2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Awards Luncheon

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Click here to read about the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Awards Recipients.

Click here to read about keynote speaker, Ralph de la Vega, Vice Chairman of AT&T Inc., CEO of Business Solutions & International and author.

About the Event and Awards Process

CFA holds a Leaders in Philanthropy Awards Luncheon each fall to honor outstanding area philanthropists, increase awareness of the value of philanthropy and to educate the public about CFA and its mission across its 8-parish service area. Different from a civic cup award for volunteerism, a Leaders in Philanthropy Award is primarily given to those folks who have made contributions or secured contributions to enhance the quality of life in their communities.

CFA presents the following two types of awards:

A Leaders in Philanthropy Award is awarded to an individual or couple in each of the eight (8) parishes of CFA’s primary service area who have made a philanthropic impact in their communities through substantial charitable contributions to or by attracting substantial contributions for nonprofits, churches or schools.

One or more Corporate Awards are presented to a corporation that has made a philanthropic impact, through substantial charitable contributions to nonprofits, churches or schools, in at least one of the eight (8) parishes of CFA’s primary service area. This award seeks to recognize a historically philanthropic company regardless of size of company or community.

Peggy and John Daniel Gielen III

Peggy and John Daniel Gielen III are receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for their dedication and generosity to Acadia Parish.

Among their many charitable contributions, Peggy and John Dan have been avid supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for years and have raised well over one million dollars for the organization through their businesses. They also support youth programs in Acadia Parish.

In 2012, John Dan built Freedom Plaza in Duson as a tribute to all members of the five branches of the armed services. It includes a 10’ high granite monument that is engraved with the names of fallen soldiers from the parishes of Acadia, Lafayette, St. Landry and Vermilion.

Peggy and John Dan are lifelong members of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Crowley. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and a former St. Michael Catholic School board member.

John Dan was recognized as Businessperson of the Year by the Crowley Chamber of Commerce in 1998. He also served on the board of directors for the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), Shop Rite and the Louisiana Oil Marketers Association. Peggy served on the board for both Tobacco Plus and Shop Rite.

John Dan founded Shop Rite, Inc. in May 1966. He was later joined by Rudolph Lotief, Peter John Saab and L.J. Gielen. The first store is located in Crowley and is still in operation today along with 37 other Shop Rite stores in south Louisiana. John Dan is the current active principle owner.

He opened the first Tobacco Plus store in Sulphur in November 1992. There are now a total of 26 Tobacco Plus stores throughout Louisiana. These retail stores provide millions of customers with groceries, beer, tobacco, fast food and fuel each year.

In 2001, John Dan purchased Church Point Wholesale, a regional grocery and tobacco wholesale company. Shop Rite, Tobacco Plus and Church Point Wholesale employ over 1,000 people in 15 parishes.

John Dan was born in Crowley and attended St. Michael’s High School. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration at Mississippi College. Peggy was born in Arnaudville and attended the Academy of Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau and Dominican College in New Orleans.

The couple has been married for over 50 years and have four daughters, 20 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Anita M. Fontenot

Anita M. Fontenot is receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for her leadership, dedication and commitment to improving Evangeline Parish.

Anita’s philanthropy is far reaching and began with mission trips through the First Baptist Church of Lafayette to Africa in 2001 and El Salvador in 2003. These trips changed her perception and taught her about servant leadership. She recognized that communities in Evangeline Parish faced similar challenges as those abroad such as education, medicine, poverty, unemployment and more. Anita strives to address those challenges by reaching out to others with a servant’s heart.

She is the general manager of Southwest Fidelity Corporation which has 12 offices located throughout Acadiana. She also serves as president of Percy J. Fontenot, Inc. which encompasses Fontenot’s Hatchery and a 3,500 acre farm in Evangeline Parish known as "Cazan Lake”. The farm produces rice, crawfish, and provides recreational and tourism opportunities such as camping and hunting. Anita continues to work toward her father’s vision of developing the property into a campground and conference center. Additionally, she offers The Hatchery, established by her father and mother, as a venue for special events such as Oz’s Pumpkin Patch, Bible studies, fellowship and much more.

