SHREVEPORT, Louisiana – Dolores “Sissy” LaVigne made a major donation to BRF to establish the Dolores George LaVigne Endowment for Entrepreneurship. The BRF Board also approved a contribution to the newly established endowment fund. The revenues generated by this $ 2 million endowment will be used to support the operations of BRF’s entrepreneurial acceleration program.
Sissy LaVigne is no stranger to entrepreneurship. She has been a financial investor and supporter of many successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial initiatives in the Shreveport area over the past 60 years.
She was an early employee of Metro Aviation, headquartered in Shreveport, which went from owning a used helicopter in 1982 to becoming the largest traditional private air medical operator in the United States. United and the world’s largest aviation medical training center with over 1,000 employees nationwide. . According to Metro Aviation Founder and CEO Mike Stanberry, “Sissy LaVigne donated the interior of our first helicopter. Without it, Metro Aviation would not be in business. She played a decisive role in our start-up. ”
She was also an early investor in Shreveport-based Aeropres Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of high purity gas with plants in Shreveport, California, Illinois and New Jersey. Ken Odom, Chairman of the Board of Aeropres Corporation, said that “Sissy Lavigne was an original shareholder of Aeropres Corporation. His leadership has been essential as our business has grown from a small business to the business it is today. Sissy set an example of her hard work and professionalism and asked her management team no less.
Don Jones, former mayor of the town of Bossier and local entrepreneur, said: “Sissy LaVigne has not only provided millions of dollars to support many local entrepreneurs and nonprofits, but has also provided insightful and insightful advice. that are invaluable.
“I like to see new businesses being created,” noted LaVigne. “I believe BRF’s Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program helps entrepreneurs with many key services and access to capital that will make Shreveport / North Louisiana based businesses successful. I am happy to give back to help diversify and develop the economy of our region ”.
“Sissy LaVigne was helping start-ups in Shreveport long before BRF launched the Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program. She was one of the first to invest in LifeCare Management Services, headquartered in Shreveport, a long-term acute care hospital system that now has more than 3,200 employees across 21 sites in nine states and has been sold. in 2005. This endowment, to which we hope others will contribute, should keep his entrepreneurial spirit alive for generations to come, ”said Dr. John F. George Jr., President and CEO of BRF .
Established in 2014, BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator program analyzes the viability of ideas and products, connects entrepreneurs with knowledgeable investors and encourages them to take critical steps to market. According to a 2019 Economic Impact Study by Dr. Loren Scott and Associates, companies supported by the BRF Business Accelerator Program generated in the Shreveport-Bossier MSA on 353 new jobs, $ 21 million in new business sales, $ 15 million in new household income, and nearly $ 1 million in new taxes and charges for local governments.