Thursday, February 29, 2024

Meet the Bossier Chamber’s Business of the Year honorees

by BIZ Magazine

Cyber Innovation Center has been called an “economic gem” of northwest Louisiana by in Dr. Loren Scott in his economic impact report. Combined with their tenants in the National Cyber Research Park, CIC has helped secure $154.5 million in new business sales for the region, $148.2 million in new household earnings in the two-parish region, and 2,651 permanent jobs in the region. CIC prides itself on working with local companies and institutions of higher education, and accelerating that work in 2021 despite the many struggles with a global pandemic.  

Their STRIKEWERX division has provided solutions to innovation challenges facing Air Force Global Strike Command, tapping companies across the nation, higher education, and Airmen to develop solutions that save the Air Force millions of dollars. 

Through CYBER.ORG, the education division of the CIC, more than 3.4 million students across all 50 states have been reached. And, the program launched national K-12 cybersecurity standards in 2021, a national effort to align cybersecurity learning criteria across the U.S. 

Dillas Primo Quesadillas came into the Northwest Louisiana market in November 2018, bringing a fresh perspective to the local restaurant scene, serving individuals and families along with groups from their catering options. They have added two more locations in 2021, expanding into Bossier as well as South Shreveport. With this expansion, the company added more than 100 jobs to the local economy. And, Dillas has donated more than $100,000 back to the community in 2021 through fundraisers and community events, including but not limited to local 5k races, student and teacher awards and, most notably, a huge partnership to benefit the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana. 

Dillas truly seeks to build community through quesadillas. The company is working to make a community impact and has a strong commitment to the Shreveport/Bossier community. And it shows. The restaurant was voted Best Fast Food in 2021 in the SB Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards. 

PJ’s Coffee on Airline Drive opened in 2018 by owners Brandy and George Craft. The business world changed in 2020 due to the pandemic, and then 2021 brought supply and staff challenges, but one the Crafts leaned into and brought them closer to their staff. 

Brandy pioneered two new concepts for PJs, firsts within the entire company. First, she began drink flight boards, offering customers a variety of smaller size coffee drinks to sample so customers don’t have to pick just one drink to try! The Airline Drive business also began a mobile catering trailer to meet the changing needs of her clients and the community. And, she leaned into the New Orleans roots of the company, adding fresh cooked beignets to her menu, which is now her top selling item. 

The Crafts have been strong advocates for our military and first responders and have enjoyed community events the most, including hosting VFW Coffee Connections and local author signings as well as participating in Bossier Parish Libraries Book Club and VetFest. 

Omni Specialty Packaging, located at the Port of Caddo/Bossier, manufactures, markets, and distributes lubricants and chemicals to automotive and industrial markets in the United States and internationally. In addition, we perform custom blending, packaging, processing, and product design services, as well as the production of lawn and garden equipment lubricants for private label companies. Omni Specialty Packaging serves mass merchandisers, retailers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers, industrial users, and the oil and gas industry and they sell their products through distributors and suppliers. 

The Omni philosophy is clear – people are our most precious asset.  The company continues to proactively seek win/win alliances that have served its synergy from collective team stakeholders.  Their recent expansion and growth illustrate an ongoing commitment to serve customers’ needs.  Building relationships and sharing knowledge is what they call their formula for success.