*Lela Mae Wilkes, CPA
Owner, Chief Executive Officer and President
Lela Mae Wilkes joined Brown Eagle in 1977 as Controller. She was promoted to President in 1989 and has served as Chief Executive Officer since the company founder R. T. Brown Jr.’s full time retirement the following year. Ms. Wilkes became 50% owner of Brown Eagle in 2012 and acquired 100% of the outstanding shares in August 2014.
Ms. Wilkes began her career working with her father on the family dairy farm in Pride, Louisiana before earning her CPA and becoming a staff accountant at Ethyl Corporation. She has been a pioneer in the petrochemical service industry ever since. Lela Mae Wilkes is a founding member of the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (LCIA) and was the first woman to be a member of the Board of Directors; she served for the maximum 10 year term allowed by the LCIA bylaws.
Ms. Wilkes is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2004 Ms. Wilkes was inducted into Northwestern State University’s Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line. She is also a Distinguished Graduate of the Northwestern State University School of Business and has served on their advisory board from 2001 to the present.
In 2005 Ms. Wilkes was named one of the Capital Region’s Influential Women in Business by the Baton Rouge Business Report.
Ms. Wilkes has also been a pillar of the greater Baton Rouge community service scene throughout her life. She has been a supporter and member of the following organizations (bold indicates service as an officer or board member):