Barbara Irwin, Chairman of the Board, said, “We are here to celebrate the talents of everyone as a group, not just one individual. We are celebrating the chamber as a whole.”

The Ascension Chamber of Commerce believes that together, we advance Ascension.

On January 29, the chamber had their Annual Awards Banquet at Houmas House. The banquet takes place in order to honor individuals and businesses that help with the growth of Ascension and better the community.

The presenting sponsor of the event was St. Elizabeth's Hospital. Cox Business was the award sponsor. Silver sponsors included Eatel, BASF, Regions, Shell, and Express Employment. Table sponsors included Ascension Storage, Hancock Whitney, United Community Bank, Pelican State Credit, Baton Rouge Physical Therapy, Neighbors Federal Credit, and Pujol, Pryor and Irwin Litigation Firm.

Barbara Irwin, Chairman of the Board, said, “We are here to celebrate the talents of everyone as a group, not just one individual. We are celebrating the chamber as a whole.”

The first award was presented to Rachel Lambert, who won 2018 Ambassador of the Year. Lambert served as a professional liaison and strengthened the relationships with people in the community.

Bridget Hannah won 2018 Individual of the Year. Hannah was elected the first female Clerk of Court in Ascension, and is also co-chair for the Ascension Leadership Committee.

2018's New Business of the Year was presented by Larry McDonald, who was a previous award winner. McDonald presented the award to Active Martial Arts, located at 316 East Hwy 30 in Gonzales.

Derek Murphy presented the 2018 Small Business of the Year to Express Employment Professionals. Express helps job seekers find work and help businesses find qualified employees.

Allison Hudson presented the 2018 Large Business of the Year award to R.J. Daigle and Sons Contractors. Among many projects, R.J. produced the asphalt for the recent location of Top Golf in Baton Rouge.

Brandon Davis with Cox Communications, previously received the Legacy Award and said, “The chamber recognizes those who do a lot for the community and make a different. This award focuses on someone who goes above and beyond for the people.”

The award was presented to St. Elizabeth's Hospital. Since 2000, they have been a long-time supporter of different programs offered by the chamber, as well as a help in sponsoring events, like the Annual Awards banquet.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.