February 2, 2024
On Thursday, February 1, the Bossier Chamber of Commerce honored top business and community leaders at the 76th Annual Gala. The event kicked off with a cocktail hour prior to the program and hosted hundreds of business professionals at the Bossier Civic Center for their largest networking event, presented by Barksdale Federal Credit Union.
The Chamber took time to celebrate the successes of the previous year and shared plans for the year ahead. Outgoing Chairman of the Board Nicole Wilhite of Citizens National Bank, passed the reins to incoming Chairman of the Board Jonathan Reynolds, Carter Credit Union. Incoming board members were recognized and the coveted awards of Business of the Year and Business Person of the Year, presented by our award sponsor the Willis-Knighton Health System, were announced.
Gregory Kallenberg was named the 2023 Top Business Person of the Year for his commitment to the arts and the $12 million economic impact of his endeavor, Prize Foundation.
Give Me 3 was named Bossier Chamber’s 2023 Small Business of the Year for the growth of this woman-owned business in the face of adversity.
Willis-Knighton was named Bossier Chamber’s 2023 Business of the Year for serving the community for 100 years as a top performing hospital in Louisiana.
Business Person of the Year finalists
-Bethany Fouts, Locals Love Us
-Gregory Kallenberg, Prize Foundation
-Loreli Lopez, PPT, Inc.
-Christian Mudd, Sterling Spirits I & II
-Ashley Warner, Louisiana Boardwalk
Business of the Year finalists
-Cafe Boba Tea
-Express Employment Professionals
-Give Me 3
-Jeter Therapy Group
-Lamb and Associates
-LifeShare Blood Center
-Willis-Knighton Health System
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Willis-Knighton Health System has served the Bossier community for 100 years. Recognized in 2023 as Louisiana’s top-performing hospital, Willis Knighton has grown from a small hospital to a comprehensive health system with five hospitals, support services, Quick Care centers, and over 150 physician offices. Some of their achievements in 2023 include adding a Suburban Physician Primary Care Clinic, introducing groundbreaking HipInsight™ System for joint replacement, and celebrating the 50th case using Focal One™ technology for prostate cancer treatment. The organization also launched Reach Out and Read, provided free physicals for high school athletes, expanded residency programs, and supported military readiness. Post-COVID-19 challenges strengthened WKHS, making it more resilient and adaptable to meet evolving healthcare demands in the region.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Founded in 2017, Give Me 3 emerged as a business venture driven by a desire for something more significant. The guiding principles of Give Me 3 were God’s direction, creativity, and a family history of small business ownership. The journey from a small showroom to a larger space that owner Tracey Barringer presented challenges and coincided with the 2020 global shutdown. Despite adversities, a strategic relocation as well as fate allowed for expansion without external funding. In six years, Give Me 3 has extended its reach to 41 states as well as international destinations. Beyond commerce, it has evolved into a platform for philanthropy, supporting educators, acknowledging single mothers, and contributing to Christmas initiatives for disadvantaged children. Give Me 3 signifies more than a retail entity; it embodies a space of prayer, resilience, and a testament to promises.
TOP BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR: Gregory Kallenberg currently serves as Founder/Executive Director of the Prize Foundation and honored as the LEH Champion of Culture Awardee. His work with the Louisiana Film Prize and Prize Fest not only makes Shreveport-Bossier an arts and culture hub but also brings in over $12 million in positive economic impact for Northwest Louisiana. Besides being Founder and Executive Director of the Prize Foundation, Gregory is an award-winning documentary filmmaker recognized for projects like “Rational Middle of Immigration,” explaining immigration in America. He has also directed films like “The Long Game,” showing energy development in West Texas, and the well-received “Haynesville: A Nation’s Hunt for an Energy Future.” Given the 2019 “Champion of Culture” title by the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities and with a journalism background, Gregory is a versatile professional making a lasting impact in film and culture in our region.