Two brothers have grown Smith Tank & Steel from a startup offering water tower repairs to a multimillion-dollar industrial services firm

Business Report – David Jacobs – Brothers Billy Smith and Sam Smith Jr. come from a family of industrial tank builders. They were supervisors by the time they were 19, Billy Smith says, and both came to lead tank divisions at their respective employers. “I was doing all of the tank work there, and Sam… Read more »


Can’t get a good tortilla here? That premise, plus entrepreneurial spirit, launched Hola Nola Foods

The Advocate (11/28/2015) – Ted Griggs tgriggs@theadvocate.com Three years ago, former Zapp’s Potato Chips executives and minority shareholders Kevin S. Holden and Rod Olson found themselves in unfamiliar territory. They wanted to quit. Both worked for Utz Quality Foods Inc., which acquired the Gramercy-based chippery in 2011 following founder Ron Zappe’s death. Olson had been… Read more »



Gonzales property owners urged to take advantage of Louisiana Certified Economic Development Sites program

GONZALES — Ellyn Couvillion, ecouvillion@theadvocate.com The nonprofit Ascension Economic Development Corp. is encouraging property owners in Gonzales to take advantage of a statewide program that promotes sites available for development. While there are currently 10 pieces of property in Ascension Parish listed in the Louisiana Certified Economic Development Sites program — more than any other… Read more »


Performance Contractors named Top 100 Military Friendly Employer

Baton Rouge, LA — Performance Contractors announced today that it has earned the 2016 Military Friendly® Employer designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs® and Military Spouse Magazines. Performance ranked seventh [7] in the Diversified Services Industry—providing top jobs for Veterans including Construction Management, Construction Worker, It Specialist, Operations and Facilities Manager, Skilled Laborer… Read more »


AEDC Celebrates 10 Years

Gonzales, LA (November 03, 2015): The Ascension Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is 10-years old.  Before an audience of elected officials, business leaders and economic development allies, AEDC today outlined how the organization was created amidst the chaos and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina along with its substantial accomplishments during its first decade. AEDC was created by… Read more »


AEDC maintains a neutral position on elections and political campaigns at all times

Gonzales, LA (October 09, 2015): Ascension Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is a non-political entity, as spelled out not only in the statutes, but also in the mission of this organization.  AEDC maintains a neutral position on elections and political campaigns at all times.  Although this is the position of AEDC, it is certainly understandable and… Read more »



CF Industries acquiring OCI to create fertilizer giant

The Advocate – NEW YORK — CF Industries Holdings Inc., a company with a major plant in Louisiana, will acquire the distribution networks of Netherlands-based OCI N.V. in a $6 billion deal that would create one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer companies. The deal, which includes about $2 billion in debt, is expected to… Read more »


Gonzales City Council gets glowing economic report

The Advocate – GONZALES — Business is good in Gonzales, the head of the Ascension Economic Development Corp. told the City Council on Monday. Over the last year, the nonprofit has visited 15 businesses, as well as the local hospital, to learn how things are going, and the feedback is positive, said Mike Eades, president… Read more »