige Melton, has been awarded by the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) for her outstanding public relations practices around UWNWLA’s Book Club campaign.

Professional and student members of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA), the Public Relations Association of Louisiana (PRAL), and the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) earned a total of 60 awards honoring the best PR in the Gulf South. During the SPRF’s Lantern Award Ceremony in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 12, 2023, Paige was announced as a Lantern Award recipient, the highest award of honor distributed by SPRF.

Professional and student submissions in 30 categories were scored on their individual merit based on adherence and success utilizing the four-step RPIE process by PR practitioners outside SPRF’s four-state region. Award-winning entries demonstrating excellence in process and results earned Certificates of Merit and Awards of Excellence, with top projects and programs earning Lantern Awards. The Best of Tier winners were selected from the Lantern-winning entries in each tier, with the Best of Show award chosen from the three Best of Tier winners.

This is the second award Paige has received, championing her work for the United Way Book Club. In April, she was recognized locally at the PRAL Northwest Beacon Awards Ceremony and received an Award of Merit. Paige’s excellence has also earned her a spot in the Young Professionals Initiative of Northwest Louisiana’s 40 Under Forty class of 2023.

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