Anita is the recipient of the Evangeline Area Council, Boy Scouts of America’s 2016 Evangeline Parish Distinguished Citizen award, and she received the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Business of the Year for Fontenot’s Hatchery.

She is a board member of the Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce, the Ville Platte Boys & Girls Club, the Acadian Baptist Center and One Acadiana. Anita is also a member of the Rotary Club in Ville Platte, where she is a workshop leader in its CHOICES program which teaches life skills to eighth graders. She is a member of the Community Advisory Panel for Cabot Corporation and has held leadership roles as the past president of both the St. Landry – Evangeline Parish United Way and the Louisiana Finance Association. She currently serves as the Vice President of Citizens Bank of Ville Platte.

Anita is a native of Vidrine and received her Bachelor of Finance degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has three children and 11 grandchildren.

Phil and Reneé Haney

Phil and Reneé Haney are receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for their leadership, dedication and commitment to improving Iberia Parish.

In 2003, they created the Phil Haney Community Projects nonprofit organization to work with the school system to provide services for at risk children and their families. In 2008, Phil and Reneé partnered with Community Foundation of Acadiana to establish the Phil Haney Community Fund to help with emergency needs and to provide scholarships for children in Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes. 

For the last 15 years, they have been actively involved in the Iberia Boys and Girls Club. Those efforts have included raising awareness in the community and actively fundraising through the Brudley's Wild Game Cook Off. They have been recognized as Distinguished Citizens by the Boy Scouts of America. 

Phil received the first Hero for Youth Award from the Iberia Parish School Board, the Public Official of the Year from the Louisiana Association of Social Workers, and the Civic Citizen of the Year from the Iberia Chamber of Commerce. Phil served as President of the District Attorneys Association and as Chairman of the 16th Judicial District Children and Youth Planning Board. He was also the United Way of Iberia Campaign Chairman for five consecutive years and raised money for many community programs. 

Phil was born in Levelland, Texas and is a graduate of New Iberia Senior High. He served in the United States Army from 1971-1973 and was an investigator with the Judge Advocate General’s Corp (known as JAG).

Phil graduated from LSU Law School in 1976 and worked at the 16th Judicial District Attorney's office in New Iberia until he retired in 2015. He served as the District Attorney from 2000-2015. 

Reneé is a native of New Iberia and a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL). She taught kindergarten in Iberia Parish for nine years. As a teacher, Reneé witnessed children struggling because of family issues that directly impacted their school attendance and behavior. This led Phil to create the Prosecutor's Early Intervention Program (PEIP). The program’s success led to recognition and partnership with the McArthur Foundation and the Models for Change initiative and has been a catalyst for change within Louisiana’s juvenile system. 

Phil and Reneé are longtime supporters of Nativity of Our Lady Parish, St. Edward School and Catholic High School. They have been married for 45 years and have three children and six grandchildren.

James "Jim” Devin and Ruth Moncus

James "Jim” Devin and Ruth Moncus are receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for their outstanding generosity towards charitable initiatives in Lafayette Parish.

Jim and Ruth share the same passion for faith in God, family, education, the arts and their community. Jim established the James Devin Moncus Family Foundation in 2005. The mission of the foundation is to further the philanthropic intent of its founder by supporting organizations and individuals in the fields of education, healthcare, animal welfare and the arts.

Since 2008, Jim and Ruth have distributed well over $5,000,000 to local education, healthcare, animal welfare and arts organizations through the James Devin Moncus Family Foundation.

Jim was born in Houston, Texas. He got his first job at the age of ten delivering 100 newspapers on his bicycle every day. After he graduated from high school, he served in the United States Marine Corp for four years.

