Good to Know is a monthly roundup of news, business and other information happening throughout Shreveport-Bossier City.

Krewe of Justinian Donates $30K to Shreveport Bar Association

Through the efforts of Krewe of Justinian membership and leadership for the Mardi Gras season 2017-2018, over $30,000 was donated for the Shreveport Bar Foundation’s community projects and building fund. The Shreveport Bar Center is home to the Shreveport Bar Foundation Pro Bono Lawyer program, Legal Representation for Victims of Domestic Violence (LRVDV) program, the monthly Ask A Lawyer, the annual Wills for Veterans and many other important legal events. 

Captain Larry Pettiette noted that the chairperson of each event rigorously stayed within budget and promoted community involvement, which, with the assistance of the other Ark-La-Tex Mardi Gras krewes, resulted in a very successful Mardi Gras season for Justinian. The Krewe of Justinian looks forward to celebrating its silver (25th) anniversary in the upcoming Mardi Gras season.  

SWEPCO Names Gary Guin as Director of Distribution Risk and Project Management 

Gary Guin has been named director of Distribution Risk and Project Management for Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP). Based in Shreveport, Guin is responsible for distribution engineering, project management, reliability and risk.

Previously, Guin served as SWEPCO’s region support manager where he implemented the Incident Command System, a management tool for both large and small-scale emergencies. In 1986, Guin began his career at SWEPCO as a pumpman at Arsenal Hill Power Plant in Shreveport. During his lengthy career at the company, he has worked in dispatch for transmission and distribution, as a bulk power energy trader and led SWEPCO’s LEAN initiative, which identifies and implements process improvements across the company.

Guin earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management at Louisiana State University Shreveport.

Citizens National Bank Names Mark Porter to Board of Directors  

Citizens National Bank announced that Mark Porter has been named to the Citizen’s National Bank Board of Directors. Porter is a prominent business owner in Shreveport-Bossier City. Better known for Porter’s Fine Dry Cleaning, he also has Porter’s Industrial, a company that cleans uniforms, mats, mops and provides janitorial products throughout the Ark-La-Tex. Porter’s commercial and residential real estate interests include beach rentals in Gulf Shores, AL.

A lifelong Caddo/Bossier resident, he is a past president of the Red River Revel and the Shreveport Better Business Bureau. The Shreveport Optimist Club named him Mr. Shreveport 2002. His commitment to his community prompted him to start the Coats for Kids program. Customers are encouraged to donate unused coats to the Porter’s Fine Dry Cleaning locations where they are cleaned and distributed to kids throughout the area who would otherwise go unprotected in the winter months.

Porter began Coats for Kids 30 years ago and the program has become a Shreveport-Bossier City institution.

“We are thrilled to announce Mark Porter as our newest member of the Board of Directors. His desire for giving back to his community aligns with who we are as a bank and the important role we play in the community. He shares our passionate goal of being ‘the’ community bank of North Louisiana for many years to come,” said Jason D. Smith, Citizens National Bank president and CEO.

Porter is a 1976 graduate of Captain Shreve High School and a 1980 graduate of Louisiana Tech where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Personnel Management. He is married to Kate and they have seven children and four grandchildren between them.

2018 Minority Business Opportunity Award Winners Announced

The Business Development Connection (BDC) of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce awarded five professionals with various awards at the 2018 Minority Business Opportunity Awards.

Dr. Felice A. Williams was honored as the Top Business Professional of the Year. Dr. Felice Williams is an Associate Professor of Management at the LSUS School of Business and currently holds the James and Ann Gardener Professorship for Civic Engagement. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Dr. Williams pursued a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the Master’s Level. After graduating with her master’s degree, she joined DCI Consulting in Washington D.C., a Human Resource Risk Management Firm. She left consulting to pursue a career in academia and completed her doctoral degree at Virginia Tech.  Dr. Williams holds a membership in the Society for Human Resource Management at both the national and local levels and serves in the role of advisor to the LSUS Chapter.  

Ryan Williams, CEO of Seedlinks Behavior Management, LLC, was named Emerging Business of the Year. Ryan is the CEO of SeedLinks Behavior Management, LLC.  Seedlinks advocates for planning and policies at all levels of society to provide accessible, reliable mental health services with a focus on prevention and treatment. It is their mission to assertively and professionally produce long-term services for the families and communities they serve in order to efficiently initiate access to recovery and mental health care. 

Cindy Smith, owner of Kalmbach Smith Meadows, was named Small Business Owner of the Year. Kalmbach Smith Meadows (KSM) was established in 2002, when Cindy Smith and Andy Meadows purchased Kalmbach Advertising from the original owner, Lew Kalmbach. Cindy Smith, as the principal owner, was the managing partner for eight years.  In 2010, Cindy became the sole owner, purchasing the business outright and continues to grow and further expand the talents and capabilities of the firm and the team. Building on a 33-year history of relationships and rewards in the industry, Kalmbach Smith Meadows is best known for its boundless creative, diligent and transparent budget management and client centric service.  As a full-service marketing firm, KSM dedicates time and efforts to marketing, public relations and advertising for the 30+ active local regional and national accounts with an average annual $1.4 million gross billing.  

SWEPCO was named Business of the Year. SWEPCO, strives to improve their customers’ experience, strengthen their communities and energize their employees to create a brighter future together. As an energy company they operate every hour of every day to safely provide more than 535,000 customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas with reliable, affordable electricity. They are involved in the communities where they do business, and the boundless energy of their employees makes it all possible. Hundreds of SWEPCO employees generously share their knowledge, time and effort to support many different organizations, including Junior Achievement of North Louisiana; Right to Play, Inc.; Dress for Success Shreveport-Bossier and the Fuller Center for Housing. 

Dr. Harry Blake, pastor of Mount Canaan Missionary Baptist Church was named the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient. Pastor Blake has served as pastor of the Mount Canaan Baptist Church of Shreveport since 1966. He is President Emeritus of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention and the 13th District Baptist Association and currently serves as Vice President at Large of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Young. He survived a horrific beating at the hands of former Police Commissioner George D’Artois in response to a planned peaceful protest and prayer vigil to honor the memory of the four little girls killed in the bombing of a church in Birmingham, AL in 1963. Reverend Blake has led the Mount Canaan Baptist Church family into establishing a Model Prayer Service that has been emulated throughout the nation. He has instituted ministries to serve all segments of the congregation and community.