Brown Eagle Management
Lela Mae Wilkes, CPA
Chief Executive Officer
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.
Awards and Honors
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):
- Volunteers in Public Schools
- Northwestern State University Alumni Association
- Magnolia Mound
- LSU Hiltop Arboretum
- Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra
- LSU Alumni Association
- LSU Museum of Art
- LSU Rural Life Museum
- Manship Theatre
- Louisiana State Museum
- BR Children’s Advocacy Center
- Healthcare Centers in Schools
- Louisiana CASA Association
- Foundation for Historical Louisiana
- Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans
William “Billy” Bellefontaine
Billy Bellefontaine joined Brown Eagle as President in 2019. He brings to the company over 40 years of experience in engineering, logistics and supply chain management. Having previously served as Supply Chain Technology Director at Dow Chemical, Mr. Bellefontaine is one of our state’s foremost experts in supply chain performance management, technology and process improvement. He also carries three patents in packaging and supply chain innovation.
As President, Mr. Bellefontaine is responsible for strengthening Brown Eagle’s operational success and furthering market growth. By leveraging his insight and experience in the logistics industry, he will build on Brown Eagle’s extensive achievements and maintain the company’s well-established standards of shipping accuracy and employee safety.
Mr. Bellefontaine is a native of Hopewell, Virginia, but has been a resident of Louisiana for 50+ years.