77th annual Chamber Banquet held

The 77th Annual DeQuincy Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held Thursday, Feb. 29, at First United Pentecostal’s T. D. Cardwell Center.

Dr. John Bishop, former resident, was presented the Distinguished Person Award.

Jimmy Henagan, vocalist, accompanied by Ashton Smith and Tyler Williams sang “He Looked Beyond Faults and Saw My Needs”.

The nominees for 2024 Civic Service Award were announced. Then remarks were given by Mayor Riley Smith concerning ongoing efforts for economic development and progress that has been made with installation of a new sewer system, new patrol cars for DeQuincy Police Dept. as well as a new fire truck. He encouraged everyone to help clean up the city; enough time has passed post hurricane that it is time to start cleaning up to keep the city from decline. In closing he asked that everyone keep Michael Suchanek in their prayers as he is in Houston undergoing medical treatment.

Chamber of Commerce officers and board members were introduced. Local firefighters were recognized and honored for their extra ordinary service during the wildfires of 2023 that blazed in our surrounding area.

Coconuts Cajun Grill was saluted as the Business of the Year. George Swift, President/CEO at SWLA Economic Development Alliance spoke about the present economic climate and how important it is for all of Southwest Louisiana, including our area, for the pause to be lifted on permitting natural gas plants. He also spoke abut the recent developments in progress made in getting a new I-10 toll bridge. He highlighted DeQuincy’s potential for renewed growth with such assets as its industrial airpark and industry, its airport, proximity to area industry for jobs, the availability of schools and a local hospital and a real advantage that DeQuincy still retains a local newspaper. He concurred with Mayor Smith that it takes patience to attract businesses and that cleanup of the city would attract growth. He encouraged all to take part, even if it was so small as picking up litter. He announced that there were small business training sessions planned for this year. He urged everyone to work together to make DeQuincy and Southwest Louisiana better.

Hank Frazier, Public Works Supervisor for the City of DeQuincy who goes beyond the boundaries of his job to help our citizens. (Read nominating letter in this issue.) received the Civic Service Award. He was nominated by DeQuincy Police Department’s Major Jerry Bell and Chief Annajo Haynes. Other nominees included: Dr. Peter Bayles, Jennifer Goza and Gwen Chapper.