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As I sit down to write to you this month, we are celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8. This day focuses on celebrating women’s achievements across the globe. This year’s theme is Balance for Better, discussing the need for a more gender-balanced world. Here in the Bayou Region, it’s not uncommon to see women working alongside men and in positions of power and ownership within their own companies in industries such as the oilfield, real estate and health care. In this month’s edition, we sit down with four women in very different industries to talk about what it’s like to sit in a position of power at the table. Dawn Becker has been in a management role at Southland Mall for 20 of the mall’s 50 years. Currently the general manager, Dawn shares what her day to day looks like in the area’s largest shopping center. Dr. Kristine Strickland has always believed in furthering yourself through education. As Chancellor of Fletcher Technical Community College, she helps to pave the way for students to earn their education. While the business bears her beloved father’s name, Wendy Picou is the worker bee behind Mr. Ronnie’s Hot Donuts. One of the co-owners along with her siblings, Wendy is happy to share her take on the donut business. Shawn Bourgeois finds herself in the heavily male-dominated field of oil and gas. Serving as the Quality Manager at B&B Rentals and Manufacturing, Shawn faces challenges head-on and believes in continually improving, whether it’s your business or in life in general. The number of Louisiana women-owned businesses has doubled over the past 20 years according to reports from American Express. Roughly 144,600 Louisiana businesses are owned by women. I think we are headed in the right direction for women achieving more in the business world.

FEATURED BUSINESSES

Associated Pump & Supply—the locally-and-family-owned business established in 1980—continues to serve communities in south Louisiana, Mississippi and south Texas through the company’s dedication, innovation and hard work in local flood protection and drainage. From its humble beginnings of founder Louis “Booga”

It’s nearly indescribable: the aftermath following the loss of a loved one. During this trying time in their lives, families and friends of the deceased look for not only expert guidance and assistance but also tender care when choosing the

FEATURED ARTICLES

The donut shop that is a household word in the Bayou Region bears the name of a man. But long before equal opportunity for women was a “thing” the family business made use of all its members regardless of gender.

BOURGEOIS FACES EVERY CHALLENGE HEAD ON When Houma native Shawn Bourgeois entered the workforce after graduating from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in marketing, she didn’t see herself as co-owner and quality manager for a highly successful oilfield-related rentals and

DR. KRISTINE STRICKLAND CREATES A LEARNING HAVEN AT FLETCHER Fletcher Technical Community College continues to grow and evolve (looking to break ground on a new building at their campus in Schriever this year and continuously expanding their program) under the watch

Business leaders say programs are in place to increase employment and management opportunities for women in local workforces. But census numbers indicate a persistent gap in wages between men and women based on cold data from the year 2016, the latest

Southland Mall has been a local treasure in our community for 50 years. The first shopping mall of its kind in our area, the mall has been a shopping destination for generations. But did you know the true hidden jewel of

A tumultuous focus on how public recreation is administered, handled and is paid for continues in Terrebonne Parish. The local government’s own recreation department, which administers programs at various gyms and playing fields, has a new director who so far has

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