Upon his return to Houston, he struggled in the oil field industry and became homeless. He followed the advice of a friend and traveled to Lafayette to seek a job from Lamb Oil Company. Jim was hired that day and sent offshore to work. He worked for Lamb for over a decade and worked his way up to International Sales.

In 1974, Jim started brokering oilfield equipment on his own and founded Devin International. He engineered and patented several oilfield instruments and employed more than 75 local employees. Jim sold his business in 2008.

Ruth was born in Eunice, Louisiana, but spent her childhood in California. Her family moved back to Louisiana when she was a teenager, and she graduated from Eunice High School.

After graduation, Ruth worked in a nursing home as a nursing assistant where her love of nursing began. She moved to Crowley and worked at American Legion Hospital while continuing her nursing education. Ruth was a leader in the nursing community for 30 years and was known for her kindness and caring nature. Her last job as a registered nurse was at the Dr. Tyler Mental Health Clinic.

They have been married for 18 years and have a blended family of three children and seven grandchildren.

Sue Soileau Brignac

Sue Soileau Brignac is receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for her leadership, dedication and commitment to St. Landry Parish.

Sue’s philanthropy is focused on supporting youth, education and those less fortunate than herself. As the President/CEO and Chairman of the board of Washington State Bank (WSB), she oversees community programs sponsored by WSB such as youth programs offered by the Town of Washington and St. Landry Parish Sheriff Guidroz’s popular "Cops for Kids” program.

For the last three years, Washington State Bank has awarded two annual scholarships to finance students at South Louisiana Community College. The Bank is a perennial sponsor for the Catfish Festival and Father Glenn Meaux’s Hobanal Haiti Mission and has been a corporate sponsor for the Acadiana Outreach Shelter, the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Dinner and many other annual events.

Sue’s business and community involvement is extensive. She has served as a Commissioner of St. Landry Parish Economic Industrial Development District for over 25 years and as Chairman of the Commission from 1999 until 2011. Sue serves as the Louisiana representative on the American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council Administrative Committee. She is also a Member of the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.

Her community involvement ranges from leadership roles in the Rotary Club, the St. Landry Chamber of Commerce, One Acadiana, the Committee of 100 and the St. Landry Economic Development Council.

Sue has received several awards for her community service and business acumen. She was named the Rotarian of the Year in 2003 and the Opelousas/St. Landry Chamber Business Person of the Year for 2001 and 2005. Sue is a 2010 recipient of Acadiana Business Magazine’s Women Who Mean Business Award, and she received the Athena Award, which is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities, in recognition of her professional excellence. 

Sue was a Louisiana Licensed Real Estate Broker from 1982-2009. In addition to being President/CEO and Chairman of the Board of WSB, she has been a member of its Board of Directors since 1983.

Sue is a native of Washington and a graduate of the Academy of Sacred Heart and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Sue was married to the late Creig Brignac and has two children and one granddaughter.

Roy and Catherine Poché

Roy and Catherine Poché are receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for their many contributions to St. Martin Parish.

Their faith is very important to them, and they have actively worked for the success of the St. Rita Catholic Church fair for over 50 years.

Roy has been a member of the Cursillo Ultreya spiritual group for many years. He started the Cursillo walk from Catahoula to Prairie Ronde and has been a participant for the past 23 years.

Roy was on the Regional Pastoral Council and represented St. Rita’s Church parish for the Diocese of Lafayette. He is also a former Knights of Columbus member and an active member of the St. Rita Centennial Campaign for the Diocese of Lafayette.

Catherine founded St. Rita’s Rosary Group and the Rosary Group for the Unborn. She was a religion teacher and a member of the Altar Society and the Church Cleaning Group. She is a member of the church choir, serves as a lector and is a Eucharistic Minister for church and homebound parishioners.

Roy has owned and been involved with many successful business ventures in the oil and gas industry for over 40 years. He is one of the majority owners of Superior Derrick, LLC, a fabrication company that builds derricks and land and large rigs. He co-founded Champion Resources with business partner, Rodney Verret, and bought and refurbished the old Martin Mills building in St. Martinville.

