SPONSORED: Chomp! Another LegisGator In The Books…

Last week more than 800 legislators, supporters, lobbyists, business leaders and others involved in the political realm gathered for LegisGator – a regional event in Lake Charles that connects business leaders and lawmakers from the state and federal level.

The Chamber SWLA’s LegisGator luncheon at L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles offers a unique platform to connect after the stress-filled legislative sessions, as well as an opportunity to honor lawmakers. “It’s the premier political event in the area,” said The Picard Group’s Paige Hensgens Hightower, who handles much of the behind-the-scenes work for the event, and works alongside TPG’s Mike Michot, a former member of the state legislature from 1996 through 2012, who announces awards for the state legislators. “This event includes the federal delegation, the governor and the Louisiana Legislature,” Hightower said.

This year’s elected speakers included Gov. John Bel Edwards, as well as Congressman Cedric Richmond of New Orleans who gave a tribute to Majority Whip Steve Scalise as he recovers from a gunshot wound following an attack in Washington D.C. over the summer, Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, as well as Congressmen Clay Higgins (his first LegisGator representing LA-03) and Garret Graves. The unique nature of LegisGator (other than the alligator shaped butter on the tables) rests in the combination of both federal and state lawmakers, as well as former members of both state and federal houses. Pair these lawmakers with journalists and business-minded Louisianans and there becomes an opportunity for new connections and raised awareness for the southwest corner of the state.

Tables sponsored by people and businesses across the five-parish area of southwest Louisiana and the entire state highlight economic growth and hardworking communities, according to Hightower. Awards at the banquet include acknowledgement of business champions, governmental affairs, Fusion Five’s “Up and Coming” and a LegisGator of the year. (Check out the list below for the full run down of award winners.) Many of the awards are determined by a grading scale from The Chamber SWLA as pro-business bills are analyzed.

2017 Chairman’s Award: Sen. Francis Thompson

2017 Governmental Affairs Award: Rep. Mark Abraham

2017 Governmental Affairs Award: Rep. A.B. Franklin

2017 Governmental Affairs Award: Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill

2017 Governmental Affairs Award: Rep. John E. Guinn

2017 Fusion Five Up and Coming Award: Sen. Norby Chabert

2017 LegisGator of the Year: Rep. Steve Carter

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