Tulane University"s A. B. Freeman School of Business will honor the Wilson family, owners of Barriere Construction Co., as Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year and Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, founding director of the Birthing Project USA, as Tulane Social Entrepreneur of the Year at an awards ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at the Westin New Orleans at Canal Place.
The Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year Award honors individuals who exemplify true entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic generosity, while the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals dedicated to improving the community through entrepreneurial initiatives. John Elstrott, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Freeman School"s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, will present this year"s awards.
Barriere Construction is a third-generation family-owned highway and heavy construction asphalt company. The company was founded in 1949 by Gaines Wilson and is today led by his grandsons George H. Wilson Jr., Bertrand A. Wilson, and Peter A. Wilson.
George H. Wilson is president and CEO of Barriere Construction. He earned his bachelor"s degree from Tulane in 1975 and an master of business administration from Tulane in 1986. George currently serves as a member of the executive committee of the Business Council and River Region, a member of the World Presidents" Organization and president of the New Orleans District of Louisiana Associated General Contractors. He also serves on the boards of United Way, YMCA of the Greater New Orleans and the New Orleans Ballet Association. George has four children.
Bertrand A. Wilson is president of Barriere"s South Shore Division. He attended Louisiana State University and began working for the company in 1990. Bertrand is currently president of the Louisiana Asphalt Paving Association and has served on the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and as president of the Associated Builders and Contractors" Bayou Chapter (ABC), as well as a member of its national board. He is married and has two daughters.
Peter A. Wilson is president of Barriere"s North Shore Division. Peter is a graduate of Louisiana State University and attended the Families in Business Program at Harvard University. After joining the company as an estimator, he rose to the position of project and division manager before ultimately becoming president of the division. Peter is married with three sons.
The Wilson family is actively involved with charitable organizations including the United Way and Habitat for Humanity and offers a scholarship program for students interested in civil engineering.
Past recipients of the Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award include Sydney Besthoff, Property Management Group (2001); Albert Fraenkel, Fraenkel Furniture (2002); William A. Goldring, Republic Beverages (2003); Frank B. Stewart Jr., Stewart Capital (2004); John E. Koerner III, Koerner Capital (2005); C. Berdon Lawrence, Kirby Corp. (2007); James J. Reiss Jr., Reiss Companies (2008); and Rick S. Rees, LongueVue Capital (2009).
Kathryn Hall-Trujillo is founding director of Birthing Project USA, an international organization and resource center for improving birth outcomes for women of color. The Birthing Project model has been replicated in almost 100 communities in the United States, Canada, Central America and Africa.
Hall-Trujillo has over 30 years of experience as a public health administrator, community health educator and advocate in the public and private sectors. Her experience in understanding, translating and bridging policy, administration, services delivery and client cultures have earned her national and international recognition.
She has been honored as Woman of the Year by the California State Legislature, as a Hero in Healthcare by the Coalition for Excellence in Healthcare, and as Child Abuse Prevention Professional of the Year by the California Statewide Child Abuse Consortium. Hall-Trujillo is the recipient of the Essence National Community Service Award, the United States Public Health Service"s Women"s Health Leadership Award, and the California State Maternal and Child Health Certificate of Excellence. She earned her bachelor"s degree and masters of public health from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was inducted into Ashoka as a Global Social Entrepreneur in 2008.
Past recipients of the Tulane Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award include Lina Alfieri Stern, IDA Collaborative of Louisiana (2002); Lauren Anderson, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans (2003); Laura Maloney, Louisiana SPCA (2004); Charlotte C. Cunliffe, Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (2005); George Cloutier, American Management Services (2007); Allan Houston, Allan Houston Foundation (2008); and SENO (Social Entrepreneurship of New Orleans) (2009).
About the Levy-Rosenblum Institute
The Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship trains and inspires prospective entrepreneurs through coursework, community service projects and internships. Freeman School students are provided the opportunity to work with experienced faculty members, network with a regional board of entrepreneurs and participate in a student-based entrepreneurial association which provides a training ground for business development. In 2009, the institute"s entrepreneurship program was ranked fourth in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine/The Princeton Review.