An avid sportsman, Roy started the Basin Management Hunting Club to preserve hunting for future generations. He is a past president and currently serves on the club’s board of directors. He also serves on the finance committee and the board of directors for St. Martin Land, Inc. Roy was inducted into the 2014 Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame.

Catherine volunteered at Catahoula Elementary School for many years. She still enjoys dressing up as "Maw Maw Clause” at Christmastime and serving hot chocolate to the students and teachers.

Roy and Catherine are also members of the Lafayette General Hospital Building Association.

Natives of St. Martin Parish, Roy graduated from St. Martinville Senior High, and Catherine graduated from Breaux Bridge Senior High. They have been married for 54 years and have five children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Dr. Alan M. Hoberman

Dr. Alan M. Hoberman and the late Dr. Mildred Stoehr Christian (1942-2009) are receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for their generous and perpetual contributions to St. Mary Parish. 

Natives of Pennsylvania, Alan and Mildred owned the antebellum mansion, Shadowlawn, in Franklin. Mildred donated Shadowlawn to the St. Mary Parish Chapter of the Louisiana Landmarks Society (SMCLLS) upon her death from breast cancer in 2009. In 2011, Alan donated $500,000 to the SMCLLS Trust for an endowment for the property and pledged to pay all expenses for maintenance and restoration. To date, he has donated over $175,000 towards this pledge.

Alan continues to honor Mildred’s legacy through his philanthropy. He offers a limited scholarship for undergraduates in biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and he established a chair in the College of Science atthe Mount Nittany Society at Penn State University in her name. Alan also contributes to the Endowment Fund for Education of Toxicologists of the American College of Toxicology in her honor.

Mildred was passionate about preserving history. She founded a Patriotic Sons of America chapter in Franklin with her father and replaced the historic lamp posts on Main Street. She and her father also endowed the children’s library at the Girard College for orphan boys.

Mildred and Alan supported the artistic endeavors of French and Argentinian dancers which contributed to the diffusion of Argentine tango in the USA.

Alan also has a long and active history with numerous professional societies and organizations and has served in different capacities including Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. 

Mildred worked with McNeil Laboratories for 14 years before founding her own company, Argus Research Laboratories, in 1979. Alan has been employed by Charles River Laboratories, Preclinical Services, Pennsylvania (formerly Argus Research Laboratories, Inc.) since 1981. He currently serves as Executive Director for Global Developmental, Reproductive and Juvenile Toxicology. Prior to joining Argus Research, Alan was the head of Reproductive Toxicology at Hazleton Laboratories in Vienna, Virginia. 

Together, they have published nearly 200 papers and book chapters. Mildred was the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Toxicology in addition to being involved with 20 professional organizations. 

Alan is a graduate from Drexel University and received his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. from Pacific Western University. Mildred received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University and her doctorate from Thomas Jefferson University. 

Alan and Mildred were married for over 28 years and were together for 40 years. Alan tries to visit St. Mary Parish monthly.

 Noe Raywood (N. R.) Broussard

Noe Raywood (N. R.) Broussard is receiving the 2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Award for his generous contributions to and support of countless charitable endeavors in Vermilion Parish. 

He is a longtime supporter of Vermilion Catholic High School, Palmetto Island State Park, the Abbeville Giant Omelette Celebration and the Vermilion Parish Chamber of Commerce to name a few. He recently purchased and donated the old Abbeville Post Office to the Vermilion Parish School Board for its discretionary use. In 1983, he made one of his first major contributions to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL) by donating $30,000 to the University Endowment Fund Drive.

N. R.’s philanthropy extends far beyond Vermilion Parish. He supports Father Glenn Meaux’s Haiti Mission and has made numerous contributions to the people on the Honduran Island of Utila. N. R. has provided generators for electricity, desks for the schools, musical instruments for the churches and more.

N. R. actively participated in numerous organizations. He was an officer and driving force behind the Abbeville Harbor and Terminal’s development of the Port of Vermilion. He served on the Board of Louisiana Oilfield Contractor’s Association, the Louisiana Shallow Draft Ports and Waterways Commission, and the Louisiana Intracoastal Seaway Association. N. R. also served as chairman of the International Relations Association of Acadiana. He was honored as the Small Business Person of the Year in 1986 by the Louisiana Department of Commerce and was inducted into the Acadian Museum’s Order of Living Legends in 2013.

Born in Pecan Island in 1921, N. R. served in the United States Navy during World War II from 1942-1945. Upon his return, he and his brother started Broussard Brother’s Boat Service, a tug boat company in Chalmette. In 1959, N. R. moved to Intracoastal City and developed the Broussard Brothers Boat business with his brothers, John Huey and Joseph. He used his exceptional business acumen to serve as President of Broussard Brother’s Inc.; Guy Scroggins, Inc.; Louisiana Chemical, Inc.; Acadian Contractors, Inc.; and Home Industry Disposal Company, Inc.

N. R. has eight children, 19 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren with Bobbie Jean McCann.

Richard E. Zuschlag, Co-founder of Acadian Companies

Acadian Companies is receiving the Leaders in Philanthropy Corporate Award for its outstanding generosity and commitment to Acadiana.

The company practices its mission of Knowing Life Matters through the services it provides every day and through its community involvement. The company’s philanthropy primarily supports causes that are focused on life and health.

Acadian supports organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana, Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana, Catholic Services of Acadiana’s "Opus Christi Magnum”, Lafayette Education Foundation, Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes and One Acadiana.

Acadian has received awards for its philanthropy from several organizations including the American Heart Association, Down Syndrome Society’s "Buddy Walk”, Lafayette General Foundation, Miles Perret Cancer Services’ "Games of Acadiana”, Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation, Special Olympics Louisiana, Susan G. Komen Acadiana and United Way of Acadiana.

Beyond Acadian’s corporate philanthropy, the company is most proud of its employees’ contributions of time and talent to organizations and initiatives of their choosing. Acadian employees have a great deal of pride in where they live and work, and they see every day as an opportunity to make a difference.

Acadian Ambulance Service was founded in 1971 and has since earned a reputation as the nation’s largest and most respected privately held medical transportation company. What began as a small ambulance company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services designed to offer the very best support and education in health, safety and transportation.

Acadian’s six divisions include Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, Acadian Total Security, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems. The company’s growth, diversity and commitment to excellence have garnered it international acclaim and recognition by the U.S. Senate; Microsoft founder and author, Bill Gates; Inc. Magazine; the Smithsonian Institution and many others.

In 1993, Acadian became employee owned by implementing an employee stock ownership plan and continues to grow and excel. Acadian employs more than 4,000 people across the United States and internationally. Its ambulance service area now encompasses 61,000 square miles and serves a population of almost 20 million people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas providing both emergency and non-emergency services. Additionally, Acadian’s safety and security divisions serve customers throughout North America and internationally.

Acadian has met tough standards and earned national accreditation in order to provide the best patient care possible. This voluntary process signifies that the company has met the "gold standard” determined by the ambulance industry to be essential in its operations and relationships with other agencies, the general public and the medical community. Accreditation means that Acadian is functioning at the highest level possible and has achieved a goal reached by fewer than four companies in Acadian’s entire service area.

Alex Voorhies, Chevron Corporation

Chevron – Gulf of Mexico Business Unit is receiving the Leaders in Philanthropy Corporate Award for its outstanding generosity to schools and charitable organizations in Acadiana.

For more than 135 years, Chevron has focused on safely developing affordable and reliable energy to enable economic growth and make lives better. Their vision is to be the energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance. Partnership is very important to Chevron globally, in Louisiana, and in Acadiana as they work to create prosperity in the communities where they operate—now and for generations to come.

That partnership includes supporting a large number of civic and charitable institutions and initiatives. Over the past ten years, Chevron has contributed approximately $1.9 billion to global community partnerships. With these resources, the company works with governmental and community stakeholders to identify needs, and then invests in solutions, programs and partners that create measurable and enduring value for people around the world.

Locally, the company has tremendous partners that work to protect, support and sustain the environment. Chevron has collaborations with organizations and events that stimulate economic growth. They also have educational partnerships that encourage a love of science, technology, engineering and math among students as well as partnerships that provide for the health and well-being of the people of the Gulf Coast.

In Acadiana, Chevron’s partners have included API Acadiana, One Acadiana, the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition, Festival International de Louisiane, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts, Lafayette’s Second Harvest Food Bank, the Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Nature Conservancy, David Thibodaux STEM Academy and their "Project Lead the Way” program, and Rebuilding Together Acadiana.

For Chevron, partnership also means becoming personally involved in these worthwhile initiatives; the company is dedicated to promoting volunteerism by giving its workforce the time and resources to lend a hand to important causes. Last year, Chevron employees, contractors and their families invested over 14,000 volunteer hours in Louisiana. The company also matches charitable contributions to qualified nonprofits for up to $10,000 per employee.

Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit and its workforce have been repeatedly recognized for their efforts, receiving numerous awards including being named last year’s Outstanding Leader in Corporate Philanthropy by the New Orleans Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

With their Employee Resource and Training Center located on Galbert Road, Chevron remains committed to Lafayette, Louisiana, and the entire Gulf Coast, sharing these communities’ goals in order to create a better future. For more information about Chevron and its charitable efforts along the Gulf Coast, please visit www.gomsocialinvestmentreport.com. This site provides details about Chevron and its people, programs, projects and partnerships that help fuel the social and economic vitality of our world.

2016 Leaders in Philanthropy Awards Keynote Speaker

Ralph de la Vega

Vice Chairman of AT&T Inc., CEO of Business Solutions & International and author of "Obstacles Welcome: Turn Adversity to Advantage in Business and Life"

Mr. de la Vega was appointed Vice Chairman of AT&T Inc. and CEO of Business Solutions & International on Feb. 1, 2016. He has overall responsibility for the company’s integrated Business Solutions group which serves more than 3.5 million business customers in nearly 200 countries and territories, including nearly all of the world's Fortune 1000 companies. He also has overall responsibility for AT&T’s wireless business operations in Mexico and DIRECTV in Latin America.

Previously, he was President and CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions, where he had overall responsibility for the company's wireless and business services operations. Before that, he was President and CEO of AT&T Mobility. Under his leadership, AT&T Mobility became one of the world’s leading smartphone and mobile Internet providers and expanded into new growth areas such as connected cars, and home security and automation.

During his career he has held numerous executive positions, including COO of Cingular Wireless and President of BellSouth Latin America. As the COO of Cingular Wireless, Mr. de la Vega was responsible for the integration of AT&T Wireless and Cingular Wireless, following the largest all-cash merger in U.S. history at the time. As President of BellSouth Latin America, he was responsible for wireless operations in 11 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Mr. de la Vega serves on the boards of American Express Company, New York Life Insurance Company, and Morehouse College. He also serves as Chairman of All-Markets Initiatives for the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the board of Junior Achievement Worldwide.

He has received numerous awards recognizing his leadership, including induction into the Atlanta Business Hall of Fame and the prestigious Global Innovation Award from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Mr. de la Vega has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University. He completed the Executive Program at the University of Virginia and received a Doctor Honoris Causa from FAU.

He is the author of the best-selling book Obstacles Welcome: Turn Adversity to Advantage in Business and Life (Thomas Nelson, 2009).

A native of Cuba, Mr. de la Vega and his family live in Dallas, TX



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